Business 30 March 2020
Starting your own business can be exciting but also daunting, especially when you're a mother. But you can't let that stop you. As a matter of fact, you could use the skills you've learned managing your household in your business.
Moms do have some advantages in the business world, but a fair number of challenges as well. This is why you should know what you're getting into and be well prepared before you make the transition. Here are some of the things all mompreneurs should know before they start a business.
Don't Fall to Paralysis Analysis
Researching your market is an important part of any venture. However, you can't fall into paralysis analysis and wait until all the stars are in perfect alignment to start your business. It's ok to not know everything at first and still have to work on some things. Making mistakes is part of the process, so instead of trying to get everything right, focus on what's essential to get started first.
One thing you could do is build what is called a "lean plan" for your business. A lean plan will be an abbreviated version of your business plan and only focuses on the primary considerations. We also suggest that you look at a few business plan examples in your industry and get a sense of what you should think about when building yours.
Start Looking Into Insurance
Another thing you'll have to consider when starting a business as a mom is insurance. You want to be sure you'll be covered if something happens that threatens your business. When looking for business insurance, you want your coverage to be as extensive as possible without overreaching. You also have to find an insurer that will make things easier for you.
Insurers like The Hartford Insurance, for instance, offer different business insurance policies depending on your needs. Their business insurance will cover things like worker's compensation if one of your employees ends up being injured on the job. They will also offer coverage for things such as damage to a client's property or any injury caused by you or one of your employees. You can also add something like data breach insurance if you're dealing with e-commerce and want to avoid costly lawsuits that could eventually cost you your business.
Having the right coverage and the right insurer is of capital importance, so make sure that you start doing your research before you even think about launching your business.
Know Your Limits
Some people try to do everything themselves, and this is often a reflex for many mothers when they start a business. However, while you can run a huge company with only a handful of employees these days, you'll have to learn to delegate.
Not only will it allow you to keep more of your energy, but you'll get better results that way. Sure, you can always try to do your accounting yourself or build your own website. But you could just as easily make a fatal tax mistake that could get you in trouble or build an inefficient website that puts your clients' information at risk.
You also have to make sure that you have a reliable support system around you. There is no successful entrepreneur who made it alone. Surround yourself with the right mentors, look for resources, and make sure that your family and friends are in your corner.
Find Ways to Squeeze Work where You Can
As a mom, you will have to learn how to squeeze work during downtimes on the home front if you're working from home. This could mean getting stuff done during nap time. Or getting up earlier and taking care of important crucial tasks.
However, you also have to make sure that you leave time for yourself. If you try to be everything to everyone, you will end up spreading yourself too thin and start burning yourself out.
Learn how to Cut Out Distractions
Another challenge if you decide to work from home is cutting out distractions. We're not only speaking about the noise in the house. Working from home demands a lot more discipline than many imagine, especially if you're a chronic procrastinator.
One of the best things you could do is put the phone down during specific times. Make sure to put it on airplane mode and keep it out of sight. This also goes for when you're spending dedicated time with your kids. There are also productivity apps that will allow you to block individual sites for a specific time period.
So, if you feel like you need motivation and have a tendency to drift, use all the tools at your disposal. Also, consider working from a designated workspace outside the house if you don't have to take care of the kids during the day.
These are only some of the things that you'll need to know as a future mom entrepreneur. The best thing you could do is connect with other mothers who've made the jump. This way, you'll get a better idea of the road ahead, and get ready to adapt now.
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist