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Enriching Your Live Archive
Entrepreneurial Couples Archive

Enriching Your Life!

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Archive - Entrepreneurial Couples Archive

Partners, Loneliness, Customers

Friday, June 01, 2001


ARE YOU THE INVISIBLE BUSINESSS PARTNER?

Sometimes women reinforce this invisibility themselves. In an effort to maintain her role as wife and her role as business owner a woman may feel she has to take a "backseat" to her husband. For example, I asked a co-entrepreneurial couple to tell me their official business titles. Although the wife had started the business five years before her husband joined her, she told me she was a "sales associate," while her husband said he was "vice president."

Other copreneurial wives tell me that they share ownership of the business equally with their husbands, yet they rarely list their title as "owner" or "president." Usually they are listed as "secretary" or "treasurer." Their husbands on the other hand, frequently list themselves as "co-owner." So it appears that the need to hold back is coming from the wives, not the husbands.

The following hot link will take you to an article I wrote on the subject and what wives can do so that they don’t remain as invisible business partners: http://www.kmarshack.com/meet/columns/08_00_95.html

WAYS TO FIGHT LONELINESS WHEN YOU WORK AT HOME

According to the National Association for the Self-Employed, the country has 17 million home-based entrepreneurs, many of whom are faced with the isolation that comes from being a one-person operation. While most home-based workers are happy about their situations, spending the majority of your workday alone can be draining. Contact via email or phone can only go so far. This can be an especially difficult adjustment if you've just made the transition from a busy office.

If you're going to succeed long-term you need to find ways to combat the loneliness. You need to get out and make human contact. But sometimes it may be a struggle for you to walk away from your desk, even for an hour.

Here are some practical suggestions from Laura Koss-Feder of ClubMom, Inc:

  1. Get involved with local chapters of professional associations in your industry and/or your chamber of commerce.
  2. Pay in advance to attend events so you make sure to go.
  3. Start your own networking group.
  4. Consider combining time away from the office with an outing with your kids.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR CUSTOMERS

Entrepreneurs can focus their attention on two things to help them understand consumers: personal characteristics and psychological characteristics. You should be aware of five major consumer classifications:

  1. Convenience goods -- whether staples (foods), impulse goods (checkout counter items), or emergency goods and services--consumers want them but will not be willing to spend time shopping for them
  2. Shopping goods are products consumers will take time to examine carefully and compare for quality and price.
  3. Specialty goods consist of products or services consumers make a special effort to find and purchase.
  4. Unsought goods are items consumers do not currently need or seek. Common examples are life insurance, encyclopedias, and cemetery plots. These products generally require explanation or demonstration.
  5. New products are items that are unknown due to lack of advertising or are new products that take time to be understood. When microcomputers were first introduced, for example, they fell into this category.
This information was taken from "Entrepreneurship: A Contemporary Approach," Kuratko, Donald F., and Richard M. Hodgetts, Harcourt College Publishers, 2001, page 230-234

ALL KIDDING ASIDE

During the 1990s, families with a net worth of $5 million or more doubled. But with this explosion in wealth are we creating a new generation of messed up kids? Entrepreneurs may be spending more money on their children, but they may also be spending less time with them and creating unrealistic expectations.

To find out more, use this hotlink to be directed to an article for Entrepreneur magazine in which I’m interviewed: http://www.entrepreneur.com/Magazines/MA_SegArticle/0,1539,285475----1-,00.html

REMEMBER OUR CHAT TONIGHT!

You’re invited to participate in an on-line chat with Dr. Kathy Marshack. Here are the details:

  • Topic: “Will Working with Family Ruin Your Family Life?”
  • Hosted by Kathy J. Marshack, Ph.D., P.S., licensed psychologist and family/business consultant
  • Thursday, June 7th at 7:00 (PST)
  • At www.helphorizons.com
  • Free of charge. Help Horizons requires that participants register and login to the website

For more information on how entrepreneurial couples can make it work at work and at home go to my web site www.entrepreneurialcouples.com. You’ll find exercises, a library of family business articles, on-line consultation and much more