How to Prepare Your Family For Back to School and Business

How to Prepare Your Family For Back to School and Business

Summer holidays are awesome! You get to spend loads of time together with the family creating memories. For the parentpreneur, it can mean you have had to juggle work and spend time with the kids. Back to school can come as quite a shock as you have had no fraught mornings trying to get everyone ready, meals times become fluid, and there is no homework to supervise. So when September comes, just how do you prepare your family for back to school and business?

Start the Groundwork Early

Make sure that everyone knows the routine is about to change again. You will probably have gone shopping for new school stuff, so this is an excellent time to talk about things. If bedtimes have been less rigid then about a week before term starts it is good to put the routines back into place. A calendar is an excellent visual aid that the children can be involved in while you are juggling getting things ready for work and school. Picture cues can be great for younger kids, so it helps them understand that they are off to school again. Get older children to take responsibility for specific tasks and help the younger ones get ready. Have a school collection point in each bedroom so you can easily see if everything is accounted for in terms of clothing, shoes, PE kit, lunch boxes, and water bottles, etc.

Make a List for School

In order to remember everything that needs to happen, or that needs to be purchased, make a list. A large sheet of paper or a whiteboard in the kitchen means that kids play their part. They can add things that they think need to happen and if you agree you can add them to the master list. Prioritise them as you add them into date order. Leaving school shopping right to the end can mean things are sold out, it also gives you less time to sort any problems like new shoes not fitting as well as hoped. If someone has a new pick up point or will be walking a new route add this as a practice item. It can be an activity that everyone helps with; perhaps a good dog walk with the family.

The Business Side

Here is another excellent place to start a list. If you have been on reduced hours in order to spend time with the family, this is a great time to start another list of things you have to do once everyone is safely back in school on the first day. Don’t expect miracles in the first couple days; it is almost inevitable that problems will occur. Lunches left at home to first day nerves, many things will crop up that need your attention. Be realistic with your time planning and leave anything not urgent until the second half of the week, or even until week two of school. Most parentpreneurs will tell you that work, school, and home are the biggest juggling act ever but when you love what you do, so worth it.

3 Simple ways to control your productivity

3 Simple ways to control your productivity

Effective time management can seem an impossible task.  You are trying to work, run a household, look after the kids and act as the frontline for anything new and unexpected.  It is no wonder you sometimes feel like all you do is race around yet the to-do pile remains stacked high, and nothing seems to get done.

Here are three simple ways to control your productivity.

Create a Plan

Make lists.  Lists are the best way to ensure you have a clear plan in your head.  Whether you prefer to have a pen and paper type list or you get an app to control your list for you, the important thing is to use it.  Section tasks into three categories.  High, medium and low priority, as this makes it even easier to see what you need to do next.  High priority tasks should be those that need completing within the day, that really cannot wait, and that have a considerable significance to your work.  Being more organised and structured immediately adds to productivity. Low priority tasks can wait for another day but if you get through everything else you know you can tackle them and get them off the list.  It is quite satisfying to watch the task list dwindle, however, if things do not go according to plan and the workload is still not getting done, instead of beating yourself up, remember that you have done the planning work so tomorrow should be more accessible.

Section Your Day

Once you have your to-do list, you know what order the work is going in.  The next step is to ensure you section your day into manageable chunks.  Bring a parent entrepreneur changes over time so you can subtle tweak your day to get things in. As the children get older you will often find you have more extended time chunks available to work; when they are younger, you will just have to bear with things as they inevitably interrupt you.  By creating work sections in your day, and taking breaks in between, you should find it is more comfortable even with little ones. Breaks are significant as you need to recharge your batteries so continually working through meals times and all other events are not suitable for you or for the business.  Split the day into 30-minute sections and in between make yourself get up, use the restroom, make a drink and walk around for a bit.  If you have children around at that time spend ten mins with them.

 Limited Social Time

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters.  It is all too easy if you work alone from home to find yourself checking in to see what is happening on Facebook.  Make a plan that during your chunks of time you have allowed for working you will also stay off social media.  Take calls that are work-related or emergency child related and leave the rest until you have finished for the day or have taken a break.  Catch up with your social media before you start and if needs be close social browser windows and silence notifications.

We run a productivity challenge sign up for the next one here. 

How to start a business while on maternity leave

How to start a business while on maternity leave

Having a new baby and starting out on your path to parenthood is never easy. Not only do you have to adjust to looking after a small person who is entirely dependant on you, but there are also likely to be some changes to your work life too.

