Starting a business is a challenge, we all know that. Add in children and that challenge becomes even greater! The very fact that you are considering embarking on a self-employment journey, or you are already some way down that road is incredible and commendable – but it’s probably a tiny bit scary too-and that’s ok.
Some of the challenges that parentpreneurs face are universal but that’s not to say that they are insurmountable or permanent! It’s not all doom and gloom!!
This month, as the kids head back to school you may be thinking of starting your own business, let’s have a look at some of the most common challenges you may face along the way but let’s also big up some of the amazing benefits that running your own gig can offer.
This is a bigee. Childcare can be one of the most challenging aspects of starting your own enterprise, the one thing with the greatest likelihood to make all the balls that you’ve been keeping up in the air come crashing down – and generally when you least expect it. Friends and family can’t always help so knowing about all the options available to you is really important – as they say ‘be prepared’.
If you don’t have a partner to share the parenting responsibilities, finding a reliable support system becomes even more crucial. Building a network of trusted friends, family, and fellow entrepreneurs who can provide emotional support, help with childcare, or offer business advice can make a significant difference in your entrepreneurial journey.
The UK Government does offer a free childcare scheme for children aged 2 and up. All 3 to 4-year-olds in England are eligible for 570 free hours per year. It’s usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, and this is extended to 2 year olds if you receive state benefits.
If you aren’t familiar with the scheme all of the details and eligibility requirements can be found here.
Remember, when it comes to occasionally needing help don’t be afraid to ask for it, accept that things won’t always go to plan. Within you are the skills to make this work but sometimes we all need a bit of help along the way.
Long days / weeks
Being an entrepreneur can be unbelievably rewarding, but it comes with hard work. If you are already running your own business then you know that you work longer than the typical average ‘work week’, sure there’s flexibility but it can be hard trying to ‘fit it all in’.
Single parent entrepreneurs are three times more likely to start a business for a better work life balance. To achieve this though it means putting in long wrap-around hours, fitting it all in between and around family commitments. Taking on those hours and putting in that effort does and will pay off – you just have to keep the faith and keep showing up.
Being your own boss means that everything begins and ends with YOU.
Being your own boss means you can make the time to be at the game, school drop-off/pick-up and the parent teacher meetings, but the work still needs to be done, and the buck stops with you.
Demands on your time seem to come endlessly from all angles and it can be hard.
You’ll have good days and you’ll have days that make you question why you ever even started – but the key is to always keep the goal in mind. Remind yourself – and your children why you’re doing what you’re doing, and that it won’t always be like this.
You’ve got the skills!
Running a business as a single parent is an empowering experience that can foster personal growth BUT you also have a whole bunch of skills from parenting that are very useful when it comes to running your business.
All of those daily (often thankless and boring!) tasks that are part of running a family build in you a huge amount of skills, ones that will be useful when trying to grow a business!
Remind yourself of THIS whenever self doubt starts to creep in.
As a single parent entrepreneur or an entrepreneur fullstop you have the incredible opportunity to be a positive role model for your children. They witness firsthand your determination, resilience, and passion for pursuing your dreams. By showing them the value of hard work and perseverance, you inspire them to believe in their own potential and encourage them to chase their aspirations fearlessly.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or in need of support remember that at Tree Shepherd we run courses aimed not only at teaching you new business skills but importantly how to recognise what skills you have and how to believe in the power of you.
In addition we have a team of coaches and mentors here to offer a more tailored approach to helping you achieve your goals. For help with any business related issues Tree Shepherd have you covered. Reach out to us via social media or email firstname.lastname@example.org