Summer is Here: Are You Juggling Child Care with Managing Your Business?
With the school holidays approaching, or in many cases already here, does the thought of having your wee ones at home full time fill you with a mixture of happiness and apprehension? If so, you’re not alone – research shows that although many business owners are able to take some time off to look after their children, managing a full 6 or 7 weeks of childcare can be a struggle.
A good place to start is by playing the numbers game. Weigh up the cost of income lost by you taking time off against the cost of hiring childcare, whether it is a full-time nanny or daytime crèches. If there is an appreciable difference, start looking into local childcare options.
However, if you run or manage your own business, there is another option. By outsourcing to a reliable business support agency, you can free up the time you spend working in order to spend time with your children, often for a lower rate than many childcare agencies.
This route also provides you with a break from the office and helps to give you that “summer holiday” feeling, even if you aren’t jetting off anywhere exotic – with the gorgeous weather the UK has been enjoying, “staycations” have become popular again!
- Tracking down a copy of a book when Amazon, Waterstone’s and WHSmith had run out
- Creating a detailed spreadsheet to review candidates for a job vacancy
- Copy typing an entire manuscript to send to a noted publisher
Meet the Team
Stephen Mears CRM & Telephony Manager
Tell us about your background
I am an IT support professional with 13 years' commercial experience and 20 years' IT experience. My expertise is delivering solutions and support services for Small and Medium Businesses.
What is your favourite part of the job?
Clients, I am very people focused and enjoy making people smile. Also playing with new technology.
What are you known best for in the office?
Being a font of knowledge. Questions are normally directed to me as “Can I pick your brain?”
Best and worst things in life?
Best: My kids. I love them the most when they are at their grandparents for the weekend.
Worst: Not getting out kayaking often enough.
Who would play you in a film of your life?
Dumbo would do, he has similar sized ears :)
For those of you who watched The Apprentice, you might have noticed that the 2013 series was an all-woman final. Seeing more prominent businesswomen can only be a good thing, especially considering some of the recent statistics regarding female employment.
According to a survey carried out by PwC, the UK was ranked in 18th position out of a sample of 27 OECD countries in 2011 on key indicators of female economic empowerment including, the equality of earnings with men, the proportion of women in work both in absolute terms and relative to men, the female unemployment rate and the proportion of women in full-time employment.*
Obviously it’s going to take a lot more than one TV show to fix this inequality. A lot more. But it’s good to see women being judged on their brains and their business plans, rather than whether they are blonde or brunette. And the more UK employers start to realise this, the better the outlook for the economy as a whole.
The largest arts festival in the world descends on our HQ in the next two weeks. Already we have had Gerard Butler and Colin Firth strutting their stuff through Edinburgh! Let the SmartPA team help choose and book the best events for you. See the full Fringe 2013 programme here: https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/programme
We have taken a sneaky peek to see what the most popular events this year are likely to be.
- Make a “What Not to Do” list. Sounds strange, but if you jot down all the things you somehow end up doing despite the fact they don’t give the best results for your business, you will be in a much better position to see where your time is going.
- Busy does not always mean productive. Just because you are rushing round the office with a phone to each ear while typing a report and briefing staff all at the same time does not mean you are being efficient. It means you are looking efficient, while actually exemplifying the saying “more haste, less speed”.
- If you find yourself unexpectedly delayed, whether by an Internet failure, late train, missing a supplier’s call, rather than sitting there feeling annoyed, find something else to do. Go over a presentation, flick through the business news or spend a few minutes catching up with an industry contact. Turn time wasted into time used.