Maternity ​leave for small business owners

Leave nothing to baby brain plan plan plan

Now obviously, I can only speak for myself, and every business and business owner has to make choices that suit them. My business is bricks and mortar which means, it’s not online, it’s trading 6 days a week, most of the year, with a staff of 10, and its appointment based, so really most of the year I’m switched on.. whether I’m in the salon or working from home. Selling a product versus selling service are such different industries. Selling service means you rely on people, people showing up, people working hard and people coming to avail of the service!

Christmas time is the longest time we close for 4 days and I love it every year!

Last pregnancy I worked right up to the weekend before I was due, and then I had about 4-6 weeks of baby time, where I didn’t go to the salon but was still doing whatever admin was needed etc from home. I was in a tricky situation with recruitment that summer so I kind of had to stay well plugged in, but things are going a lot smoother this year and I’m better prepared with a new manager in place and a great team so I’m really hoping to take a few months off. Saying that, I know I will be checking the emails and doing admin, you can’t avoid it unless you can pay extra staff to handle those things, sometimes it’s quicker and more efficient to do it yourself than train someone new. But again it depends on your business and the ad hoc nature of running a small business.

Now that I have a better idea of what having a newborn is like I am trying to prepare a bit of a cushion for my self work wise and get as much done as I can in advance, although it’s going really slowly as I am heavily pregnant and minding a toddler Mon – Fri and by the time evening comes and mu husband is home I am so tired and I don’t feel creative at all.

Heres what I’m doing… or trying to do !

Lets do this

Making a plan – Important dates – payday etc, arranging as much as I can before hand, making reminders on my calendar of what needs to be done and when to ensure nothing is delayed or missed.

Marketing – doing as much in advance as I can, up to the end of the year. Writing the blurbs, preparing the social media, preparing artwork if nessesary / Christmas stock and ideas. The struggle for me is preparing social media, as you need creativity for decent content and right now Im severly lacking.

Hiccups – Preparing for any unforeseen hiccups, such as issues with premises, HR, Sickness etc, expecting the unexpected and coming up with backup plans for the times I know I won’t be able to show up and cover. I’m definitely bringing my husband and manager in on this one, as there are things I may miss or overlook, and getting a second and third opinion is really helpful.

Emails – Preparing Monthly emails for the next 6 mths, and saving them as drafts, ready for just relevant details to be added in.

Policies – Checking insurance and all policies/ hosting / online settings etc concerning the business is up to date, with no overlap within the next while, as it’s the details and dates that all get blurred together when you’re exhausted from sleepless nights and feeding.

 

Communication wih the team – Making sure all holidays are covered, and that everyone is in the loop with my leave. What kind of contact is appropriate and who to go to when I’m not available.

Personal Prep

Ask for help – I’m definitely asking some of my closest family members to cook a few deep dishes of lasagne etc that I can freeze, so I won’t have to be worried about cooking and shopping all the time. Also asking who is available and when to be able to help out, even if it’s just one day a month and for a few hours, it will give me the feeling of relief and that I’m not alone and that I can do this! I’ll never forget my family helping me on certain days and cooking for me, but communicating is so important so if people offer help, take it – you need it, I need it!!!

Book Appointments for Mama

Making appointments just for Mama – As in think ahead to hair appointments, dental and doc check-ups, osteopath and gym dates! The list goes on.. get provisional dates in the diary, even reminders and you won’t regret it later.

That’s it I think. What about you? Can you think of any tips that could help me? Or have you been in this position before? Comment below.

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