I’ve juggled a few things in my life and juggling four wonderful children and a business - a niche one at that - takes some skill.
Firstly, building expertise in a niche field can be a blessing or a curse. A curse because you need to rack up years of experience in the field before you can even think about your individual business, but a blessing once you make it because you can spend your working hours doing something you love.
Secondly, as a mum, I need to ensure time spent on my business is time well spent. I can’t afford to miss out on time with my kids because I have procrastinated or focused on something unnecessary.
Here are my top five tips for starting and running a successful business while juggling other priorities.
1. Be passionate
Running a business is not always glamorous but if you love what you do, it will rarely feel like work. This requires passion for not just your business, but also your clients and your industry.
As the creative director of Silk Staging, a successful property styling business, as well as being the principal of an educational institute for the industry, I am always looking for ways to advance not only my business but also the industry.
2. Be diligent
Due diligence is about more than accounting practices and tax returns. Be sure to research your industry thoroughly and get to know both the industry leaders and your competition. This makes it easier for you to find and promote your point of difference and it will also help you save time down the line when it comes to refining your proposition.
3. Create a network
You cannot be an expert at everything, so establish a network of experts to help you focus on the things you are good at. I’ve found that delegating certain tasks or decisions to the experts gives me the time to do what I am best at—being creative!
Additionally, surround yourself with a network of people who support you. I find that the journey is even more rewarding when I am able to share it with those who believe in me.
4. Be flexible
One of the key reasons people, particularly parents, start their own business is for better flexibility compared to conventional roles, but many business owners forget this when they are in the thick of it. Make sure flexibility is part of your business plan.
As a working mum my job has to be flexible to make sure that I get the best of both worlds: a fulfilling career that I love, and quality family time.
5. Think big
You may be a small business now, but you need to think like the big business you want to be. Establish and record all the processes and procedures in your day-to-day business so that when you expand and need to take on staff, training and communicating how the company runs is a much easier task.
Even if you don’t plan on becoming big, it’s good to have an idea of how your systems work because you may decide to outsource certain tasks in order to do more of what you love.
What’s your favourite juggling tip?