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So, you’re pregnant with your first baby (Did you just find out? Let me know in the comments how many tests you took to be sure – I took 4 🙂 ) and researching ways start and grow an online business during your pregnancy because nothing motivates a woman more than a tiny human on the way, am I right?
(Yup, BEEN there).
After all, that little bundle you’re growing has already changed your life so it’s time to get things going over the next 9 months if you want the flexibility that running your own business brings.
I’m willing to bet finding out you’re pregnant has lit the fire in you to start a business.
You want to be there for your kids – when they get home from school or have a Christmas concert – but you’d also love to have something creative that’s just…for you.
Have you told your partner about your plans?
My hope is that they’re supportive but even if they are, that doesn’t mean they don’t think you’re absolutely nuts for trying to start a business of all things during pregnancy.
(Don’t worry you’re not nuts).
Most people (who mean well) will tell you that pregnancy is NOT the time to start something new.
Especially a business where there is no guaranteed security.
How will you pay for everything?
What about healthcare?
A retirement savings plan?
What will you do when it doesn’t work out?
The list goes on but I’m just going to say – nothing great ever gets achieved by playing it safe in your comfort zone.
But you know that because you’re here taking the first step to designing life your way.
So, is it really possible to start an online business during pregnancy?
You betcha it is.
And, that’s what we’re going to take a look at now.
Hint: It’s not as hard to do as you might think (or have been told) but it also isn’t easy street.
Your success is really going to come down to four things:
Welcome, mama – I was in your shoes about 3 years ago when I decided to take the plunge and become a mompreneur while I was pregnant with my first daughter.
(PS. it worked).
14 Things To Do When Starting a Business as a New Mom
When I started writing this ultimate guide about starting a business during pregnancy, I quickly realized I need to help you with the understanding that you have an idea of what kind of business you’d like to start.
If you don’t know what online business you want to start yet, check out The Ultimate List of Online Business Ideas for Moms
Time to Look at Your Budget
While getting excited about the endless possibilities that starting a business can bring you, don’t forget to start at the beginning.
The first thing you need to do is take an honest look at your budget.
Why is looking at your budget the first step of growing your business while you’re pregnant (even if you plan to keep your day job)?
Because you’ll need to have a clear understanding of where your money goes so that you can plan accordingly.
Starting a business is going to cost you money (no matter what anyone says!) and it’s going to come from your savings and/or what you’re currently doing to generate income.
Since you’re pregnant you also need to budget for your baby.
(Read these awesome tips to help you get ready for a baby on a budget).
So, basically, you’re figuring out how many dollars you have to get your business started and still live comfortably.
Ask yourself these questions:
(There will be lots of variables depending on your situation but this exercise will help you get started).
➝ How much money do you spend on eating out?
➝ Do you like to go shopping?
➝ What expenses can you cut down on?
➝ What expenses can you eliminate?
The idea here is to free up as much money as possible to put toward your business.
Get a Plan in Place
Now that you’ve crossed off the first important task to do when you’re starting a business during pregnancy, it’s time to outline your plan.
What steps do you need to take in order to not only start your business but grow it?
Writing down a plan of action means you’ll be more likely to actually do the work.
Planning takes the guesswork out of growing a business.
It helps break down processes so you can meet your goals and not feel overwhelmed.
Getting a business plan in place is essential to your success when you’re trying to get started on your dreams while you’re pregnant.
Here are some things to consider:
➝ What research do you need to do before making a commitment?
For example, if you’re interested in selling physical products are you going to do so online or set up a small shop in your location?
If you decide to sell online, which platform would be good to use?
➝ Are there any skills you need to learn that would be helpful in the growth in your business?
For example, maybe you want to start a VA business but need to brush up on some of your administrative skills – what can you do now to get the ball rolling?
➝ Are there any online courses you can take to shorten the learning curve?
While it would be nice to think about starting and growing a business with little to no investment, it’s just not the reality.
In your research did you come across any courses that will shave off the time it takes to get things moving forward in your business?
Keeping with the VA example is there a course that teaches you exactly how to set up a virtual assistant business?
Sometimes time really is money, mama.
Make Sure There’s an Audience for Your Idea
It might seem obvious now that you read that line but, before you invest too much time into setting up a business while you’re pregnant make sure there’s an audience for what you want to do.
Does It Fit Your Lifestyle?
I’m a huge fan of online businesses and with good reason.
They’re typically low cost to start and so flexible they can fit into anyone’s lifestyle – even if you’re super busy.
If you can find time to work on your business, then you’ll inevitably grow it.
Some things to keep in mind when determining if the business you want to start fits your lifestyle:
➝ How much time do you have every day to work on your business?
Maybe you have some hours after you get home from work or, if you like to get up early, you can get some work done before work.
Write down your current daily schedule to see how you’re spending your time that way you’ll know how much time you have to work with.
➝ What are you willing to give up to find time to do the work?
If you feel you have no or a little bit of time to start a business, what are you willing to give up to find more hours in the day?
This could be social engagements, time spent watching TV and/or anything else that doesn’t serve your goals.
