In 2023, around one-third of UK adults hope to start up their own businesses. With costs rising faster than pay increases, and many companies asking those working from home to come back into the office, going it alone has never been so appealing! But, if you’ve got a family, you might be worried about the balancing act of being a CEO and a parent. Can you really do - and have - it all? Balancing a new business and family life can be challenging, but with resources like LLCBuddy, you can easily manage your company's legal aspects, giving you more time with your children.
With hard work and the right advice, having children doesn’t have to limit your business-building potential. To ensure you get off to the right start, we’ve put together some top tips to make starting a company with children a whole lot easier.
Is a Schedule Right For You?
One of the joys of creating your own business is that nobody tells you when you have to work. But, it’s a good idea to figure out early on whether you’d benefit from a routine or not.
A strict schedule ensures that you put in the hours you need to, and helps everybody in your family understand when you are and aren’t available.
But, if you want to become a business owner so that you can spend more time with your kids, a flexible routine might be the best option. Rather than working set hours every day, you can fit your work around your family life. Respond to emails whilst your child takes a nap, build your website when your partner’s looking after them, and take your Zoom calls after bedtime!
There’s no right or wrong answer here, and you can adjust your choices as you go. The main thing is to work out what’s best for you right now so that you have some structure to build on.
Create an Office Space
Note that we’re talking about an office space, here, not an entire home office. Just because you don’t have a spare room to kit out with a desk and computer doesn’t mean you have to work from your sofa.
Even in homes where space is at a premium, you can create smart, small office spaces. A desk in the hallway is still better than no desk at all! When you’re in your ‘office’, make sure your little ones understand that it’s work time, and you’re only to be disturbed in emergencies.
Get Your Priority Tasks Done First
A full day of uninterrupted work when you have children at home isn’t always going to happen. That’s why it’s vital you get your priority tasks done first thing before any emergencies or distractions can intervene. At the start of each day, work out which items on your to-do list are most vital, and get them done.
Once they’re out of the way, you have some room to breathe. Now start your process on the less vital tasks, and if your children need you more than work does, you can turn off the laptop without feeling guilty.
Invest in Useful Technology
Technology has countless benefits for business owners, from speeding up basic processes to helping avoid distraction. As a parent, every second counts. With that in mind, we recommend checking out products that can improve your productivity and efficiency.
For example, a focus app on your phone can help you switch off from social media distractions, whilst smart planning software can aid in mapping out your days, weeks, and months. Additionally, investing in digital marketing agency allows you to tap into a vast online audience, targeting specific demographics and reaching potential customers around the clock. Contactless card payments make for speedier customer transactions, and email automation software can drastically reduce the time you spend on marketing.
Though on their own, these tech investments may only shave off a few minutes a day, an eco-system of smart software can quickly cut hours out of your work week! That equates to more time to spend with your family, and who can put a price on that?
Take Advantage of Childcare
If you think that because you’re building a business at home means you can take care of your little ones 24/7, it’s time to shake up your mindset!
Working from home doesn’t automatically make you free for full-time care. You need time away from your children to ensure focus and productivity, which is where childcare comes in.
Don’t be scared to ask for help from family and friends. If you know you have an important meeting, call on your loved ones for last-minute babysitting. There’s nothing wrong with sending your children to nursery, either. Even if you’re working from home to spend more time with your babies, two or three days of being able to focus entirely on your business isn’t a bad idea.
Set Up Snack and Drink Stations
One of the most frequently asked questions from little ones is undoubtedly ‘can I have a snack?’. To prevent this from getting in your way, set up a snack station that you prep the night before.
This could be a shelf in your kitchen or even a drawer in your desk, with sliced cucumber, boxes of raisins, and other healthy treats to keep your little ones happy. Trust us, this little hack could boost your productivity tenfold! Not having to leave your desk to prep food every hour is a lifesaver.
Organise Entertainment For Your Children
If your children are having a day at home, plan some independent activities for them. These don’t have to last all day but can give you the odd half an hour you need to get tasks done. Some ideas to keep your little ones busy include:
* Digital literacy games
* Online fitness/dance videos
* Activity books
* DIY scavenger hunts
Be Kind to Yourself
Creating a business when you have children isn’t going to be a straightforward journey. So, be kind to yourself.
You’re going to have unscheduled days off when your child is sick or have to rearrange meetings to work around school plays and snow days. You may also have days when productivity hits an all-time low because your little ones are playing up. Don’t beat yourself up when this happens!
Remember that not everything is going to be under your control. Part of having children is being open to unpredictability, and that needs to translate into your business, too. When it feels like you’re fighting a losing battle, remind yourself of the reasons why you decided to do this in the first place.
As a parent, being your own boss comes with countless benefits. A flexible work schedule, carrying out tasks at home, and the potential for a higher income are all huge reasons to take the plunge! Hopefully, this article has given you the confidence to take a chance on yourself, and the advice you need to balance babies and business.