Outside Consultant: When's the best time to arrange day care?

  • Updated: August 30, 2009 - 1:18 PM

Q Should I schedule day care first and then try to make enough money as an entrepreneur to pay for it? Or do I make enough first to afford child care and then go back to a full-time position?

KATHERINE HUANG

GIA GRADUATE DIAMONDS

A You've hit on a classic entrepreneurial question, although it is in a current context: when to take a risk.

You need to look at the future and realistically estimate what revenue you think the business can make and plan on how to manage the situation if you do not meet that estimate. For instance, determine how long you must commit to paying for child care in order to try working full time and what can be done if the commitment cannot be met.

Having a backup plan if the initial estimations turn out to be too optimistic helps determine whether taking the risk is reasonable. It will also help identify what your milestones should be both financially and in terms of the calendar year to build a reasonable plan for transition.

Thinking through the actual steps in the transition may help you to brainstorm other options, perhaps to work part time and shift some of your work tasks to an assistant so that you receive more financial compensation from the time you do spend in your earning job.

In the end, only you know the market, client base, potential for earnings and the costs of your child care choices to making these calculations.

SALLY J. POWER,

PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT

AND CHAIR OF THE MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT,

UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS

OPUS COLLEGE OF BUSINESS

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