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Work/Life Balance: Business Travel and Kids – Do They Mix?
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I often get asked how I manage to juggle my life as a mommy and my life as a CEO. People assume that I give up a lot of time with my children, especially since they know that I travel quite a bit. What a lot of people in my business life don’t know is that when I travel, whether for business or pleasure, I take my kids with me. Yup, you heard me. I take them with me.

So how do I do this and still manage to do business? I put in a lot of hard work and definitely a good amount of out-of-pocket money. Since my two kids were born (ages 2 and 4), I have arranged business travel to coincide with:

1.  My husband being able to come
2.  My mother being able to come
3.  My mother-in-law being able to come
4.  One of my sisters, or sister-in-law being able to come

You see the pattern. I travel enough that I use mileage to bring along family members. When my kids were under 9 months old I didn’t buy them seats and just brought them with me. After 9 months though traveling with a 20+ pound child on your lap can be ridiculous – so I started buying seats for the kids, and they started building miles that they can share with family members to get them to come along.

Once I get to the location, I don’t stay at hotels. I use short-term rentals which usually are the same price as a hotel room – but come with a full kitchen and generally two bedrooms. Because the cost is equal to what I would spend on my own in a hotel room, the company picks up the tab for the rental. My family member who accompanies me is comfortable and we all have access to a kitchen to make easy meals for the kids and not have to go out to restaurants. It works and the kids get the benefit of time with an extended family member. more…

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Strategy: A Business Plan Today Will Generate Profits Tomorrow
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A business plan is an essential management and operating tool for using your time, capital and energy the most effective way. This plan of action for building a successful small business examines the environment in which you expect your business to operate including potential problems, cyclical trends and growth opportunities.

If you plan to get financing, most lenders will require a business plan as part of the loan application. Putting your business objectives in writing as you build a business plan also forces you to think realistically about sales, expenses, short and long term goals. The more specific your goals are the better.

Make sure that the plan is easy to read, clear and can convince family, friends bankers and investors to give you a loan. A formal professional document is essential.

A complete business plan should identify: target customers and you plan to attract them; approaches to differentiating your products and services from competitors; sales and promotions; financial projections and a much more. Ideally, it will show anyone who sees it that you have done your research and understand the industry.

Every business plan starts with a cover page containing your contact information, which is vital to loan officers and other financial backers. The sections that follow include: more…

Julie Brander - Business Mentor, SCORE New Haven
Julie has been a SCORE volunteer since 1997. She has 20 years of experience in business, starting a manufacturing, wholesale and retail jewelry company. After selling her business, she dedicated herself to helping other entrepreneurs start and expand their business.
www.scorenewhaven.com | @juliebrander | More from Julie

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