Rachel Allan has been a business owner for 14 years, and a mum for 7 years. On her business-and-baby journey she has learned a lot about life, business and herself. While it has not always been an easy ride, it has definitely been fulfilling. She feels a strong calling to share her discoveries (and the wisdom of other parents and experts) with you in her book, When Business Meets Baby.
This article originally appeared on the Inside Small Business website www.insidesmallbusiness.com.au
How to be both a successful business owner and a present mother.
Having a baby is simple. All they do is eat, sleep and poop. They won’t get in the way of your business! However the overwhelm of having a new baby can affect you as a business person. Managing conflicting priorities and turbulent emotions. When everything seems so exciting, fulfilling and frightening at the same time. Now, when your baby needs you so much, is it possible to slow your business down or even rethink how you are operating it. Is it possible to balance the needs of your business with the needs of your baby?
The following is an excerpt from my book on this topic, When Business Meets Baby.
Think of it as pressing the “pause” button. It is not viable to keep the business in this mode for too long – business basics say that we need to continually develop, market and give effort to the business. You will most likely not want to turn yourself away from your business totally, and that is OK – although your baby will need a lot of your attention in this early stage of its life.
Here are some tasks that will help you maintain your business:
Before the baby is born, create marketing content (such as blog posts and graphics) to tide you over for a few months, and schedule their release
After the baby is born, answer emails, Facebook messages and other forms of communication
Send a couple of newsletters
Update your social media a couple of times (just automate it!)
Refresh your website and all of your social media
Look at your accounts – assess each service or product, examining what is making money and what is not
Complete any legacy work from before baby was born – perhaps you have outstanding orders or client work still to complete?
Revisit your business plan and consider what is your core business
Employment of this strategy will depend on whether you have a start-up business or an established business. It will also depend on the funds you have available to invest. Here are my three top tips for implementing growth mode after the birth of your baby:
Work out how much time you will have available for the business and then commit to using that time well. Outsource tasks that you know you will not be able to complete.
Surround yourself with the right people, in terms of business support. You need people who are both clever at their area of expertise and who
also understand your business. They need to understand how you will measure their success, and you need to give them enough space to do their job. You don’t need to employ people directly; you may consider bringing in a consultant or a VA to help you.
Develop the business. Always think big picture. If this strategy is going to work for you then you need to make sure that your limited time is spent working on – and not in – the business.
If you can’t afford to invest in people to help you, then you need to be in maintenance mode for a little while. Remember, too, that it’s OK to grow slowly – at the end of the day, you can only do what you have time to do.
Your business growth is dependent on the time that you can give it. If after your baby is born you want to be present in your babies life, then you will
need to consider how you grow your business. It is possible to find balance between business and your baby. It is possible to be both a successful business owner and a present mother.