The first one of these is maternity leave. Maternity leave is when you are off work to take care of your baby. For some, this could be a couple of months, while some may get as much as a year. Being on maternity leave will often be the best time. However, there is always the dread that you will have to return to work at some point.

What if we told you that it was possible to make a major change to your life and your career while you are on maternity leave?

Setting up your own business is a big leap at any point in your life. However, when you are on maternity leave, it can seem a whole lot scarier. If you are considering it, why not take a look through our guide to setting up a business on maternity leave.

Remember your job is still secure

We have said that it can be scary, setting up a business while you are on maternity leave it actually makes sense. You are going to be dedicated to your little one, of course, but you are also likely to have more time then you realise for yourself too. Despite being at home, able to think about different things to do with your career and business, you are still being paid by your current employer which means that there is minimal risk to your financial situation.

Talk to as many people as possible

Just like with any big decision in your life, if you are considering setting up a business on maternity leave, then it makes sense to try and talk to as many people as possible. Learn their experiences and their opinions on your plans and take away from them some of their key points. Of course, the decision is all going to be yours, they should never influence what you end up doing, but they may have some valuable advice.

We interviewed Charlotte Wise the owner of Bip Bop Shop she set up a business while on maternity leave check out the interview here.

Take your time to write a business plan

Setting yourself up in business means that you need to sit down and think about what you want to do. Not only the initial idea or spark that puts your business wheels in motion, but also how you think you are going to go about it. You need to think about how you will finance your business and how you will make sure that it is a success.

Get used to working around being a parent

One of the hardest things to get used to when you are a parent and someone who runs a business, is balancing the two. Whilst you can be flexible with the times that you work, you are going to have to make sure that you are still dedicated to both. Learn to work in the evenings, or in the early mornings, as well as learning how to work when your little one has a nap. Once you manage all these things, then you will be well on your way to mastering the two.

Setting up a business on maternity leave makes great sense, so why not try it out for yourself? If you have an idea and you want to put it into motion, the break from work may just give you the opportunity to decide exactly what it is that you want to do.

Register here for Create Launch Grow a start-up course for parents.

How to Tell Your Children About Divorce and Separation

How to Tell Your Children About Divorce and Separation

Getting a divorce isn’t easy for any member of the party, and it may be difficult to tell your children about the family changes that are taking place. However, telling your children about divorce or separation doesn’t have to be as difficult as you may think.

There are ways to approach telling your children that will still make them feel confident and loved, and here is how:

Tell Them Together

During a divorce, it is common for a child/children to take sides and for one parent to come out of the divorce process worse than the other. By telling your children about the change together, it presents a united front, and it will show that both parents can still be civil and will stop your child getting dragged into any conflict if there is any.

If this cannot happen, then the best option would be to communicate with each other before telling the child, so that you both know what will be said at the discussion. A structured plan of what to say and what not to say will stop the absent parent from being shone in a bad light, and to avoid sadness for the child.

Tell the Truth

Your children deserve to know the truth and nothing less. This process will affect them emotionally, and there is no point in lying about what is going on, especially when it may come out in the future.

While sharing some of these details with your children may be difficult, you want it to be as easy as possible for them to understand and it is the best way to go about this. By telling them the truth, they will be able to ask questions, plus open and share their feelings more. You know your children better than anyone else, so only use simple language that they are comfortable with.

Tell Them Things Will Be Different

There is no point in denying the fact that this separation will have a big impact on your child’s life and it is important to acknowledge that and not brush it under the table. Your children won’t want to hear about all the changes, but it is important that they know how the movement will affect everyone involved.

Mention everything that may change over the next couple of weeks, whether this is in their home life or education, as the divorce may affect their results as well as living arrangements. Parents should really take this opportunity to emphasise everything that will remain the same, as children hate change.

Tell Them You Love Them

One of the simplest points: remind your child how much not just you, but your soon to be ex-partner love them. It is a reminder to tell your children that they are a production of love and that both of you will be there to support your child throughout every milestone.

Listen to Them

Children, especially those that are younger, may have a lot of questions and it is important to answer these questions rather than avoiding them. The process isn’t just about telling your children about the change, but supporting them throughout the difficult time and it is important to listen to their worries and feelings.

Once the news has been shared with your children, sit back and listen to everything that they may have to say about the situation and comfort them in the best way possible. You should encourage your children to share their feelings and help them communicate exactly what they’re thinking.

For more information about all aspects of divorce and family law, speak to experienced divorce solicitors at Howells.

