The kids are screaming, you’ve got a new client on the phone, and deadlines are hovering over you; sometimes it may feel as if that manageable balance between work and home life is not only elusive, but completely unattainable.
One entrepreneur who knows what that’s like is Kathryn Bechthold, mother of two. Several years ago, she started Mompreneur Magazine with zero magazine experience, and it succeeded, despite many trials. Bechthold maintains that it is possible to succeed in your business and maintain a balance with your home life, with some determination and a little guidance from women who have been there before you.
Some of her business tips, discussed in more detail in her book The Entrepreneurial Mom’s Guide to Running Your Own Business (which also features other entrepreneurial moms’ tips) include:
Build your dream team: First things first, you need to secure excellent child care so you can focus on the business while you’re away from the kids. Next, It is often said that you should surround yourself with people who are better than you at what they do, and they will help you succeed. Consider this when hiring your computer tech, banker/loan officer, accountant or bookkeeper, lawyer, and anyone else you need to hire. Aim high when making community and media connections. Never shortchange your own team.
Strategize your time: Organization is key! Use a day planner or calendar on your phone. Keep business cards and your address book up-to-date. Delegate responsibility when possible or necessary (get your assistant to mail those letters so you can focus on more high-level activities). It is also important to learn to tune into your body; it will tell you what it needs, and sometimes, what it needs is for you to turn off the phone, log off the computer, and spend some time with your family.
Plan, plan, plan! And then follow through: Spend the time to put together a proper business plan. Make marketing and sales plans, too. Consider all the details: budgets and financial plans, SWOT analyis, strategic alliances, PR campaigns, your mission, vision, and values statements … and review and modify these on a regular basis. Returning to your original plans, celebrating successes, clarifying goals, and modifying what isn’t working will help keep you on your path to success.
Eileen Velthuis is managing editor at North Vancouver’s Self-Counsel Press, a do-it-yourself legal and business publishing house. She has written many articles for magazines and newspapers, and is the author of How to Throw the Ultimate Divorce Party, to be released summer 2012.