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How to Juggle a Small Business and School

Published on Oct 14, 2013

Summary

How to Juggle a Small Business and School

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Incorporating a small business  is a full-time job. Going to school for a masters or advanced degree is also a full-time job. So, what should you do when you are trying to accomplish both simultaneously?

Be very clear about your expectations. It may help to write them down before doubling up on your workload. Why did you choose to juggle school and an incorporation? What do you intend to accomplish?  When you choose to start a business and attend school, there will certainly be a lot of demands and stress on your plate; being able to keep your end goals in mind will help you persevere when the going gets tough. Be organized. Use a master calendar that details key dates for both business and school. Do you need to develop a presentation for your investors? Take note, and block out the time you will need to complete the presentation. Do the same for school work, relying on course syllabi as needed. You’ll be able to see when and where project deadlines overlap to determine how to best handle those conflicts – or plan for them in advance. Additionally, include any personal commitments – an evening networking event, a sports game or a family birthday – on the master calendar to ensure you allocate sufficient time for all daily responsibilities and activities. Furthermore, communicate your schedule with anyone who may be impacted – employees, your spouse, or school project team members. This helps alleviate scheduling conflicts and keeps you honest with yourself about the time you need for any given project. Understand, however, that you also need to be flexible. Things will come up: a customer of your incorporated company is unexpectedly in from out of town or a study group is rescheduled. Know what your priorities are on a week-by-week basis so that you can adjust your time as needed and still accomplish that week’s ’must dos.” It’s also essential that you put a support system in place. At work, consider taking on part-time administrative help or delegating new responsibilities to an employee looking to expand his or her skillset. Enlist the help of family and friends to meet personal obligations – and at the very least, ask for their support so that when you are stretched to the limit, they will understand and step in to help. Finally, remember to take care of yourself. Whenever possible, schedule in downtime to relax, exercise or see friends.