When it comes to some of the biggest decisions we make in our lifetime, starting a business is definitely of them. It requires a lot of strength, patience and creativity to take that step, and it’s even more difficult if you are a parent. However, if you think that taking care of your little ones and running a business of your own is an impossible task, think again. After all, there are people all around the world who do it successfully day after day. Here are some of their secrets.
Don’t be afraid to set the limits
If you’re starting your business from nothing, it’s bound to take some time before enough people notice you and learn about you. Until they do, you’ll probably have to invest more of your time and effort into being recognized, meaning that you’ll have to work longer hours. When you get to this point, always bear in mind that you’re also a parent and that your family needs attention as well. For this reason, you need to set the limits on how much you can and want to work and be prepared to say no once in a while. No matter what your business will be, you can expect to have fierce competition and that clients will want you to do enormous amounts of work in short periods of time. This is something you shouldn’t allow. As much as you want to succeed, you want to have a healthy family, too, so find a balance and stick to the limits you’ve set.
Learn your options for brand development
If you want to have a profitable business, you should work on developing a strong brand. Your goal should be to offer something that others don’t, so that you can stand out from the competition. This includes choosing a good name, creating a memorable logo and finding a creative and interesting way to advertise. The good thing is, you don’t have to do all of these things alone. There are professionals who can help you develop your brand. Also, if you’re worried if you’ll be able to do it or if you don’t have the time to develop a new brand, consider franchising. For instance, if you’re thinking of starting a cleaning service, you can take a previously established brand and a business that’s already well acknowledged and then just move forward from there. This can make things easier on you from the very start and allow you to spend more time with your family.
Rely on your loved ones for support
Doing everything on your own isn’t impossible, but it can be difficult, time-consuming and overwhelming. After a while, it can even lead to health problems. If it comes to that, your business might suffer a setback and it can even take a toll on your family life. In order to avoid this, seek help from the people around you and feel free to delegate a little. If you live with a partner, ask them to help you with the kids and to take some more responsibility when it comes to housework. If you’re a single parent, maybe your parents, siblings or closest friends can jump in to give you a helping hand, but you can also ask your children to take over some of the simpler jobs around the house. If none of these options work for you, consider hiring a nanny from time to time, or pay somebody to come over once a week to clean your home properly. It will cost you a bit, but consider it an investment in your business and in your family.
Try not to push yourself too hard
Although on some days you’ll feel like you can do anything, there will also be times when you’ll wonder why in the world you thought you could do this. In case you find yourself thinking that you bit off more than you can chew, slow down a bit. Instead of dealing with five projects at once, deal with just one at a time. Even if a single project seems like too much to handle, divide it into smaller steps, perhaps set yourself a more reasonable deadline and goals that you can actually achieve. It would also be a good idea to make daily plans and to-do lists, and not just business-related, but personal as well. When you’re well organized and you can tick off the tasks you’ve already done, you’ll see your progress more clearly and it will empower you to keep up the good work.
Being a good parent while making a name for yourself in business can be exhausting, but it’s doable. And whenever you feel insecure, just remember why and who you’re doing it for. It may take some time, but once you achieve the success you’re aiming for, you’ll be able to relax a little and you’ll know your family will be better off for all your hard work and dedication.
About the author:
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She’s passionate about fashion, home décor and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”