Credit: Working Mom Image via Shutterstock
Mompreneurs admit they face numerous challenges in running a business and balancing their personal life.
However, the chief challenge for working mothers remains not having the right support staff to help them run their business. Working moms also say that they need more help in implementing best practices at their business. Additionally, mompreneurs complain about not having a flexible schedule, and not being able to work from home.
Those challenges are not stopping moms from jumping into entrepreneurship, though.
A new poll by Manta found that 95 percent of female small business owners are also mothers. Twenty-two percent of those respondents say that running a successful business is more difficult than raising a family compared with just 9 percent who say that raising a family is harder. Sixty-nine percent say the two are equally difficult.
Achieving a balance between business and work is difficult for a number of reasons, the more than 1,000 female small business owners polled said. Twenty-six percent of respondents say that not having the right support staff is the biggest challenge as a working mother. While a majority of female entrepreneurs do have the support of their families, many say they do not have support from other women in business.
"When it comes to work, it’s no surprise that small businesses feel they don't have the support staff that larger companies do," said Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta. "As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, and the same can be said for running a successful business."
Though mompreneurs face numerous challenges, balance can be found, successful female business owners say. Here are there tips and stories on how to reach that balance.
Debbie Meyer, entrepreneur, inventor, TV and radio personality and CEO
The so-called balancing act of being a successful entrepreneur and a mother is really just using different names for the same thing. As a mother, I have honed my negotiating skills to a fine edge. Of course, it is not exactly the same; there are times when it really is a walking tightrope; getting pulled in two directions that are so important to you. Sometimes you just have to do the best you can; but my family will always come first.
Amy Renzulli – franchisee of School of Rock of Oak Park
Understand that you can’t do it all. Before School of Rock, I was working a full-time, demanding job, raising two teenagers and attempting to open a business. I have had to say no to invites, a women's weekend running trip, dinners, volunteering, and more. You have to let some things go. It is hard to step out of social situations as it feels like you are missing out, but you really need to manage the precious, limited resource of time. (In business) Involve your family. Make the business venture a learning opportunity for your children. They can learn valuable planning, marketing, and sales skills that will help them later in life.
Kristel Thomas, franchisee of Brain Balance Achievement Center
Motherhood is my first great career love. Nothing ever was or ever will be more important to me. So, finding balance between being a mother and running a business has been, without a doubt, the single greatest challenge I have ever faced. I’ve learned along the way (that) you don't get a do-over as a parent, but a business meeting can always be rescheduled. Don't miss the school plays or band concerts or lacrosse games. It is important to show up at their events. Work hard and passionately when you're at the office, but then leave it behind and be present when you return home. Be the homework helper, forget the small stuff, and keep bedtime sacred.
Rebecca Cipriano, founder of Pop Weight Loss
I believe that women and moms make excellent business people because we are experts in juggling many different things at once. I do have some tricks that keep me sane, which are below. I always start my day with exercise. I read on my treadmill, watch the news or listen to music and try to prioritize my day. (Also) I have good people around that add to your life and make it more enjoyable on a daily basis. With my daughter, I try very hard to stick to daily routines. She needs to know that she is just as important to me, if not more, than all of the other components in my life. We like to take walks after dinner, without electronics, and enjoy the outdoors. We are also lucky enough to get away, as a family, as often as we can. Since our schedules are so busy, it helps us tremendously to physically leave the state and really relax.
Jennifer Lemcke, chief operating officer at Turf Holdings Inc./Weed Man USA
My kids are my number one priority and I always put them first. I know most parents say that, but I truly run my business around my kids. I always make sure to never miss their big life events and when I make travel plans for work, I always factor in my kids’ schedules. I’ve learned that the key to being a successful mother and business woman simultaneously is to accept that you have to make sacrifices and compromises. I understand and accept that I have to put my personal life on pause until my kids are older and on their own; right now, I focus my time and energy on being a mom and a leader at work, and that is plenty.
Debbie Healy Gilmore, founder of Vacation Home Rentals
I've been lucky enough to create a team where they can be flexible with my schedule which helps balancing it all. I set expectations on the deliverables with my team and if the kids have a lot of activities one day then I will respond back to their emails later in the day, or even at night.
Amy Nichols, founder and CEO of Dogtopia
I think it is about constantly shifting priorities by being aware of the important people (big and little) in your life who need you. A little over a month ago I learned that my son Gavin would be going on a special field trip to the National Zoo in celebration of completing their animal reports. I thought this would be a great way to connect with Gavin! So, I made the decision that for that week, work had to take a back seat. I would have to come in late and leave early, but it was what I needed to do. My company survived without me and I caught-up on email that evening. There are very few things in my company that can’t wait until the next day, but a day in the life of a 5 year-old is very significant to him. It felt great to make the right decision.