You know it’s happened to you. Your phone rings and it’s the important business call you’ve been waiting for. As you look at your children wildly circling you, you ask yourself, “Do I take the call?”
It leaves you wondering how other Mom Entrepreneurs handle at-home-business calls. Here are four quick tips:
1. Don’t apologize. On the days my son, Cole (age four) is with me, there ARE times he talks or is noisy when I’m on a business call. I used to say, “I’m sorry, my son is here…” But thankfully, I’ve changed. I’m grateful to Ponn Sabra, author of Empowering Women to Power Network for setting me straight. She told me to be proud my son is with me. And she is right. Now when I proudly state, “My son is with me today,” I find callers are gracious. Most reply with, “Oh, that’s wonderful! Enjoy your time with him.”
2. Be prepared for the unexpected. As a mom, you wear many hats. When on the phone, always smile and project a good attitude. But be prepared to deal with unexpected situations. If children are disruptive during a call, remain calm. This is the time to have a sense of humor and make light of the situation. If the caller hears the background cries and you’re unable to quickly control the situation, offer to call back at a later time. “Would ten minutes or a half hour be better for you?”
3. Give “silent hellos or goodbyes”. Laurie Hurley of Home Tutoring Business developed a “silent hello” (or goodbye) she uses when on the phone and her girls walk in or out. Laurie wears a headset to free her hands for a big hug and a quiet kiss. Her girls are trained to be quiet and they understand she can’t hang up just because they’ve arrived. The girls compete to see who can be the quietest, and Laurie doesn’t have to hang up on a client!
4. Leave your children “reminders”. Melody Spier of Ballyhoo Virtual Services purchased a small stop sign for her office door. It serves as a visual reminder for her kids to stop and listen so they don’t burst in during a business call. Below the sign she posted three questions for her kids to ask themselves before interrupting.
1. Is someone hurt?
2. Does it concern schoolwork?
3. Would you pay $5 for the answer? ($5 = the 15 minutes it takes to work through the question and get refocused)
This cut the interruptions down to almost zero after about a week.
By being proud of your decision to work from home, being prepared for the unexpected, giving silent hellos or good-byes, and leaving your children reminders, you, too, can experience more success with your at-home-business calls.