Have my own business, how do I stop to have a family?(3 Posts)
I have a business with 3 part time staff; 2 who are new and the third about to retire. I'm the only one who is professionally qualified and who knows all of the customers. I had a full timer who could have run it but who left without notice just as I was considering it possible to start a family so I was left in the lurch and now cannot leave the business in the hands of my new staff nor get a temp as it would take several years for them to understand the clients and the business. It's either no kids or shut down the business, leave people out of work and let down all of my 200-odd customers of whom many, over the years, have also become close friends. Has anyone else been in this situation and can suggest any way I could even hope to start a family? I just can't see how, I can in practical terms, sort this out. How does anyone manage? Are there any other self employed mum's out there whose business is specifically reliant on them who could give me any ideas? It's cache 22. I can't stop work to have a family because it would take years for someone to learn my job and I don't have that sort of time biologically speaking, but if I can't have a family what's the point in continuing at all.
Oh dear you sound stressed.
As an unemotional outsider I would say you need to find a replacement you. It sounds like your full timer leaving has knocked your confidence in others, but I find it difficult to comprehend (I mean this kindly) that there is not a single person out there that can do what you do.
Lots of people on here talk about taking very little mat leave. So potentially you would only actually be away completely for weeks, and do something like work a morning a week to ensure it is all going ok etc?
Do you need to replace the full timer? Could you find one that is qualified?
Or could you approach a firm of qualified ppl and see if they'll second somebody? I am guessing there is a risk of them taking the business, but better than shutting up shop.
I am a sole trader consultant, I am guessing you are something like an accountant, so different, so unfortunately nothing personal to add. But I know that many ppl on these boards do have children and keep businesses with staff going.
Please don't panic or be despondent.
You need to make yourself dispensible. I know it's not easy as I have my own business too as an accountancy practice but I have no staff at all - just me. No-one is indispensible. Others CAN do what you do.
I'm aware of my own mortality and that I will be letting down my clients and myself if I get run over tomorrow or suffer a critical illness. My practice is my pension scheme and my family's life insurance, so it's not an option to let it die with me.
Over a few years, I've been actively working on business continuity. Most important aspect of that is the hard job of putting everything on paper or computer and having nothing in my head. I am very close to being in the position where someone else can just walk in, look at my files, and hit the ground running. That makes it possible for an experienced accountant to buy my practice and run it themselves or for another firm to buy my clients and take the files away in a van. It also facilitates my plan B of employing staff as it's far easier to train someone if they've got clear workings/files to copy from.
None of this happens overnight, you need a complete change of mind-set to start with to set up systems that you don't think are needed because you know what you're doing, but you have to train yourself to do it so that others can follow you and do the work instead.
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