A family affair: Involving kids in your work
Many a solo business has started up after a parent has found the rigid 9-5 work life does not suit the role of parenting. I’ve found a symbiotic relationship can develop between a parent and a child within the framework of these businesses.
Here are some ideas for involving kids in your work.
Children provide rich and varied opportunities for you to meet fellow parents and carers; basketball, netball, dancing classes, playgroups and art classes. You never know who you might meet at the sand box: your next sales opportunity, a technical resource, an SEO expert, even a potential investor. All while your kids eat sand and make mud pies.
Children can be taught some of the simple administrative tasks such as label making, designing Christmas cards, simple data entry, stamps on envelopes, opening envelopes, putting files in alphabetical order or purchasing stationary. I love my smiggles electric sharpener that my daughter introduced me to. An older child can also be taught to answer the phone and take messages in a reasonably professional manner.
"Children provide rich and varied opportunities for you to meet fellow parents and carers; basketball, netball, dancing classes, playgroups and art classes. "
Your children can keep you abreast of the latest technology and trends if you let them. They can also provide a sounding board, if you have a problem, ask a child for some uncomplicated and refreshing advice “Why don’t you just do it this way” or “Mummy if you are worried in the meeting, wiggle your toes where they can not see them.” Priceless advice!
Promote that you are family friendly. Prospective clients have called and asked if it would be okay if they breastfeed in front of me. Of course that is not for everyone, but I see it as an advantage, something working in my favour: I am family friendly and I don’t necessarily want to work for anti-family friendly clientele.
Allowing your child to be exposed to your small business is immensely beneficial for them; it is educational, it may provide them with some pocket money and allows them to see you, the parent, in a different light. As parents we are tired, we are juggling, and we lack the valuable commodity of time. It is encouraging to realise that in many ways our children can be a positive resource for our business if we let them.
Do you involve your children in your business? Have you found involving kids in your work to be beneficial?