Is it Time to Take on a Business Partner?

5 Considerations Before Starting a Joint Venture

Business PartnerMy business partner Candy, and I have been writing together for almost 4 years. We co-own, offering support and encouragement to homeschool moms and parents of teens.

A while back, a blogging friend of ours told us she is considering a partnership with a few other associates, and asked us to share some thoughts about a joint venture.

So, we put our heads together! While we are by no means offering legal advice here, today I’m sharing an overview of the top five areas to consider before jumping into a joint venture of any sort.

As you prepare to move forward, let me encourage you to overthink it.  No matter how well you know your potential partners, it is SO important to have everyone’s cards on the table and look at them sans rose-colored glasses at the get-go.

It’s also important to determine that everyone’s expectations are reasonable in terms of workload and responsibilities and pay-off.  Everyone needs to understand why each person is interested in being a part of the project. Ideally, all should be on the same page, or at least know what page everyone else is on (and be ok with it!) as you move ahead.

5 Considerations Before Taking on a Business Partner or Starting a Joint Venture

1. Legal – Personally, I don’t think you should rush into an LLC or any other form of business registration until you are fairly certain that things are going to work out. Hastily or flippantly doing so creates an unnecessary administrative mess, not to mention a bite out of your pocketbook. You might want to consider having the venture as an extension of one of the partner’s current business, with the other partners perhaps getting a set amount or percentage of proceeds as independent contractors. If you do decide to go ahead and make it legal, you definitely want some “sine qua nons” in place. Meaning, cover the following points (at minimum):

  • What responsibility does each partner have? Is there a back-up?
  • Will you be determining any type of professional standards?
  • How are differences in opinion handled – who has the final say?
  • What happens when one of the partners wants/needs to leave the group? Or isn’t holding up their responsibilities?

2. Financial – This could get tricky if your partners are not located geographically near each other. Fortunately, there are so many online banking options these days; you could use one that’s cloud-based so that all partners have access and accountability. Other considerations include:

  • Under whose name will a bank account be set up, and who will manage finances?
  • How will reporting be communicated to all parties?
  • How is the budget set up and whose responsibility is it?
  • Who will handle the tax preparation and record keeping?
  • What if the partner in charge wants/needs to leave the group? Who is willing/able to take over finances?
  • How will affiliate income be divvied up?

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Verse of the Year 2017: Isaiah 61:7

At the International Christian Mompreneur Network, we’re not making New Year’s Resolutions. We’re choosing a scripture verse to guide us through the year instead. We’re selecting a verse that speaks to our hearts and offers support, hope or motivation for us to live out the following year with purpose and direction. The following is part of a series of posts featuring members of the International Christian Mompreneur Network sharing their scripture verse of the year. We pray these posts will inspire and encourage you to select a scripture verse to guide you through the year as well.

My daughter had the privilege of playing a role in our local community theater’s presentation of “The Worst Best Christmas Pageant Ever” this Christmas season. It’s a fairly recent production that’s quickly become a classic, revolving around the story of the Herdman kids and their involvement in a church Christmas show. We see the true power of the Christmas story; how Jesus can influence even the “worst” of us when we come to an understanding of the story’s significance and embrace Him in our hearts.

At one point in the script, the Sunday School teacher/director reads portions of Luke 2 to the children, most of whom are familiar with the story. None of the Herdmans, however, are. And this year, I, too, heard it anew with a seeking heart.

“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.'” – Luke 2:10

A story I had heard a thousand times. But when those lines were spoken aloud during that first rehearsal, I quietly tucked them away in my heart. Something quickened in me, though, because of course, God knew that I was already “on the hunt” for my Word for the year.

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How to Start an Instagram Gratitude Journal

A New Spin on the Gratitude Journal for Your Business and Homeschool

Instagram Gratitude JournalEvery November you see people writing and talking about gratitude. It’s as if the 11th month of the year somehow got assigned the task of reminding us to be thankful.

