One question I hear over-and-over-and-over again from expecting entrepreneurs is about money.
How can I bring work in NOW so that I can have some financial security (and peace of mind) during my leave?
While the answer will definitely vary for the type of business you run, here’s a quick list of Dos/Don’ts when it comes to money and maternity leave.
Say no to shiny new things
DON’T decide to create and launch a new thing right around the time your due/as soon as your baby is born – having a newborn is crazy enough as it is. I beg you not to do this. If you are contemplating it, tell me and I will talk you out of it.
Say yes to saving
DO set up a bank account asap and begin putting a percentage of your profit in every pay period to cover expenses while you are on leave. As a formula for how much to put away, simply use the time you plan to take off work multiplied by expenses (including paying yourself…you are paying yourself, right?!). Add a month of expenses to that as a buffer.
Say no to flash sales
DON’T put all your services on sale and start offering discounts left and right. Your business is not the Dollar Store.
Say yes to raising your rates
DO announce to your community that rates will be increasing (it can be a small amount) when you return from leave and offer an option to purchase now at your current rate. Remember to set a “use by” date if you are a service-based business.
Say yes to batch writing sales copy
DON’T wait until you are back from leave to set up a sales page or write sales emails and promotional copy. Doing that now will make it super easy to automate and send out when you are returning from your leave.
Say yes to prospective clients
DO set up your wait list. This way you know you will have some warm leads waiting for you. For clients who are excited and committed to working with you, you can set up contracts and require a small deposit (non-refundable) to hold their spot so they are first in line when you return.
Say (hell) no to the Nervous Nelly in your head
DON’T freak out. All business have ebbs and flows. You have likely had them before. You will have them again. You are savvy enough to get through it. Trust that.
Say yes to some hand holding and cheerleading
DO reach out for support and ideas for generating income that are unique to your business.
These are strategies that I work with real clients on (and mistakes I help keep folks from making!) but by no means is this an exhaustive list or a silver bullet for what will work for your business.
Schedule a (sales free) 30-minute babyproofing call and I’d be happy to help you brainstorm a solution to a maternity leave question you are struggling with for your business.
Want more resources about funding your leave? Check out Chapter 5 of The Expecting Entrepreneur.