The mother load

It is possible to maintain and even grow your business when baby comes along. It is just a matter of strategy and careful planning.

Entrepreneurs know they need to grow their business, think of the potential and aim high, but if they are also mothers, they are being reminded that they are there for their baby and have to breastfeed, cuddle, provide their food, watch all the firsts, give them tummy time, read to them, sing with them…

There is no possible way you can achieve both things without support, or without putting off until later what you can – and that does not include your baby’s development.

You can choose to either put your business in maintenance mode or continue to grow it. Maintenance mode will work only if your business is already developed. Think of it as pressing the “pause” button for the first six months of your baby’s life. In the meantime, here are some tasks that will help you maintain your business…

  • Before baby is born, create marketing content (such as blog posts and graphics) to tide you over for a few months, and schedule their release.
  • After baby is born, answer emails, Facebook messages and other forms of communication.
  • Send out a couple of newsletters.
  • Update your social media a couple of times (just automate it).

“You can choose to either put your business in maintenance mode or continue to grow it.”

  • Refresh your website and all your social media.
  • Look at your accounts — assess each service or product, examining what is making money and what is not.
  • Complete any legacy work from before baby was born — perhaps you have outstanding orders or client work still to complete? — and limit new tasks or projects.
  • Revisit your business plan and re-define your core business.
  • Plan a re-launch of your business for six months after your baby is born.

A growth-mode strategy will depend on whether you have a start-up or an established business. It will also depend on the funds you have available to invest. Here are my three top tips for implementing growth mode after the baby’s birth.

1. Work out how much time you will have available for the business, then commit to using that time well. You could reduce your workload by employing people, but realise that just managing them will probably take up much of the time you have available.

2. Surround yourself with the right people, in terms of business support. You need people who are both clever in their area of expertise and also understand your business They need to understand how you will measure their success, and you need to give them enough space to do their job. You don’t need to employ people directly; you may consider bringing in a consultant or a VA to help you.

3. Develop the business. Always think big picture. If this strategy is going to work for you, then you need to ensure your limited time is spent working on – and not in – the business.

Whichever strategy you believe will work for you, you need to ensure it will give you more time to be with your baby. If you can position your business so you are controlling it, rather than it controlling you, then you are closer to achieving balance in your life.

Rachel Allan, Marketing consultant, author of “When Business Meets Baby”