Being a young entrepreneur isn't easy – add a new baby into the mix and things can really get complicated. According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of female entrepreneurs has increased 9.6 percent since 2012, and about 300,000 of them are mothers. Whether you're an entrepreneur who is new to parenthood or a parent who is new to entrepreneurship, juggling the two can be difficult. With these tips you'll be able to successfully balance owning a small business with raising a happy family.
Stick to a Schedule
According to some busy parents the key to balancing work and kids is to schedule out as much as possible, while still maintaining some flexibility. Although most parents are able to maintain a consistent work schedule, it's important to have the flexibility to move things around in case of an emergency. It might sound trite, but setting up “dates” with your children is a great way to maintain a relationship amidst the stress of owning your own business. Guard these dates like important business meetings – repetitive cancelled dates could lead to feelings of neglect and loss of trust.
Prioritize Your Family
While your job is important, so is your family. Most parents assume their children won't miss them, but the reality is your children know when you're not spending time with them. As a working parent, it's important to create your schedule so you still have time to spend with your family. For example, if you travel for four days, make sure the day after you return is spent working from home. Or, even better, tack a few extra days onto your stay and turn your business trip into a mini family vacation. Take advantage of the loose schedules exclusive to entrepreneurs, and use this freedom to your advantage.
Hire For Work (& Home!)
As an entrepreneur, you know a solid team can be the difference between success and failure. The same goes for your home – an ideal home ‘team' will include a supportive spouse, a trusted caregiver, and local family members and trusted friends who can pitch in with only a moment's notice. When interviewing caregivers for your child, make sure they understand how you'd like your children to be raised and hold the same ideals and values. If you have a strong team working with you at home, you won't be distracted while at work, and vice versa.
Location, Location, Location
Those interested in launching a successful start-up while raising a family must work near home- spending hours in traffic may have worked when you were single, but it won't cut it now that you have a family relying on your presence. If you can't find office space close to home, consider utilizing the services of a virtual office. With a virtual office, you'll only have to drive to work for important things like face-to-face meetings – the rest of the time you can work comfortably from your home office, where you'll be close to your family and still able to focus on work.
Make Time for Yourself
Balanced parents make happy families, and balanced entrepreneurs make a business succeed. Although making time for both is crucial, so is making time for yourself. As an entrepreneurial parent, time away from work and family is important – meet friends for happy hour, practice yoga, read a book, go to the gym, take a bath, or do any other activity that would fulfill you as a person outside of work and family. If needed, consider outsourcing certain activities or re-writing your business plan to account for time off, vacations, sick days, and time for yourself.