Whether you work from home or run your business elsewhere, having your kids at home for three months can create a logistical problem that can threaten your small business’s productivity during the summer.
Short of closing your business for several months (not happenin’, am I right?), here are a few strategies to help you keep your business booming while still being a kick-butt parent.
1. Get Help
Before you do anything, get help. That could mean talking to your spouse about dividing up your schedules so that one parent is always available, sending the kids to summer camp, or hiring a babysitter. At work, getting help can mean assigning more work to your right-hand man/gal so you can spend more time at home.
You won’t be able to run your business and entertain your kids all day long, so set yourself up for success by finding help that will make the summer fly by.
2. Switch into Minimal Operations for the Summer
Be honest with yourself: how much work do you really need to get done right now? It’s not the best time to start a new project or take on new clients if you want to focus on your kids right now. So let your business run on autopilot as best you can.
If, for example, you can work on projects ahead of time (graphic designers and writers can do this pretty well), consider completing any work you know will be due early so you can clear your schedule.
Consider reducing hours for your retail store or restaurant on slower days.
3. Get Your Kids Involved
You don’t always have to separate your kids from your work. If they’re older, bring them to the office and show them around. Talk to them about what you do. Give them a project to work on while you get some of your own work done.
If you’ve got teenagers, consider hiring them for the summer. They’ll learn valuable work lessons, and you’ll be able to keep an eye on them.
4. Be Flexible
You may not be able to work 8 to 5 easily for a few months, so find out what schedule you can work without disrupting the household. Take your work home and get up before the kids (not hard when they sleep so late) to work on your business. Work after they go to bed.
5. Do One Thing at a Time
What you don’t want to do is juggle both your roles as entrepreneur and parent at the same time. It will end poorly, I promise. Don’t send work emails while you’re supposed to be building things with your kids at the museum. And don’t take work calls while your kids are screaming in the background. You’ll be better at each role if you only do one thing at a time!