It’s coming up to my 2 year anniversary this month. 2 years since the office gathered around to farewell me, and I, heavily pregnant and exhausted, vowed to return in 9 months time to my Brand Manager role at Pacific Brands.
Inside there was a lot of doubt. I had watched co workers have children and return to full time hours, the up keep of interstate and international travel and the expectation to attend out of hours events at a minutes’ notice. With this, I had seen first birthdays missed, sick children passed between carers and tears… lots of tears.
So 6 months after having my first child, I started to toe the water and see if I could create a viable business and not return to a full time job. Now 18 months (and another child) later, I happily run Wise Up Marketing Solutions from an office / toy room in my home, working varied hours across day, night and weekends to suit my family.
I juggle a business with a toddler and a baby and people always ask “How do you do it?” These are my 5 secrets:
1. Start early and get organised
By 8.30am, we are all up, have had breakfast and I am showered and dressed. While my son finishes breakfast I cover off emails and schedule in the jobs that have popped up overnight amongst the work planned for the day.
2. Invest in a smart phone
I have an iPhone I use it for email, social media, wordpress, mailchimp and more. I can monitor, respond and action work on the go. It doubles as a great distraction tool for my toddler with loads of kid’s music and apps on there too.
3. Be upfront with clients
My clients know that generally I only make and take calls between 11am and 1pm, when everyone is asleep. Outside of those times its voicemail and I call back when I can. I have communicated that emails will always be answered on the same day and I give notice on the days when things go pear shaped.
4. Maintain human contact
Networking face to face can renew your commitment and make you feel like a proper businesswoman again. Once a month I meet with a fabulous bunch of business mums, to brainstorm and business build, it’s also important to hear how everyone else is juggling their work and family.
5. Be prepared to throw your plans out the window
Some days, the best laid plans get overtaken by tummy bugs or fantastic weather outside. Always set deadlines that are generous, it removes the pressure from each day.
Juggling a business with children is certainly a challenge, buts it’s a rewarding one. You need to be a strong multi tasker, be flexible and willing to compromise. And some days you just need to put on your out of office and completely enjoy your little ones, because, you can.
Mary-Anne Amies heads up Wise Up Marketing Solutions, bringing over 12 years of “big brand” marketing experience to small business owners. Mary-Anne is passionate about providing practical, affordable and easy to implement advice to help small business grow.