I have just completed my biggest project to date!
My clients and students know that my husband and I just welcomed a baby girl into our family at the end of May!
Did you notice anything different around here? No? Good! I worked hard to prepare for this big milestone so I could continue to serve my clients but not miss a thing with our new bundle of joy and spend time with visiting family!
So, how did I continue to run my business and have a baby? I am glad you asked!
The first thing is I told (respectfully) my clients that I will be taking maternity leave. This is not something you have to ask permission for!
In your announcement letter to your clients communicate when you are expecting your baby (remind them this could be give or take a few weeks) and for how long you will be on leave. Ask clients to help you prepare by submitting work ahead of time to get hours or projects done in advance as much as possible.
Outline to your clients how your maternity leave will look. Let them know what to expect on turnaround time. Include how they can get ahold of you during leave and how often you will be checking your inbox. Lastly, let them know how they can submit items and how to contact your subcontractors.
I also recommend drafting a ‘baby time’ email that you or your significant other can simply press send on when labor begins. No one wants to try and draft an email in-between contractions! In that email simply recap everything listed above and don’t forget to cc your subcontractor!
If you don’t normally subcontract - think about hiring someone for the short term. Bring them in a couple of months in advance to train if you don't want to stop workflow. While it is nerve-racking to hand off your business even for a short while, remind yourself of how special this time will be and the extra work will all be worth it. In addition, you are also helping another VA gain experience and grow their business!
To prepare my subcontractor I created a client rundown, in google docs, which detailed all my clients and what is currently being worked on. Submit this to your subcontractor well in advance so they have plenty of time to look over it and ask any questions.
To help prepare her, I created loom videos of tasks she was unfamiliar with and had her attempt them solo prior to the baby's arrival so I would be available if she had any trouble or questions.
On this client rundown, I also included a template for my VA to copy and paste into a new doc so it was quick and easy for her to give me a nightly recap of everything happening in the business. It looked like this;
- Tasks that need to be completed and the due date
- Completed tasks from that day
- Any questions
We also utilized the nightly recap to highlight any emails that needed my attention.
Before the baby came we had a plan on how we would communicate. We chose email but also added each other on Voxer just in case fatigue or a fussy baby made it too challenging to type out an email.
Prior to maternity leave, my team and I already used teamwork as our project management tool.
Having this system already in place made planning and handing off tasks even more streamlined!
Have you taken maternity leave while running your VA business? What worked for you? What do you wish you did differently? Tell me in the comments!
Rooting for you,