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By holding meetings like this you also avoid 'spillover' of business into your personal time of which there is precious little to begin with. Which brings us to next point.
KEEP BUSINESS AND HOME SEPARATE
The ultimate success of your business depends upon both of you making decisions based on what's best for business. If you are not prepared to do this, then your business is doomed to failure. Really think about what this means before you start out. Do you - BOTH of you - have what it takes to do that? When time comes will you forego that vacation to Hawaii to plough money back into business? Will you? Are you sure? What if relationship's starting to get a bit shaky? Will you still do it?
It follows from what was said above that business is something separate from relationship/home. This is necessary for survival of business. Equally, it is necessary for survival of your relationship.
What are some of things you can do to keep business and home separate?
=> Set Business Hours
Set regular business hours and stick to them. Except in an emergency, what doesn't get done in business hours doesn't get done until next day.
=> Don't Let Business Intrude on Personal Time
Personal time is all that time outside of regular business hours. Jealously protect it from encroachment by business. If business line rings at 7:30 pm and business hours ended at 6:30 pm, let answering machine pick it up. In other words, shut door on business at end of day.
=> Don't Let Home Intrude on Business
Just as you must jealously guard your personal time, so too you must insulate business from intrusions on home front. So, when friends who know you work from home suggest you play hookey to hang out with them during business hours, say no. Schedule hanging out with friends for your personal time.
If you're at odds with each other about something to do with your personal lives, don't let it affect how you work together in business. Focus on task at hand, not your feelings about personal issue. If it's getting in way, resolve it. Don't let resentment undermine your working effectiveness.
Finally, there's a myriad of issues that are deserving of whole articles in themselves. They're listed here just as thought starters.
=> Family Demands
If you have children, there may be times when family demands can shift commitment to business of one or either of you. During such times, make sure it's only one of you whose commitment has shifted. Plan for what you will do if, for example, a child gets sick.
=> Outside Interests
To keep your relationship fresh and interesting, you should both pursue interests that are independent of business and each other.
=> Separate Space
You live and work together. That's a LOT of togetherness. Everyone needs personal space. If possible, have separate work areas so you're not under each other's feet ALL time.
=> Capital Sufficiency
Make sure you have sufficient capital to sustain you through start-up phase of your business.
=> Where Did They Get Money for That?
Has your business capital come from family sources? If so, beware scrutiny of your expenditure from family members. It is common for entrepreneurial couples with family money backing them to feel like they have to justify necessity for a particular item of expenditure, particularly if unrelated to business.
=> What if Relationship Ends?
Particularly if business is your sole means of livelihood, think about having a plan for what happens to business if relationship ends. While no-one likes contemplating such an eventuality, fact is that half of all marriages end in divorce. Those are pretty high odds. You may agree that you will both continue with business; one of you may buy other out; or business may be sold in toto with profits being divided between you.
=> Succession Planning
If your business is successful, what will you do when you exit business?
=> Business Failure
Finally, consider your financial position if business fails. Not only are you out of work but so is your partner. This is a very different proposition from a business being run by only one spouse. At least then other spouse is still bringing a paycheck home. Think about how quickly you will both be able to return to paid employment if worst happens.
The prospect of running a successful business with our mate is dream of many. It is natural to want to share as much as possible with our partner. But it is not for faint- hearted and there are many issues to take into account. Don't make your decision based on visions of romantic togetherness. The reality will be altogether very different. But if, with eyes wide open and having taken all of above factors into account, you believe you can be successful in business together, by all means go for it!
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Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical business ideas, opportunities and solutions for work-from-home entrepreneur. http://www.ahbbo.com
Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical business ideas, opportunities and solutions for the work-from-home entrepreneur. http://www.ahbbo.com