I think the answer to this question is yes AND no. Let me explain …
There’s a bit of a myth about work / life balance because you only have 24 hours in a day. We all need to sleep, eat and rest, as well as actually working to earn money … never mind everything involved with looking after the family and house as well!
With all these different personal and business commitments, we can soon get lost in the day to day rush of being a mum and now you’re wanting to add in your business as well.
But this is where it is possible to balance the business as you can really create a family friendly business – this is where boundaries become really important to you.
We have to be clear about what we want and what we can do to achieve it but there are some simple things that we can do just to make our lives a lot easier. One of the main reasons that people don’t necessarily get this right, even some of the most successful mumpreneurs and business owners, is setting effective boundaries.
You will hear a lot of people talking about establishing your boundaries within your business and you may think that this will not apply to you. However, this is something that all business owners need to sort out, especially if you’re juggling your other job of ‘busy mum’.
To identify your boundaries think about what you are and aren’t prepared to do as a starting point and expand on the answers.
To give you some ideas, ask yourself these questions:
Will you accept client visits?
If you want to let clients visit, you will need to get public liability insurance. If you work from home, you need to consider if you want people knowing where you live.
Will you offer 24/7 service?
If you are a service based business, you will need to have systems in place to be able to accept and complete work 24 hours a day. Some people make this their Unique Selling Point (USP) but others choose not to have this extra stress.
Will you speak with family and friends if they call in the day?
Family and friends can be the worst offender for distraction to those who work at home. They may feel that now you work at home, they can call you anytime for a chat or pop in for a coffee.
Explain what your hours of business are and don’t speak with them if you are busy with work.
Will you only be working certain hours?
Decide what your business hours are and make sure that you inform all prospective clients what they are. Some clients may try to push this boundary by calling 5 minutes before you finish wanting work completed for the next day. Be firm and say that you will start the work the following business day – but only if you have the capacity to.
Will you be working 52 weeks per year?
Think about what holiday you want to take now so that you can start educating your clients or getting associates on board to cover for you.
Do you want a term time only business?
If you have school aged children, you may choose to only work during term time and spend the holidays with your children. Now is the time to be able to start educating clients or bringing on board help to work during holidays.
By establishing your boundaries now, it can become part of your business systems, as well as informing and training your family and clients about how you operate.
You must remember that you are the boss of your own business and you can say no!
I’d love to hear what boundaries you are going to implement in your business, please share in the comments.
Your action plan
Take the time to go through these questions and set up your own boundaries for you and your business.