You had a dream to start your own business. It’s an exciting yet stressful time. On one hand you get to call the shots, be your own boss and on the other hand you no longer have a steady paycheck. So a lot is riding on your shoulders.
Becoming an entrepreneur can be emotionally draining. You may find yourself putting in long hours and working on weekends. And the money may not be flowing in right at the start. I bet when you started down the entrepreneurial path you forgot to think about how owning your own business would affect your family.
Here are 4 tips to help prepare your family for small business ownership:
- Be strategic with your finances
- Family Sacrifices
- Teach your children about the business
- Balance family life with entrepreneurial life
Be strategic with your finances
Have a plan in place.
You may find that when you start your new business that you will have to live on reduced income temporarily. Your spouse, if working, may need to cover the household expenses until your business gets on it’s feet. If possible you should also try to build up savings in advance to cover your loss of income.
This sounds like a total downer, but your family should be prepared to make some sacrafices along the way. It is important to get the support of your family in advance and gain their understanding that some things may need to be evaluated such as – how much income is to be spent on entertainment, vacations and eating out.
In addition, you may want to evaluate to what extent your family resources may be at risk should the business fail like college savings, 401k funds and your home.
Teach your family about the business without forcing them to work in the business.
It’s important to teach your kids the fundamentals of business. If they are excited to help you in your venture – encourage it. If they don’t want to be part of the family business, understand that they may have other passions and accept their choices.
Balance family life with entrepreneurial life
It is very tough running the business and balancing home life. Everyone will have a different level of commitment, but it is important that you spend enough time with your family. Thinking that you will have the same hours you did as an employee is unrealistic. You have to pursue clients – the work isn’t going to find you. So just remember to make time for you and your family.
Lastly, remember that the business won’t be worth anything at the end of the day if it needs you to run it. Your overall goal should be with the end in mind – succession planning and planning on where you see your business in 1 year, 3 years and 5 years down the road is a good idea. It may be wise to discuss your dreams and goals with your family to gain their support.
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