One baby is up and running (your business!) and now there’s a real baby on the way. How can you make sure things are in order before your little one arrives?
I haven’t really made a huge song and dance about it, but some of you may be aware that I am expecting my first baby – in June! It’s really not that far away, so, it’s time to get organised. Not having children already, I really don’t know what to expect. I do know that as a soloist, I don’t have the luxury of six months off work on maternity leave. This article will outline what I am doing to get the business, and myself, as ready as possible. I welcome all advice from those that have “been there and done that”! I also plan on writing a follow-up article to this one, once the baby is here – to see how well my organisation has paid off.
1. Outsource, outsource, outsource
As a soloist, with a relatively new business, I have done pretty much everything myself up until now. I am now beginning to outsource tasks that really don’t need my attention. This will free up time, and hopefully reduce some stress once baby arrives. For me, this means that I have contracted a bookkeeper to deal with the accounts. I am looking at options to outsource admin tasks as well. I’ll also be outsourcing any advertising/business marketing projects from now on as they come up.
2. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Communication with my clients, suppliers and contacts will be critical in ensuring things go smoothly. Obviously, even if a six-month break is not possible, I will want to take some time off (surely five or 10 minutes isn’t too much to ask for?!). Hopefully, by the time this is published I will have proven my organisational skills and will have sent the first communication to my contacts, informing them of this ‘news’ and how I plan to handle work.
My plan is to stop taking on new work a couple of weeks prior to baby being due, and for a few weeks after baby arrives; I will ask clients with deadlines in the month of June, where possible, to provide their instructions in May (or, even earlier in some cases). For those that simply cannot proceed earlier, and therefore urgently require work throughout June, I will have another consultant working with me during that time to help handle urgent matters.
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3. Organise, Organise, Organise
I pride myself on being an organised person. Most people that know me would tell you that I am organised, and this allows me to be prompt and efficient in most things I take on. I don’t see why having a baby whilst running my business should be any different. The more organised I can be, in terms of work that needs to be done in my absence, or things that need to be set up around the house, surely the easier it will be? Being a list maker may finally have found its place!
The biggest tip I’ve receive so far – and from a few people – is to simply remember that I don’t have to do everything myself. It’s okay to outsource work tasks. It’s okay to ask for help at home. It’s okay to take a nap if my body screams at me that it needs one!
Now, over to you – how did you prepare your business in the lead up to having a baby?