8. Family life
While becoming a sole trader will have a huge impact on your life, it will also be a big change for your family.
Whereas your partner and children would be used to you working regular hours at another workplace, they will now find you spending more time working from home and conducting meetings and other activities at unusual hours.
It can be hard for families to realise that business owners need time and space in which to run their ventures. Maintaining the work/life boundaries when the two entities are mixed together can be a significant challenge.
Shelton says: “Maintaining home-based relationships with your partner, family, friends and associates requires everyone on the team to know when you need assistance by setting out clear guidelines on how they can help out.”
Shelton advises these three steps to creating the right boundaries:
1. Have your kids make up a sign that says “OPEN FOR BUSINESS”, another saying “CLOSED FOR FAMILY BUSINESS.”
This enables everyone to understand when you are available to maintain each type of business rather than trying to let these two demands compete for your sanity.
2. See if there are ways that your family can help you fill orders, take messages and understand the importance of customer service.
This encourages understanding of the way in which your home office is a workplace rather than a home invasion.
3. Consider which parts of your business life can be handed over to a professional manager or an accountant.