Howells Solicitors

This post has been written by Karis Jones, a solicitor in the family law department at Howells Solicitors. Karis’ main area of expertise is private, and public law children matters although she has also obtained several non-Molestation orders for those that have been subjected to domestic violence. Karis also offers legal surgeries on a monthly basis at the YMCA, Huggard centre, and Women’s Aid.

6 excellent tips to remember when using video chat for customer service

6 excellent tips to remember when using video chat for customer service

Let’s face it: The Internet and connectivity, as well as social platforms, have completely revolutionized customer service. Decades ago, stopping by a physical store or making a phone call were the only ways that customers could reach you. Now, they can email, call, visit, and they can video chat.
There are a lot of things that are advantageous for companies interested in pursuing video chat. First of all, it distinguishes your company from the crowd you stand out and are willing to give people the chance to connect with you on a very human and very personal level. It offers value and community.

There are a number of different ways to think about video chat for customer service. One is to screen share particularly helpful if you’re trying to understand an issue, such as a computer problem, that’s going on. What else should you consider? This graphic explains it.

6 Tips to Remember When Using Video Chat for Customer Service

Author Bio: Kaylee White
Ghergich & Co.

#PIB85 Hooray for summer

Hooray for summer

Exciting news and summer break podcast episodes will return in September 2018.

Thank you for all your support! 

#PIB84 Share your journey: Charlotte Wise

Charlotte Wise Owner of Bip Bop Shop

Charlotte Wise always wanted to start her own business but it took for her to become a parent to make her dream a reality. After surviving a traumatic birth and ending up in intensive care, she realised life was too short to wait any longer. When her son was 7 months old, she launched BipBopShop, an online and pop up children’s shop selling children’s gifts and traditional wooden toys. Now an award-winning entrepreneur and Huffington Post blogger, Charlotte tells us her story of juggling her business with parenthood.

In this episode you’ll find out about:

  • Details about Charlotte’s family and business
  • How Charlotte got started on her entrepreneurial journey with £50
  • Charlotte talks about starting a business while on maternity leave
  • Charlotte talks about her traumatic birth and ending up in intensive care
  • Her number one fear was failure and she talks about overcoming that fear
  • Her two biggest challenges one of them being mum guilt and how she is overcoming them
  • How she manages running a business and family life
  • The things she enjoys doing for herself
  • Charlotte talks about who inspires her
  • Details about what she has outsourced for her business
  • Advice for parents who want to start a business
  • What success looks like for her?

Links mentioned:

Be Inspired
Bip Bop Shop
Bip Bop Shop Instagram 
Bip Bop Shop Facebook 
Bip Bop Shop twitter 

Thanks for listening! 


How to stay on track with your goals

How to stay on track with your goals

Running a business and raising a family isn’t always the easiest thing to do. With so many things to juggle, it can seem that you have far too much to think about and focus on. This can leave you struggling to keep your eye on your goals.

So, how do you stay on track with your goals? Here are some of our top tips for making sure that you remain focused, no matter what you are looking to achieve.

Commit to your goals

There is a reason why you have set a goal; often it’s because you want to reach them. Which means that you should always ensure that you commit to your goals. Committing to them is important because it gives you the determination to achieve them, which can be particularly useful on those days when you feel that you might go off track.

Break them down

Some goals that you set are going to be small, some of them, however, are going to be larger and therefore harder to reach. If you feel that you haven’t made a dent in your goal, then you are going to be much more likely to give up. This means that a simple way to ensure that you stay on track is to try and break them down as much as you can. Having smaller chunks to aim for means that you are much more likely to focus on them.

Have long-term and short-term goals

Similar to the above, having only long-term goals is going to make it much harder to stay on track while having only short-term goals could leave you feeling that you don’t have anything in the future. It is a good idea to try your best to mix both long-term and short-term goals as this will help you to not only have mini-milestones to reach but that you also have a long-term goal at the end of the tunnel.

Take action on your goals every day

It isn’t always easy to find time to do things for yourself, particularly if you have to think about children as well as your business. However, one of the worst things that you can do is to try and work on your goals in one huge chunk of time. This will take far too much out of that particular day and means that it could be something that you keep putting off. Instead, focus on tackling your goals every day, this only needs to be a small amount of time, which, when you are busy seems a whole lot more achievable.

Celebrate your achievements

Giving yourself a pat on the back can feel incredibly alien to us all. However, when it comes to achieving your goals, there is nothing wrong with celebrating how far that you have come. Celebrate yourself, praise the effort that you have put in and that will help you to keep on going, even when things are tough!