Just because it’s the month in which Thanksgiving falls (at least in the U.S.).

But here’s a way to take a new approach to the concept of gratitude and incorporate it year round. The beauty of this technique is that moms (and dads, of course) can apply it to a home business and it’s a more tech-savvy way to get the kids to buy into the action, too! It simply requires adding a small bit of text to a picture.

Starting an Instagram Gratitude Journal

I stumbled upon this concept quite by accident, but I’m running with it, folks! And you can, too.

Instagram is all the rage these days. Actually, I should say, visual content is all the rage. From a small business perspective, any social media promotion that includes an image, graphic or video has a much greater chance of being shared by others and “liked” by Facebook. Pinterest, of course is all about images, and Instagram is the same. Instagram (IG) has the added benefit of being a bit more “real life” and in the moment, which makes it a super tool for this idea.

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5 Tech Tools for Non-Tech Mompreneurs

tech tools for the mompreneur Technology challenges are one of the most common laments I hear from mompreneurs in my age bracket. I’ll admit that people of today’s generation seem like they were born with a cell phone in their hands. But even if you’re not fluent, or at least comfortable, with technology, these are some tools that are worth the learning curve to increase your productivity.

Five Tech Tools for the Non-Tech Mompreneur 

Google Calendar for Mompreneurs1. Google has a wonderful suite of tools that range from simple to webmaster skill levels. My favorite basic-level tool is Google Calendar. One of the biggest challenges by far for mompreneurs is keeping a balance between business and household commitments. For some reason, most of the time the kids and hubby expect you to be the center of the wheel and keep everyone in the know. Of course, to be honest, you most likely are the center of the wheel, and Google’s calendar can help you keep everyone’s schedules running smoothly. You can set up multiple calendars, invite the appropriate friends and family members to them, and then have event notifications pushed to your smart phone. I have three calendars that I use on a regular basis: my blog calendar, a family calendar and my personal calendar. I can view all three at the same time or individually by toggling one or two off. My business partner and I have access to the blog calendar, the kids and hubby have access to the family one, and my personal one is my own. (It would drive my family bonkers if they got EVERY notification of all the things I have to do every day!)

How this helps with productivity:
Um, I don’t think I have to say too much here. I mean, isn’t meeting with a client, and getting the kids to soccer practice or ballet on time, and remembering a Friday date night with hubby almost equally important in the life of a mompreneur?

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Self-care Tips for Busy Moms

Self-care Tips for Busy MomsHomeschool moms are a funny bunch.

The impression that many non-homeschoolers have of us is that we’re home all day, blissfully and smoothly overseeing our children’s education, and perhaps popping in a load of laundry or two while the house stays kept up (because, after all, we are home all day, right?).

Family and close friends imagine our days as a frantic whirlwind of activity, chauffeuring kids from morning to night, then burning the midnight oil to finish academic assignments (and perhaps household chores) that might not have gotten accomplished amid the hustle and bustle of the day.

Somewhere in the middle is about right – except I’d add one particular issue to the mix:

No matter how frantic or stress-free a given day is, most of us still struggle with taking care of ourselves!

Why is that?

And even more importantly – how can we do better?

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Five Skills That Will Help Your Child in Life and Business

Five Skills That Will Help Your Child in Life and BusinessWe all, to some extent, want better for our kids than we’ve had. At least, that’s what I grew up with, and that’s what I’ve always wanted for our own children.

But very few of us give thought to what that exactly means, and how we can constructively help our kids reach that goal. In other words, it’s one thing to say that’s what we want, but quite another to take concrete steps in that direction.

I’ve been blessed to know quite a few entrepreneurs in my day; my husband and I have owned and run a few small businesses ourselves, and I’m currently developing yet another endeavor. Over the years, we’ve had our share of booms and busts, and watched others’ businesses both fly and fail. Having taken the time to analyze what happened in more than a few of those situations, I’ve come to understand that there are particular personal skills that are instrumental to success. Encouraging our kids to develop them now will help them in their current personal lives, and in whatever form their future business involvement takes.

