Are you a mumpreneur with pre-school children – what do you do for childcare?
- Published on Saturday, 03 November 2012 10:00
- Last Updated on 02 November 2012
- Mary Cummings
- 4 Comments
I started my own business seven years ago when my second child was born and my eldest was four in part-time nursery. Although I was lucky enough to pin down work-from-home contracts as a Freelancer, working with pre-school children wasn’t plain sailing. And it is still a challenge now that I have a third child, who is coming up to four years old.
On the one hand, it’s great being able to work around the various school/nursery schedules. But on the other hand, I often feel as though I’m “fitting work in” and constantly juggling.
The ad hoc nature of my various freelance projects also means that I don’t want to pay for childcare when I don’t really need it. Childminders, au-pairs and of course wonderful grandparents, are a godsend as they can often help out a moment’s notice.
But suppose you don’t have reliable friends or family living locally and like many other mumpreneurs, find that you simply have to juggle the best way you can between you and your partner?
Here are some handy tips which you might find helpful:
1. If your little one is already in part-time nursery, does the nursery have capacity for extra ad hoc days at short notice? Some are able to provide this service, so it might just prove to be a life saver if an urgent project crops up.
2. If your little one is with a child-minder, cram your work into the time slots, or the days when your child is being looked after.
3. Similarly, if your child is at home with you full time, work around napping times. It is amazing how focused you can be when you know you ‘only’ have a one or two hour window at a time to complete something. The chances are you won’t keep stopping to check your emails or break off to catch up on Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest etc., but will simply catch up with your social networking at the end of the day – if you’re not too exhausted or at the weekend.
4. Many find that evenings when the little one is in bed, or at the weekend (especially Sunday evening) is a great opportunity to catch up in complete peace and quiet.
5. Don’t neglect your marketing. This might sound like a silly suggestion. After all, it doesn’t literally help with the problem of juggling around your preschoolers. However, often we are so busy getting on with bringing in the pounds and pennies that we forget (or don’t have time) to market our business. Yet getting your name out there is the only way you will get more customers. Try to put aside some time each week when you do nothing but marketing, whether it is updating your blog, scheduling your social media messages, or if you are a freelancer, pitching for work. Some writers pitch up to 20 article ideas at a time!
6. Be creative with how you obtain help for your business. Sometimes we struggle alone, when simply asking for help could free up some valuable time. If you are running your business on a budget, why not swap services with someone else? It’s a great way to connect with others, and it also means that you both see each others’ business grow.
Are you a mumpreneur with pre-school children? What tips would you add to this list?
Mary Cummings is a business woman, mentor, writer and mum of three, dedicated to helping aspiring parent ‘preneurs start and run their own successful businesses – whether it’s monetising a hobby or starting a business from scratch – her aim is to help them do it successfully and profitably.