One of the biggest hurdles moms face when starting a new business is how to manage the home, the kids, and a job! It can be done, and many of these moms will actually even find the time to pursue their hobbies and interest as well.
First things first, if you are going to start a business, especially a home business, you need to regard yourself as a business woman. If you don’t, I promise you no one else will! I know a lot of work at home websites talk about the perks of working at home including the ability to work in your PJ’s, but I highly suggest you make sure you dress for work every morning. This doesn’t mean you need to have your suit and heels on, just casual dress, maybe a little makeup…enough to give you that “I’m ready to tackle my day” mentality! I just can’t start the day without a shower, a cup of tea, and some decent street clothes. If a client came through the door would you be appropriately dressed?
Make sure you explain to your family that you have started a business, and don’t sell yourself short. Act like a business woman, think like a business woman, and people will treat you like a business woman. One of the major morale problems women who work at home have is that they are not taken seriously. Show yourself and everyone else that you are indeed serious!
Get Your House in Order to Succeed in Business
Secondly, in order to work at home with a houseful of kids, hungry, noisy kids, and the washing machine beeping at you, you need to get organised. Start small, and you will soon realise how much smoother your household runs with just a little planning.
Make Sunday evening (or Friday for the next week) your day to set aside an hour to get yourself prepared for the week ahead. Print out a weekly calendar from your computer every Sunday, or pick up a daily planner. Make sure you have room to list both work items, and also home and family issues you need to attend to. Also make sure you have a weekly menu, cleaning schedule, and shopping/errand list on your fridge, or in another easily accessed spot.
Don’t forget to leave time for yourself, and to spend with the family! (After all, what good will your business success be if you feel like you’ve neglected the most important thing in your life!)
Keep Your Expectations in Perspective
Realise that it is NOT going to run perfectly. Ever! If you can accept that now, then you will realise that placing unrealistic expectations on yourself will just cause you stress and anxiety, and that is not what success is all about. It’s about balance. And every once in a while, no matter how much is on your day planner, pack those kids in the car with some sandwiches, head for the nearest mall, Wimpy or Ster-Kinekor, and spend your day with the little ones.
Planning for Success
Everyone knows the saying that there are only two things of which we are certain in life:
“In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.”
History tells us that this saying originates more than 220 years ago. American-born Benjamin Franklin was a statesman, scientist, and writer who frequently corresponded with the prominent international figures of his time.
In 1789, at the age of 83, Franklin was still corresponding with Jean Baptiste Leroy, a French physicist and writer. Many of Franklin’s personal letters contained simple maxims – the kind found in his Poor Richard’s Almanac – and they prove that his wit and wisdom were not impaired by age.
Now, long after his death, I believe it is sensible to add a third aspect of which we can be certain in life… business plans. Whether you are starting a new business and require funding for your business venture or whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur that is seeking capital to grow your business, one thing is certain, any potential investor will require a business plan from you. So, with this realisation that you can’t cheat death, taxes or business plans, the question beckons, “How do you choose a business plan consultant/writer in South Africa?”
You may need to interview a number of different business plan consultants prior to making a decision of who to work with. In Gauteng alone there are a handful of reputable business plan consultancies and a considerable number of other firms that merely offer a generic/template/software-generated business plan service with no guidance, support, strategic advice or consultation.
Need further information and guidance? You are welcome to contact me on +27 79 300 8984 and I will be more than happy to help wherever I can!
Good luck with your ideas and new business venture!