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Should You Get Your Family Involved in Your Home Business?

Aug 17, 2007
There's no question that you need the support of your family to be successful in home business. If they aren't cooperating it becomes much more difficult to succeed, or even to find time to work on your home business.

But if you need help, are they the ones to ask?

The answer can depend on just how involved you want them to get. If it's just minor help from the kids, it's quite possibly a good way to get to spend more time together and help them to understand what it is you do and why it is important to you. You may even inspire them to start a business of their own down the line.

But it can be a different matter if you're thinking about formally hiring a family member as an employee. You're getting into issues that can have implications you had not yet considered.

Start off with the worst: What if things go really, really wrong and you have to fire this person? What would be the impact on your relationship?

These things can get really, really ugly. Worse than hiring a complete stranger because the family bond can make both parties make unreasonable assumptions.

You need to be exceptionally careful about hiring a family member. You will want to spell everything out carefully, from responsibilities to pay to time off and beyond. Do not assume that a mutual promise to part business on good terms will actually mean anything should that time come.

Be realistic about what you expect from a family member. They may not have the same dedication to your business that you show. You hire for the skills they bring, not for the training you will need to do with them. And if they're going to be working at home too, you need to be sure that they are dedicated to doing that too.

If things aren't working out, make sure you say so early and say why. It's important that you do this before resentment builds up. You cannot let someone keep making mistakes just because they are family. You want to be able to decide whether to keep working together or to go your separate ways at a time when you can both talk sensibly about it, rather than completely out of the blue.

Do understand that having a family member work for you rarely works out. Problems are quite common and you have to be prepared to deal with them both professionally and personally. Unfortunately, you cannot assume that your great relationship within your family will translate into doing business well together.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster runs http://www.work-at-home-soon.com/ as a resource for people who want to work at home successfully. Get more tips on marketing your home business at her site.
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