Checklist: your family

Starting up a business changes everything, including your family life. When starting up, use this checklist to see if you and your family are prepared and how they may be able to help.


Starting up a business changes everything, including your family life. When starting up, use this checklist to see if you and your family are prepared and how they may be able to help.

If you have a husband, wife, partner and/or children, involving them in the decision to go it alone is important. Starting a business is an all-embracing existence and your family life is unlikely to remain the same after taking the plunge. They will need to understand that the home atmosphere should be very supportive, particularly during the early business problems.

Your family may also turn out to be an important business resource. They can provide extra input in all you do: clerical, manual, problem solving, for example. With a family, deciding to found an enterprise is likely to be more successful as a family decision. Having said that, many succeed without the support of their families; but, in this case, the strain can be severe. In the extreme, the choice may be business or your relationship.

1. Have you discussed your thoughts about starting a business with your family?
Yes No
2. Are they willing to help out if necessary?
Yes No
3. Will they live easily with job or financial insecurity?
Yes No
4. Have they accepted that there may be a permanent drop in living standards?
Yes No
5. If you need to raise money using your home as security, do they understand the full implications?
Yes No
6. Is your family self-sufficient, that is, can they manage without you to do the shopping, gardening, decorating?
Yes No
7. Does one of the members of the family earn a living in another way, which can be used to tide the whole family over?
Yes No
8. Have you worked out a family budget to see how you will cope? If you haven’t, the pro forma cash flow on this site may help you. Remember to use conservative estimates of your likely income and allow for all the costs.
Yes No
9. Have you talked to your bank manager about your intended business and shown him your cash flow to demonstrate how you hope to cope in domestic finance?
Yes No

When you have completed your family checklist, the more times you have answered ‘yes’ the better prepared you are for starting your business.

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