Running a business and bringing up a family is something of a juggling act and you will see a lot of information about striking a work/life balance in order to feel like you have really got this thing under control. This is like suggesting that we can neatly cut our time in half, devoting it exclusively to our home and work in turn. The reality could not be further from this, however, and in all honesty, it is time to ditch this pressurised unrealistic ideal that we keep being sold. You are not failing if you cannot neatly segment your life into the two categories, far from it! Being a parent and business owner is no mean feat but rather than fighting for the unachievable why not strive to create some harmony instead. To be brutally honest there is no such thing as a perfect balance. Sometimes you will actually sacrifice some family time to grow your business, but conversely, you will also find you will sacrifice the business to focus on your family at times too. Neither is wrong or failing and what works for you might not work for others. Harmony is an individual thing and finding your own levels of harmony is what matters. If you resolve to do one thing this year, make it the intent to stop looking for a work/life balance and instead replace it with harmony. Here are five great way of achieving family and business harmony to get you started.
1. Try Themes for Your Week
On a Sunday spend some time deciding what your priorities are for the coming week, it doesn’t matter if these are home or work priorities, they are all part of your life! Then see if you can create a theme for each day, maybe Monday’s are about shipping orders, Tuesdays are for Marketing, Wednesdays for returning calls and answering correspondence, Thursdays for the kids and Friday’s anything goes depending on what is needed. To-do-lists make a great addition to harmony, you can see at a glance what needs to happen, but the priorities give the list a focus and a purpose above and beyond just working down the items. You could organise the list by priority so things near the bottom can be left undo if time escapes you, and you will not worry or stress about these things as they are not the priority they can wait.
2. Choose Wisely
We have all fallen into the yes trap, where anything that comes our way we accept and take on. This can add to our burden and heap on the guilt. It is important to consciously make choices that fit with our overarching desire for harmony. We are conditioned to work hard, in fact so hard it should all but kill us, and while this is admirable, it isn’t terribly practical or harmonious. It is time to take back control and start making choices that actually fit for us. If you do not want to take on something, then don’t feel you have to. No is such a little word but really hard to say. It is time to practice this, as for some reason it tends to be something we can say to our family, but not in business. Examine what you are taking on because if it damages your mental health and your personal and family life, is it really worth it?
3. Get Out
There is a tendency to push vital self-care habits to the side and convince ourselves that they do not form any part of our harmony. Well, that is a common misnomer, and in fact, self-care is an integral part of maintaining this harmony. So what does that mean? Well, it means that you need to be active and get out and about in the real world. It can be easy to go from desk to home and back again, desperately working all the hours you can to get everything done but the benefits of walking the dog or going for a run cannot be overlooked. Exercise helps with mood and the regulation of hormones, which is actually more important than you might realise. So take the time to go for a swim, take the kids out on the bikes or something else active.
4. Don’t Forget to Sleep
Burnout is an issue that can affect anyone, but if you run your own business, then you will want to avoid this one. Not sleeping well can cause a myriad of health issue not least feeling tired all the time. It actually weakens the immune system and leaves you susceptible to coughs, colds and viruses. It also lowers the processing power of the brain which funnily enough links directly to our productivity. Make sure you find time to rest, even if you don’t sleep well at least resolve to lay on the bed and relax with no electronics. Try meditation this is a great way to relax the brain and help restore a natural balance in the body even when you are feeling super busy.
5. Remember Who You Are
We are human, not robot. There is a limit to what we can do, and pushing ourselves actually only means that something somewhere slips. Forget trying to live up to some ideal dictated by the internet or social media and stop searching for the impossible. You are more than enough, and you need to take time to congratulate yourself on what you do achieve rather than berate yourself over things you do not get done. Our children are only young for such a short time you want to look back on the period with warm memories and no regrets. Harmony is how you will achieve this when you realise it is ok to drop the ball on something every once in a while. It doesn’t matter if you cannot attend one meeting or you cannot make every playdate on the calendar. The balance comes not from our work and home life, but from the acceptance, we find within our harmony.
