Perfecting your work/life balance ...
Posted on: 12/09/2013 By: Jacqui Frost
With the greater freedom from the widespread advances in technology has come an increase in the number of people working from home. Not just for those employees with flexible bosses but the estimated 2.4 million people who have begun freelancing in the last two years ...
outsourcing certain tasks can really help with your work/life balance
PeoplePerHour.com ran a survey of businesses with the following results: 36% of respondents said that wanting to be their own boss was the reasons for freelancing, 67% claimed that faster internet access enabled them to work for themselves and a staggering 90% claimed to have a better work/life balance now they were working for themselves.
There are more Dads working from home than ever before, and many have chosen to work for themselves just so they can help with childcare. But this means the number of businesses affected by the school holidays has increased. Working from home makes juggling the childcare during the holidays much easier and cheaper than before. However there are now new complications to consider.
It seems such a good idea doesn't it; the children are at school 9 until 3 which gives you plenty of quiet time to focus on work. And then you can squeeze in some more time once they have gone to bed. The three biggest problems for parents working from home are tasks that need to be done, answering the phone and spending quality time with the children. And these are issues all year round, not just during the holidays.
Tasks that need to be done regardless
Your business will need you to be networking and marketing your product or service. You will need to research your market place, source your product or provide your services, quote for new business and invoice business sold. These activities need to be completed with some consistency if your business is going to be successful. It can be hard enough to fit all of these activities during a standard week but during the school holidays it can be nigh on impossible.
If you are distracted at all then you can find yourself making silly mistakes. During the holidays you can be more distracted than usual as you are juggling a larger work load and more hectic diary as you are ferrying the children left, right and centre.
Some of these activities can be easily outsourced buying you time during the school term and easing your stress levels during the school holidays. Many VA's will help you with invoicing, quotes and with some of your online marketing.
Answering the telephone
Answering the phone is a critical task. It's so important to be available to your customers but it is also crucial to present a professional image. This is one of the hardest things to juggle during the holidays as it's difficult to maintain whilst the kids are screaming for their lunch or arguing over the television. And even during term time what if your customers ring up during the school run, or whilst you are cooking dinner, do you let them go through to an answerphone?
They say 70% of callers will hang up if they get an answerphone, however the scariest figure is 20% of new business is lost if the phone isn't answered. So perhaps its time to consider an answering service, there are several options available from those that simply take messages to those that can book appointments and take orders for you.
Spending Quality time with children
For a lot of people deciding to work for themselves is actually about having a better work/life balance and being able to spend quality time with their children. But if you are always concentrating on growing your business or focussed on time critical tasks like invoicing and quoting then you have forgotten those good intentions you started with. You may say you are spending time with them but are you simply in another room in the same house focussing on your business whilst they are doing other things?
To spend good quality time with them during the holidays may mean getting out of the house and doing things together, which isn't easy when you work for yourself. Using a Virtual Assistant and a Telephone Answering Service will buy you the freedom to run your business and get out of the office whenever you want.
So if you would like to be prepared for the next school holidays then how great would it feel to call us today and get everything sorted in advance? Call us on +44 (0) 845 901 1803 so that we can discuss a bespoke Virtual Assistant and Telephone Call Handling package that will suit your needs.
Until next time ...
THE OFFICE GENIE
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!