Well first off, know that any comments I make are just to get you thinking, that is all. I also think since I am a woman my perspective is a bit different from the other posters so far.
I agree with all the other posters as far as getting every morsel in writing. But the reality is even when you have it in writing…as clear as day…everyone’s perception of the agreement will be different.
I also want to challenge the amount of partners you have…you say three…I say it is more like more like six. We know from your post you are married and of course your brother in law is married. And perhaps the 3rd guy is married. Regardless of what you may believe every member of every family is a partner. Each family member is effected by this business adventure.
Right now you are making a nice salary of 50 plus overtime. Well kiss the over time goodbye. And from what you have stated is this has been a dream for 10 years. Since you are not financially backing this deal my guess is you somewhat live paycheck to paycheck. You need your income to support your family. I say this because when we dream of doing something for ten years one would assume over 10 years if we were able we would save and save like crazy to make it happen and not have a need for a financial partner or two.
There are several reasons I am posting the above:
First off, seems easy enough to go to work and when you get off go to the pizza place. But think long term, day after day after day. What kind of impact will that have on your growing children and wife? (AKA partners) What about the little league games, family holidays, outings, birthdays, anniversaries etc. What is the real cost there?
Have you and your wife truly discussed her taking care of the kids all the time for quite some time…is the reality of that decision there?
I only say this because in reality today over 50% of the marriages end in divorce. So the likelihood of either your partners or you divorcing is pretty high. How will that work with your brother in law? Can your marriage truly sustain through you working doubles every single day? A marriage takes work. Since you will already be working a full time job during the day and a full time job at the pizza place when will you have time to invest in your marriage? You may say our marriage is strong, it is only temporary…I challenge that… like any investment if you don’t take care of it you will lose.
Sure we think…well I can hire a manager…but you already have 3 hands in the cookie jar…so I think it will be sometime before you are able to hire a manager.
My husband and I are partners and I think over the last 14 years in the biz it has consumed us…after opening our 2nd location it has become our life. I could have never ever imagined how much work could take over our life.
My daughter is a junior and we have had our place since she was 2. It brings tears to my eyes thinking back to her kindergarten graduation and us flipping a coin to see who would attend, or the nights I had to take videos of her dances so hubby could feel like he was there, or the football games we couldn’t go to and watch her perform, the nights eating dinner on the couch because eating at the table just didn’t make sense, the 10 years we never handed out halloween candy because one of us was at work and one was taking her trick or treating, the rare hurry up 2 day vacations we have had. The endless invitations from friends to go to dinner and we couldn’t…together…the extended family birthday’s we had to miss. The family weddings only one of us could attend.
Don’t get me wrong, I have loved the biz all these years, but now as my daughter is almost graduated it saddens me like crazy to think of what we missed. We have had managers through the years but there was always something. I am just telling you all this so you and your wife can ask yourselves if it is worth it. You may not think it will happen to you…and it may not…but if someone had asked me I would have never believed it.
Knowing what I know now my advice to you is…wait. Save for 10 years, get completely out of debt and enjoy your life. If you still want to do it then you can do it with your wife as your partner.
Like I said I am a woman…we deal in terms of relationships…men think in terms of facts. You and your wife need to think long and hard about the life you have now and what you are trying to accomplish by opening this place.