There just aren't enough hours in the day

One of the things I enjoy most about running my own business is flexibility.  I took more time off than I should over Easter due to the lovely weather, but I didn't have to ask for holiday and I ensured that all my client deadlines were still met.  I've started this blog 3 times, and never quite finished it - therefore the long silent gap.

I did though wonder who I could ask in order to buy an extra hour per day (or 2 even).  I've always thought myself pretty disciplined when it comes to time management but now I'm not so sure.  There are so many things that I want to get done, and I like to have a "to do" list in order to tick things off as I make progress.  The problem is my list is getting longer not shorter all the time.

I have been very pleased with my decision to use Digita software within my business, but 2 weeks after the training sessions I only have 2 clients on there and I've forgotten a lot of what I learnt. I'm sure it will come back to me as I use the system!  I was hoping to give some useful advice to others in my position, who are taking the leap into changing their software - but I'm still learning myself and can't think of anything useful to say yet.

I've also engaged a "business coach" to help me make the most of my business.  I want to ensure I provide the best possible service to my clients at a cost they are willing to pay - and that I can make a good living at the same time.  He's already set me a number of exercises to do, and I've had to go back for extra time with multiple excuses.

One of my solutions is an assistant - to help with the admin and keep me organised.  The only problem is I work from my front room, and so I don't have a spare desk plus would someone want to come to my house to work?  They would have to be very flexible as to the type of work involved (what experience of accountancy do you have, and by the way do you mind picking the kids up from school as I'm very busy) - I don't think so!

I don't have all the answers, yet, but I love every minute of it and I wouldn't have it any other way.  How do other "working parents" manage?

Comments

They're out there somewhere

HudsonCo | | Permalink

Elizabeth,

As another member of the class of 2009 I had the same problem over that first person but today I struck lucky. I had an informal chat today with a friend of a friend over a cup of coffee and she seems to be the solution to my problem. I have opted for another mother who is looking for part time/flexible hours. She has the common sense to turn her hand to anything and will, very gradually, take on the office admin, book-keeping and marketing admin. The bonus is that she has knowledge of book-keeping and, as she is willing to start with just a few hours here and there, there's no pressure for me to take on enough work to fill her time.

I am fortunate to have space for her here while training but I'm going to set her up to work independently from home too. I use Vonage VOIP so she can answer the phone for me remotely and there are various ways of organising the IT side. The downside is the fixed cost of desk, laptop, software, insurance etc.

I have met a whole host of very capable women from different professions who want to return to work but can't usually find the flexibility they want. If you have any contacts at the school gates ask around among those whose youngest child is about to start school.

Another alternative for you might be some of the virtual PAs and other services.

I'm interested to know how you get on with Digita. I've gone down the conventional but expensive Sage route as it was already used by one client. I've just joined Impetus Business Networking and, in addition to the usual business breakfasts, they include coaching so my first session will be on Tuesday.

Good luck.

Business Coaching

DILBERT11 | | Permalink

I was interested to see that Liz had engaged the services of a business coach to help her make sense of her professional life.

As an accountant myself I am well aware of the problems she is encountering so earlier this year I decided to add coaching and mentoring to my work portfolio.  Although still in its infancy I have received some excellent testimonials.

So if anybody in the Edinburgh and Lothians area is in need of someone to help them unleash their potential to fulfil their goals please contact me ron@bridgewellsplus.co.uk or look me up on http://www.bridgewellsplus.co.uk 

Ron Thomas 

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