Top Tips for Balancing Entrepreneurship and Parent Hood
Many female professionals who decide to stay at home with their children eventually find ways to fulfill both their personal and professional aspirations by starting home-based businesses and becoming “mompreneurs.” This could include launching any number of different business models, ranging from a pre-motherhood professional role to a brand-new venture based on a hobby or passion. Not only can this approach allow you to create a fulfilling environment, but your kids will also have an exceptional role model.
The biggest challenge, which any working parent faces, is learning how to balance everything. It’s tricky work. To help you along the way, executive coach, speaker and author Jennifer Grant offers the following guidance.
What Will You Do?
If you're looking to create a work-life balance and be home with your kids but still want to pursue your professional aspirations, you might consider a consulting or freelance role that allows you to capitalize on your education and experience. For example, an event planner may go into a consulting capacity with different meeting and event venues, a teacher could take on tutoring or online education gigs, and a musician might teach lessons or perform for private parties.
Give some thought to what you enjoy and excel at. You may even decide to monetize a hobby. For example, does everyone you know ask about your artwork? An online gallery might be in your future.
Setting Up Your Business
One of the fundamental first steps in operating a small business is creating a business and marketing plan that outlines the operational functions of your venture. You'll need to establish a business accounting system, develop a website and social media presence, register your business and business name, and come up with marketing collateral to help promote yourself. If you're working from home, you may need a home use permit, and if you're seeing clients on-site, you could be required to have a certain type of rider on your home insurance policy to protect you from business-related liability.
As for funding your business, there are plenty of options when it comes to loans, but don’t overlook business grants. Finding the right grant takes some digging, and it’s not always obvious what is available. That’s why it’s so important to focus your efforts on finding a grant that’s specific to your industry and/or region. Once you ferret out the grants you want to apply for, you’ll need to create a well-written application. Some grant applications are similar to your business plan, so don’t hesitate to mine your original plan to expand on necessary details about your venture.
If you decide to hire staff for your business, make sure you thoroughly vet all prospects, especially if anyone will work with you in a home office. You may utilize an employment agency, an online job board, or ask for referrals from previous colleagues, clients, customers, and friends. According to Remoters, a remote workforce or a group of professional freelancers or independent contractors could also fit the bill. Having a detailed job description in place for the positions you’re hiring for can help ensure you're finding people who have the specific qualifications, education, and background that you're looking for to support your business’ growth.
If you have older children, this can also be a great opportunity to teach them crucial work and life skills, as well as start them early on the road to financial independence. There are, in fact, jobs that a teenager can easily take on part-time, so you may find a valuable employee right under your own roof. Just make sure to familiarize yourself with laws and tax requirements, and set proper boundaries between the work and your relationship to make it work!
If you run a business that involves handling inventory, you may find your hands full pretty quickly. Even for a small business, it’s a must to have some sort of inventory management system in place. This ensures that you stay on top of supplies, stocks, and orders to keep your vendors, customers, staff, and yourself happy. More importantly, this system should seamlessly integrate with other key business functions like accounting, costing, payroll, and invoicing.
Most businesses rely on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to get everything flowing smoothly in the direction of growth, and even as a small business, you will benefit from ERP software. So look into platforms like Odoo or Kechie for comprehensive yet cost-effective solutions that will not overwhelm you.
Maintaining a Healthy Balance
As a mompreneur, you'll be looking for ways to create that elusive work-life balance. Maintaining schedules is critical, as is time management and project planning. Set specific work hours and outsource things that will free up more time. For example, Aftershokz recommends meal prepping for the whole week. Hiring a reliable mother’s helper or sitter for when you need dedicated work time can also afford you extended work time. Be sure to enlist the help of a spouse or partner for general everyday household tasks. When you’re in “mom” mode, be present, and when you're working, give it your full focus.
It’s definitely a juggling act when you’re balancing child-rearing and entrepreneurship. In the long run, it will be empowering. Your kids will come to appreciate your tenacity, your dedication to your work, and your ability to combine hands-on parenting with professional fulfillment and financial independence.
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