How to Prepare Your Small Business for Maternity Leave or Time Off

From maternity leaves to sabbaticals, taking time off from your business takes a lot of thought and intentional planning. As entrepreneurs and self-employed business owners, we don’t have PTO or company policies that cover these important details. In today’s episode, I asked four of my fellow podcast hosts who are called to both to share their own advice on how to prepare your small business for time off. Listen in as Val Duvick, Caitlin Howard, Jillian Dolberry, and Jordan Jones share their advice on business finance, content planning, and having team members in place to support you, plus more!

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Preparing Your Small Business for Maternity Leave

Pay Yourself Consistently & Monthly

Val Duvick, host of Creative Income Cure, highlights the value of paying yourself. If you aren’t already, start paying yourself a consistent paycheck every single month. This will bring you a new level of consistency and confidence in your business, allowing you to know what’s possible for taking time off in your business.

To get started, take all of your income from the last year, then divide it by two. Take one half of that and divide it by 15 (for 15 months, not just 12). This allows you to pay yourself monthly while also building up a savings for your business. Val uses the Profit First method, which is a percentage based approach to understanding your numbers and what you can afford.

Overall, consider taking a detailed look at your income and expenses to determine how much you can actually pay yourself so that you don’t have to worry about the money when you take your maternity or leave of absence from your business.

Create a Maternity Leave that Fits Your Needs—Even If It’s Different From Others

As someone who has experienced three maternity leaves that all provided different experiences at different times in her life, Cait Howard, host of Ambitious Moms Club Podcast, learned a lot through each of them.

Her biggest piece of advice it to be okay with your maternity leave looking different as an entrepreneur and you can choose what works best for you and your family. That could mean a short or long maternity leave—either way, look at the bare minimum that needs to get done for your business to continue running until you return. If you decide to completely take off, take a look at what that means financially and make sure you prepare for that.

Additionally, plan an early delivery plan—Cait’s babies came early, which meant she had to be ready four weeks earlier than planned. This means you need to also be flexible because things don’t always go as planned.

Building Teams & Systems for Your Maternity Leave

One of the most powerful ways you can support yourself and your business is by building systems or growing a team prior to your maternity leave. Jillian Dolberry of The Grace Filled CEO Podcast believes you can create a buffer in your business with a trusted person that can determine what’s most important during your leave. Here are a few things to consider when adding a team member for this role:

  1. Have one channel of communication with this person (like Voxer or texting).
  2. Determine what’s important enough for the team member to reach out.
  3. Empower your team members to execute on anything that may come up with clients in your business.

If you don’t have the capacity to bring on a team member, you can still execute on this by creating your own buffer, such as the following:

  1. Turn off notifications.
  2. Limiting the hours that you’re in your inbox.

This will require a higher level of accountability for you. Think of how you would do this for someone else in their business and do that for yourself. Make your boundaries and buffer as clear as possible.

Building Funnels that Convert

Jordan Jones of Work + Worship believes that you do not have to choose between the ones that you love and the business you love. When she first got pregnant, she realized that she needed to find a way to still serve without having to focus on the service-based side of her business. She put together a DIY course with an evergreen funnel that would funnel leads into that course.

Funnels are a system that convert leads into sales in your business. There are three phases to a funnel:

  1. Awareness – Attracting potential leads
  2. Attraction – Know, like, and trust
  3. Conversion – Making the sale.

This funnel was always running, even during her maternity lead. In order to not have to focus on building an audience or showing up on social media, she utilized Facebook ads to fill the funnel. They would sign up for a freebie and go through the funnel to convert into the course.

Her first evergreen funnel provided her with $30,000 in the first three months of her maternity leave. It is possible to serve people well and earn good money without having to trade time for money. Her two biggest tips include:

  1. Determine your plan for your maternity leave: time off, income and finances, and work hours.
  2. Consider how funnels and automations can help you still serve your people and bring in revenue.

Having a great plan supported by a funnel with make all the different in your maternity leave. Jordan has never once regretted choosing more time with her family over time in her business.

Take the Time You Want

To wrap this up, I wanted to share my own advice. Take the amount of time that you need and want for your maternity leave. Even if it doesn’t feel reasonable—be unreasonable. You get to choose what your maternity leave looks like and how your business will run during this time.

Connect with Val: | Creative Income Cure Podcast
Connect with Caitlin: | Ambitious Moms Club Podcast
Connect with Jillian: | The Grace Filled CEO Podcast
Connect with Jordan: | Work + Worship Podcast

Connect with Joy:




Coach with Joy:

If you decide to use any of the links above and buy through them, I’ll receive a small commission back. All of those affiliate income commissions really add up over time and help generate revenue to help support this podcast.

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