Summer holidays can be a tricky time for parents who run their businesses. Some choose to wind down their business over the summer, but for those who want to keep growing, how do we find the time?
We’ve spoken with several successful parent-preneurs to bring you our 8 steps to an enjoyable and stress-free summer.
1) Ditch the guilt
OK, so you will be away from your kids for some of the time. However, when you are with them, you’ll be able to be fully present, safe in the knowledge that you are doing what you can for your business and so don’t need to have one eye on your emails at the park.
2) Manage your expectations
If you’ve started your own business, it can be tough to put restrictions on growth. However, you have to be practical and realistic. The good news is that it’s only for the summer, and if you find some time to take a break, spend time with the kids, as well as putting a few hours in where you can, you’ll feel refreshed enough come September to hit the ground running. Even non-parents are in summer mode, so remember to give yourselves a break!
Prepare the business
3) Summer plan
What do you want to achieve during the summer? While July may still be an active commercial month, August is a great time to plan for the rest of the year. Split your time between operational and commercial activities in July and strategy and planning in August. And the great thing about strategy and planning is that it can be done post-8pm when the kids are in bed…
4) Do you need cover? Get a business babysitter
Is there someone who can pick up some tasks that you would usually do yourself? If you are on your own, how about hiring an intern to fulfil orders, email customers and schedule your social media posts. Interns are often looking for work over the summer (try Internwise).
Or do you have some data requirements? Go to Upwork and find cost-effective outsourced freelancers all over the world who can complete tasks such as moving data into spreadsheets or adding emails to your email service provider, etc.
A word of caution: interns and outsourced data analysts are a fantastic resource but they will need very detailed instruction. Make sure you send them a detailed scope of each task, and have a conversation with them to ensure they understand exactly what is expected of them. You will also need to review their work, at least initially.
5) Virtual meetings
There’s nothing wrong with taking the odd meeting when you’re away, just do it virtually. These days it’s not frowned upon at all and the tools to do it with, e.g. Skype, Google Hangouts, etc., are really super easy.
Prepare the family: Get help
As the long stretch of summer beckons, don’t leave it all to the last minute.
There are plenty of holiday camps and workshops to keep your little ones entertained. Go to Bubele and search for camps in your area. There are some on the app too (search Bubele in the Apple app store, or click here – just remember to filter to “Later”). Or contact us on [email protected] and we’ll send you a personalised list of camps in your area.
Kids often settle much better in camps if there are people they know there. All parents are in the same boat over the summer so find a camp and share the intel with other parents.
Grandparents, aunts and uncles. Enlist them all. You can always return the favour at some point.
8) Take them along
If you have very little ones, why not take advantage of the burgeoning trend for workspaces with crèches. They’re perfect if you need to get a couple of hours’ work done. Our friends at Playpen have created this handy list of Crèche workspaces across the country.
Ouf! So here you are, you’ve made it and you are all prepared. Now all you need to do is enjoy the beautiful weather and make the most out of your business and your family this summer.