Think of a micro business, and you might think of a group of hip young Zuckerberg types lounging around on pod chairs, swiping furiously at tablets.
The truth of it is that micro businesses can be started by anyone, at any age and from all walks of life. For example, Anita Roddick was a 34-year-old mother of two when she founded the Body Shop, originally created to provide an income for her family while her husband was away. It eventually expanded into a globally-recognised brand with over 3000 stores worldwide, lauded for its ethical and cruelty-free approach to cosmetics.
Success stories like these show that starting up your own micro business can be done by anyone – and it can! But it takes a lot of work and sacrifice, and can often take its toll on you, your family, and your business if not managed well. But don’t worry! To help you on your journey, we’ve compiled some useful tips and ideas to help you achieve your business dream.
Make time for both business and family
Any good businessperson knows that time management is key when starting out a new venture, but it’s just as important to make time for your family as well. It can be tempting to spend every waking hour focused on your fledgling business, knowing that every hour you spend on it means another step closer to success. However, this can become addictive, and you may not be achieving the benefits you think you’re working towards.
Instead, set aside regular time each week to just spend with your family for shared meals or a movie night, and make sure to turn off your phone and leave your e-mails alone. This time is important for you and your family, and also gives you a chance to rest and relax. Studies have shown that extended periods of stress can negatively impact overall productivity, so when you’re resting, your business will benefit too.
Share your progress with your family
If you keep your family and your business separate, the latter can become a source of contention. Your family may start to feel as though it is a separate thing which they have to vie for your attention with, and could even begin to resent your business, creating stress and friction which you don’t need.
It’s therefore a good idea to keep your family updated with how your business is getting on, giving them regular updates on successes or issues which have arisen. This will give you the sense that you are all in the same boat, and that you are all working towards the same collective goal.
Make use of your family’s downtime
When you’re running a micro business, any time is a valuable resource, whether it’s five minutes here or a couple of hours there. For example, if the kids are in bed and your partner is having an early night, sacrifice an hour of sleep for an hour of answering e-mails. Maybe you have to commute to work — this is a great chance to catch up on the train, or even make a few phone calls on your walk in. This can be best achieved by planning your time carefully at the start of the week, so you know what is available to you and how and when you can use it.
Running a micro business and juggling a family is hard, there’s no doubt about it. However, if you have a passion for what you’re doing and you involve your family where you can, plan your time carefully and create an open and honest space, it’ll be well worth your time, for both your business and your family.