My husband Matthew and I had been trying for baby number two for about 18 months, and in this time I had had various miscarriages and complications, so had used my business ‘Serena Fordham’s PA Services’ to focus my energy on and take my mind off things. Due to this the business had grown and grown to the point that I was now bringing a good second income into the household and working on lots of exciting projects and bigger contracts.
In November 2015 I launched my first published children’s book ‘Imaginary Deedee goes to the park’ and after the great success of the book, I began planning future writing projects to add to my already large work portfolio.
Then I fell pregnant.
Which was not a total game changer due to all the upsetting pregnancy related issues we had had, so I just carried on as normal, growing the business and starting on all of the new exciting ventures!
But this one stuck.
After our 12-week-scan in February 2016, it was such a relief to tell all our friends and family the happy news, and they were elated for us!
The only issue now was that I had grown the business to the point of no return, meaning I had to begin planning how I was going to run and manage my business with a newborn on the way – I had six months to work things out!
- To get my business ready for baby number two I started by writing lists of all the current tasks I complete in my business and prioritising these, along with assigning dates to them
- I also planned my diary for the six months ahead, seeing where I can fit in training for my maternity cover, and where I could arrange meetings with my clients if required
- At this point, I also emailed all my clients to check that they were happy for their work to be covered by freelancers while I was on maternity leave
Finding the right people to outsource to
- Once I had my list of tasks, I needed to find the right people to outsource these while I was on maternity leave
- I used my connections from business networking (from my networking group ‘Her Business Brew’) to find out who would be willing to take on these tasks. It was essential for me to find people I trusted and found reliable as I had built the business since 2013 and value my clients greatly. As a result of this search, I found some amazing ladies who were willing to help!
- In May 2016 I began training the maternity cover girls, using the task list I made earlier as a foundation for this training. It was important to provide intensive training on all the systems and processed I used, as well as ensure that the clients were kept informed throughout
So all seemed to be working out swimmingly!
Then chaos hit
I forgot to mention before that I have a pregnancy condition called Placenta Previa, which means that my placenta is at the bottom of my womb and covering the birth canal. Due to this condition, when I thought everything work-wise was going so well, this caused some severed bleeding on various occasions in June, forcing me to be hospitalised for observation.
As well as being a worrying time for myself and my family, I had to suddenly throw all the plans I had previously made to get my business ready for baby number two out of the window!
Luckily there is such thing as modern technology!
I was recovering in the hospital for a few days, and would have been bored out of my brains, and super worried about letting my clients down, had it not been for my iPhone.
Having this small device available made it easy to contact the girls and assign work quickly, as well as arrange emergency training. Emails and Facebook messages were easily sent from this device using the hospital’s Wi-Fi, and I was even able to access my business documents through Dropbox when needed (I didn’t even need my laptop to work on them!)
Once home, and concerned that this could happen again at any point during the rest of my pregnancy, this forced me to get together with the girls separately and complete the remainder of the training quickly and pass on the rest of the client tasks.
This means that even though the plan to get my business ready for baby number two didn’t really go to plan, it all worked out ok in the end!
I am now well-rested, but know this situation can happen at any point, this has also meant I have had to cancel some exciting business-related events that I had in the diary, which had saddened me greatly.
However, I know that mine and my baby’s health is the most important thing, and having more time on my hands has allowed me to complete other tasks I wouldn’t usually have time to do – such as writing this blog for the amazing Savvy Mums Business! (Woooo hoooo!)
Serena Fordham is known as “Norfolk’s Admin Super Woman” and assists her clients across Norfolk and the surrounding areas with administration, bookkeeping, event management, project management, and writing tasks. Serena is also a published children’s author of ‘Imaginary Deedee goes to the park’, and organises and hosts a monthly women’s networking event called ‘Her Business Brew’. She is also a Director of Buy Local Norfolk and an ambassador for 3 charities. Take a nosey at her website.Serena Fordham, Serena Fordham's PA Services