How To Keep That Work/Mum Balance
- Date 04.16.12
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Below are some tips to help keep you sane whilst running your business and your family.
1. KEEP TO YOUR BUSINESS HOURS: If you have decided that you are only working 10am to 2pm, Monday to Friday then stick to those hours! Educate your clients from day one, that they are your business hours and work will only be complete between that time. They are more than welcome to email you tasks outside of those hours (and if the kids are at a party and you have some free hours and feel like working then that’s okay) but there is no obligation you will respond to their request until your next business day.
2. DON’T ANSWER YOUR PHONE OUTSIDE OF BUSINESS HOURS: When I started building my business I used my mobile number a my business (which is fine). However I was also obsessed with getting as many clients as possible and also servicing my clients to the best of my ability – some times I went way over the call of duty. I’d answered their calls any time of the day. When clients are ringing you at 8pm at night to ask you to type a document urgently that they need 9am the next morning its not conducive to good health. So I made a rule that I would NOT answer my mobile after 5pm from clients. As I used my mobile for family and friends as well, I couldn’t put a blanket rule in – I just had to make sure that all of my clients numbers were in my phone. THEN I had to take it one step further and not answer any private numbers either as my clients started ringing me with their number blocked. At the end of the day what I am saying is position them to understand that you don’t answer your phone after a certain time. If it’s urgent enough they will leave a message, you can listen to it and then make a decision as to whether to action it or not.
3. OFFER TO WORK OUTSIDE OF YOUR BUSINESS HOURS FOR A HIGHER RATE: If you have clients who consistently require support outside of business hours and the income would help you and you and your family, then charge a higher rate. You can always include in your contract that urgent tasks completed outside of your business hours can be charged at a higher rate therefore making the effort you are putting in seem worthwhile.
4. HAVE ME TIME: With kids around this might be hard, but make a conscious effort to allocate 2 hours per week just for you. Have a bath with a cuppa tea, watch a dvd that you like etc. If you get joy from hanging with the kids, then play a board game or now that it’s getting colder pick up a kids movie, blanket and snuggle with the whole family on the couch. What ever you decide to do, make sure its fun and you love it! Don’t stress about the dishes or the laundry – that can wait. Your sanity and happiness cannot
5. GET SUPPORT: If your business is growing dramatically and there is too much work (but you don’t want to turn new clients away) network with other VA’s who can take some of the pressure of your load of work. You can work out some kind of mutual arrangement where perhaps you split the hourly rate or similar. Don’t try and take on everything. If you are already at your max and you take on more clients, you are simply going to dilute yourself too much and give average service to lots of people rather than GREAT service to a select group of clients.
These are just a few tips to help you out – I would love to hear from you if you have any others, feel free to leave a comment!