Start: Balancing Business and Parenting
Learn the Secrets of Work/Life Balance
Are you thinking about starting a business? For many people, one reason to start a business is because they want to spend more time with their children and think entrepreneurship is a way to accomplish this.
Sure, owning your own business could be a means to spending more time with your children. But it can also eat up more of your time than you ever thought possible—leaving you scrambling to find a spare moment for your kids. To ensure your business does the former and not the latter, take time to consider these factors before you start.
- What kind of business are you starting? Certain industries are labor-intense. If you are thinking of an industry that is known for grueling hours and 24/7 dedication, reconsider whether this can meet your personal goals.
- Where will you be working? For many moms, a home-based business is the solution to their problems. But just because you’ll be at home doesn’t mean you don’t need child care. If your children are not yet school age, you will need child care for some part of each day so you have time to work uninterruptedly, make calls to clients or meet with customers.
- How big (or small) are your goals? For many mothers of young children, a part-time business is the most realistic way to meet their needs for both entrepreneurial challenges and family time. Starting part-time can let you test the waters of your idea and see if it has potential to get bigger when your children start school and you have more time to devote to the company.
- Does your family support your business? The support of your spouse will be essential to making this balancing act work. If your children are old enough to voice an opinion, ask for it. Realistically assess the benefits and challenges your planned business will bring to the family and figure out ways to deal with any problems you foresee.
- How can you involve your children in the business? Seeing a parent successfully run and grow a company is a huge lesson for children. Get them involved in the business in some way, whether it’s stuffing envelopes or helping you sort files, or just letting them listen in while you talk shop to your spouse. Watching entrepreneurship in action could inspire your children to start their own businesses one day.
Need more help with startup issues like how to balance family and business or how to streamline your time management? SCORE has lots of startup resources to assist you.