Running a business is hard enough without the added complication of raising a family. But business owners all over the country manage the juggle every single day.
Sydney woman Samantha Dybac had the world at her feet when she fell pregnant with her first child.
The successful communications executive and business owner had nine months to plan how she was going to manage, but admits that no one could tell her just how difficult it would be.
“Suddenly, I was faced with relinquishing the control. I needed to let others into my business to handle things. I had been in blissful ignorance about how difficult that was going to be for me.”
This isn’t surprising given Dybac has been self-employed for many years. With a background in marketing and communications and having owned and run a number of businesses in the past, she establishedstrategic communications agency Sammway three years ago.
Dybac put some systems and processes in place to ensure the process was as smooth as possible, and headed into hospital to have her baby, hoping for the best. The day after giving birth to her baby and while still in hospital, Dybac landed a new client. “The email exchange had been playing out a few days, and landing that client put the pressure on, but you’ve got to take these opportunities in life when they come along.
“The challenge as a business owner is to keep the business running while it’s experiencing strong growth, while also being a first-time mother. So we’ve had to hire more staff to help cover the increased workload. It’s tough.”
Insurance cover for your business
|It’s paramount to make sure you’re insured for the unexpected elements of running a business. After all, without adequate insurance cover, a workplace accident, major natural disaster – such as fire or flooding, serious injuries, or an extended court case can have a huge financial and personal toll on a small business owner.
Business or commercial insurance falls into three broad categories:
Dybac is one of a growing number of Australian female business operators, with a 2015 report into Australian Women in Business finding that women make up a third of all business operators (34%). Interestingly, female business operators were more likely to have dependent children than any other employees, with 9% of female business operators having three or more children under 15 years of age.
The report, prepared by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the Office of Women, also found that there has been a 46% increase in the number of female business operators in the past two decades and that female business operators had high levels of life satisfaction (57%).
The key for SME owners starting a family is to plan ahead as much as you can, make sure you’ve got some systems and contingency plans in place before the baby is born, and have some savings in place for those first few months.
While business owners can check their eligibility for the Commonwealth Parental Leave Pay of up to 18 weeks, very few business owners can imagine stepping away from their business for that long, so try to juggle both.
The Parental Leave scheme allows people who are self-employed to do some work, as long as it is about overseeing their business or an occasional administrative task. The other options for business owners is to hire a nanny to help care for the baby in their home, or seek out day care or family day care. Check what’s available in your local area. Also, check out the Fair Work Ombudsman page, which has some support and resources listed here.