Starting your own business as a single parent is a huge endeavour, however, it’s by no means impossible. You might have to work a tad harder to balance all your responsibilities, but the advice and experience of other entrepreneurs who are in the same situation as you can be extremely helpful in getting you started. Here are 10 tips that every ambitious single parent should know before opening their own business.
Pick the right job
Single parents often opt for starting their own business so that they have a little more flexibility when it comes to their family. For this reason, businesses that can be operated from one’s home are usually preferred. Logically, some business ideas are more suitable than others if you are to juggle entrepreneurship and parenthood at the same time. Blogging, tutoring, offering consultation services, starting a food delivery business, and opening an online store are just some of the examples.
Starting a business all by yourself is certainly intimidating. However, you should remember that you’re really not on your own. There are thousands of others with the same struggles as you and connecting with them can give you guidance and even valuable connections. So, before you start your business venture, try reaching out to relevant groups and associations. Check if there is a single parents’ business association where you live. Online resources are also always there, and you can even consider workshops and other industry-related events where you can meet people in your shoes.
Find people you can trust
Business relations that can possibly be beneficial in the future are important, but they are not everything. As a mompreneur, having a trusted partner (i.e. co-founder) will make all the difference. Find someone that makes up for what you lack and you will have a perfect balance. Someone who has knowledge and experience in the business world is a bonus. Additionally, the people around you will also play a major role in your endeavour and can influence you positively as well as negatively. Banish toxic people from your life who tell you that you will not make it and instead, focus on those who support you.
Define your work hours
It is often said that entrepreneurship does not have work hours. While it is true that sometimes, you will have to make compromises, you should still try hard to define your work hours and not let work take over your entire life. Work hours can easily get blurry when you’re working from home, however, waking up and going to bed with your work tasks on your mind will be exhausting and sooner or later, it will show its effects on your health. Stick to a routine so that your body can get used to it and don’t forget to take time to relax.
Think about child care
You might think that you can handle taking care of your child or children while getting work done, but you will find that it’s extremely easy to get distracted. However, calling a nanny over will just mean one more person in the house to disturb your work. This is why it’s recommended that you organize child care outside of your home, at least a couple of days a week. You’ll be able to focus on important tasks without anyone interrupting your workflow.
Focus on the positives
Starting a business is stressful as it is, not to mention being a parent at the same time. It’s easy to get tired and start envying those who have more time or more resources. However, this kind of comparison will not lead you anywhere and will just kill your motivation. Instead of comparing yourself to others who are in more advantageous positions, focus on what you have and what you can do. Rest assured those people have their own struggles, too.
Live with opportunities
No one says you have to do things the hard way. You should use opportunities meant to give you a boost by all means. For instance, in some places, single parents may have access to grants that are created to help them start their own businesses. In addition, there are countless grants that are intended to help out women with entrepreneurial ambitions. Regardless of how you are planning to fund your business venture, you will lose nothing by trying.
Outsource what you can
No one can do everything by themselves. Just like you will benefit greatly from organizing out-of-the-home child care at least some days of the week, outsourcing some work tasks to people who can do it faster, cheaper and better will make your life easier, too. As we already said, there’s no reason why you should make things hard for yourself, so reach out to professionals to free up your hands. Let a designer create the perfect packaging for your product or a dropshipping company manage your order fulfilment. Australian-based businesses can look up professional web design in Perth, too.
Keep it local
The next tip you should consider as a single parent entrepreneur-to-be is keeping most of your business relations local. There are a couple of reasons why this might be a good idea. For instance, working with international partners will often mean odd working hours due to time-zone differences. While this might not seem like a notable problem at first glance, when an issue needs to be sorted out promptly, it can indeed be problematic. Working with local suppliers will also boost the local economy and give back to your community.
Finally, you can plan and schedule as much as you want, when things get into motion, you will find that reality is sometimes different. Reaching a perfect work-life balance is impossible, and you might need to redefine your very idea of this notion. There will be times when you need to sacrifice your free time for your work, but there will also be times when your kids take priority. Staying flexible and not losing your mind the first moment something doesn’t go as planned is paramount.
As a single parent, you will need an extra dose of drive and discipline. However, if you believe in your idea, you will be able to make space for it in your life. Don’t forget the abovementioned tips along the way.