Top tips for parent entrepreneurs and parent freelancers
There is something quite magical that comes with the freedom of running your own business. As a parent, it offers another level of convenience that you cannot get when you work for someone else. However, if you are not organised and create yourself some rules you can feel like all you do is work and throw your children at nurseries and relatives, so how do you create a balance? Here are some great tips for parent entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Balancing is a Skill
What you have to remember is that while you may be at home while you work, you are neither a full-time worker or a full-time parent. In order to make this situation work, you are going to have to learn to balance the two. Whether that is grabbing an hour of work while your baby sleeps, or whether realistically you need to have a couple of half days childcare scheduled, finding the pattern that works for you is paramount. Some parent entrepreneurs make it look so easy, their darling little one plays happily on the floor by their desk for hours, while your darlings seem to have one volume and leave you wanting to tear your hair out. It is about finding the balance that works for you.
There is a myriad of apps that help with organisation, from to do lists to full-on task management software. Many offer a free trial period or cut down version so have a look before spending any money and see what works for you. We are fans of Trello and Todoist, both of which are mobile, so work not only on your home based computer but on your phone and tablet too. This means you can stay organised on the go and never miss a trick. Be realising with your time scheduling; there is no point in trying to schedule a meeting for dinner time if the family need you to be in parent mode then.
Clients are just people, and the chances are many of them have families of their own. If you are expecting a new arrival make clients aware of this happy event as it may impact your ability to meet deadlines. Most people respect honesty and will have no problem waiting a little bit for work, especially if you are laying in a hospital bed having given birth or at home looking after the older children while your partner is delivering the new arrival. It is easier for people to feel positive about a delay if they can understand the proper reason behind it. Struggling stoically onwards while missing deadlines left right and centre is not suitable for your business reputation. Clear communication is the key to making sure you maintain a great relationship with your clients. Many parents often state from the start that they will not be at their desk during school run times, but can offer work after the kids are in bed for an hour or so. This flexibility is often what swings a contract for many people.