Half Term Horror
The joy of working for yourself ...
Posted on: 28/10/2013 By: Jenny Eaton
It's Half Term here in Northamptonshire this week and so many small business owners are going through the usual school holiday nightmare. Many of them have chosen to work for themselves just so they can spend more time with their children ...
Are you going to have time to take your kids out to Trick Or Treat or will you be working?
It seems such a good idea doesn't it? With the children at school 9 until 3 there's 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 getting the 'must do' jobs done, answering the phone and managing time with the children. And these issues are truly exacerbated during the holidays.
Must do jobs
Your business has many jobs that just need to be done. These will include sourcing products, providing services, marketing your business, researching your market place, quoting new business and invoicing business that you have done. Most of these activities lead to business success when handled consistently. During the school holidays it can be nigh on impossible to get the jobs done, let alone finished to your usual high standards.
It's hard to stay focused when you are trying to fit work around your children, ferrying them to friends and play centres and often you can find yourself making silly mistakes. 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 marketing.
Answering the telephone
Answering the phone is key to any business. It's important to be available to your customers but at the same time you must always present a professional image. This is one of the hardest things to juggle during the holidays as it's difficult when the kids are screaming or arguing or watching the television. The worst time has to be when you are cooking dinner; the children are hungry, you're battling to get them fed and that's when your most demanding customer rings you!
Please don't say that you let it go the answerphone? 70% of callers will hang up if they get an answerphone. 80% of first time callers will go elsewhere rather than leave a message. So whether you use one full time, or just during the school holidays, consider an answering service. There are several options available from those that simply take messages to those that can handle your calls by booking appointments and even taking orders for you.
Managing your time with the 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. Does it count if you are simply in another room in the house focussing on your business whilst the kids 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 is more likely to be enjoyed if it's swimming or a trip to the cinema than going to a networking event or pushing leaflets through doors!
Using a Virtual Assistant and a Call Handling service will buy you the freedom you need to spend time with your children whilst the business is running itself.
So to talk to a busy mum about how a VA and Call Handling Service can help you fit your business into your family life rather than the other way around! Call me on +44 (0) 1604 529170 or click here to ping over an email and I'll get right back to you.
Until next time ...