09/04/2012 12:57 pm ET Updated Nov 04, 2012

Ladies, You Need a Support Team When Starting a Small Business

Nobody can start a business all alone. Some people need a little extra backing and I'm not talking about the financial kind. When you're a woman who is already working a job, taking care of a household and caring for your kids, especially when they're little, you need a sympathetic other half when starting a small business. You'll need other help too. Without a support team, your venture could be doomed from the start. An unsupportive spouse can kill a business faster than a bad marketing plan.

The team should start with your spouse. You need to have a spouse who does their fair share or a housekeeper who does what your spouse won't do. Then you need to line up babysitting support. You need daytime and nighttime daycare support, because many networking events are in the evening, and since you are still working your full-time job, your opportunity to network will really only be evening, unless your job is really flexible.

In fact, most businesses being started these days can be done in the evenings and on weekends. This is the right strategy too, because it takes 18-36 months on average for a small business to break even, let alone replace your corporate salary, so I strongly suggest becoming a sidehustler first. Your dayhustle is your job and your sidehustle is your small business.

Try to negotiate with your job to work from home. If you have flexible work hours you can get out to breakfast or lunch networking events and handle some important client meetings, too. Being able to get out there and meet people will be critical in the first few years of your business.

Now about your spouse; you need to make time for him. This is especially important as he's going to be doing more for the family since your focus will now be on the new business. Try to carve out one night a week to date your husband, that's one of the reasons why you need a nighttime babysitter. Try to keep your spouse involved in the business, too; share your plans and any successes with him so that he can share in the victories.

If you are married to a risk-averse skeptic, then only come at him with data, not ideas. Treat him like the bank. Only share your finished business plan and give him the financials. Most importantly, give him a realistic timeline for how long you will pursue this business. Be careful not to give yourself a tight deadline, add an additional six months to whatever you were thinking.

Hopefully you are married to someone who supports your dreams, but if not just put him on a need to know basis, and that may mean he doesn't need to know what you are working on just yet.

If you don't have a supportive spouse to help make your small business dreams a reality, you will need to keep your plans to yourself until you have evidence of business success.

Do you have tips for working women who want start a small business?

This was originally published under the title: Help SmallBizlady: How do you Find Time to Start a Business if you are a Wife, Mother and Full-time Worker? at
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Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is America's #1 small business expert. As CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. She writes a weekly column on social media for The New York Times. Forbes Magazine named her #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog Melinda is also the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works.