The economy has created a new breed of entrepreneurs: couples who want to start their own business. For many couples, working side by side seems like an ideal solution, a way to combine being your own boss with spending more time together. The first thing couples learn, though, is meshing their personal and business lives is a special challenge. My wife and I started a service business together and here are five tips based on our experience to help make your journey easier.
- Share a Passion
Your business is likely to be more successful if you share a passion. It could be anything: an interest in art, a love for animals, a concern for the environment, or something else. It’s important to then determine if that shared passion can be translated into a viable business idea: something people want to buy. The best way to do this is develop a business plan that proves what you want to do can be turned into a sustainable business.
- Fill Each Other’s Gaps
We learned that we each had particular strengths and weaknesses when it came to running a business. It would be easy for these qualities to become irritants, but instead we worked collaboratively to fill each other’s gaps. If you can learn to compensate for each other’s weaknesses, accept each other’s strengths, and work toward a common goal, your business will benefit – and so will your personal relationship.
- Set Goals Together
When you set goals together, you automatically internalize them. Writing down goals and agreeing on them makes them real. You want to set a goal that makes you reach a little but is still achievable. We set goals for lots of things: the starting date of our business, the number of clients we wanted to acquire, our anticipated income each year, and even how many years we wanted to run our business. Our goals helped us visualize our success.
- Build Your Knowledge Base
In your business, you learn there are things you know and things you don’t know. When you encounter something that goes beyond your joint areas of expertise, you either have to quickly acquire the knowledge you need or get outside support. If you always have a thirst for knowledge, seek out answers, and view co-owning a business as a learning experience, you will be more likely to succeed.
- Maintain Your Perspective
Fully expect that your business will have its ups and downs. That’s why it’s important for both of you to maintain your perspective and keep yourselves grounded. You want the business you operate as a team to enhance rather than detract from your personal lives. Running a business will be challenging and sometimes seem overwhelming, but maintaining your perspective will help it be fun and rewarding.
Barry Silverstein is co-author of the new book, Let’s Make Money, Honey: The Couple’s Guide to Starting a Service Business, available in print and as an eBook on Amazon and other major booksellers.
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Introducing the First Home Monitoring System to Actively Protect the Home
Semi-Active Monitoring utilizes a network of Android-based devices, all hooked into a secure, encrypted private network. The homeowner has the option of using the devices in tandem, or separately, depending on their home’s design and their security needs. The homeowner can also assign a “safe word” for the monitoring system so the homeowner can trigger the system in the event that the homeowner is feeling unsafe or threatened by a possible assailant.
When strategically placed around the interior of the home, this monitoring system uses image recognition to identify dangerous situations involving a weapon, then protecting the homeowner by launching a series of countermeasures.
Using the non-lethal force of bright focused light, loud alarm screamers and optionally even tasers mounted into the home’s ceilings, this monitoring system works to stun and deter the assailant, allowing the homeowner and loved ones a chance to escape from danger and law enforcement personnel to step in and apprehend the suspect.
Today’s news is filled with stories no one wants to hear: from home invasions causing the death of multiple family members, mass murders in public places and educational institutions. While the option is always there to own a firearm, many families do not feel this drastic method is worth the statistical danger to them or their children.
The average security and monitoring system can actively notify the police that there is an intruder and warn the intruder that help is on the way, but most do nothing to actually protect and deter the assailant from continuing the assault.
While this is still safer for the homeowner than being completely without any kind of monitoring system, it is easy to see where this kind of system drops the ball on behalf of the homeowner’s safety. In cases where the homeowner or individual is already disabled or unable to fight back on their own, this can become a very dangerous situation resulting in a potentially tragic ending.
Semi-Active Monitoring allows families, as well as individuals living on their own, the presence of mind that they are always safe, and that there is always “someone” keeping an eye on them. Whether utilizing the monitoring system automatically, or using the safe word when in a dangerous situation, SAM offers additional protection to the family without causing any unnecessary harm or death to the assailant, allowing law enforcement the opportunity to step in and apprehend them.