10 Questions to ask Before Starting a Home Business with a Spouse

January 4, 2014

You married or live with him or her because you love them.  But could you spend your working days with them too?  And sleep together at night?  Here are 10 simple questions to ask before starting a home business with a partner or spouse.

1) Can you work side-by-side?

This seems like a basic question – you play well in the sandbox – so why can’t you work well together?  There are many reasons from constant contact to settling personal and business differences.  Ask yourself honestly if a working arrangement can be productive, successful, and not destroy the positive and personal side of your lives.

2) Do you each have common goals?

Is your vision the same as your partner?  Does he or she support and agree with what you want to do and vice-versa?  If one wants to make widgets and the other wants to make cogs, how will you reconcile that?  What about the long-term?  Do you both agree about a long-term vision for the business?  Does it fit with your personal goals?  And if you have children, how do they fit in the mix?

3) Define and agree on roles

Will you do bookkeeping or will the other?  Determine who is responsible for producing the product (if appropriate) and who will handle customer service.  Also, who will make the final decision if common agreement is impossible?  You don’t want a business to cause friction in your personal life and the business needs are important too.  Someone must be in charge.

4) Define the business plan

Sometimes an objective third party is a good choice for reviewing a business plan.  An organization like SCORE will gladly assist entrepreneurs interested in starting a business – individuals or couples – with business plans and start-up businesses.

5) Talk. Talk. Talk.

Open and honest conversation is key to successful marriages and a successful business.  Set aside time to talk specifically about business issues.  When discussing, don’t be critical or dismiss the other’s ideas. You are not always right and the other is not always wrong.  Relationships are a 50-50 proposition.  A business partnership is too.

6) Draw a line between family and business

Maybe your business hours are 8 to 4 or one works that shift while another works a later time.  Whatever the case, draw that line between family time and business time.  If you promised to take the kids to the water park after school, make sure the business doesn’t interfere.  The flip side is also true.  Don’t allow your pillow talk to wander into the upcoming client meeting or quarterly taxes.

7) Create logical boundaries

Work is work.  The office is the office, even if the office is at home.  Design your work and living spaces to be separate from each other.  This helps keep personal and professional lives from conflicting.

8) Present as a team

Be united as business partners.  If you are parents, you don’t allow children to play one parent against another.  Do the same with your business.  Answer client questions the same way, each and every time.

9) Keep customers in the dark

Clients don’t need to know that your spouse is the other partner.  Keep them out of the loop.  Refer to your partner by name or as my partner, not as my husband or wife.  The less a client knows, the better.

10) Contingency plans

With both spouses working on the same business, failure is a double whammy.  Instead of losing one income, both incomes are gone.  Have a sizable cash reserve and another way to make money, if needed.  Assuming the worst outcome will make you plan more carefully and cautiously.  Build those reserves – remember, you have a family to feed too.  Further, draw up a partnership agreement that allows for one to get out, if they want to or must.  A business attorney can assist with this endeavor.

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3 Tips for Freelance Workers

January 3, 2014

Want to start a freelance career?  Freelance work has many benefits: independence, control, flexible hours, and the potential to make a lot of money.  Before you make that decision, think about these drawbacks.

1) Can you and are you willing to do what it takes?

A freelancer has no backup, no wingman, no one to bail you out.  The job is completely up to you, or at least your part of the job.  Can you accept that?  Do you have the skills, experience, and determination to get it done?  Freelancing isn’t easy, and bad customer experiences can make you look bad too.

2) Are you a closer?

Getting freelance work isn’t about the number of social media sites or contacts you have.  It is about telling the customer how you will do the job, in their time, and within budget.  Social media sites – LinkedIn in particular – are great, but don’t replace a firm handshake or personal contact.  And once in the door, do you have the personality to close the deal?   You have to always sell yourself and always close the deal.

If you can’t or are not comfortable selling yourself and the services you bring, freelancing may not be for you.  You must be able to sell and react to changes in client demand and expectations.

