There is never a perfect time for doing something new or improving your prospects. Life has a way of upending plans and expectations, and circumstances rarely line up just so for your convenience.
That means you shouldn’t put off starting your new business venture just because you’re having a baby. Instead, seize the day and do both!
Of course, that’s easier said than done. To help you out, Best Family Life offers some powerful suggestions on how to manage your parental duties while launching a business:
1. Manage your available time diligently with a schedule
Schedules are critical (even if you don’t like them). Being a parent is a full-time job, as is being a business owner, and there are only so many hours in a day.
Without a good schedule, you’re going to flounder, lose productivity, and likely drop the ball on something important.
Planning ahead allows you to stay on track and in control, even on days you end up staying up all night to look after your child.
Every good schedule for working parents (you should make it together with your partner) has the following elements:
- Routines: Wake times, meal times, activity times, and sleep times.
- Baby-care duties: Divided up between you, your partner, and other family members.
- Chores: Again, divided up amongst the family.
- Work time: Hours set aside every day exclusively for work from the office (or home office).
- Self-care and entertainment hours: You need to avoid burnout.
2. Be flexible and patient to stay on track
Flexibility is necessary to be a good parent and entrepreneur. Change is the only constant, and adaptability is the key to survival.
You will have to toss your schedule out the window on more than one occasion due to unforeseen events –and that’s okay. Be patient, handle what comes your way, and try to get back on track when you can.
Time-management skills like prioritization – doing only what’s important first –, mindfulness, and focus will stand you in good stead.
You should also learn to be resilient and respond to external events on your own terms, instead of giving them power over you.
For example, if you’re interrupted by your baby, take a deep breath, put your work on hold, take care of their needs, and come back when you can. Don’t lose your temper and be put off your work.
3. Don’t do it alone
Looking after your child is not a one-person job, and neither is running your business. Take help from the people around you, even if you have to pay them.
Consider it an investment – the time you save, you can put back into growing your business (which is worth more).
- Delegate: Successful entrepreneurs know how to delegate. Their businesses can run themselves, leaving them free to focus on what matters.
- Ask for help: Your friends and family might be willing to help you with your business tasks or taking care of the baby. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
- Hire help: A babysitter can be worth their weight in gold. A nanny can be even better if you can afford one. Apps like Care.com can help you find trustworthy sitters and nannies nearby.
4. Follow best practices to ensure your new venture kicks off smoothly
Setting up a successful business won’t be easy, especially when you’re a parent. Following business best practices allows you to follow a tried-and-tested path to success. For instance:
- Do your market research: Look at the supply-demand, scope out your competitors, and make sure your business idea is viable.
- Crunch the numbers: Your finances are everything. You need seed money, working capital, and an emergency fund.
- Have realistic goals: Not having specific business goals will come back to bite you. You need targets to focus on.
- Tick the legal boxes: Make sure you take care of your legal obligations – register your business with your city and state, get a tax number, and obtain permits or licenses.
- Everything’s in the name: Your company name can make or break your business – make it memorable. Consider creating a DBA (doing business as) name for your company. It allows you to branch out into new products or services under a different, more suitable name. Moreover, if the desired domain for your business isn’t available, you can use the DBA name instead. Zenbusiness can help you with registration.
5. Don’t skip the business plan
A business plan is a formal document that outlines your business goals, among other things. Many entrepreneurs skip it, however, choosing to fly by the seat of their pants and learning as they go instead.
But we strongly suggest you invest time and energy into making one, though, especially if this is your first venture.
It allows you to refine your vision and nail down the specifics before you launch, giving you direction, helping build up momentum, and letting you avoid mistakes.
The research backs up the benefits – companies with one grow 30 percent faster than those without.
6. Learn how to be productive
To be successful as an entrepreneur, you will need to be productive and efficient. That doesn’t necessarily mean spending more time working – it’s getting the most done in the least possible time, while still maintaining a good working standard.
Some suggestions on being more productive are using to-do lists, using software for day-to-day tasks, tackling challenging tasks early, and waking up at the same time every day to keep your body clock in balance.
7. Get more sleep, not less
Sleep deprivation could be your new constant companion as a parent. Needless to say, it’s a major concern – not only will it make you more irritable and erode your health, but it could also cause you to make mistakes with your work.
Learning how to sleep more (and better) will be more than worth your time. Some suggestions are taking a warm shower before bedtime, taking power naps, meditating to quiet running thoughts, exercising to tire yourself out, getting a white noise machine, and having comfortable bedding.
Be kind to yourself and have realistic expectations. Being a parent is not easy, and neither is being an entrepreneur.
Give yourself time to acclimatize to your new circumstances, and take it one step at a time. Last, but not least, don’t be afraid of asking for help when you need it.
Thank you for reading. Stay tuned with BestFamilyLife for more good content.
(Written by Joyce Wilson)