I'm Laurelyn, a Wisconsin-based brand photographer + strategist for powerhouse women-owned brands. Here you can expect tips for developing your brand to reach your ideal audience, balance work + life, and more!
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Systems to Prep: Maternity Leave as a Woman Entrepreneur Business Owner
It’s been a few months since my announcement that my husband and I are expecting our first baby in May! Planning for maternity leave for women business owners is very unique, so I’m happy to share my thoughts in this Motherhood series. Planning maternity leave as a woman entrepreneur is a whole new level, and isn’t talked about often enough.
For more details and deep dives into topics, you can check out:
This is how I’m applying all my research to my business and planning out of office time. If it helps even one new mom or someone who wants to someday be a parent, I’ll have succeeded. Maternity leave as a woman entrepreneur can feel like a lonely planning endeavor, so I want to share freely.
Business Systems and Advice: Maternity Leave for Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners
Google Docs and Calendar – I made myself an extensive to-do list for before baby, to prep for leave, and I did it all in a simple Google doc. You can also use systems to implement deadlines or checklist items, but you can also make it as simple as a Google doc, and adding deadlines/tasks to your Google calendar. You might find tools like Trello, Asana, Clickup, Airtable, etc. also helpful, dending on your working style. The key is to do what works for you!
Showit – Showit is my website platform and allows me to SO easily make new pages. I actually created an entire new Resources page for my clients with helpful links. That way, they’ll be able to find answers, prep for upcoming sessions, all while I’m out.
Honeybook – I use Honeybook for my client management system, and I have for years. They also have functionality to schedule emails, tasks, and deliverables. Obviously it takes some prep on my end in advance, but it keeps things flowing while I’m on leave! My VA also has access and can pop in and send messages and files on my behalf if needed, and onboard new clients.
Calendly – Calendly software syncs with my Google Calendar, and allows me to fully control my schedule. Potential clients and clients are able to schedule meetings right through my platform. So it’s a win-win for both of us, they can choose a time to meet that works for them! At the same time, I’m able to protect days or times on my calendar as needed.
Virtual Assistant – Speaking of my VA, I consider her part of my system and process, too! She’s invaluable, and we’ve worked ahead of time to set up SOPs. These SOPs (standard operating procedures) make it even simpler to respond to client messages, automate tasks, and more.
Prepping my Clients for My Maternity Leave
While I’ve been planning, its also been really important to prep my clients for my out of office! I want them to be able to have resources and access to FAQs. I want them to be able to find what they’re needing to get ready for brand sessions, even while I’m out. I’m not going to link it here because it’s truly for my clients’ eyes only, but I created a whole Resource page for them. In addition, I of course reached out to each Retainer client personally to keep them up to date.
Resources Page for Clients
My Resources page is very in-depth, and while I can’t show you, I’ll share what’s on it!
Link to our Client Workspace (Honeybook) with:
Pinterest links to get started on Vision/Mood Boards
Links to schedule a Planning Call (via Calendly)
Session Location ideas and guidance
Shot List Planning guidance
Outfit Planning guidance
I’m sure I’ll be adding to this in the next couple of weeks before I’m due, but this list is a great start.
This has already been such a learning experience, but I hope you find this info helpful. Please email me if there’s anything else you want to know about planning an extended or maternity leave. I’m no expert, but I strongly feel there needs to be more support and transparency surrounding planning maternity leave as a women business owner. I’m here for you, and I welcome your questions!