Any entrepreneur, let alone a fem’preneur, will face challenges above and beyond what seems fair in the course of innovating a new business idea into action.
Three of the hardest challenges one must face is: juggling family, time and finances. Achieving a happy balance is no mean feat for anyone and it places so much strain on one’s partner and family, when you bottle things up. Finding a balance is key. Problems will diminish tenfold and you will feel a whole lot better, if you learn to share your burdens with a friendly ear. A partner will often have a fresh take on things; you’ll wonder why it seemed difficult in the first place.
I grew up in a family, where we sat down around the table every meal – breakfast, lunch and tea. Discussion was always part of the course of the meal; resolution to daily problems would be a round table affair. Even the youngest member was encouraged to listen and learn. Just the fact that we opened up to family members, enabled us to see things from a different perspective. Many issues were resolved in lightning speed. Some ingenuitive ideas came about and we were able to enjoy family time - without stress getting in the way. One could sleep easy.
“Never go to bed with a problem,” my Father would say.
“It will be there in the morning and you will not have slept a wink.”
Finding time to not think about business, is also a must. Too much of anything is not good and bashing yourself up, over an issue you can’t resolve in five hours, probably won’t resolve itself in six. So take a break. Get a coffee. Go for a run. Spend time laughing with family and then come back to it. Chances are, you’ll find a solution a whole lot faster and your family will enjoy your company.
At some point in time, you will also have to work out how much time is needed to grow your business. You’ll need to let you family know, it might be difficult and you might have to work late. They will understand, if you share this with them. You could even give certain members of the family, tasks that contribute to the growth of the business. This will make them happy, knowing they are contributing to the business empire that will eventually benefit them, in the near future.
Finance is one of those things that is often hard to come by and when it does, you probably needed more of it. Setting up and managing cash flow is paramount and is essential for the survival of your business. It means you’ll pay bills on time. If your invoicing is delayed in any manner, you won’t be able to pay the people who help run your business – employees, contractors etc. Not to mention, you’ll not be able to pay the mortgage; family won’t appreciate that and your stress levels will hit the ceiling. So remember to collect on any outstanding customers. If they don’t pay – no one eats.
To ensure you have sufficient funds, you might have to budget differently – even get your customer to pay upfront to cover expenses. A third down payment is also a regular way of getting your funds in on time. You could organise your customer invoices to be paid for in 14 days and not 30. Nowadays with business showing its face online, instead of bricks and mortar, customers are comfortable with the process of ‘pay before you receive’.
Should your cash flow be out of whack in the beginning, ask your vendors to set up 45/60 or 90 day working accounts. This will give you time to collect on late paying customers.
Lastly, believe in yourself. You have the ability to accomplish miracles. Try not to doubt yourself as you have everything you need inside of you. You just have to access that courage and information. I truly believe, when one is given extreme hardship, with seemingly no way out – your brain finds a way to survive. It’s instinctual.
If you want it bad enough, you will find a way of making it happen!
So make your life miraculous! Only you, can.