Business owner finds delegating key to expansion

NEW YORK (AP) — When Erin Krex and her husband decided to expand by starting their second and third small businesses, she quickly realized she had a juggling act to pull off.

Krex was already running their agency that places nannies, housekeepers and other workers. Then, in the past year, the couple started a mother's concierge service and a business that teaches CPR. And they have a son, now 9, to raise and a house to run.

"I thought, I have to give up something or this business won't exist," says Krex, owner of First Class Care, Chicago Mommy Concierge and CriticalCPR. All are based in Northbrook, Ill.

One problem Krex faced was that First Class Care is a seven-day-a-week job. Clients tend to call at night and on the weekends needing emergency nanny or other care, or to discuss problems. To set up Chicago Mommy Concierge, Krex needed to take an 18-week class to become a baby planner, someone who helps expectant parents prepare for life with a newborn. Once the business started in February, she began traveling to meet with clients at their homes.

"It's more of a time-intensive company," she says.

Krex learned she had to delegate — personally and professionally. She hired someone to reorganize her home and pays someone to run errands. She and her husband figured out how to divide child care.

Her staff of three has taken on more of the day-to-day operations of First Class Care.

"I found people to work for me that can multitask," Krex says.

And she handed over running CriticalCPR to her husband, Steve. He advertises, sets up and teaches the twice-monthly classes.

Erin Krex, a self-described perfectionist, has also learned not to sweat the small stuff.

"If you don't get the right kind of bread, I'm OK with it. But if you mess something up in my business, that's not OK," she says.

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