Parents often look to business as the ultimate financial solution. No more extra hours and endless presentations to bag the next promotion. No more waking up at ungodly hours to beat the traffic and make sure you’re not getting deductions on your salary. More importantly, you’ll have more than enough to give your spouse and children the life they deserve.
In an ideal world, this will all come easily the moment you launch your business. The sad truth is that many obstacles stand in the way of your dream, and you have to address them first before you can enjoy smooth sailing.
One of your most pressing concerns is how your entrepreneurial ventures will impact your family. It doesn’t matter if your spouse won’t partner with you or your children won’t do part-time work. Starting a business will affect them in more ways than one, which is why you have to ensure as early as now that they’ll be prepared for it.
Get Everybody Onboard
Not onboard your business, per se, but onboard your circle of support. Many entrepreneurs suffered from increased stress when their family members showed hesitation or disapproval in their business ventures. It’s significantly worse if, at the onset, they express doubt about your ability to run a company. These negative emotions can strain your relationship permanently, as is the case with divorce.
Winning their support may mean getting their opinion about which opportunities you should go for and how you should pursue them. Perhaps you want to go into property management and are planning to start from the ground up. However, if they are more comfortable with the property management franchise cost, consider investing in a franchise instead. Remember that, as a spouse and a parent, your finances are never fully your own. If you make a wasteful investment, you compromise your entire family’s financial stability.
Be Extra Careful with Your Money
It deserves to be repeated: Your money is never fully your own anymore. Starting a business may translate to your family as you giving up a steady source of income. This is not always a welcome idea, especially if your financial situation is far from ideal. If your spouse earns enough to support the entire household, you can agree on how you’ll handle your reduced income while your business isn’t profiting yet. If not, then you’re left with no choice but to push back your plans until you’ve earned enough capital to start.
Family Sacrifices are Inevitable
The first few years of a business may mean fewer vacations, dinner out, and branded goods for the entire family. You’ll make switches that enable you to save money and secure your bills, groceries, and other necessities.
Experts advise that you never put your family’s assets and resources at risk without everybody’s approval. You may be tempted to put your house up for collateral or dip your 401k plan. Remember that your business is always at risk of failing, and when it does, it might not be worth the losses your family will incur.
Keep Communication Open
Your family needs to know what is happening in your business. If you don’t give them regular updates, they may assume that it’s not doing well or that you’re not working hard enough. These are the assumptions you want to avoid at all costs, as they could lead to the deterioration of your support system. Tell them when you get a new client, get excellent reviews, and partner with other businesses. Be transparent in your business methods and give them the chance to appreciate what you’re doing.
Also, it’s better to schedule family meetings instead of including business talk in every family dinner or celebration you hold. This will make them feel like they are a part of the company, even unofficially, as they will be the ones to benefit from its success. If they have questions or suggestions, be grateful for them. The more they know about the business now, the better they’ll be able to make decisions on your behalf in case something unexpected happens, like accidents or deaths. While it’s a grim prospect, it’s something every serious entrepreneur must always consider.
Be as Strategic as Possible
You know your family best. There are ways you can tweak these general guidelines so that you can maximize their impact. However, at the end of the day, the bottom line remains the same: starting a business is never easy, not for you, and not for your family. Do your best to keep them in the loop, and you may find yourself the business partners and supporters you need to succeed.