Earlier this year when I found out I was pregnant I started seeking information on how to plan your maternity leave as a small business owner. Sadly I wasn’t able to find too much that was actually helpful.
When I had my other two boys, I was still in corporate and had an amazing HR department that helped me with all the details.
So I wanted to share with you what I have learned in the last couple months of prep and how to plan for you to take that needed time with your little bundle of joy.
It’s all about creating a plan that fits your business.
Things to think about while brainstorming and crafting your plan::
- How long will you take off?
- Will you come back on a part-time basis early or to oversee the work?
- Will you need to hire assistance?
- Can a current team member help with your responsibilities while you are out?
- Will you need up your team’s hours to cover these new responsibilities?
- What projects/tasks can you put on autopilot before you go on leave?
Once you have figured out your plan make sure to share the exciting news with your clients but let your retainer clients know that you have them covered even while you are out and have thought through their needs.
For my business, I have customized packages for my clients meaning that I don’t provide the same service for each client. I went through my client list and developed a plan for each of them. I am lucky that I have an assistant that has been working with me for two years that has the bandwidth and is excited to help service my clients while I am out.
Once I discussed their individual plans with each of my clients I made sure to my assistant’s hours to accommodate these new responsibilities. I also created a Trello board with each of clients she will be assisting with and started adding any pertinent information three months prior to me leaving.
- Content calendar links
- Login information (approved by the client of course)
- Loom trainings for any tasks I knew she would be taking over
- Emails and contacts of who she might need to get in contact with
This is actually a board I already had for reference but I made it much more robust. It actually helped me feel organized as well. My assistant is always able to call or text if she is in a pinch but I wanted her to have all the information at her fingertips.
I also set up a zoom meet and greets for the clients that I felt it was important for them to put a face to the name depending on the responsibilities she would be taking over for me.
Once my clients were taking care of, it was time for me to get my business on autopilot for at least two months so I am able to focus on my newborn.
Below are the parts of my business that pre-planned and put on autopilot:
- My out of office will direct anyone to my cell for immediate assistance
- I updated my calendar for consultations to be unavailable while I am out
- My social media is planned two months ahead
- My blog posts have been written two months ahead
- My newsletters have been scheduled 2 months ahead
Since it’s my business I am sure I will still be checking email as well as engaging with my audience via social media while I am on maternity leave but I wanted to make sure that work or client requests was not looming over my head when I should be spending time with my family.
I hope this helps if you are planning your maternity leave as a small business owner.
Need help figuring out your maternity plan?