By Sandhills SCORE
Starting a business and going from working for someone else to being your own boss brings excitement and opportunities. It also comes with some big adjustments—not only for you but also for your family.
So you can better avoid misunderstanding and resentment, it's important to set realistic expectations from the beginning.
As you prepare to launch your business, keep the following talking points in mind as you communicate with your family members.
As the owner of a business, it may be difficult to “clock out” and completely set your work duties aside at the end of the day. You might also find yourself starting your workday earlier than you did when you worked for someone else. Especially during the startup phase of your company, you might find you’ll have to put in a lot of hours. And with only so many available each day, you may discover the work-life balance scale tipping more heavily to the “work” side.
If you decide to run your business from an office in your home, you will encounter a whole host of distractions that can uproot your focus and destroy your productivity. Consider getting confirmation from your family members that they understand when you’re in your home office or on business calls, they won’t disturb you for non-emergency reasons. Also, set the expectation with well-meaning friends and relatives that working from home doesn’t mean you can comply with spontaneous requests to meet up for coffee or happy hour.
Until you’ve established a network of business connections and clients, your income might fluctuate from month to month. With no longer having a steady paycheck coming from an employer, you might find it challenging to keep up with expenses professionally and personally. That means you and your family members may need to forego some luxuries, like dining out at your favorite upscale restaurant, until you’ve built a steady stream of revenue.
With your startup responsibilities added to your plate and less free time available every day, you may find it tough to carry out some of your personal tasks at home. As you’re working hard to build your business so that it can help provide for your family for the long term, you may find it necessary to ask your loved ones to pick up some of the slack on the home front.
Navigating the challenges of starting a new business may require some trial and error as you learn your capabilities and limitations. The key is to communicate with your family members and set expectations, so they’re not caught off-guard.
Consider reaching out to other entrepreneurs in your network who have been in your shoes to find out how they manage the demands of their businesses while maintaining a harmonious home life.
Also, reach out to a SCORE mentor who can help you better prepare for the responsibilities of business ownership. With their breadth of experience, they can offer valuable insight into the realities of entrepreneurship.
You can contact your local SCORE at 910-420-0121, email email@example.com, or visit the website sandhills.score.org.