➝ What kind of hours are free for business building?
It’s great to know how many hours you have to work with but it’s also important to know when these hours occur.
Not only for working on your business but also how it may affect the interactions you have with your customers or clients.
This will vary depending on what kind of business you’ve decided to start.
Remember starting an online business is a big step – lifechanging in fact – so make sure to choose something that has longevity and fits in with your lifestyle.
Do You Need to Go It Alone?
Being pregnant and growing a business is not an easy task by any means but, remember, you don’t necessarily have to go it alone.
While you should definitely push the growth of your business as much as you can during pregnancy, you should also take a look at what you can assign to other people.
Things to consider when contemplating help in your business:
➝ Are you connected to any likeminded individuals that you could partner with?
Bringing on a partner can be just what you need for business growth.
This person can help with tasks, bring their connections, and can help brainstorm ideas to grow the business.
➝ What tasks and/or responsibilities can you outsource?
If taking on a partner isn’t your thing you should consider hiring a VA or assistant to help eliminate somethings from your to-do list.
Yes, this will cost you money but it’ll also free up your time so you can focus on business growth activities instead.
A lot of VA’s have hourly packages that you can use any way you need.
➝ What kind of help will you put in place for when your baby arrives?
Perhaps you will decide to go it alone during your pregnancy but what is the plan once your baby arrives?
Who can you get in place to pick up the slack for a couple of months?
It’s Going to Take Time (But it’s worth it)
Now is a good time to throw out there that starting and growing an online business while you’re pregnant and beyond takes time but it’ll be worth it.
While it’s absolutely wonderful you’ve decided to get started on your business while during pregnancy, you may not get to exactly where you want to be by the time your tiny human makes their debut.
And, that’s okay, mama.
The key thing to remember as you’re working through all that goes into business building is that you’re laying the foundation not only for your business but for the kind of life you want to live.
Businesses take time to grow so, please, just keep pushing forward.
(Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now! haha 🙂 )
Plan for Your Postpartum Recovery
Before we get to the tips about how to productively grow your online business while you’re pregnant, you need to get a plan in place for how you will handle your postpartum recovery, a new baby, and business – all at the same time.
Here are some ideas to consider adding to your plan (that will help you continue business growth while you adjust):
➝ Hire a nanny or babysitter to free up some of your time.
While it makes sense to hire help within your business, consider adding a nanny or babysitter a few times a week to not only free up time to work on your business but also your recovery.
Doing so might give you enough time to rest so that you function better as a mom and entrepreneur.
Both are important!
Start interviewing and vetting childcare providers as this process can take a while.
If you’re starting and growing a business on a limited budget this might not be a viable option for you but something to keep in mind as your business generates more income.
➝ Be adaptable to life with a baby and a business.
You probably already realize that life is going to change once your baby is born but you may not know just how much.
Plan now to be adaptable.
What does that mean?
It means you won’t be able to get as much done in other areas of your life for a while.
It means you’ll need to go with the flow and find your new schedule.
It means that the time you have to work on your business might change significantly and that’s okay – you’ll find your way – you’ll adapt to your new routine.
➝ Plan for the unexpected.
Starting a business during your pregnancy means you need to plan for the unexpected.
How can you possibly do that?
By getting things in place now just in case.
You may be thinking but how can one possibly plan for something…unexpected?
Take some time out and look at the big picture of your business.
What will happen if your childbirth experience is complicated?
What if you suffer from postpartum depression?
What would happen if you get the flu?
What’s the plan if you fall behind on your work?
What adjustment will you make if you lose a couple of clients?
The unexpected will depend on what kind of business you’re growing but try to take a detailed eye and look at areas where things could go wrong, then get a plan in place on how to handle them.
➝ Seek out other mom entrepreneurs.
One of the biggest ways you can find support as a new mom growing a business is to network with other moms doing the exact same thing.
It’ll help keep you motivated and feel connected to your business.
Research local mom entrepreneur groups.
A good place to start is Facebook groups as there are many in every kind of business.
➝ Plan for some time off.
At the end of the day, unless you’re going to hire childcare or have the support of several people, you’ll need to plan to have some time off as you adjust to life with your baby and recover!
How to Productively Grow Your Online Business During Pregnancy
We talked about how to start a business during pregnancy and the kind of planning you need to lay out so now it’s time to look at how to productively grow your business while pregnant.
Pregnancy is the Best Time to Grow Your Online Business As Much As Possible
In other words, use the time leading up to the arrival of your baby to grow your business as much as you can.
That might sound intimidating so let’s look at some productivity tips broken down by trimester for pregnant entrepreneurs.
I’ve also included some tasks that you can get done in each trimester to help you move along. 🙂
Productivity Tips for the First Trimester
Unfortunately, this is the trimester when you deal with pregnancy fatigue and morning sickness.
➝ Use the first trimester to get all the research done for your business.
Choose your business type if you haven’t already.
Read about how to be successful and see if there is a course to take to help shorten the learning curve.
➝ Create your plan of action.
Tackle items like choosing a business name, securing your domain, setting up your website, and networking.
