Mompreneurs and female entrepreneurs are on the rise in South Africa. More and more women in South Africa are striking out on their own, with the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report for 2018/9 indicating a 53% increase in women’s Total Entrepreneurial Activity.
Among them are many mompreneurs, who face a balancing act between running a business and their parenting responsibilities. This is made harder by the lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19 — they are unable to look towards schools, day care, grandparents, paid domestic help and other support structures for help.
Here are six ways mompreneurs can improve their productivity and get a handle on the competing demands for their time as they work from home:
- Plan your time
- Separate your workspace from your living spaces
- Network with other mompreneurs
- Make time for yourself
- Create a website
- Use email for marketing
Let’s jump in and take a close look at the tips.
1. Plan your time
If you want to be productive while achieving a good work-life balance, you need to treat your time as a precious and unrenewable resource. Think of your schedule as a budget for your time, and then manage your hours and minutes as carefully as you do your Rands and cents.
Many mompreneurs simply use the calendar in Outlook to manage; others prefer a wallchart or swear by task management apps like Remember The Milk, Todoist, or Trello. The key is to audit your time, allocate your hours to work and personal tasks wisely, and stick to your schedule as best as you can.
Budget time for the things that you need to and want to do – if you are running out of time, evaluate why and take corrective action. Also, remember to put other members of the family to work in the home, in a way that avoids neglected chores or duplicated effort. It can help to create a shared electronic roster or a chore chart on the wall so that everyone knows what their duties are.
2. Separate your workspace from your living spaces
Given that your partner may be working from home, too, and that your kids are probably home from school, it might be trickier than usual to focus. It is thus important to create divisions between your working time and space and your personal time and space as much as you can.
You ideally need a separate workspace in your home, with your children, partner and others who share your home under strict instruction not to disturb you there unless there is an emergency. Cordon your working hours off as best as you can, rather than setting the expectation among clients and colleagues that you will answer work emails, messages and phone calls at all times of the day.
3. Network with other mompreneurs
This time of physical distancing is difficult for most of us, and it can be lonely to work each day without the presence of your colleagues or your professional network. Social media and video calls can help you feel connected to others at this time.
If you have a team who came into the office or customers you used to meet for coffee, you can do a virtual drinks or coffee meetup on video conferencing tools like Microsoft Teams. Networking groups on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook can help you to network with like-minded business owners when you need advice or moral support.
4. Make time for yourself
These are stressful times for everyone, and you may have a range of health and financial concerns weighing on your mind. The COVID-19 context makes it more important than ever for every entrepreneur to focus on physical and mental wellbeing.
As such, you should take the time to look after yourself and recharge your batteries. Eating well, exercising, maintaining social connections and sleeping enough will help you meet your business and personal goals in the longer term. Looking after your family, productivity and business starts with making sure you are physically fit and in a good mental space.
5. Create a website
A modern, professional website of your own is a powerful marketing tool. It can be a great help, selling your business and its products and services to the world, while you have your hands full doing other things. You don’t need to overwhelm yourself by launching a massive, expensive site.
If you’re strapped for time, keep it simple, and use a template-based website builder like the GoDaddy Website Builder or a managed WordPress tool. You can work on the website at your convenience at any time of the day and night, so it fits into your schedule.
Plus, you can refer people to your website for company information such as product specifications and frequently asked questions. That can take a weight off your shoulders because you will not need to answer loads of queries via email, and people can access the information they need without needing to phone you.
GoDaddy Website Builder is an online editing and publishing tool that enables you to create a website, regardless of your technical skill level. Just create an account, pick a design and use the built-in editor to add your own images and text. You can make your website as simple or complex as you’d like.
Plus, the Website Builder includes a suite of tools that gets your company found on Google and beyond. Manage your search engine optimisation, email marketing, and social presence in one place – helping your business cut through the noise and saving you even more time.
6. Use email for marketing
You know it’s important to take the time to interact with your customers, but you might have less time to make calls or send emails to each customer as your business grows. A good way to streamline marketing and save time is to use email marketing.
As you build your business, you can collect email addresses of people who’re interested in what you offer. You can also add a signup form to your website to gather email addresses from visitors. Let them know what you’re up to and ask them for their permission to stay in touch.
GoDaddy’s email solution makes it simple to create full-colour emails that look good on any device or email service. Our HTML email creator uses themes and templates, as well as simple text and photo modules, to help you create full-colour emails. It also lets you automatically turn your blog posts into email newsletters, send welcome emails, birthday messages and so on.
Passion and belief
Balancing the goals of your business with the love of your family can be a challenge for even the most organised mompreneurs. When your stress levels run high, it’s important to be able to go back to your why; the passion that compelled you to go out on your own.
Did you start your business because of your passion for the subject, your desire to increase your earning power, or to be able to spend more time with your children? Keeping that “why” front and centre, and balanced with self-care, keeps the entrepreneurial mother moving forward.
Image by: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/beautiful-business-woman-working-home-multi-tasking-freelance-motherhood-concept_7303064.htm#page=1&query=women%20working%20from%20home&position=4