In the last article, we concluded by saying that keeping your business and personal relationships separate is very important to the survival of both your business and your marriage. In this article we will talk about how to achieve this goal.

One of the most important ways to do this is to set different business hours, and when they’re done, don’t talk business, focus on your relationship. It is difficult, but make a concentrated effort at it. Limit your business discussions to business hours or reserve a specific time to discuss the business.

For example, take the last half hour of the day and analyze the business day; Any suggestions you have, what was accomplished, what should be done tomorrow, during the week, how the monthly goals you set at the beginning of the month are progressing. Remember to express any criticism or suggestion in a positive way. Think about how you felt in the work situation and how the supervisors treated you when they made suggestions. The negatives only cause resentment. They do it in the business field, and even more so, when it comes to a spouse with whom they must live 24 hours a day. Make sure you make time for each other – go for a walk, dinner, or just a drive with your spouse. Don’t talk business.

You must have outside activities that are not related to the business. If not, join a group that interests you. It will allow you to meet other people who are not related to your business. Running a business from home can be very lonely; It is imperative to stay away from home and have outside interests.

In addition to the problems inherent in couples running a business, starting a business from home presents its own set of problems and questions. Before you begin, be sure to ask yourself the following:

1. Are you self-motivated? Organized? Able to prioritize your work? You will no longer have a supervisor or boss telling you what to do. You will be the one who makes the decisions. You will have to motivate yourself. One way to accomplish this is to use a to-do list and stick to it. Also, set a final business hours and stick to them.

2. Can you handle the isolation? You will no longer meet people in the hallways, congregate around the coffee shop, or take a break to talk to your coworkers. To combat loneliness and isolation, be sure to join groups that meet outside the home or schedule lunches with friends and associates.

3. Write a business plan. Make sure the business is something that interests you. You may want to start part-time and grow from there. Research the business carefully, make sure there is a market and that the competition is not overwhelming.

4. Make sure you have set aside at least six months for living expenses. This will give you time to work on the marketing strategy outlined in your business plan and avoid bad marketing practices. Also, if changes need to be made, you can do so without monetary concerns becoming a problem.

5. Make sure your office space is located in a separate room or area of ​​your home that offers the least amount of distraction. A separate office is best, especially if you are meeting with clients. Remember to always present a professional appearance.

6. When will you do your usual housework? Make a timeline of when you will take care of them. For some people, it’s best to finish tasks before the start of the work day. At the end of the day, close your office door and then take care of the remaining household items that need to be handled. Time management will be a very important factor in running a home business.

7. For husband and wife teams, it is imperative to have some form of disability insurance for each other. Remember, even if your partner is your husband or wife, he or she will still be your business partner. An accident or illness of one of you can seriously affect the operation of the business.

A business is only as good as you and your partner make it. It takes a lot of dedication, time, and energy to run a business, whether it’s at home or not. It can be a very rewarding experience. Think carefully and ask yourself lots of self-assessment questions before you begin.

Copyright 2000, DeFiore Enterprises

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