Your business exists to provide you with the income, flexibility, connection and learnings, all things that can make your life incredible!
So you need to set your business up to give you the life you want now and in the future.
Many of us are in business for ourselves to have more freedom, to enjoy the profits of our work, because we can’t get a job, or we have a great idea that we feel compelled to bring to life. Whatever the reason, it is important to set your business up so it can deliver on your expectations.
Many women find themselves assessing how they are going to go back to work and give their kids the kind of support they would like, especially when the kids are very young. This has been the catalyst and first business prompt for many female entrepreneurs. Sometime necessity helps clarify our world view and helps us to get focused and commit 100 percent, because the prospect of failure can’t be a consideration.
Regardless of why you started your business, you probably have a list of expectations, so write down your thoughts to the following prompts:
What income do you need (does it need to be a weekly payment, or can it be accrued value, realised when the business is sold?)
Everyone is different, but what does it need to be able to accommodate for your other family and life needs- conflicting commitments (time with your children when they are sick, on holidays or after school)
How hard can you realistically work? Anticipate what other commitments do you have that aren’t negotiable.
How will you deal with increased demand? Will customers be prepared to wait for you if you can’t keep up?
Can you be a leader and assertive? What support resources are you able to tap into if needed?
What is your ultimate goal and purpose?
What would a successful business look like?
I know some wonderfully successful businesswoman, many of them are understated and pragmatic and accordingly seem to manage the family-business conflict with absolute mastery. They involve the family relative to how old they are and then, right from the beginning, the kids know how hard their mum works and the benefits of her business. It is always nice to hear my female clients talk about their kids looking after their mum, cooking and helping out at home and, as they get older, helping in the business.
There doesn’t seem to be a conclusive pattern, but where there is a clear business objective, good communication, good skill set and ambition, there are some great outcomes for the whole family.
On occasions, I have been guilty of not pushing myself to my full potential and being a bit slow to reset my personal goals. I now put a lot of importance on setting my vision for the next 3 to 5 years and always have a clear set of business and personal goals for the year ahead. It is hugely important to celebrate your success, but long before I have succeeded at something, I have set the next lot of goals and it really has helped me build momentum.
Every business has challenges, but well-run businesses have contingences for at least some of them and have a good reporting system to give an early indication when something is wrong. The earlier you identify the problem, the easier and cheaper it is to fix. This is why I suggested you wrote down your expectations at the beginning to this article, it helps you make a plan and to accommodate them from the get-go.
People that collaborate well can build huge support in a network of friends, which can be a godsend when things become challenging or something goes wrong. The most successful operators pay it forward to both their friends and staff and those that stick around genuinely care and will help you succeed.
I have personal friends that were staff or customers in my first business from 39 years ago. They are some of my closest friends and each of these relationships are very special and carry a feeling of genuine support and give me a huge sense of empowerment.
Mark Collins is a specialist food service and hospitality business adviser. Check him out here.