Are you already dreading the impact of the imminent school summer holidays on your business? Get tip on how to stay business-focused (and sane) in the coming weeks!
Every parent who runs their own business knows what is coming: THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS. Depending on where your children go to school, you could be facing anywhere from six to ten weeks of the kids at home.
Summer holidays play havoc with your business
And as lovely as it is to spend quality time with your children or sun yourself on a lounger somewhere hot, the summer holidays can play havoc with your business.
Melissa Talago, founder of Campfire Communications, is very familiar with this problem. As a mum to two boys who are now 11 and 9, she has spent years trying to keep business momentum going over the holidays and be there for her children.
She has now come up with a solution to help other parents just like her. She explains what impact the summer holidays can have on your business, how you can manage it and her own solution to the problem.
The Summer Holiday Effect
Unless you are blessed with long-suffering grandparents, have a nanny or a passive income business, chances are you will suffer from the Summer Holiday Effect, which includes:
- A reduced income as you decide to scale back or take the summer off.
- A nagging send of worry that you should be working instead of genuinely relaxing. This leads to you being more irritable with the kids.
- Stress as you try to juggle work and an increase in household chores and looking after the kids. Balls get dropped.
- A loss of momentum and a sense of starting from scratch once the kids return to school.
- Missing out on making any real money in September as you spend the month planning.
- Missing opportunities (particularly press opportunities) taking place in October and November as the deadlines were over summer.
- Missing valuable Christmas opportunities because you began planning too late.
- Finally getting started again… and then everyone winds down for Christmas!
This stop-start effect doesn’t just affect your bank balance. It can have a serious effect on your morale too.
How to stay business-focused (and sane!)
So what can you do about it? Here are some suggestions.
Decide what is both urgent and important in your business, things like existing clients or new business requests. Make sure you carve out time to action these. This is where camps and childcare are needed.
2) Ditch and automate
Ditch the urgent but not important stuff. For example, schedule social media updates before the holidays start so you don’t feel sucked into unimportant social media chats that aren’t really making a difference to your business.
3) Make a list
Take one hour before the kids break up to list all the big strategic stuff you want to be focusing on when you get back after the summer.
4) Do one thing a day
Choose one topic from your list each day or week and spend an hour or two solidly working on those things. I find first thing in the morning is a great time to do this while the kids watch tv. This will leave you feeling as though you have achieved something meaningful and will take away that lingering feeling of ‘I should be working’.
5) Use play time
When you’re sitting in the park while the kids play, instead of looking at your Facebook feed, use the time to research calendar items that will be coming up between September and February. Make note of them. Use them to flesh out your calendar of activity going forward.
6) Start planning
Populate a plan template with each small task and calendar item so that by the time the kids are back at school, you have done your planning and are ready to roll. Plus, you can get rid of the nagging ‘I should be working’ mantra by steadily ticking things off your list.
To help parents stay focused on their business and spend time with their kids, Melissa has created a virtual Summer Camp that starts on 1 July – a programme of one-on-one consultancy, templates and bite-size exercises to help you create a marketing plan covering September to February 2016.
You’ll also get a full month of email support during September and all the tools you need to promote your, business including an 11-module course on how to do your own PR plus a bespoke press list. Find out more here now!Melissa Talago