Moms face an additional set of challenges when building a business. Yes, dads run businesses too, but the fact remains that moms are still more likely to take on the responsibility of childcare, and this is of course exacerbated by the growing number of single moms who run their own businesses.
What if you have to drop everything to pick up a sick child from school? What if a client calls while you are at a Christmas play? How are you doing during the semester?
Most moms recognize these concerns, and the potential stress can even delay starting a business, but there are services that can help.
Claire Marshall has firsthand experience of balancing business, kids and home and has spoken to hundreds of other moms in similar situations.
Claire is the Managing Director Office Answers, Virtual Admin Servicewhich she created with her husband in 2004 when her children were 6 and 4 years old. “I used to only have three hours each morning while they were in kindergarten and school, so the real juggling was in the afternoon,” says Claire, “it gets a little easier as you get older, but afternoons and school holidays are still remain a problem.”
Claire realized that the porter team was perfect for helping working moms, especially those who work from home. This has become a key niche for Office Answers and Claire has spoken to many business moms over the years and helped them start and grow their businesses.
A typical user is Alison Kadinush, a mother of three who worked as a physiotherapist in a polyclinic but wanted to open her own practice. She has converted her garage into a private treatment room and enjoys the services of a receptionist, especially during school hours. “I felt like I was losing potential patients because I can’t always answer the phone in person,” Alison explains. “Patients want the confidence to talk to a person right away, not leave a message on an answering machine.”
Alison can schedule school every day, but sometimes childcare creates unexpected challenges, so you need a support network to help keep the business running.
Claire received a typical request from Jo Wood, who runs the Training and Testing Services business with her husband and runs safety courses. It’s a busy and growing company, but as Jo said, “I have sick kids and one of my co-workers is on vacation so motherhood and running a business this week is a little tricky! Can admins tell callers that we will contact them as soon as someone is available, but there may be a slight delay. Also, if it’s possible to get an email address, I can at least send them an email.”
Starting your business from home provides more flexibility for childcare and avoids the cost of renting an office, but there are downsides. Besides having kids at home, another issue is that few have room to hire others as the business starts to grow. One approach is to create a network of virtual services. An example is the virtual assistant service from Office Answers, and if you need an assistant, consider a virtual assistant. Millie Rast Clark has two young children and used her experience as an executive assistant to start her own virtual assistant business, Miracle Millie. “I help small businesses free up time to grow their business by taking on all types of business administration such as journaling, social media, travel arrangements, event planning, etc.,” Millie says, “and being the mother of a young family , I fully understand the requirements of combining business with caring for children.”
Starting and running a business as a mom with young children is challenging, but there are services that understand your concerns and help you grow your business.
This post is sponsored by Office Answers.