As mothers running our own businesses, the traditional maternity leave may not be an option for us, especially if you are a sole trader without staff to pass things on to.
Here are some tips for taking maternity leave from your business. Some of these tips will apply to your business, and others won’t.
- Keep your clients informed every step of the way, especially if they are ongoing clients. Let them know when you are pregnant, your due date and how much time you are planning to take off.
- Aim to wind up any projects you have before your 3rd trimester, this will still give you some time if things take longer than expected.
- Before your baby is born, decide how much you are going to do just after the birth, are you still going to be checking e-mails and phone messages or are you planning to do nothing but enjoy your new baby for a few weeks?
- When your baby is born, send a birth announcement to your clients.
- Hire someone to take your place for a few weeks, even if it is only part time.
- Line up someone, possibly another business; you can refer any urgent enquiries to.
- When you get back to work again, send a letter or e-mail to your clients letting them know. You may wish to include a discount voucher or special offer as a “coming back to work” promotion.
- Don’t forget to sent out thank you cards to any clients who have sent you cards and gifts to welcome your new baby in to the world.
With a bit of planning, you can take some maternity leave, with your clients still feeling as though they are being taken care of, and ease back in to your business without loosing clients or doing damage to your business reputation.