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If at all possible, you should have your spouse work in the business with you for at least three or four weeks per year. The important thing is that if for any reason you are not available to run the business, your spouse will be familiar with certain people and situations about your business.
These people should include your attorney, accountant, any advisors or consultants, creditors and your major suppliers. The long-term advantages of having your spouse work four weeks per year in your business with you will greatly outweigh the short-term inconvenience.
Many couples share responsibility and time entirely, which is in most cases even more desirable. Whenever you can, and as often as you need it, take advantage of whatever free business counseling is available.
The Small Business Administration published many excellent booklets, checklist and brochures on quite a large variety of businesses.
These publications are available through the U.S. Government Printing Office. Most local universities, and many private organizations hold seminars at minimal cost, and often without charge. You should also take advantage of the services offered by your bank and local library.
The important thing about running a small business is to know the direction in which you're heading...to know on a day-to-day basis your progress in that very direction [your dynamic Business/Marketing Plan] Be aware of what your competitors are doing and practice good money management at all times.
All this will prepare you to recognize potential problems before they arise. In order to survive with a small business, regardless of the economic climate, it is essential to surround yourself with smart people, and practice sound business management at all times.