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Your Home Business and Time and Space

May 18, 2008
Children and a spouse can get as enthusiastic as you are about the business, are often happy to help out, and, like you, find the home business opportunity a source of pride. But in the end the business is your activity, not theirs, and may conflict at some point with their wants or needs.

Of course if the home business is paying the mortgage and putting dinner on the table, you have the option of telling the rest of the family to quit whining. But though the business will take priority sometimes, a like it or leave it attitude isn't going to bring peace to the household. It's your business, but it's everyone's home, and being sensitive to that may help keep things running as smoothly as possible.

There may be times during your home business career when a project grows too big for your home office or workspace. The dining room table may be perfect for the task at hand. Does the family mind if you take over the dining table for a day or a week? Ask them! By giving them a chance to object, you acknowledge that the rest of the family is important and they'll respond by being cooperative and reasonable most of the time about your Christian business opportunity.

Nobody likes to have his or her time wasted. You'll want to manage your time well in order to operate your business efficiently but also in order to respect your family's time. If you've established the family dinner time as 6pm, make sure you're ready to sit down with them at 6pm. Don't make them wait until 6:45 so that you can finish up work you didn't get finished earlier in the day. If you do need to work late, let the rest of the family know ahead of time so that they can plan to eat later or go ahead without you.

Similarly, you want to maintain a schedule that your family can depend on. Granted, some home business opportunities involve emergency calls, periods of intense work and a certain amount of unpredictability. But to the extent you're able, stick to whatever schedule you've established for the day. If you promised Susie you'll come to her piano recital then do it. If you repeatedly let your home business force you to break promises made to your loved ones, they're likely to begin resenting the business. Given that the business is located in their home, you want those around you to appreciate what you do and respect its importance - which can only be done if you offer the same to them.

One area of potential conflict among family or household members is the telephone. Even without a home business thrown into the mix, complaints about unfair use of the phone by one or more members of the family can generate problems, especially in today's world of dial-up Internet access. Add a home business using a home line and you've set the stage for World War III.
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