Staying on track to achieve your goals is not always easy. However, by trying out these things you are much more likely to get there, no matter what it is that you want to achieve and where it is going to lead you.

#PIB83 Share your journey: Medina King

Medina King Interior Designer and Child Wellness Expert

Medina King-Sam is the only London based children’s Interior Designer and Child Wellness Expert that creates personalised, colourful and fun bedrooms and playrooms for children. With almost a decade of experience in the Interior Design profession, she has built a client base of successful professionals across Chelsea and Kensington, Mayfair, Hampstead, Islington, and Surrey. With a calm, down to earth personality and the technical skills of an interior designer Medina has won the hearts of many clients and have designed amazing spaces for families with young children. Her skills are vast, ranging from plan drawings, fabric and furniture sourcing, colour consulting, designing bespoke storage solutions and project managing making her the ‘one stop design shop’ for your child’s or children’s rooms.

What contributes most to Medina’s success as an Interior Designer and Child Wellness Expert is her understanding of the impact a space can have on children and how to best design a space that will have a positive contribution to children’s wellbeing.

After working a few years in furniture retail while she pursued a Bachelors of Arts degree in Interior Design at the renowned University of the Arts London, Medina has developed an extensive knowledge on designer furniture and trending accessories. Medina is also an experienced Interior Stylist and has worked on Stills and Commercials for projects, such as for Kitchens Bedrooms and Bathrooms magazine, Hilary’s Blinds, Argos, Microsoft, John Lewis and Workx.

Medina is passionate about the development of children and also run’s workshops, teaching children ‘arts & crafts’ and ‘interior design.’ Through MK Kids Interiors Medina gives confidence to children by involving them in the design process of their rooms

In this episode you’ll find out about:

  • Details about Medina’s interior design business
  • Details about Medina’s family
  • Medina talks about how she ended up following her dreams and becoming an interior designer
  • Medina talks about the support she received from the prince’s trust
  • Fears she had and the discrimination she has faced
  • Details about her upcoming workshop for children
  • How she manages running a business and family life
  • Medina talks about who inspires her
  • Advice to parents who are starting up a business
  • Medina talks about what success looks like for her
  • Future plans

Links mentioned:
MK Kids Interiors 
MK Kids Interiors Instagram
MK Kids Interiors Twitter 
MK Kids Interiors Facebook 
MK Kids Interiors Pinterest
Nesting Properties 
Nesting Properties Instagram
Nesting Properties Twitter
Nesting Properties Facebook

Thanks for listening!

Why setting goals are important and how to do it effectively

Why setting goals are important and how to do it effectively

Setting a goal is incredibly important for not only your business but also your personal life too. But why is this? What makes setting a goal so important and how can you make sure that you set effective goals?

Goals motivate you to do your best

If you have something to aim for, then the chances are that you are going to try even harder to get there. Without a goal, what is going to motivate you? Chances are nothing. Having a goal, even a small goal is always going to help you to ensure that you do your best.

If you make small steps towards your goal, then you are going to feel ready to go even further

Motivation can be something that is hard to find. Not only for your personal life but also your business life too. With so many things to think about and spend your time on, sometimes it can feel easier to hide away and not even make an effort. Having a goal is a sure-fire way to motivate yourself to get up and get going. Even better if you set yourself a few small milestones along the way to reach.

Goals help you to focus

It is all too easy to lose focus. Particularly if what you are focusing is proving hard to do. Once you lose focus, much like motivation, it can be incredibly hard to regain momentum. One great way to try and help you to focus is to have something to focus on, such as a short-term or long-term goal. This could be something that will have an immediate impact or something that could be a way off, no matter what it is, having that thing in the pipeline is going to help to drive you forward.

How to set effective goals

Now you know why goal setting is so important, you may want to know more about how you can reach those goals. The best way is to ensure that the goals that you set are going to be effective, this can be achieved in a number of ways.

Having a long-term goal is excellent. However, these can be the hardest to achieve. Not only are they going to take maximum effort and time, but they are also the hardest to see any progress on. A great way to help with this is to make sure that you set milestones along the way which will help you to measure just how far you have come.

Another top tip is to remind yourself why you have set that goal. This could be something in your personal life such as getting fit and healthy or something in your business such as securing a new client. When you feel that things have got on top of you, remind yourself just why you are doing it, and you will soon have enough motivation to carry on going.

With this in mind, why not try some goal setting for yourself? Think about where you want to be and what you want to achieve and in no time at all; you will be reaching those goals and improving yourself as well as your business.

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