Your Business.......Your Children. Tips for Balancing Summer Demands
by Solovic, Former Guest Blogger
- Created: June 9, 2011, 2:52 pm
- Updated: March 2, 2012, 3:32 pm
Ugh! It’s summer and the kids are out of school. For many women business owners with school-aged children the summer months can be a challenging time. The demands of your business continue to be 24/7, while simultaneously you want to spend quality time with your children. How do you balance these conflicting demands? Why not hire them to work for you?
Now before you outright reject the idea, consider the benefits. Putting your kids to work over the summer can keep them from getting bored while gaining valuable experience, but it can also be a smart business decision. So it is a “win-win”. Here’s what I mean:
Benefits For Your Business. The most obvious reason to hire your children to work for you is to realize tax benefits. The cost of hiring any type of worker is a tax-deductible business expense. However, when you hire your own children, not only do you get the tax deduction, but the money is in essence going back into your household. And because your child is going to be in a low income tax bracket -- the money you pay him or her is going to be taxed at a lower rate than you are which creates another tax savings.
In order to qualify for the tax benefits, you children must be employed to do real work in your business. They can’t show up and play video games on the office computer. Document their work hours with a timesheet or time clock. Ask them to keep a work journal with a description of how they completed each task and how long it took.
Some people tell me about working for family members when they were growing up and getting paid cash under the table. That is—for countless reasons—not a good idea. The IRS frowns on that. Plus, you can’t get the tax advantages if you aren’t recording the transactions. I recommend paying your children with a check just as you would with any other employee, and don’t forget to issue a W-2 at the end of the year.
Benefits For Your Children. Working in your business can provide your child with valuable work experience which can be a future resume enhancer. Make sure you give them specific responsibilities and opportunities to learn new skills. Don’t forget to reward and recognize your child for a job well-done, just as you should with any employee. Enjoying successes at work helps build confidence, which will increase your child’s ability to succeed in future endeavors. Being a successful part of the team builds confidence.
Working and earning their own money, is an excellent way to start teaching your children about managing their finances wisely. In fact, why not encourage your child to open an IRA or Roth IRA to start saving for their retirement. Imagine how much they can accumulate if they start at a young age!
Benefits For You. Instead of feeling stressed out about the competing demands of running your business and parenting, you can spend time with your child at work. However, because the child/parent relationship dynamic can make a work relationship challenging, you need to make a crystal clear demarcation between work and personal time. You may be upset with them for something that went wrong at work, but you mustn’t carry that home with you. You need an on/off switch.
So this summer, instead of being stressed out, bring your children to work with you. Share the entrepreneurial spirit and make it a successful summer.
About the AuthorSusan Wilson Solovic is an award-winning entrepreneur and journalist, author of three best-selling books, multi-media personality and a small business contributor to ABC News and other media outlets, public speaker and attorney. In addition to sitting on several executive boards of small business organizations, Solovic is the CEO and co-founder of ItsYourBiz.com – a company she led from a concept to a multi-million dollar enterprise.(formerly SBTV.com) She is also a featured blogger on numerous sites including Huffington Post, AllBusiness.com, Constant Contact, WSJ.com and Fast Company. Her forthcoming book, It’s Your Biz: The Complete Guide to Becoming Your Own Boss, is scheduled for release in October 2011.
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