There are many things to consider when starting a home business. What type of home business will you start? What equipment, inventory or supplies will you need? Who will your potential customers and clients be? Who will be your primary competition? However, one question few women tend to think about is: Will my home business be good for our marriage?
The answer depends on you and your approach to home business. You can count on your business changing your life to some extent. It'll add duties to your day, leave you with less time for yourself and your family, and may change your priorities. But does that mean it'll be negative for your marriage? We asked some seasoned home-based working moms and got some surprising answers.
"My home business has had a very positive effect on my marriage," says Diana Ennen, owner of VirtualWordPublishing.com. "When my husband arrives home from work, I can't wait to share some of the successes of the day. Also, I can contribute so much more to the family income. That takes an enormous pressure off us."
Laurie Hurley, owner of HomeTutoringBusiness.com adds, "We're more in tune with each other now that I work from home. It's been very good for our marriage."
Another home based business owner shared that working at home has actually brought her and her husband closer as a family. "We bounce business ideas off each other, and everyone--including our three children--feels like it's their business as well," says Julie Held, who runs a Stuff A Friend business.
However, along with the positive, there are some negative ways a home business can impact your marriage.A very common mistake many people make is putting their marriage on autopilot. The truth is, no matter the stage, marriages need nurturing, affection and attention.
"I allowed my business to take over my life, and I neglected my family and my home," says Darlene Hull, owner of Mom-Defrazzler.com. "My husband was very patient through it all, and that made me really wake up. Now I make sure I'm connecting in a meaningful way to my husband and kids every day."
Some women even credit their home businesses for saving their marriages. Take Janna Dawson, owner of HighDesertBandB.com, for instance. She says, "We were on divorce road when I started my home business. Now we're conscious of where we need to improve because of things we've learned through my business self-development programs. I think we're happier now than when we first married."
So how can you ensure a happy marriage and a successful home business? Take some tips from home based businesswomen who are making it work:
- Have the same goals for your family, your marriage and your future together. And never let your spouse feel second to the business.
- Set specific work hours, and be diligent about keeping those boundaries intact.
- Prioritize family time and coordinate activities with your spouse on a family calendar.
- Outsource when needed. Hire a house cleaner, nanny or an assistant.
- Talk about everything and discuss your options.
- When you're with your spouse or kids, be 100 percent with them. When you're working, focus 100 percent on your work.
Regardless of what stage your home business is in, sit down with your spouse to discuss these topics. It could help you avoid significant conflicts in the future. And maybe your home business will help make your marriage even stronger.
Lesley Spencer Pyle is the founder and president of HomeBasedWorkingMoms.com and HireMyMom.com , and she is the author of The Work-at-Home Workbook: Your Step-by-Step Guide on Selecting and Starting the Perfect Home Business for You. Pyle has been working from home for more than 13 years.