The school summer holidays are fast approaching. For children, this time is full of joy and anticipation – 6 weeks to do what they want to do, no homework, no pressure.
For parents, particularly sole traders and small business owners, this time can be filled with dread. How do you juggle the family and the business? How do you keep little ones amused so you can keep working? How do you make time to get away from the business to enjoy the summer?
I am one of these parents and I usually find myself feeling guilty for not spending enough time with my child or enough time on my business. I started my bookkeeping business to allow me to spend more time with my son. I am known as a ‘mumpreneur’.
For many of us it is not practical, or even affordable, to put children in holiday clubs for the entire holidays. Nor is it realistic to tell clients that you will not be contactable during this time!
So, what can you do? Here are some tips to help you stay productive and organised:
- Set your priorities for both work and home.
Plan in advance. I create a 6-week timetable on a spreadsheet and work out what my busiest dates (based on client deadlines) are likely to be and I make sure I have somewhere for my son to be. For those non-critical times, I change my working hours. I keep the day free and work more during the evenings and some weekends. Remember on family days, switch off the work phone, leave the emails and have a great time!
- Get your business organised.
Holiday periods are a great chance to focus on what is important and essential for your business. Where possible outsource some tasks such as admin and bookkeeping, not just during the holidays but on an ongoing basis. That way when the holidays arrive you don’t need to think about handing over the work, it will always be done for you.
- Use your networks for both home and work.
At home see if you can share childcare, offer to have friends’ children to join yours on your family days. If you coordinate well, your children will have a great time with friends and you get clear working days.
- Keep them occupied while you work
It’s important to give them variety. A few days, or a week of holiday clubs will be good for them. It gives them the chance to play with other children and gives you the time to arrange client meetings whilst they are away. At home, keep them busy with structured activities such as board games and puzzles. Some TV time every now and then is not harmful either!
- Delegate to someone that doesn’t need time off during the holidays
Pass work onto someone that can help out when you are not available. You may have a business partner or someone in the office. If neither, get yourself an associate on a temporary basis. But make sure you don’t just dump the work on them and leave them to it for 6 weeks. Be available for queries during certain times of the day.
- Automate your marketing
Don’t neglect your marketing activities. If you are operating a ‘stop-start’ approach during the holidays you risk losing potential sales. Social media and e-mail campaigns can easily be automated to maintain awareness about your business.
- Take some proper leave yourself
Use this opportunity to book a reasonable amount of time off to completely switch off. You need recuperation time too, its not just for school children!
There are 13 weeks of school holidays a year in the UK. Plan these into your business and prepare in advance. You don’t have to stop your business every time the schools break up. As your business grows learn to outsource your work.
At Rosemary Bookkeeping we lighten the load for many small and medium sized businesses by managing all their bookkeeping needs. So, whether you are on holiday or busy with clients, you can be sure that your accounts are always up to date.
Have a stress free summer!
If you are looking to outsource your bookkeeping, contact Neeta Patel at Rosemary Bookkeeping:
Tel: 01604 422314