Niki Kux-Kardos, owner of Nexus Facilitation in Victoria, B.C., and Judi Cunningham, executive director of the Sauder School of Business’s Business Families Centre at the University of British Columbia, offers these suggestions:
Put the same thought and attention into family matters that will be affected by your plunge into entrepreneurship as you do in setting up the business. Identifying all of the issues and figuring out how to deal with them before you go ahead will cut a lot of conflict later.
Find out every family member’s expectations on everything from finances to time to sacrifices to priorities. Let your family know how much support you will need from them.
Put a plan in place
Just as you have a business plan to cover goals and strategies for the business, have a similar plan for the family.
Communication is key every step of the way. Hold regular family meetings, especially with spouses and older children. That creates an environment where families can make decisions collaboratively.
Talk it up
When those dinner-time sit-downs come, rather than focusing only on the challenges and stresses, talk up the pluses of entrepreneurship as well.
Teach your children well
Teaching your children about the business from an early age can help further their understanding and boost their support.
Come up with strategies to build better balance between your business and family lives.
Be vocal in showing appreciation for the support you receive. Recognize the sacrifices family members are making.
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