How to feel good so you can be productive:
➝ Since fatigue is your worst enemy make sleep a priority. Go to bed earlier if you plan to wake up and work. Squeeze in power naps if you plan to work at night.
➝ Break down your to-do list into manageable pieces so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
➝ Drink water – it helps with energy and combats morning sickness.
➝ Go easy on yourself – plan your weeks and days as best you can.
Productivity Tips for the Second Trimester
The second trimester is a gamechanger.
One day you wake up and feel like yourself again – magical.
This will be the most productive time you have to grow your business while pregnant – it’s go time mama!
➝ Now is the time to network and grow your connections.
Since you’re starting and growing an online business it makes sense to network online too.
Don’t rule out in-person networking but, to get started, locate like-minded online groups.
For example, for my blogging business, I joined blogging Facebook groups.
For my service-based business, I joined virtual assistant groups on Facebook.
Start seeing what conversations are going on and how you can contribute to them to get your business out there.
➝ Create any content you need to grow your platform.
Content is the cornerstone of any online business so the second trimester is a great time to ramp up your creation.
➝ Start sharing your business on social media and in person.
Set up a business page on Facebook, get your Pinterest profile going, and start sharing what you’ve got in place so far.
That’s the thing with growing an online business – you can start seeing results quickly – you just need to get the word out.
Share your business with family and friends – that can seem intimidating but word of mouth is still a powerful way to grow a business. 🙂
How to feel good so you can be productive:
➝ Make sure to control your calendar – you don’t want too many commitments – your focus needs to be mostly about growing your business.
➝ Continue drinking water and getting enough sleep so you feel good when you have work time.
➝ Tell others about your business goals; that will keep you accountable and motivated.
Productivity Tips for the Third Trimester
By the time you get to the third trimester, you’re tired again and physically uncomfortable.
➝ Finalize your plans for after the baby arrives.
To recap, you need to have a plan on how you will handle life with a newborn baby and business.
Ie. getting help in place, planning for the unexpected, how you will handle your workload, etc.
➝ Keep doing business growth tasks at your own pace.
Create more content, network, get clients – basically keep working on tasks that will continue to grow your business.
If you can, work ahead on your projects so you won’t stress once the baby has arrived.
How to feel good so you can be productive:
➝ Since sleep becomes more of an issue the further along you are, make sure to get as much of it as possible.
➝ Give yourself a break – managing your to-do list is even more important but if you don’t get something done, don’t sweat it! Try again the next day.
➝ Tackle your must-dos first; anything that isn’t urgent can wait – you don’t want anything that doesn’t move your business forward to take up your time.
The Realities of Having a Baby (And a Business!)
Now for some real talk about what it’s like to have an online business and a baby at the same time.
The fact you’re starting your online business while you’re pregnant is a good thing, you’re ahead of online entrepreneurs who wait until having a baby and then realizing they don’t want to work for someone else anymore.
Since you’re working on your business while pregnant, you’ll be able to grow the business quite a lot and, then, you’ll know exactly what needs doing after your baby arrives.
Yes, having a baby in tow while growing a business is tiring at best but don’t worry, you’ll do it.
Why am I so sure?
Because you’ve chosen one of the most flexible business models there are.
Online businesses allow you to choose how much you work and when you get things done.
So, in other words, you can work around your baby, the help you have, and the other things you have to get done in life.
Things to expect once baby arrives:
➝ Feeling tired, sore, and unsure of yourself – it will pass, mama.
➝ Wondering what you’ve started and then realizing you want it even more!
➝ Thanking yourself for getting started because now you’re in a good place.
➝ Having a tiny human right there to keep you motivated to push forward in your business.
The Truth About Work and Life Balance
I just wanted to address the work/life balance thing because I’m sure, as an entrepreneur, you’re going to hear several times that you need to master balance.
But most people who dish the advice don’t know what they’re talking about because they aren’t entrepreneurs themselves (or mothers for that matter).
Take their advice lightly and don’t beat yourself up if you find you’re not balancing things as people think you should.
Being a mom is a full-time commitment and so is your business.
Other things (like keeping up with social engagements or working out) will slide for a while but in time you’ll figure out how to get those things done too, so don’t worry.
Mama, you’ll find your groove – what will work for you won’t work for another mom and it’s completely okay.
Do what makes you feel good and forget the rest, okay?
That wraps up the ultimate guide to starting an online business during pregnancy.
Start by understanding your budget as it currently is so you know how much money you have to get things started.
After that, you can move into the planning stages and do your research so that you know how to set your business up.
Remember, there aren’t many businesses you can start without investing money at the start.
Thankfully, online businesses are fairly low cost to start and grow.
Online business hack: Is there a course you can take to shorten the learning curve you might be up against?
If the answer is yes, take it.
As with most things that are worth it in life, starting and growing an online business will take time but it will be so worth it.
You have so much to gain:
➝ Time with your baby (or kids).
➝ Unlimited earning potential.
And, that’s just naming a few.
So, tell me – what kind of business are YOU starting during your pregnancy?
Have any questions?
Let me know your story in the comments!