3) Do you have the time?

Freelancing is not a 9 to 5 job at all.  It is closer to a 50 or 60 hour workweek or more.  Other than the actual consulting (freelancing) work, you will have lots of paperwork (billing, taxes, education),work on getting  the next client (while still on the current job), and of course every little task a small business needs to do.  As a freelancer, you have no staff and need to handle everything yourself.

Can you put in the time needed?  If you can confidentially answer yes to all of the above, you may be ready for a freelance career.  If you can’t, perhaps part-time freelancing is a better choice at this time.


5 Ways to Make Money on the Internet

September 23, 2013

The Internet is a total game-changer.  We communicate, research, learn, and work from home – all using the Internet.

Starting a home business is also possible – using the Internet.

Below are five more ways to make money with the world wide web.

5 Ways to Make Money on the Internet.


3 Key Steps for Setting Successful Business Goals

September 20, 2013

There are a number of goals you can make when starting a home business or small business, but only a few actually make a difference.  Follow these steps and revisit them every year, perhaps on your start-up anniversary.

Business Goals

Read the rest of this entry »


40 Businesses to Start from Home

September 11, 2013

Tired of your current job?  Unemployed?  Underemployed?  Need a change?  A home business can bring financial success and personal satisfaction.  Technology and the new health care law helps many to realize the dream of starting and running a home business.

40 Businesses to Start from Home.

Home Business

Home Business

Homepreneurs website is Homepreneurs.net

Homepreneurs blogs at homepreneurs.wordpress.com

Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/homepreneurs

Twitter site – http://www.twitter.com/homepreneurs

tumblr site – http://www.tumblr.com/homepreneurs

Pinterest page – http://www.pinterest.com/homepreneurs

A LinkedIn page (Homepreneurs group)

Disclaimer

Homepreneurs does not endorse nor have any relationships with any of the services listed.  Homepreneurs receives no compensation or consideration for its suggestions or recommendations.  Homepreneurs strongly urges all interested parties to conduct research and accepts no responsibility for any losses incurred.

© Homepreneurs 2010 – 2013, All Rights Reserved


Hot Home Business Ideas

August 8, 2013

Need some home business ideas to explore? This blog post by Catherine Clifford from Entrepreneur Magazine online has several ideas to consider.

From online shoe sales to virtual data rooms and  digital forensics, Clifford expands on 8 ideas from several industries.

The full article from Entrepreneur’s web site is below:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/blog/225693

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Homepreneurs. New Day. New Opportunity.


In-Demand Home Business Idea – Financial Advisers

July 26, 2013

Sometimes the best home business options are in the news or on the Internet.  For instance, last week Marketwatch.com ran an article by Matthew Heimer titled: Will Your Adviser Retire Before You Do?

Piggy Bank

In the article, Heimer mentions the average American worker is between 35 and 44 years old.  Of the roughly 300,000 full-time financial advisers, the average age is about 50, with more than 20% over age 60.  Read more about this report in a report from consulting firm Accenture.

The issue:

Most financial planners and advisers will retire before workers are close to retiring.  This is a fact, based on Accenture’s findings.  Those in retirement or in their working years may have a hard time finding someone to help with investment decisions.

A solution:

Why not consider a career as a financial planner or adviser?  Homepreneurs has written about financial planning as a home business opportunity.  The demographic data suggest a pending demand for this occupation.

It is important to keep an eye on trends and current events – much can be learned about industry demands and home business options!

By Dion D. Shaw

Dion Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs

Homepreneurs. New Day. New Opportunity.

Disclaimer

Homepreneurs does not endorse nor have any relationships with any of the services listed.  Homepreneurs receives no compensation or consideration for its suggestions or recommendations.  Homepreneurs strongly urges all interested parties to conduct research and accepts no responsibility for any losses incurred.

© Homepreneurs 2010 – 2013, All Rights Reserved


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