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Sandi Bowman
October 12, 2006, 01:24 AM
Hi, Gerard,

Didn't realize this was your thread here, too. After reading through the thread, and in view of the new information gathered here, I know that this venture was NOT meant to be and is a bad idea all the way around.

You know that financial pressures can really put a strain on people. Your brother-in-law's suddenly quitting a job they sorely needed is evidence that he has been pushed too far already. What do you suppose the stress and strain of a business start-up would do to him?

Your sister may be a wonderful sister and all that but she is pulling your leg when she indicates she can be sooo much help in the business. I was in sales for years, and in management after that, and I can tell you that selling when you're under extreme financial pressure such as they're going through is almost impossible. I've seen it happen far too often. The best skills in the world get distorted and the anxiety drives purchasers away.

There are sales skills and then there are sales skills. Being an order taker in a retail establishment is a far cry from going out knocking on doors, or calling cold and setting up appointments. Dealing with consumers is far different than dealing with business people. And so it goes.

If you really want to help them, go into business and hire them at a fair wage...your sister to assist with the appointments and sales, and perhaps some of the miscellaneous office chores, and your brother-in-law to do the books for the company and whatever else you two can agree on. Do NOT put either of them on straight salary. You might consider base + commission arrangement which would provide incentive to work harder which will help everyone.

When your own cupboard is filled to over-flowing, then do the charity thing. Until then, charity begins at home...that means YOU. You stand to lose everything, including your relationship with your sister, if you proceed with the partnership thing. Do it yourself and let them share in the harvest through their own efforts in working for you or someone else. They don't need the extra stress and strain right now and you don't need the added hassles and potential loss of what you have.

Good luck.

Sandi Bowman

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