Skill #1 – Being Engaged

I’m not referring to slipping a ring on anyone’s finger, nor am I suggesting that anyone become married to their job! But whatever situation we find ourselves in, an engaged person is aware. Engaged people have their eyes open and “service antennae” up, looking for ways to help, contribute, problem solve and lead. They are aware of what’s going on in their environment, and seek outlets for their own skills and talents that can benefit those around them, whether it’s friends, church family, their own customers, or an employer.

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Parenting the Emerging Entrepreneur

By Pat Fenner

Parenting the Emerging EntrepreneurWe may be familiar with the type as an adult, but for most of us, the stereotypical entrepreneur as a child sits behind a lemonade stand.

And I don’t know about you, but that child is rarely, if ever, seen in my neck of the woods these days. Increasing food-safety regulations and child labor laws, combined with ever-growing screen time and diminishing outdoor play time has pretty much relegated that cute little kid to being a cultural cliché.

So does that mean that our children will no longer grow up to be self-employed leaders in the business world? Au contraire, my friend! As parents, we should still be on the lookout for those entrepreneurial qualities in our kids, and then follow through by helping them grow and strengthen them.

What qualities do future entrepreneurs possess?

While I don’t want to put them in a box, and of course, individuals and personalities vary, these are some obvious signs that you may have a budding business owner in your brood! They display:

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[Book Review] Business by The Book: The Complete Guide of Biblical Principles for the Workplace

Business By The BookWhat guidelines do you use to run your business?

Do YOU run your business by the book? How about by THE Book?

Larry Burkett’s Business by The Book – The Complete Guide of Biblical Principles for the Workplace is by no means a new publication (1998), but it is certainly filled with timely admonitions.

I re-read it recently at my husband’s suggestion. We’re looking into beginning another small business together, and he wisely thought we might need a refresher course. While we have frequent opportunities to learn and be encouraged regarding Biblical living, running a business in a Biblical fashion is often a bit more, um, shall we say “challenging.”

If you’re not familiar with Larry Burkett, let me give you some perspective. Folks like Dave Ramsey cut their teeth on his materials. He’s somewhat the grandfather of modern-day Biblical financial principles.

And what he has to say to Christian business owners is as relevant today as it was at the turn of this century.

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When Your Role as a Mom Clashes With Your Entrepreneurial Drive

When Your Role as a Mom Clashes With Your Entrepreneurial DriveIt bothers me that this is even an issue, but I’ve been struggling with something lately. 

It’s the battle between the mom and the mompreneur in me.

Maybe it’s because of the timing in my life right now. We homeschool, and the kids still at home are middle- and high-school aged. So in reality, they are already developing the independent learning skills that are so vital to their future plans – academic or non-academic.

We worked at the end of last summer to develop a schedule for all of us that included work/study times, sports and music lessons, and meetings or other appointments.

They’re already learning to do things quite well independently, without my constant oversight, and I feel a certain chasm growing even without having this other role tugging at my time and heart.

Work, for me, consists mostly of time at my computer, researching, writing and contacting people via email. I admit I spend too much time than is good for my eyes staring at my laptop, but what else is a writer to do?

Many of you reading this may be going through the same struggles. And you may also be asking: what can you do – if anything – to keep your entrepreneurial spirit and activities from damaging your vital, God-given role as mom?

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Watch a Questionable Movie With Your Teen

Watch a Questionable Movie With Your TeenHow can you teach discernment to your teens, help them develop critical thinking skills, and do it in a format that, well, makes them want to participate? 

Host a Questionable Movie Night! 

Typically this has been referred to as Family Movie Night or something similar, but anyone who has at least one teen at home will attest to the fact that, more often than not, there comes a time in a teen’s life when anything that has the word “family” in it becomes anathema. With its double entendre usage, the word “Questionable” creates a certain edginess that will draw in even the most aloof teen! 

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