Guest post by Sue Burton
When I started my first business 30 years ago I was given a piece of advise which has stayed with me and that was “make sure you schedule in breaks or you will be the one that breaks” – being your own boss mean you are technically available 365 days a year. When I started out my drive wasn’t the money it was being able to manage my life rather than squeezing everything into 4 or 5 weeks holiday a year.
Admittedly when I was in my 20’s my business fitted around my social life but now as a mum I love knowing that I can attend sports days, sick days as well as being around during school holidays.
I am lucky my baking business is flexible and a large part of my business during the summer holidays is wedding favours which are booked months in advance however this is not the case for everyone. Here are my top tips for balancing both your business & the school holidays.
- Get Organised!
Schedule your social media – You can keep your social media sites up to date by using apps to schedule tweets, Facebook posts and blog posts to go live in the future. Options include Hootsuite, TweetDeck and Buffer.
Use a virtual assistant – Setup from a remote location they can deal with everything from answering incoming calls to paying bills, and from conducting research to booking travel, and can be more flexible and inexpensive than hiring staff.
Out of office notifications – Setting an auto-response to emails and a specific answerphone message. Tell callers or email correspondents that you’re working limited hours during the school holidays and that you may take longer than usual to get back to them.
- Childcare options.
If your business just doesn’t work with little ones around there’s a range of solutions to fit all budgets.
Childcare – Check for a registered childminder in your local area, and check the government’s advice for employing someone to work in your home.
Summer play clubs – Pre bookable for a few hours a day, a whole day or for the whole week.
Friends & Family – In an ideal world, you might have friends or family who are willing to help out with child care. However, if this isn’t an option for you, maybe consider sharing childcare with your working friends & pooling resources. The holidays are also a great time to get paid help (at a very reasonable price) from older children who are on long holidays from school, college or university.
- Be flexible
Working after-hours – While it’s not an ideal solution, if you need the quiet to get things done, evenings might be your best when your little ones are asleep.
Keeping clients notified – If your clients know you’re a working parent they could well be sympathetic to your circumstances and won’t mind the odd disruption that comes with children.
Managing expectations – As much as you try to juggle work and kids over summer, it’s always going to be more of a balancing act than it is while they’re at school. Be honest with your clients – and with yourself – about how things may be a little different during the holidays.
My daughter is now 12 and whilst she still wants to do things with me I know my days are numbered so make the most of this time you have with them it’s your holiday too!
If you are interested in a Baking business – working from home, doing something you love with the hours to suit you please get in touch.