Why This Question Matters

By Paul E. Casey

Hopefully, you and your family will only have to make minimal adjustments to your personal lives when you are starting a small business. But be aware that there may come a time, even after you have established your business, when you will have to make a significant change in your personal lifestyle to keep your business afloat.

About twenty years ago, when I was publishing my newspaper, one of my advertising clients, a retirement center, suddenly went bankrupt. I had just completed a major printing job for this client. As part of my agreement with the printers who handled the job, I had promised to pay them once the client paid me. When the client went out of business, I got stuck with a printing bill for $10,000. To keep my business from going under, I had to move out of my four-bedroom house and into a condo that I had originally leased to use as office space. This move saved me about $38,000 a year, and enabled me to pay off my debt to the printers. I’m glad to report that I have since been able to move back into a four-bedroom house.

What happened to me was an extreme case. I was single at the time, so changing my address, while certainly a great inconvenience, was easier for me than it would have been if I had been married with a family. Hopefully, you will never be forced to give up your house to save your business. But the more flexible you can be in adjusting your personal lifestyle to suit your business, the more that lifestyle will be an asset to you instead of a burden.

Flexibility is a required trait for running a business. You will make lifestyle decisions and changes based on how well your business is doing. Talk with your family about how your business will affect them, because it will. Make sure they support your efforts. You may have to trade in the brand new SUV for a used car - or skip that vacation to the Caribbean this year.

Bottom Line: Your prospects for success will increase enormously if you and your family can make lifestyle adjustments as needed.

Click here to find out more about available resources on successfully sustaining your small business.

Talk with your family about how your business will affect them, because it will.