Starting a home business is challenging enough, but it can be more difficult if your family doesn't support you. There are many reasons why your family may put the kibosh on your home business dream. It could be your parents whose idea of working at home is linked with scams, and they don't want you to be a victim. Sometimes it's a spouse who is worried about making enough to pay the bills. It might be a sister or cousin who secretly would like to work at home, but doesn't feel brave enough and therefore wants to keep you down.
If your family is unsupportive or trying to talk you out of starting a home business, here are some tips for winning them over.
Knowledge Is power
Ignorance and misunderstanding drive much of the fear related to running a home business. That fear is usually related to scams and inconsistent income. If you've taken the time to learn about home business and how to avoid scams, you can share this information with your family. Show them the research and planning you've done so they can see this decision isn't a whim based on a work-at-home spam email you received that morning.
Have a Plan
Planning is the key to your success in a home business. And it's a great way to show your family how serious you are. Your home business plan should cover everything from defining your business, identifying your market and how you'll reach it, outlining how you're going to pay for it, and projections for income and on-going expenses.
The concerns about income are legitimate, but unless you plan to quit your job tomorrow to start a business from scratch, you can overcome the income fluctuation by having a plan. For example, you can build a home business part-time around your job. If you're unemployed and your family thinks you should focus your time on finding a job, you can do that and still build a business around job hunting.
A well-thought-out plan demonstrates that you've considered and addressed all the issues and challenges, and found a way to make a home business possible within your financial and time constraints.
Enlist Your Family's Help
Help can come in many forms. Your mother can watch your kids for a few hours while you work on your business. Your spouse can make dinner or do the laundry. You can even invite family members to help with the business by asking them to do research or organize your home office. Sometimes, if family can experience your enthusiasm, they'll catch it too and want to help.
Tell 'Em How You Feel!
If your home business is important to you, let your family know. Sometimes home businesses are seen as little side hobbies that are a waste of time and money. If you're serious about your business, then this is a career choice and should be treated as such by you and your family. Hopefully, your family will support you even if they're skeptical about your dream.
Explain How It Will Be Different This Time
This is for those of you have tried multiple times to start a business, but never found success. In this scenario, your family is making judgments based on past results, and that can be very difficult to overcome. Still, past failure doesn't automatically predict future failure. If it did, we'd still be in the dark and Edison would be on his two-millionth attempt to invent the light bulb. Fortunately for us, it took him only 10,000 times. The point is, you can overcome past failure.
The best way to get your family on your side if you've failed is to make sure you've researched, planned, and are doing the work that needs to be done to achieve success. You need to figure out what didn't work in the past and fix it. Think hard about whether or not you're being truthful about your past failure. Business failure is almost always the owner's fault. Ouch. But if you sent money to a scam, odds are you could have avoided it by doing more research. Did you not sell any widgets in your direct sales company? Odds are you didn't talk to enough people. No one read your blog, so you didn't earn affiliate income? There was probably something at fault in your marketing efforts. If you're honest with yourself about your past failures and are willing to make the changes necessary for success this time around, then do it. And tell your family they can support you.
Do It Anyway!
A home business is a family business, and at the very least you should have spousal support (if you have a spouse or partner). But, sometimes that isn't possible, and you have to decide how important your home business is to you. History is littered with success stories of people who did things against their family's wishes. Do you think Bill Gates and Steve Jobs' parents were happy when they dropped out of school to build computers (remember, at this time, most computers were the size of Mack trucks, so the idea that every home would have one was nuts!). Do you think Mary Kay's family wondered about how she was going to make a living selling cosmetics from her kitchen table?
If your family is holding you back, figure out why. Maybe one of the suggestions above can help change their attitude. But if not, maybe you just do it anyway. Sometimes, people need to see to believe.