Let me tell you, THE worst part of self employment is trying to find good employees! In this economy, anyone receiving unemployment who had a good paying job is making enough money on unemployment to wait it out, not working for just an extra $100 bucks a week or so. So the pool of people is not the quality you'd think!
The best employee I ever had was my daughter. She worked with me as soon as she was old enough. Boy, we had some fights over the years! We're so much a like but we were a great team. She's been helping me since my surgeries and we miss working together. Her youngest is 1 year old but she says she'd like to do some of the cooking and shopping the farmers markets and such, when we add more food choice to our menu.
Missy, your plan is what I did. I started my art glass business (stained and etched glass) when I was 16. I was able to grow that business from home while my kids grew up. When they were teenagers my husband and I decided to buy a building in the downtown and participate in a revitalization program. With the help of family and friends we added a new, lodge pole, large gables, metal roof facade and in addition to my glass business, I added a gift shop and featured local artists. A couple of years into that I added a wine shop, turned wine and brew bar....see where the "be careful what you ask for" comes in? When we were expanding on all this the economy was booming but when our town caught on fire in 2008 (the town was on some type of evacuation for almost 2 months), then the economy really took a dive.....it has been tough. We are seeing improvement but I'm still very careful with purchasing and expenses.
It sounds like you're good where you are with your business....for a little bit anyway. Keep dreaming....us dreamers (and there's lots of us here) are the entrepreneurs of this world.....and evidently farmers too!
Pam ~ (Formally BigDaddysMom) Married 33 yrs, 2 kids, 5 grandkids! Breeding: Polish; WC Black, White, Splash, Black, Silver & Gold Laced & EE's. Black and Blue Copper Marans & Olive Eggers. Layers: EE, RIR, Sexlink, Australorp, Marans! http://www.facebook.com/HighNDryFarm