Running a business from your home sounds like the dream, but it can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t have some structure in place for both your work and family life. Founder of Little Pegz, Kiera King, shares the six rules she adheres to in order to keep her home-based business running smoothly.
I run a tight ship – you have to when you are building a product-based business from your lounge room.
With three children, especially little ones under five, it is important to have your proverbial s#&t together, otherwise chaos rules.
My business, Little Pegz, is only a year old; it is still a business baby. So am I. There is so much I learn every day about not only running my business, but how to keep my family happy and connected when so much of my time is spent marketing, building relationships and selling my products.
At this stage of my business, I do not have the cash flow to buy a large warehouse so you will often find me climbing over boxes in my very stuffed garage. While it’s not ideal, it is better than having to navigate the boxes in the living room.
6 rules that keep me sane while running my home-based business
Kiera King, founder of Little Pegz – educational toys for kids
There are few hard and fast rules I live by running a home-based business. These rules are vital for the entire household’s sanity, otherwise we would be living in something that looks like a disorganised tip.
1. Clean up as you go
While it is tempting after a big day to flop on the couch and tune into MAFS, I make sure the common living areas are clean and tidy, ready for the next day.
I have set up our lounge room/my office to be minimalistic. This means tidying up is not a big job because there is not a lot to put back into place. The kids keep their toys in their rooms and are responsible for putting away their belongings.
2. Sharing the journey
My kids are used to seeing my phone attached to my ear as I deal with suppliers, customers and retailers. I think it is important they see the journey and know that the things that make their life comfortable come from hard work and innovation.
My kids see me in action every day in my home-based business and I hope to inspire their entrepreneurial juices as they get older.
3. Switching off
I am an energiser bunny; I am go, go, go, so sometimes it is hard for me to switch off. But switching off is important for my mental health and for my family relationships. The good thing is I am not a highly techie person so I can turn my computer off and walk away. Instagram is another thing.
While it would be nice to have an office space, at this stage of my kids’ lives it is nice to be home when they get home from school and daycare.
4. Train the family
The other side to running a business from home is that work life does clash with family life, so there has to be rules.
It is important to train the family on when you do need space to get things done. Sometimes if there is a customer issue, I have to jump on the phone and the kids have learned (most of the time) that if I am on the phone that they are to leave mum alone.
5. Share the mental load
Sometimes it is not always easy for a partner to understand the load you carry as an entrepreneur, especially if your partner has a job with a start and finish time. Anyone who is an entrepreneur knows this isn’t always possible, so having conversations about what is happening in business is important so your partner can understand what is going on for you.
I have a friend whose partner thinks she is just laying around watching daytime TV and wonders why the house is not cleaned top to bottom every day. This is where communication rules – sharing your day and challenges helps everyone in the house understand that what you are doing has value.
6. Remember your why
Juggling family and a home-based business is not always easy and there are days when I want to hide under the covers and pretend I am on an island.
But I go back to why I started my business – to help my child develop her motor skills with the peg boards I created.
Whenever I feel like it is all too much I hold onto my purpose.
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