Mums Enterprise Ltd
Being self-employed presents many opportunities and challenges throughout the whole year but if you have children, or are just trying to work around client timetables, the summer holidays can prove to be a particularly tricky time.
However, with some forward thinking and planning it needn’t be like that. You can make sure the holidays are just as productive as the rest of the year.
Follow these ten tips for advice on how to successfully navigate those summer months as a small business owner.
Top 10 Tips
1. Planning ahead
This is the number one tip for a very good reason. Summer happens at the same time, and brings the same challenges every year, so you can anticipate that and counteract it.
Perhaps summer is your quietest time of year because all of your clients suddenly disappear off on holiday.
If that’s the case then you need to be prepared for that and make sure you don’t suffer a catastrophic dip in your business income.
You might need to plan for childcare issues, or for your own holiday.
You might need to plan to fit in projects and deadlines and you will need to plan for the dates your clients are away and out of contact.
2. Managing childcare
If you do have children, finding them suddenly at home full-time for six weeks can present a real challenge, particularly if you operate your business from your home.
It’s important to anticipate this and to have a plan in place. You need to balance keeping your business running with spending quality holiday time with your children while they are off school.
Plan activities for them like children’s clubs, summer camps and trips to see relatives, for the days you need to work. Make sure you book everything well in advance so that you aren’t left in the lurch at the last minute.
3. Enjoying the sunshine
One of the advantages of working as a freelance or running your business from home, is you can make the most of the sunshine – grab your laptop and head down to the beach or the nearest park so you can enjoy the summer while continuing to work.
You could even combine a day out with the kids, with getting some of your work done outside – best of both worlds! Make the most of the flexibility!
4. Planning holidays
While the summer can be a nightmare of logistics and juggling and pre-planning for small business owners it’s also important to fit in your own break and holiday so that you can also take some time out to switch off and relax.
Holidays are not just for your clients!
5. Be flexible
One of the great things about being self-employed is that you can work flexibly so if you do have the children home all day, then make the most of them while you can and switch your work time to the evenings, after they have gone to bed.
It’s only for a few weeks so you can set your TV shows to record and make better use of your time to keep your business running while not missing out on that precious family time.
Alternatively, get up a few hours earlier in the morning and make the most of that quiet time to get work completed before the rest of the household starts stirring.
6. Be Travel Aware
If you have to travel to client meetings over the summer just be aware of potential travel problems, such as bank holiday traffic in August, and the rush on the first and last days of the school holidays.
There is also a tendency to do rail and road repairs during the summer so keep an eye out on the travel news if you are going anywhere for your business.
7. Use the time for business planning
If the summer is traditionally quiet as your clients go on holiday, and you have made plans to sort out any income shortfall which that might cause, then use the summer months wisely to organise the office, sort out your business admin and do some business planning for next year.
Get your books up to date and do some goal-setting.
Make the summer your strategic planning time.
8. Staff holiday time
If you have staff then make sure you plan and work around all of their summer holiday requests so that you don’t suddenly find everyone is away at the same time and there is no-one to hold the fort.
If your staff are client-facing make sure your clients know and understand who to contact on which dates, so they are reassured their work will continue as normal during holiday season.
9. Staff cover
Are you going to need to employ any temporary or agency staff to come in and cover the holidays to keep your business running efficiently?
If so you need to plan for this in advance and set up the recruitment process before the holidays begin, so you are not left stranded and you have time to pick the right person for your needs.
10. Use automated systems
Nowadays there are many automated systems you can set up so even if you are on holiday for a week, you can schedule things like social media posts and content updates and email marketing, to continue going out to your audiences automatically.
That way you can be sunning yourself on the beach and your business is still working for you in the background.
While the summer period can present challenges with childcare, holidays, juggling work and family time, and avoiding any drop in income, it is also a wonderful time for celebrating success, goal setting, enjoying the sunshine and taking a step back.
With a little forward thinking and planning, it is entirely possible to have a successful and fun summer as a self-employed small business owner.
Mums Enterprise Roadshow, the UK’s only flexible work and business show in the UK.
It’s free to attend, child and baby friendly offering expert exhibitors and workshops offering services, support and of course work and business opportunities.
The events are landing in London on 25th September 2017, Birmingham 31st October 2017 and Brighton in February 2018.
Register for your free place here and make sure you tell every mum you know.