Hello StartUpNation! This upcoming Monday is Columbus Day, and guess what? That’s right – My kids are off of school. Days off School and School Breaks are a challenge to moms and dads who run small businesses and start-up ventures everywhere. I am so thrilled because I already secured a plan for Monday with another mom through a partnership that we struck up 2 years ago. We are one another’s go-to person for these exact occasions.
Last week, I wrote about the beginning steps of forming a childcare cooperative. Why is this type of initiative vital to start-up business? Well, if you are a parent and trying to grow a business at the same time as your kids, quality child coverage is hard to find and costly! We never want to skimp when it comes to our kids, however, we are more than likely operating on lean budgets with our business. Striking a partnership with another parent or two under similar circumstances is a fabulous solution. You know who your kids are with, your kids know the plan, and by returning the favor you retain CASH.
As both parents and business owners, we try to be available to our children on most occasions. There are times that we cannot swing it. Thinking ahead of the curve translates to success for all involved.
You do not have to be Super Mom or Dad on every day off! Your kids can learn valuable lessons from other fabulous parents just like you can provide fun experiences for other kids. When your kids are invited out, it is a chance for them to learn something new while you are a Super Business Person for the day!
If you forgot the details of the first few steps, you can catch up here. Otherwise, let’s get down to the business of arranging for a childcare partnership.
Once you have located and pitched the other parent(s) to be involved:
- Negotiate Up Front – Just like you would in a business bartering arrangement, negotiate your childcare partnership up front. Make certain all parties are happy with the terms. For example, snow delays and cancellations are a reality in many states, and a real pain to the parents affected. I have an agreement with another mom that on certain days of the week, I take all the kids in a delay and other days, she is in charge. On cancellation days, we split the day in half with each of us taking a half-day with the troops. Planning ahead of time makes last minute surprises, such as a few inches of snow and ice, much less expensive in relation to last minute childcare plans and hours lost.
- Pay in Advance – Are you planning on taking a day off for a particular National Holiday, taking a time out over spring break, or heading to the museum on an in-service day for your school? Invite a few of your kids’ friends to go. That’s right, I am suggesting that you add a couple MORE kids to your day. When you are a helpful mom on a day off of school, it makes asking another mom a lot more natural on another day. School Vacations, In-Service Days, and National Holidays can make moms feels that their kids never go to school. If you set the tone for partnership, a few of these days off can actually be extremely productive days in business for you.
- Family Last – You have heard the expression Family First, when it comes to childcare, I reserve Family for Last. You may be scratching your head and questioning this. It can become very easy to ask other family members – grandparents, aunts & uncles, siblings – to take charge of your kiddos. I recommend saving these chits for when you really need them. Sick days are particularly difficult and expensive to find a solution. This is the type of day that I save family members for….who else would take better care of a sneezing, coughing little one? Have a biz trip that you need added hours of help or overnight care? Another example of when to call in the family. Reserving Family as a Last Resort is the key to effective cost management when you may need childcare the most.
You must think of the time when it is most important to you that Family be involved in child care. Prioritize your reasons and Save your Family for those times. This way, your Family stays a viable option!
There you have it! Time to put your partnership to work and Grow your Business and Your Kids at the Same Time! Visit my blog on Monday — I am sure that I will be updating on my half day with kids and half day of work — http://backngroovemom.com