How women entrepreneurs can balance business with family lifeSylvia Smith
Women entrepreneurs are no strangers to motivation, deadlines and goal setting. Being on the ball enough to get things done in business is no mean feat. For many female entrepreneurs however, finding a good balance between business and family life can be a real challenge. Entrepreneurship takes hard work and many hours of input, which can put demands on family life.
A recent study by Business Link in the UK found that for many respondents, the interaction between the business and family lives of women entrepreneurs was a positive one (source: http://www.childalert.co.uk/article.php?articles_id=351). Being a business woman can give you more time with your family – but it does take careful planning.
For some female entrepreneurs, striking the balance between work and family is difficult. Let’s take a look at how work and family interact for women in business, and what you can do to nurture a good family life while still finding success in your business.
Time Management Is Key For Women Entrepreneurs
Time management is important in any business, and never more so than for female entrepreneurs. Whether you work from home or have your own business premises, you only have a finite number of hours in the day before you need to refocus on your family.
Making the most of those hours is key to success as a female entrepreneur. Get into the habit of planning ahead at all times, and picking out the most vital tasks so you can focus your energy on those.
Having set time for email, client calls or admin can help. Give regular tasks their own time slot and stick to it so they don’t spill over into your home life.
If you want a good work life balance, remember to schedule family time too! Setting boundaries around your working time so you have free time that is just for your family will help you achieve a good balance and give you the bonding time you and your family need.
Technology Can Be A Real Boon
Technology makes life much easier for women entrepreneurs. The infrastructure is there now to allow most entrepreneurs to work from home at least some of the time. Remote working means businesswomen can be flexible with their hours. You can take time to go to an appointment or stay home when your kid is sick or the babysitter canceled, without losing the ability to work.
The flip side of course is that technology makes it all too easy for work to impinge on your family life. Being always available can quickly spiral into business calls during dinner, or not being fully engaged with your children because you’ve got one eye on your social media profiles.
Technology is a boon for female entrepreneurs, but do be mindful and use it in a way that supports, rather than damages, your work-life balance.
The Right Team Makes A Difference
Any entrepreneur knows that the right team makes all the difference to your business. Building a strong team is key to your success, or not.
For women entrepreneurs, the right team can also make a big difference to the interaction between their business and family life. A reliable group of trusted employees means you can hand over the reins for a day or an hour and trust that everything will still be running smoothly when you get back.
A strong team means you can delegate more effectively and focus only on the key tasks that need your input as a business owner. That means less time spent on tasks such as admin or customer support, and more time to spend with your family.
When choosing your team, think carefully about which tasks you want them to take on. Build a team whose strengths complement your own so you can work more effectively and be more flexible when it comes to family time.
Women Entrepreneurs Face Specific Challenges
Women entrepreneurs face their own challenges that their male counterparts don’t. For example, if you’ve recently had a baby and are still breastfeeding or need to pump milk, it’s important that your business life allows for that.
Women often take on a lot of responsibility when it comes to child care or attending school or hospital appointments. Female entrepreneurs have an advantage: Because you’re the boss, you can build your business in a way that suits your needs.
Finding the right balance between work and home life is a challenge for any busy parent. Being an entrepreneur can actually support and promote a better work life balance. That means a more fulfilled you and a happier family life.