Advice to Small Business Owners and the Moms You Stress Out

Advice to Small Business Owners

If you run a business, please take this into account. Working parents already have to take off for routine doctor appointments (and there are a ton that first year), plus they take off with illnesses. Please don’t make them take off work to get a haircut. Or to get the dog groomed. (Please see Biscuit’s interview to understand why professional grooming is a must for us.)

For years, I’ve contemplated a fitness-related franchise, and the first thing I knew I’d do was hire a partner. We’d have hours to accommodate just about anyone’s schedule, because I realized right away that daytime-only hours would probably limit my business but cutting out half my target audience.

I know it stinks to be open until 7 pm or to open your doors on the weekend, because you have your own family life. But I suggest trying out shifted or extended hours and seeing if the profit comes. I bet the extra income you will make will more than make up for hiring some part-time help. (Just make sure you advertise the change well and give the experiment time.)

Here’s the thing. In general, the households who have the most discretionary income for dog care, kid’s activities, and yard help – those households have two working adults. Sure, there are plenty of exceptions, but businesses who assume that the woman is home all day, running errands, are limiting their earning potential.

Small Businesses Set the Tone For Quality of Life

We took for granted being able to get these things for cheap and at reasonable hours to accommodate a household with two working parents. And now we live in a place that increases our stress level by not accommodating the very customers they should be targeting.

But our lives did change: they got way more stressful. Everything turned out to be much less convenient, and when we ultimately chose a house about 30 miles away from the college town that we work in (to keep down costs), it got even worse.

Need your dog groomed? Yeah, that’s fine as long as you take some time off work to make it happen. They open at 8, close at 5, no weekend hours. Want your child in gymnastics or swim lessons? Take off work early or you’ll never make the last class. Kindermusic is out, unless work lets you off at 9 am. Want a haircut? Hope work is ok letting you off for that, too! Don’t have time for all that yard work (ok, snow blowing)? Good luck finding someone who will do that for you, because they won’t commute 30 miles out.

I live near a large college town in the Midwest. The town doesn’t have every major franchise by a long shot, but you can find activities, stores, and restaurants that suit your tastes without too much effort. So when we moved north a few years ago, I didn’t think twice about how things would change for us.

Advice to the Working Mom. (Ok. Me.)

I think my family let these activities become part of Keeping Up with the Joneses. We spend money on them and why? What value is really added? Will my child be less successful if she doesn’t have piano lessons? Will she be obese and unhealthy because she can’t take gymnastics? No, not if I am still doing my job as a parent.

But to the moms, who like me, are disappointed by the lack of activities available that fit your work schedule, realize that you are not a bad mom. This is not a ploy of the universe against you. Instead be grateful for the one-on-one time you get. Put the money saved toward their college fund (or your debt). Don’t dwell on what you can’t change, ladies Kirsten.

I’ve recently pondered my roles as wife and mother and what that means when I work full-time. With much pryer and reflection, I’ve come to understand how precious time is and how my mission field is at home – even if my employment is elsewhere. My daily interactions with my children influence them much more than a once a week KUWTJ class ever will. So here’s my advice is you re stressed out, trying to juggle a job against the hours of businesses who close too early: Save the money. More importantly, save your sanity. Most importantly, save your children.

Small Businesses Set the Tone For Quality of Life

But our lives did change: they got way more stressful. Everything turned out to be much less convenient, and when we ultimately chose a house about 30 miles away from the college town that we work in (to keep down costs), it got even worse.

I live near a large college town in the Midwest. The town doesn’t have every major franchise by a long shot, but you can find activities, stores, and restaurants that suit your tastes without too much effort. So when we moved north a few years ago, I didn’t think twice about how things would change for us.

We took for granted being able to get these things for cheap and at reasonable hours to accommodate a household with two working parents. And now we live in a place that increases our stress level by not accommodating the very customers they should be targeting.

Need your dog groomed? Yeah, that’s fine as long as you take some time off work to make it happen. They open at 8, close at 5, no weekend hours. Want your child in gymnastics or swim lessons? Take off work early or you’ll never make the last class. Kindermusic is out, unless work lets you off at 9 am. Want a haircut? Hope work is ok letting you off for that, too! Don’t have time for all that yard work (ok, snow blowing)? Good luck finding someone who will do that for you, because they won’t commute 30 miles out.

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