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Yemi King is the Founder of Yemi King Photography. She specialises in photography to boost confidence when not behind the camera Yemi is also a freelance creative. Yemi writes and design for herself and others she has a blog, and she contributes to a luxury magazine. Yemi is a mum of 3 which she says has been an interesting journey. She has worked very hard to keep a nice balance between providing, nurturing and also self-love. Yemi says it has been a challenging lesson, but one that she knows will pay off!
In this episode you’ll find out about:
Details about Yemi’s business and the creative work she does
Details about Yemi’s family
Yemi talks about her freelance journey
Yemi talks about fears and challenges she has had during her journey.
You’ll hear how Yemi set boundaries for business and family life.
Yemi talks about the positive influence her dad had in her life
Yemi talks about who inspires her
Yemi gives advice to parents who are starting up a business
Yemi talks about what success looks like for her
Yemi tells us about her what her future plans look like
Running a small business isn’t easy. No-one is an expert straight away and getting to grips with all the different aspects can be tricky. The great thing is though; there is always room for improvement. We all can try harder and do better at being a business owner.
Not sure where to start when it comes to improving yourself and in turn improving your business? Sometimes the best thing to do is to change your own mindset as well as some of your own habits. These don’t have to be huge life-changing things, in fact, sometimes, even the smallest of changes can have the biggest impact on your life.
If you want to make changes to your business, improve your productivity and just generally create a business that you can be proud of, then the time has come to make a change. Take a look through our five habits that will make you a better business owner and see if there is anything that you can try out for yourself.
Have a morning routine
When you own your own business, particularly if the work is completed from home, then it can be hard to get up and get going in the morning. This is where a morning routine can really help. Some business owners may go for a run or a brisk walk before they start the day, some may decide to sit and have some breakfast while they catch up on the news or read a book for half an hour.
One of the simplest things that you can do as a business owner is to make sure that you get yourself up and dressed as if you were going to work. Slouching around in your pyjamas may be incredibly comfortable, but it doesn’t always get you into the right work mindset.
It also doesn’t matter what time you do this routine. Some people may get up at the crack of dawn, whilst others may work later on in the day. The important thing is what you do and how you get yourself mentally prepared for the day ahead.
As people, we are all prone to try and do everything ourselves. This is definitely true within business. The phrases “oh it will take me longer to show them how to do it” or “I can make time” are often heard. The trouble is, sometimes we don’t have enough time, or it wouldn’t take long to pass the information on, we all like to hold onto tasks as a way to reassure ourselves that we are important.
If you are the owner, then you don’t need to reassure yourself. You are important. But so is everyone else that is part of the team. Not only will delegating tasks out help you to focus yourself on other aspects of your business, but it will also ensure that valuable knowledge is passed around, making sure that you have a highly skilled team behind you.
Realise the importance of self-care
Focusing on our businesses is something that we all want to ensure that we do. However, this can often be to the detriment of our own health and wellbeing. It is good to have passion and drive towards making your business dream a success, but this has to be balanced with self-care.
Self-care is incredibly important. Taking some time for you is the best way to recharge your batteries and replenish your energy stocks. It doesn’t have to be a weekend off, sometimes all you need to do is to sign out of work and have a bath or perhaps just sit and unwind. You will soon start to feel a whole lot better.
Don’t be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone
Human nature means that we all like to stick with the things we are used to and that we feel comfortable doing. Whilst this can make life a little on the dull side, it can actually have a much bigger impact on you as a business owner and your business as a whole. This means, that if there is one thing that you need to try, it is stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new.
Businesses, no matter the industry needs to grow and develop if they are going to succeed. Which means, from time to time, you are going to need to take a big step away from your comfort zone. See it is as a chance to shape the future of your business, take a deep breath and be above everything else, be brave!
We all fail from time to time. This is just a part of life as well as a part of business. Failure can seem like the worst thing that could happen, but sometimes it can be the chance to improve or make changes.
As a business owner, it can sometimes be hard to think of a failure in a positive light. However, it can be one of the best steps that you can take. Not only does embracing failure allow you to see ways that you can change and improve what you can offer. But it can also give you the push to take risks and make decisions that you might not otherwise have made.
Once you start, you will soon find that these habits become something that you can do with ease. In no time at all, you will be a much better business owner, and you will see this reflected, not only in your customer satisfaction and success but also in the way that you feel and act as a business owner!
