How to Prepare Your Small Business for Maternity Leave

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Hi, I'm Neyssa

Can you really prepare your photography business for maternity leave?

Of course! Keep reading for my top three things you should be doing to prepare your business for maternity leave.

Are you expecting and finding yourself with mixed feelings?

Of course you’re excited to welcome a little one into your family. But maybe you’re worried that your other baby, your business, will suffer if you take time off for this new baby.

I get it. Being a small business owner takes hard work, dedication, and showing up.

I am so excited to welcome this sweet, final member of my family this fall. I plan to fully take time away from my business to focus on my recovery, bonding with baby, adjusting to life with 6 kids (!), and enjoying that 4th trimester.

However, my business won’t just be left alone. There’s plenty I’m doing to prepare my business for me to take a step back.

Ready for my top three things you should be doing now to prepare?

Let’s go!

Prepare for maternity leave by communicating with your clients.

Your clients will want to celebrate with you, share in your joy. So share the news with them. Then let them know what to expect and what they will need to do. Will they need to book earlier or later in the year to get their family photos done? Will you have a back up photographer while you’re gone? Let them know which months you plan on taking off, when you’re stopping taking clients before baby, and how to get on your calendar before your leave.

Now that your clients know what to expect, time for the next step.

Prepare for maternity leave by allowing for grace in your schedule.

You may think you can work right up until your due date, but allow yourself a little grace in your schedule. Should baby come early, you don’t want to be left with unfinished galleries. Remember all of the steps in your workflow, so allow extra time to complete tasks like editing and delivering the gallery, ordering any products for clients, and even for the possibility of needing to reschedule sessions due to weather.

Giving yourself grace in your schedule means that you can enter maternity leave knowing everyone is taken care of and not waiting on something from you.

Another way to prepare for maternity leave is to schedule content ahead of time.

I’m a big fan of scheduling content ahead of time. Not feeling the pressure of needing to write something right away is wonderful. Even more so, you can continue to show up even when you’re taking time off by scheduling content ahead of time.

Consider the time of year and what information clients or potential clients might need from you while you’re gone. How can you serve them while you’re gone? What time of year is it? What types of sessions will you be looking to book when you get back? By writing and scheduling blog posts and social media posts ahead of time, you can enjoy your time off while still showing up for your business.

These things takes a little extra work ahead of time. They mean planning ahead, looking to not only what needs to be done while you’re gone, but what you’ll be needing to do once you come back. However, with a little communication, scheduling, and planning, you can enter maternity leave confident your business will be just fine when you come back.

One more thing to consider when preparing for maternity leave?

Will you want to fully step away and not answer emails? Consider creating an “out of office email.” Have it include information such as how long you’ll be gone, how they can book a future session (or who they could see should they need someone right now), etc.

Get to tackling these three things and you’ll be ready to enjoy your maternity leave guilt free, without worry about your business.

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