How I'm prepping my business for maternity leave

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We couldn’t be more excited about the arrival of our baby boy this October! When people ask what I’m the most excited for, I tell them the complete change in routine. I’m looking forward to slowing down, taking time off, and cherishing those first months while adjusting to life with a newborn.

With 9 months to get ready, I starting thinking early on about how best to prep my business for maternity leave. I wanted to ensure I wasn’t leaving existing clients high & dry while also continuing to attract new clients and book projects for when I return.

Let me start out by saying that I’m taking more of a pseudo maternity leave. While I would love to be able to spend 100% of my time and energy on our baby, as a business owner,  I also think it’s important to keep things running even if it’s at a much slower pace.

Here’s how I’m prepping my business for maternity leave:

01 // I gave my existing clients plenty of notice.

Months before my due date, I let my clients know I was planning to take some time off and to get me their projects in advance if possible. They’ve all been very accommodating and we’ve worked to get projects wrapped up before October just to be on the safe side.

02 // I’ll be setting an out-of-office notice.

I gave my husband my email login info so that he’ll be able to activate my out-of-office notice when the time comes. Here’s what it says:

Hi there,

Thanks for getting in touch. I'm currently on maternity leave spending time with our new baby <3

If you are an existing client, I will get back to you within a few days. If this is a new inquiry, you can expect to hear back from me within a week.

Thanks for your patience!

I purposefully didn’t include a return date to allow myself some flexibility to take more/less time off if needed.

03 // I’m stepping back from social media.

While I initially intended to schedule out posts before I went on leave, I realized that I’d then be tempted to check the posts and read/respond to comments. While I might be sharing glimpses of what life with baby looks like, I won’t be sharing my usual helpful content and posts about what I’m working on.

04 // I started working with subcontractors who will be able to take on small projects while I’m away.

 I started working with subcontractors on small projects as a way to take on more work while providing the same level of excellence and customer service. All of the communication with the clients is still with me and every design piece is seen and approved by me before it goes to the client, but I’m able to get the bulk of the work done through others. I realize this isn’t feasible in everyone’s business. If you aren’t able to subcontract, have a list of other people you trust to suggest to your clients.

05 // I caught up on my bookkeeping / accounting.

Probably my least favorite part of owning a business is dealing with money. Luckily I have a pretty easy system for keeping track of and categorizing expenses and income. I made sure that I’m all caught up so I’m not coming back to a mountain of receipts for things I purchased months ago.