Maintaining a work-life balance
Raising a family and running your own business can be a challenge. If you have a young child and a young business, for instance, making sure you have enough time to attend to both can help you attain a happier and lower-stress life. Here are some tips for maintaining your work-life balance, as well as a more successful and fulfilling career as an entrepreneur.
Keep a schedule
A diary can be an essential tool to help you balance your work and family obligations. Make a schedule and establish realistic targets and deadlines for your business goals, but also schedule events to fill your valuable family time. While general family time together is valuable, you may be able to increase the enjoyment you and your family receive by making special plans. Think about the things that you and your family enjoy doing together. Just as you would make specific time on your schedule for a business meeting, you can make time for a movie night, a day at the beach or whatever else it is you would find memorable.
Allow for overlap
In some cases, it may be possible to allow your family and business obligations to overlap. If you need to take a business trip, for instance, you may be able to combine this with a family vacation or road trip. Although there may not be many occasions when your family and business obligations can comfortably overlap, if you take advantage of the times when they do you may be able to create unique and memorable family experiences while simultaneously giving your children an opportunity to find out about your work and your business.
Review your plans
You should review your business plan to ensure that all of your goals – professional and personal – are in alignment and are achievable with your plan. Speak with your Small Business advisor about finding solutions that can help. Your advisor may be able to help you find extra cash, bring in extra resources to help mitigate time constraints, or revise your plan in order to provide you with additional time with your family. Continue to review finances to keep yourself and your business on target, and revise your plan as necessary to maintain balance and peace of mind.
Ask for help
Self-confidence and drive are qualities that most entrepreneurs have in abundance. But don’t let that stop you from asking for help if you need it. If you have a board of advisors, seek their guidance on how you can maximize your time and make your operations more efficient. A mentor with similar background and experiences will be able to share his or her insights on time management and making your business, and your family, work better. As your business grows, you may want to consider a partner or a senior manager who can take on some of your responsibilities at the office. At home, as well, remember that you don’t have to do everything by yourself. You may be able to call on your partner, your parents or friends for support as needed.
Become a family business
Many entrepreneurs find advantages to bringing their immediate family members into their business. The biggest plus can be tax advantages gained through income splitting. Through income splitting, you can redistribute income within a family to take advantage of the differing tax rates, deductions and credits available to each family member and lower your household’s overall tax bill. Talk to your tax or advisor on how you can maximize income splitting to your advantage.
Have you had to balance work and family obligations? What advice would you give to fellow entrepreneurs?