Whether it is half term, Easter, Summer or Christmas… school holidays can be a time of stress and military precision planning for small business owners! If you are a solo-entrepreneur and parent of school-age children, it might not always be practical or possible to take time off during every holiday. Some businesses may find that things get a little quieter over the summer or Christmas but, if client work is still coming in and you still need to be bringing in money (and who doesn’t!) then you need to plan your time carefully.
When it is time for your children to break up from school you will find yourself juggling family life and your business a lot more than usual. So how do you survive the school holidays?
The key to successfully juggling it all is to plan ahead. Create a schedule for both your business and your family. What needs to be completed and when? Do you have any meetings you must attend? When are you going to take your family holiday? Where are you going to take the kids for days out? Get a plan in place to ensure you know where everyone needs to be, and what needs to be done in your business to make sure you can enjoy the break.
Family and Friends
Realistically it is going to be difficult to have your children with you for the entire summer for example (six weeks – gulp!). But you also can’t just leave your business to fend for itself or hope to pick it up after the holidays. Can you call upon family and friends to take the kids for a day out, or even a few hours to allow you to concentrate on your business? A ‘holiday’ for a few days or even a week with grandparents will seem like such a treat and could give you a much needed few days to really focus, sometimes even more so than your typical week if you then don’t have to worry about bedtime routines either!
Remember that you aren’t alone. There will be family, friends and mums from school who are in the same situation as you. You have good intentions to help each other out but it can often be difficult to plan. This is where the Sitster app can help. It’s a free, quick and easy to use app that allows you to create a ‘babysitting’ group amongst your trusted friends. You can send and respond to requests for babysitting. You can earn points when you sit for friends, to then redeem when you need someone to sit for you. It’s a great way to help support fellow working mums.
Whether it’s your social media, a regular emailer or newsletter, get prepared and schedule your content in advance. Email marketing tools such as MailChimp all have scheduling tools to allow you to create your emails and schedule them to be sent on your behalf. For social media, there are tools like SmarterQueue, Content Cal and Later which again will help you curate and schedule content to be posted to your platforms. If you then get an odd free moment you can post directly to your page, but it gives you the freedom to enjoy family time, whilst allowing your social feeds to keep ticking over. Engagement on social media is still super important, so try and check in when you can to respond to comments and direct messages.
Prioritisation is an important thing to think about, and now is a good time to review your never ending to do list. During the summer holidays, it is all about dealing with the ‘must dos’ rather than the ‘I would like to dos’. If your list is full of big projects or business development, these are things that can potentially wait until the kids are back at school and you have more time on your hands. Focus on the day to day activities that must be done and cannot wait until after the holidays.
Sometimes circumstance may mean you can’t completely switch off on holiday. If you do find yourself having to take your laptop or work phone with you, try and be disciplined with your time. Agree with your partner when you will work. If you need to check in once a day, try and do it at the same time and put a strict limit on work time. For example, if you know you only have 30 minutes a day, you will be more productive and any team members back at home will know exactly when they can reach you and expect a response. It is important that you relax, and step away from your business though, so do make sure you switch off at some point!
If after planning and prioritising what needs to be done, you still find that you have too much to manage on your own, then look into outsourcing some of the work to a Virtual Assistant. By passing the task onto someone else, it allows you to have the best of both worlds. Your business is supported and ticking over as it should be, but you also have time to enjoy yourself and spend time with your family.
If you haven’t hired a VA before we recommend downloading this guide from VIP VA on how to get the most out of your VA and how to make the right hire. All of our VA team members are proud members of VIP VA having met their membership criteria. This means you can be sure that we have robust business processes in place and you can feel reassured that you and your business are in safe hands.
If you’re looking to outsource and you’d like to find out how The Assistant Quarters could support you and your business, why not book a free 30-minute discovery call?
Or call Claire on 0208 064 1969, or email email@example.com to find out more.