Miranda and her husband run GPS Return a recruitment a company specialising in helping parents return to work. Not only do they help parents find their ideal, family-friendly job, but they also have a career mentoring solution which helps parents work out what it is they want to do and work on their mindset and any confidence issues, as well as practical guidance such as CV updates and interview skills. Miranda and her husband have 2 children aged 3 and 5.
In this episode you’ll find out about:
Details about Miranda’s business that she runs with her husband
Details about Miranda’s family
Miranda talks about her entrepreneurial journey
Miranda talks about fears and challenges she has had during her journey.
You’ll hear how Miranda and her husband set boundaries for business and family life.
Miranda talks about who inspires her
Miranda gives advice to parents who are starting up a business
Miranda talks about what success looks like for her
Miranda tells us about her what her future plans look like.
Running a small business can be a hectic time with many variables to think about from products to sales to marketing, and if you are doing your own accounting on top of that, it can be all too easy for mistakes to be made.
Those who are new to business might think they can save money by doing all of their own financial management but accounting is a skill in itself and trying to take on too much when you don’t know what you are doing, can cause all kinds of problems.
Some mistakes can be small; others can be the difference between your business succeeding or failing. Ongoing mistaken accounting practices can skew your figures and create significant issues for your company.
Here are some of the most common accounting mistakes which small businesses make so you can avoid making them as well:
Making assumptions about cash flow
Just because you’ve landed a new client, you can’t make assumptions that the money you have planned will actually come in on time. They might be late payers, or the project might go on longer than first thought.
It’s good to have an idea of what’s coming in and what’s going out in your business, but you shouldn’t assume what your cash flow is going to be based on proposed projects and potential new work.
As well as knowing what money is coming in from clients, you need to know what is going out, and the best way to do this is to set budgets in place. Have a budget for advertising and marketing and have a budget for all project costs.
That way you will know exactly what money is due to go out of your business account every month and why, and you won’t be tempted to spend ad-hoc on special offers for advertising or one-off project costs. Setting budgets helps to keep you on track.
Leaving book keeping to the last minute
It’s vital to keep accurate records of all the money coming into and leaving your business account, and the only way to do this is to keep on top of your book keeping. You need to record every business transaction accurately.
If you leave it all to the last minute you might find receipts missing, transactions recorded in the wrong category and your books will be a mess. The key to business success is making sure all of the financial records are up-to-date and correct.
Not understanding employees vs contractors
You need to understand the difference between employing people in your business as employees and using contractors. There are different taxes and financial requirements so make sure you are very clear on the law and very clear on what kind of contracts you are offering.
Trying to do all of your finances yourself
While it’s true that you will have to pay for an accountant to support your business finances, trying to do all of the accounting by yourself is one of the most common mistakes small business owners make.
Even if your business is small and the finance is simple, as you grow and expand it will become more complicated and more time-consuming to manage all of the finances by yourself. You don’t want to be up into the early hours balancing the books so let someone else do it for you. Accounting services offered by companies like Crunch allows small businesses to simplify their accounting needs through their unique approach.
Using cash to buy a set of stamps to post out invoices is still a business transaction, no matter how small and you need to make sure you record every single transaction accurately. It’s all too easy to forget some of these smaller transactions and overlook them.
But if you forget a number of smaller transactions in your books, it will all add up, and your business accounts will quickly be affected and become inaccurate and potentially misleading records of how much money you are actually spending.
Not making sure your books match your bank account
While it’s important to keep records of all of your income and outgoings, it’s also vital to check your records against what is actually on your bank statement. It’s all too easy to overlook small expenses that you might forget about.
You need to make sure your accounting records match with every transaction that shows up on your business bank account so that you have a very clear and accurate picture of your actual real-time business finance.
If you employ a book keeper to help you then you need to tell them everything that goes on within your business and you need to keep records of all transactions and copies of all receipts to give to them at least every month to make sure all the transactions reconcile, so your books always match your bank account.
Who’d expect that a daughter having tantrums over seams in her socks would lead to a life-transforming discovery!
