How Do I Get Started On a Family Business?

Question

I would like to start a family business, but I'm not sure where to begin. I currently live 45 minutes from work and I have several children and a wonderful wife. I also have a hobby farm and pay a high monthly mortgage payment. I would like to be available for my family instead of being out of pocket 11 hours a day. Any advice?

Answer

I would recommend that you first become a student of business and entrepreneurship (see How Do I Develop the Skills to Think Like an Entrepreneur? for more on that) while you start to aggressively save money and pay down your mortgage to reduce your fixed expenses. 

You can also immerse yourself in the free and/or inexpensive resources we've made available on our sites and through our videos to help you refine your thinking and your business planning:

Step #1: Learn by using the following resources:
  • New Venture Lab - A virtual incubator encouraging Christian entrepreneurship with a blog, Q&A posts, business plan analysis tool, document downloads, and networking.
  • Family Works film series - Volume I and Volume II, a film series about combining faith, family, and business that is meant to both inspire and instruct current and future entrepreneurs.
  • Venture Academy Online - A mini MBA program through a Biblical lens. We currently have 240 or so videos on the site, including 13 Harvard Business School case study discussions. There are several videos at the end of the course that take you through a step-by-step process on how to plan and launch a business based upon your skills, experiences, and context.
Step #2: Plan by using the following resources:
  • Venture Analysis - An online business planning tool that allows you to input your business model assumptions and get your business plan scored for its potential.
  • Startup Financial Model - A microsite devoted to the best selling download on New Venture Lab which is a detailed, easy to configure financial model for business planning.

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