Have you had a holiday this year?
Are you one of the 69%?
Posted on: 08/07/2013 By: Jacqui Frost
A recent study found that 69% of small business owners took only fourteen days holiday in 2010, whilst an unlucky 13% didn't take any time off at all. By contrast their employees typically took four to five weeks holiday in 2010 ...
if you're juggling family and business, consider letting the genies help out
Now it may seem like a bit of a contradiction, but during the school holidays we expect to have a busy time here at Genie Towers. We find that school holidays are busier times for us, despite the fact that most of our clients are small businesses or sole traders. They may not take lots of holidays over the course of the year but they have other reasons to divert their calls to us during half term.
For many families, the school holidays bring new challenges as people try to juggle work with child care arrangements, and preferably without actually using up all their holiday allowance. Whilst for small business owners it is easier to make the decision to work from home for the day or week (if your office isn't already at home!) school holidays bring added complications.
How do you keep up the cool, calm, collected, professional image you have built up whilst the children are squabbling over whose turn it is to choose the TV channel? I mean, we all know there are times of the day which are quieter - usually when the children are eating or napping - but you can never guarantee that is when the clients are going to ring.
That's why a lot of clients choose to divert their calls during half term week. This way they keep up their professional image and it means they can choose the best times to return the calls; like when you've shoved the children in the garden for half an hour, or conned a friend into taking them to the cinema with their own brood.
We also have several larger businesses that come online for the odd week throughout the year, usually when the employees that answer the telephone are taking their holidays. With our virtual receptionist services we can transfer calls through to all departments as if we're based on site, offering all the benefits of a receptionist, though it can be a bit difficult for us to offer coffee and biscuits to your visitors!
That being said, we do know that a number of our clients are off to exotic locations and particularly during the winter when it has turned colder and darker we get very jealous!
Still, when it gets dark early it does mean evenings curled up in front of the fire ... bliss!
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!