Mom Entrepreneurs: Starting a Business While Prepping for Parenthood
In this guest blog, Jenna Sherman shares her best tips for balancing entrepreneurship and starting or maintaining a new business while welcoming a new baby into the family. Learn more, in her own words, below!
Jenna Sherman is a mom of 3 (two girls and a boy). She hopes to help other parents acquire the skills they need to raise future leaders by providing a collection of valuable, up-to-date, authoritative resources. She created parent-leaders.com as an avenue for parents who want to ensure their children grow up to be strong, independent, successful adults. If you’re a new mom dreaming of your entrepreneurial goals, reach out to Jenna at parent-leaders.com!
Tips for New Mom Entrepreneurs
If you're an expectant parent who has always dreamed of owning a business, your baby's exciting arrival – or the timing of your overall pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding journey – doesn't necessarily mean that you have to put your dream of entrepreneurship on hold. Though the thought of developing a new business while caring for a newborn may be intimidating, it can be done if it's something you choose to do – and a little intentional strategy, careful planning ahead, and some smart tech tools can go a long way to help you balance it all! You may be happy (but not at all surprised) to know that, according to VentureBeat, parents actually make better entrepreneurs. Why? They possess key traits considered especially useful for business ownership, like patience, an ability to deal with chaos, and adaptiveness. Of course, these traits are incredibly helpful whether you’re wearing your “mom” hat or your “business owner” hat, and no matter what your day looks like!
That said, welcoming a baby and a business into the world simultaneously can present unique challenges. I’ve developed this guide to explain how to make it easier for you and your new addition – Here’s my own top 7 tips:
#1: Ensure Your Business Model is Baby-Friendly
When selecting a business model, keep in mind that little ones require a lot of attention – In fact, you may already know this if your newborn is joining older siblings! You'll need something home-based that doesn't require a lot of external meetings or travel. The Self Employed offers a list of more than 40 business ideas for work-from-home parents and mom entrepreneurs, from blogging to home-based baking.
#2: Get Business Admin Work Out of the Way Before Baby Arrives
Formally setting up a business requires you to file some legal paperwork. Get this out of the way before your little one arrives. Setting up a limited liability company offers many advantages, from more streamlined tax filing to personal liability protection. Check your state's LLC regulations, since rules vary by state. This resource can help you figure where - and how - to get started.
#3: Set Up Your Workspace for You - and Your Baby!
You'll need a dedicated place in your home where you can focus on work while still being near your baby for easy nursing, rocking, and changing. Mother.ly provides tips for combining a home office with a nursery. For example, in addition to your baby's crib or Pack’N’Play and your desk, you may want to add a comfy chair and nursing pillow in one corner to create a convenient breastfeeding station.
#4: Plan Ahead for Baby's Feeding Needs
When you’re not nursing, having a lightweight, compact breast pump like the Freestyle Hands-free™ and a hands-free pumping bra can make all the difference – while giving you the flexibility and mobility you need to balance entrepreneurship with feeding your baby breast milk. Prepare for breastfeeding by becoming familiar with the informational resources and supplies you need.
Check out some of our most popular accessories, sign up for and download the Medela Family app, and be sure to order your insurance-covered breast pump ahead of time to ensure you’ll be all ready to manage new mom feeding duties and your business.
#5: Speaking of Apps...Take Advantage of ALL the Helpful Tech Tools!
For many challenges, questions, and even for organization – whether as a parent or business owner – you can be sure “there’s an app for that”. The Medela Family app includes pregnancy and baby tracking (including easy tracking of your breastfeeding and pumping sessions, as well as diaper changes), seamless Bluetooth® connectivity to our Freestyle Flex, Swing Maxi, and Sonata® breast pumps, smart assistance for technical troubleshooting, and a library of breastfeeding and parenting articles and content. Meanwhile, Factor Finders offers a list of apps for small business owners that help with everything from project management to accounting.
#6: Invest in Smart Technology to Make Daily Life Easier
When you're snuggling or nursing your baby, sending e-mails or handling other tasks can be tough - and you shouldn't have to cut that precious bonding time short just to finish a task or respond to a message! A smart assistant will help you get the job done when you're ready. TechRadar has a list of top models, including Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa. They're straightforward to set up and easy to use, giving you your own in-home PA.
Want a real, live human? Consider hiring a part-time virtual assistant or freelancer to help with business tasks that you might not love – and instead wish to outsource.
#7: Set Up a Reliable Support Network
Don't buy into the myth that you have to "do it all" as a parent or as an entrepreneur. It's okay to ask for help. Start setting up your support network now. When it comes to child care, this could mean finding a reputable babysitter or daycare option. When it comes to work, consider hiring an intern, outsourcing certain tasks to an agency or freelancer, or investing in software to streamline things like social media management, e-mail marketing, or bookkeeping.
Yes, mama - You can have a baby and a business at the same time if you choose! It simply requires some preparation and organization in advance. You’ve got this!