This is how Nina Khoo discovered she & her daughter were part of the 15-20% of the population who share the naturally occurring temperament trait of High Sensitivity. Discovering she was Highly Sensitive was like finally finding the right user-manual to her life, & it explained why her daughter was sometimes really bothered by things like scratchy labels & seams in her socks.
Nina is now passionate about raising awareness of the Highly Sensitive Trait. She coaches Highly Sensitive Women to be strong & inspiring role models for their children through her unique program ‘The A, B, C of High Sensitivity’.
In this episode you’ll find out about:
-Details about Nina’s coaching business
-Details about Nina’s family
-Nina talks about her journey in becoming a personal development coach for highly sensitive women.
-Nina talks about fears and challenges she has had during her journey.
-You’ll hear how Nina manages running a business and family life
-Nina talks about who inspires her
-Nina gives advice to parents who are starting up a business
-Nina talks about what success looks like for her
-Nina tells us about her what her future plans look like.
Hurricanes, Tornado, Floods, and wildfires are some of the natural disasters that can cause a business loss of up to $ 150 billion. Notice is usually given before there appearances, can your business survive the natural disaster? A good entrepreneur is one who knows how to endure such a crush before they lose everything. That is why with the tips provided below, you can prepare your small business for the next tragedy before it’s too late.
Create a response plan
Surviving a disaster needs preparation, a loser will act after the tragedy has destroyed everything including people’s life. Have a written plan that entails all the actions that the company will take in case of a natural disaster. Ensure all your employees are aware of the idea, and for your tactics to work out, you have to ensure there are several meetings for the same if something new comes to your attention. More so, your employees have to be aware of the escape route plans, the usage of the firefighting tools and so on. You can establish a remote system and appoint some employees will work from home if there is a shutdown.
You have to review regularly your the insurance coverage of your business to be sure of enough coverage. Investing in insurance coverage is the best weapon during a natural disaster. That is why you must have an insurance cover that caters for extended coverage, property loss, business destructions, and business closure. It should cover for all natural disaster in case one of it happens.
Create a good communication plan
Since your property is covered and can be recovered after a breakdown, losing your customers will be a loss, that is why you have to have a communication plan. Employees are part of your business, so they should be aware of your communication plan so that after a temporary shutdown, you will be able to win back your customers and clients. The method is efficient if you manage all communications but have some people leading the clients’ contacts, customers contact, and even the insurance company contact.
Storage of company’s data
Back up plan is an essential plan for your business. Retrieving customers contact lists and data after a shutdown is easy if stored in the cloud or other database systems. You should have a reliable hard drive, and a copy of it stored in another office at a safer place. Moreover, with the company’s data in the cloud, employees can still access information on important documents, and ongoing projects, thus, they continue working remotely.
Build strong relationships with the employees
Employees are your family and relatives when it comes to business. A good relationship eases the recovery process procedure after a loss. You should also ensure clear communication to your vendors and clients after the disaster so that they also be aware. Your small business can face lots of challenges after a disaster like incapabilities of making a delivery. But keeping your clients updated will save you the loss.
Not everybody can prevent the next natural disaster, but with the above plan, it might save you more than you could have lost. The above method can help your business to be back on its feet earlier than you expected, only if you implement it.
It may seem intimidating to start a business with plenty of risks to make the decision a difficult one. Yet, starting a business from home can remove some of the risks, and there are ways you can increase your odds of success. There are many benefits to being your own boss and in control of your schedule, if you prepare and plan well.
What Do You Want?
Wanting to start a business is one thing, but what does that entail? How will you balance home life with a home-based business? Is there a particular niche that you wish to pursue? Consulting offers you choices. You may find that your chosen field offers additional options, so consider how nuanced or broad you want your business to be. Think, as well, about your skill sets, how you want to harness the experience and knowledge that you have accumulated over the years. How might you apply them to a consulting business? Knowing what you want is beneficial, as it may give you solid foundations. After all, a crucial part of consulting is presentation, how best you can lay out proposals to prospective clients. This may be central to how confident you are in communicating core talking points, both about what you can deliver and understanding a client’s needs.
