It’s difficult enough to be a woman owning a business in construction — a field usually considered a domain of males. When you become a wife and mother to boot, the challenges multiply. How can you balance motherhood with running a successful construction contractor business? This article will help you find possible solutions.
The construction industry is male-dominated. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, only 11 percent of the U.S. construction workforce were women. So when you become a mother and a business owner in construction, you’re already facing some unique challenges. Still, there is a growing number of women who own construction companies.
One of the biggest challenges is finding the time to do it all. As a mother, you have domestic responsibilities like cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids. On top of that, you have to run your business and deal with customers, suppliers, and employees. It can be challenging to find time for everything.
Inspiration: Some Women-Owned Construction Firms
It’s crucial to find role models in your industry. They can serve as your inspiration as you persevere in your path. Here are a few women who own successful firms in the construction industry.
- Jean Bjork, Bjork Construction owner-president; named by Constructech magazine as one of the 2021 Women in Construction and by Construction Business Owner Magazine as one of the 2020 Outstanding Women in Construction; awarded the National Women’s Business Enterprise Star Award by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council in 2019
- Jennifer Todd, LMS General Contractors founder-president; named by Construction Business Owner Magazine as one of the 2020 Outstanding Women in Construction
- Kathryn Cahill Thompson, Cahill Contractors CEO; named by San Francisco Business Times in 2019 as the top-earning woman-owned construction firm in the Bay area
There are also organizations of women who own businesses in the construction industry, and it would help to network with them. A few of these are:
- National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)
- Women Contractors Association (WCA)
- Federation of Women Contractors (FWC) Chicago
One way to balance your business and family life is by delegating tasks. If you have employees, delegate some work to them. If you don’t have employees, see if you can hire some part-time help.
Another option is to outsource some of your work. For example, you can hire a cleaning service to clean your office or home. You can also hire a virtual assistant to handle some administrative tasks for your business.
You can also delegate some home tasks to your spouse or partner. If you have older children, train them to help out with some domestic chores like cooking or cleaning. They need to learn these life skills for their own future, too.
Plan Your Time
It’s also essential to plan your time carefully. Make a schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Set aside time for each task and try not to overlap or double-book yourself.
If you have young children, take advantage of nap times and bedtimes. This is when you can focus on work tasks without interruption. You can also get some work done while the kids are at school or daycare.
Take Advantage of Technology
Technology can also help you balance motherhood and your business. There are a number of apps and software programs that can help you manage your time, stay organized, and get work done more efficiently.
For example, there are project management apps that can help you keep track of deadlines and tasks. There are also invoicing and accounting apps that can automate some financial aspects of running your business.
When you need to source equipment and materials, maximize online searches. Most suppliers in the U.S. and around the world now have websites that are virtual catalogs of their products.
For instance, if you need a tracked excavator for digging in a home-building project located in an existing neighborhood, you can search for a model that can safely operate in that limited space. You cannot use a huge model with a wide swing like the ones for commercial projects with large areas. It’s easy to compare compact models, brand quality, and prices online. You can make queries, settle on your choice, and even arrange for financing without leaving home.
Make Time for Yourself
It’s also important to make time for yourself. When you’re constantly juggling multiple responsibilities, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. Make sure to schedule some time each week to relax and do something that you enjoy. This can be something as simple as taking a long hot tub bath, reading a book, or going for a walk.
It’s also important to schedule some time each week to spend with your family. This is the time when you can focus on your relationship with your spouse or partner and your children. Try to put away work-related thoughts during this time and really focus on your loved ones.
You Can Find a Balance
Balancing motherhood and running a business is no easy task. But it is possible to find a balance that works for you and your family. By delegating tasks, planning your time carefully, and taking advantage of technology, you can free up some time to focus on your business and your personal life. Just remember to make time for yourself and your family. If you do, you’ll be able to find a balance that works for everyone.