A professional career can be very rewarding, but mums in business face special challenges. They may have husbands who pressure them to “do it all,” keeping up with their household responsibilities just as if their day job did not exist. They may need to have their children in day care more than before, which can lead to separation anxiety – and not only on the part of the children! With all of these needs pressing on them, mums in business can quickly become overwhelmed. That’s why it’s important to keep a few key bits of advice in mind from the very start.
Reasonable Business Expectations
Entrepreneur mums should start with research. Take a close look at the target market and competition, using this information to build reasonable expectations about profit and loss. It’s also a good idea to start small; the business can always expand later when revenues are strong enough to stretch further.
Learn to Delegate
Successful mums in business know that they can’t do everything by themselves. At work they have assistants taking care of various items; this is a strategy that can be extended to the home. Hire a housecleaning service or divide household tasks so that older children and other adults assume some responsibilities.
Maintain Separate Spheres
Continuing to run a business while at home is a recipe for disaster, primarily because there is probably no faster way to stress out. Successful mums in business know keep their focus on home and family during their off-hours. Because they avoid checking their BlackBerry constantly for messages, they send the message that mummy is indeed home.
Find a Support Network
Nobody understands a working mum like another working mum. Weekly or even monthly meetings with a support group of like-minded women can help mums in business in several ways. Perhaps the most important is simply knowing that they aren’t alone, but support groups are also invaluable for providing “just in time” advice to resolve problems as they crop up.
Everybody has Limitations
It’s a rare individual who is skilled in every sphere of business life. Some mums in business find that they have the vision and creative spirit necessary to drive their organisation forward, but they lack experience managing day-to-day business details such as handling accounts receivable and taking care of employment tax obligations.
A form of delegation that can be very helpful for such mums is an umbrella company. Using such a company means transferring the mundane aspects of running a business to a professional firm with vast experience dealing with financial and tax minutiae. This allows a mum in business to devote her energies to developing her client base and making sure the business remains aligned with her creative vision.
Working mums really can’t “do it all,” but with these tips in mind, there is no reason why they can’t have professional and personal lives that are both highly rewarding.