Can you be both –SuperMom and Mompreneur?
The way you run your business after giving birth will change. You don’t have to choose between being a SuperMom or Mompreneur. You’re a woman – you can do both! Here are a few tips on how to survive the sleepless nights and still be an effective entrepreneur.
By Lori Bolas
They say that when you have a baby, you have to be careful it doesn’t ruin your marriage. Luckily, there are countless articles offering advice on how to avoid that scenario. There’s not as much out there, however, telling you how to navigate the challenges of a new baby and your new business“baby”. Running a small business and caring for a new baby at the same time can be pretty challenging. Sleepless nights, lots of messes to clean up, overnight growth – and that’s just your business.
When you have a child suddenly the extra time you had to revise strategies, make extra sales calls and train employees has dwindled by half – or more. Suddenly your baby (your business), is not your baby anymore.
The media often focuses on the work/life balance of Sheryl Sandberg, but most entrepreneur moms are not the COO of Facebook. They’re running Main Street businesses with 1-10 employees. For many mothers, a typical three-month maternity leave where you can focus solely on the new baby is not possible.
We’re not going to sugar coat it. It will be hard – especially in the beginning. But you wouldn’t be in business and starting a family if you didn’t like a challenge, anyway, right?
So here’s the hard truth on what you have to do to keep both your babies (business and child) growing strong:
Stop Micromanaging! Small business owners often like to control everything. It’s understandable when you’ve built the business from the ground up, but now is the time to trust the people working for you. Train them on your essential duties, hand over the reins, tell them to call if there’s an emergency. You’re amazing, but on a day-to-day tasks, you’re not as irreplaceable as you think. Your employees can handle it – you’re the one who hired them after all, remember? And allowing them to grow and take on more responsibility will make your business run more smoothly in the future.
Telecommute Unapologetically! Marissa Mayer may not like it, but you’re the boss, so do what you have to do. There’s very little you can’t do from home in this day and age, with document sharing on the Cloud, instant messaging, GoToMeeting, EverNote and the list goes on. Babies sleep a lot, so that’s your opportunity to knock out some work, from home. Even something involving sensitive information, like running payroll, can be done very easily from your phone.
Don’t Come Back with a Vengeance! It may be tempting to prove your mettle by taking on a big project days after giving birth, but it’s not worth it – you and the work will only suffer. Allow yourself the time you need to recover and get comfortable with a major life change. Work your way back slowly and even when you return fulltime, let your employees know your schedule may be a little different some days.
Outsource for your Weaknesses! Now is the time to take advantage of all the affordable cloud-based or other outsourcing resources available to small business. As a small business owner, no one knows better than you that time is money. It is something I hear from our small business customers all the time – they save time and money by using our easy online payroll service which gives them more time to focus on their business’ growth and their families. In fact, many have told me that using SurePayroll inspired them to look into other software-as-a–service solutions to streamline operations.
All working moms want to be able to do everything. Making these changes won’t make you a weaker leader or less motivated, they’ll only make you human. Your employees will respect you for it; your baby will be happy; and your business will continue to grow.
Lori Bolas is a Director at SurePayroll. She is a working mom and the daughter of a small business owner. A former journalist, she has more 25 years of experience in media, communications and public relations.