You may be undecided about how you want to harness your existing knowledge. In the meantime, you can still earn money while exploring what form you want your main home business to take. Freelancing gives you various options from writing to photography. Pet sitting, for instance, offers a lot of flexibility. There are plenty of websites catering for freelance pet sitters, allowing you to find clients at your discretion. You can set a schedule that suits other commitments, while you can also determine how much you charge clients. Being a pet sitter is all about choice. For instance, if you are most comfortable with smaller dogs or feel that your patience would allow senior canines to thrive in your presence, you can set your own preferences.
You know what you want to do, but turning that into a viable business requires some planning. You don’t have to create an elaborate scheme, however. At the very least, research what is legally required of you. What licenses are required? Are there zoning obligations? Then ask yourself what pricing structure you will be looking at. Do you want to set yourself a certain income threshold? As well, think about you will grow your business over time. Factor in how you will market yourself, both analogue and digitally. Social media may prove essential to securing clients, all the more so as you will be home-based. Branding, too, will be important, as knowing what identity and image you want your company to have can give your business a confident start.
Create a Work Environment
Productivity is key to growing any successful venture. Working from home sounds great until you find yourself contending with a myriad of distractions. You need to be able to disengage from anything that could disrupt your schedule. If you live with others, remind them that you are not available during work hours. Of course, there may still be distractions, so consider setting up an office to demarcate work and home life. This is a good way to replicate a professional working environment, allowing you to maximize your time and not lose any impetus. It also can let you switch “work mode” on and off, helping you stave off any burnout caused by being constantly on demand. Your efforts can be supplemented with business tools. They may help you organize your schedule, store your work, and even manage your social media. Whatever it is that you need, you are likely to find a tool for it and help your business in the long-term.
By creating a positive, focused work environment, preparing your goals and thinking outside of the norm, you may be well on your way to a successful home-based business. Don’t discount things like pet sitting, as they can be an excellent way to earn an income on your own terms. Know what you want and go get it today.
Amy Collett is the creator of Bizwell.org, a website that helps professionals and entrepreneurs build and strengthen their personal brand. When she isn’t helping clients boost their careers or businesses, she enjoys coaching her daughter’s soccer team and training to become a yoga instructor.
She is the author of the upcoming book, You, Exemplified: The Role of Personal Branding in Your Professional Life.
So, you’ve got a business. That’s fantastic. You’ve got something which you worked hard to build, juggling family life with everything else along the way. However, it’s not always a paradise.
In a lot of instances, you’ll find that business doesn’t move as quickly as you would like. This often is not your fault, but instead the industry you find yourself in. There are peak points of demand for any service, and then there are moments when it all goes wrong. We’re going to be taking a look at what you can do if you do find yourself in a moment where things aren’t going according to plan.
When you’re in an unfamiliar situation, it can seem like panic is going to set in at any moment. After all, you rely on a business to make money and keep your family looked after, so it’s almost expected that you would panic when the business is slowing down.
However, we advise that you don’t do that. Please, try not to allow feelings of fear and frustration overwhelm you. When people panic, they’re more likely to make snap decisions. While this can be useful in some situations, it isn’t going to help you as a business.
Identify Alternative And Temporary Work
When business is slow, we won’t argue that you shouldn’t sit around despairing. In a lot of instances, you need to find something which will provide you with a temporary source of income.
For example, people providing administrative services might find that writing letters for people online is a good supplement. Learning a new skill for yourself is never a bad thing when you consider the scale of the internet and just how easy it can be to make money on it. Not only have you found a source of work you can put down when business picks back up, but you also have a contingency plan for if business slows down again.
Promote Your Products In A Wider Location
If a business is slow, it might be because the places you’ve promoted in have had so many of your products or services that they just don’t need them right now. When this happens, it’s a case of making sure that you are taking the time to stop and promote in a brand new environment. Not only do you have the support of your existing audience, but you also have the much-needed testimonial from happy customers!
Overall, these are just a few of the different things that you can do as a parent entrepreneur for your business. While it’s not always easy to try and stay positive when business is slow, it’s vital that you try and keep a level head while you’re working to provide for a family. It can be scary when your business doesn’t provide for you, but it is not the end. There are other things that you can do to make sure that you have a good income stream, and it’s often a matter of taking the time to slow and down and focus.
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Tools & strategies for parents in business Expert workshops A supportive community of parent entrepreneurs Group support calls Business resources Accountability