Many people who run their own companies find it hard to spend quality time with their kids. The kids can become more and more distant and before you know it, you aren’t involved in their life at all. They start to hate your business because it steals you away from them and gradually they grow resentful towards you. You get trapped between your company and the feeling of guilt for not being there for your children.
So, how best to combine being a successful parent and entrepreneur?
To stay connected with your kids and be involved in their lives you have to open up the door to yours first. Get them involved in the grown ups activities and make them feel important and responsible. They need to know that they are making the difference in your life too. According to the latest report from the Office of National Statistics, around 89% of kids in the UK are happy about their life, let’s keep the number rolling.
Good for my children – good for my business.
Incorporating your kids into your business isn’t always easy, especially with the short attention span of little ones. However, gradually you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
When you give your kids a task to do, you kill 2 birds with one stone: they have their parent back in their lives with all the fun and educational side of it; and you ultimately have more time to devote to your business.
You can free up your head from worrying that you don’t spend enough time with your kids. And free up your hands to do more work, grow your business and increase the profits! For instance, American parents now save on income tax by enrolling their kids in the family business. So, here are a few simple and amazing ways of how to involve your kids in your business and what skills they can get from it.
Personal consultants (from age 2)
Kids are the most objective judges of what you do. They are honest about everything, sometimes brutally honest. So, if you ask whether they like this or that company product, they will definitely come up with the most unbiased opinion. You can involve them into supplies purchasing, product testing/tasting etc. Remember yourself as a kid? Being taken to mummy’s/daddy’s workplace was so exciting! Bring your kids to yours now and give them a chance to express their views and enjoy bits of still new and fascinating adult world!
Kids learn how to formulate and convey opinions, give evaluations and make choices.
Use cuteness for marketing (ages 3-10)
Many little ones intuitively know how adorable they look and how to make their grownup audience go aw. They are tricky exploiters of our soft spots for them. How many times you came back from work absolutely shattered and your little angels would demand you to play with them. To save the tears and led up by their cuteness, we can’t say no and would obediently turn into horses, dental patients, make-up victims ect. Anything to make them happy and quiet…
Time to turn the tables here.
Depending on your business and the kids’ natural talents, you can ask them to help out in a photo shoot, product distribution, even make them the face of a promotional campaign.
Kids learn how to be artistic, creative, acquire personal and social skills.
For a greater cause (ages 3-11)
Interested in promoting an environmental awareness? By supporting the good cause, you are making your company more appealing to the customers and ultimately making the earth a better place. It’s time to get your kids involved!
For example, James Roffey from Carpet Cleaning in Southend (UK) decided to promote the use of eco-friendly products. He taught his son James Junior about them and asked him to pose for the ad in a T-shirt that says “It’s cool to be green!” He later on printed that photo onto the Carpet Cleaning company van. The campaign and Roffey Carpet Cleaning received a lot of attention in the area and attracted new clients. Not to mention, James became even more popular in school!
Kids learn how to make a contribution in the society by spreading the knowledge of eco-friendly life choices
Admin level (ages over 14)
If the kids are over 14 and already know a lot about your products and services, they can start being really involved in the business. They can answer the phone, take responsibility for the event calendar, sort out the mail etc. The elder ones who are confident computer users (sometimes frighteningly more confident than their parents) can look out for some creative ideas for your social media or graphic design. Employing their strengths and interests will be the biggest motivation for them and a peace of mind for you.
Kids learn how to utilize their abilities, build up self- esteem and confidence.
And finally, groom a family successor (all way long)
It’s good to know that according to the European family business statistics in the context of an Economic crisis, countries must rely on the real economy that correspondingly “is based on the continuation of millions of family businesses”. In other words, by handing your company over to your children you are contributing to your country’s future growth. So, why not pass your company to your offsprings if you feel that they share your passion?
You can teach the kids about your company’s concept and business strategies. Helping you with your work they will develop skills and acquire invaluable experience. Your children will have an opportunity to learn about different areas of the business and get familiar with all the practices.
They will develop an insight into how to run your company, how to make it even more successful and continue the family business while you can happily retire on some tropical islands.
Kids learn how to become their own bosses and run a family business.
Obviously, this all won’t go without an occasional moan or two but it will be definitely worth the pains in a long run. Brian Tracy in one of his inspirational speeches said “If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal…you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings.” Your kids will aspire you with fresh ideas and you will pass on them the most important thing every businessman must have – an entrepreneurial spirit that one day pushed you into starting your own business and becoming successful in it.
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Natalia Stukan holds a degree in Education and is a freelance writer sharing teaching experience