Flexibility is one of the things you can enjoy as a business owner. However, with this freedom also comes quite a number of responsibilities as the balance is essential if you want to make sure that things will get accomplished. This is why planning a parental leave when you own a business can be a bit more nerve-racking than as an employee.
As a business owner, you’re in charge so if you will not be around, you might feel a bit worried and uneasy about being on leave. You might even think to skip it altogether. Since you own the business anyway and you can be pretty flexible, you might think that it’s okay to deal with your new baby while working. This is not recommended.
How to Prepare for Maternity Leave
For first-time parents, handling a business, especially if they’ve been at it for quite a while already, might seem doable even with a new babe. It can be possible with a good support system but it’s not something you should do. Being a new parent will put you in situations that are hard to prepare for so it’s best to focus on the child for at least a couple of months if you can. This is why parental leaves were created and mandated in various countries.
It’s natural to worry about your business but with ample preparation, you can be sure that it will continue to be up and running smoothly even in your absence. The great thing is that you have a couple of months to get ready for your leave so you have enough time to set things in place before you leave the operations to your staff.
So as an entrepreneur or business owner, what are the things that you should do to prepare for parental leave? Here are the most important things to remember:
Prepare in advance.
As mentioned above, you have up to 8 months or more to prepare for your parental leave so you have enough time to plan what should happen when you’re out of commission. You can start training someone you trust to cover your tasks and supervise your employees if there are any.
Arrange for automation and set up processes that your team can follow in different situations. With ample planning, you can nicely prepare your team for your absence.
Plan as early as you possibly can, too. This way, you can be sure to cover more bases and be more ready to step back when it’s time to focus on your new child.
Be realistic but do not make the mistake of over-committing.
Even if you’re going to be on leave, it’s impossible not to check in on your business every now and then. In fact, you might even be able to schedule regular checks just to see how your team is performing. This shouldn’t be completely taken out of the plan but you should also manage your commitments.
Do not over-commit and take on tasks that will require a significant amount of time spent on the business. You need more flexibility as a new parent and committing to big things will add to your stress. Delegate important tasks effectively and do not push your limits too much.
Inform important partners and clients about your leave.
Going on parental leave may be a private, personal thing but if you work closely and directly with other businesses and agencies, it would be courteous to let them know that you’ll be taking a step back for a while in your business. By letting them know that someone else on your team will be running the show for a while as you focus on your new child will help everyone manage their expectations from you. It will also lessen your stressors.
Going on parental leave as a business owner is tricky but doable. Just remember to prepare well and you don’t have to worry about your business.