How will my business (and I) survive the school holidays?

Your question

Help! The school summer holidays have only just started, and already I feel like pulling my hair out. How can I find a way to keep my business going, and entertain my children?

Our answer

Many of my customers are mums running their own businesses, so I know all about the trials of balancing bored children over the long school holidays with the demands of work!

Like most working mums, you’ve probably perfected a routine to make the most of the school day, but when the teachers jet off for their own break from your kids, those precious hours grabbed here and there for work are going to be much harder to come by.

But don’t panic! With a bit of planning you can manage your business so you can enjoy the summer with your children, while keeping things ticking over.

Work out what’s urgent and deal with it

With fewer hours to devote to work, it’s important to prioritise. If you try to achieve everything, you risk burning out before the holidays are over.

So make a list of everything you need to do, and discount anything that can wait for another day. Then you can focus what time you do have on the really urgent tasks.

By learning accept that you can’t do everything and letting go of non-urgent tasks, you’ll all have a better summer, and your health (and your family) will be grateful.

Fall back on automotive technology

At times like this, modern technology can be a real godsend. With some clever planning, you can set things up and then leave them to work while you’re out having fun with your kids.

Social media tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer ensure that you have a voice online, even when you’re down the beach! If you get the chance, try to write blog posts and newsletters written before the holidays (or in the evenings after the kids are in bed) ready to post over the long summer weeks.

Newsletter tools like Mailchimp and Aweber have scheduling functions, as does WordPress – so you can upload your articles in one go and spread them out through the holidays.

Be honest with your customers

If you explain what’s happening over the summer to your clients and customers, you’ll probably find that they’re quite understanding.

So set up an out of office outlining your work pattern over the summer, and direct new customers to the best of your website (and an FAQ page if you have one). If you’re clear with then (and yourself) about what you’re able to achieve over the holidays, you’ll all be happy.

Ask for help when you need it!

As much as we like to think we can do everything, there comes a time when we all need a little help. If juggling all your responsibilities feels like an impossible task, consider what jobs you can outsource.

A virtual assistant is a great option in the school holidays when free time is particularly hard to come by, and can help give you invaluable peace of mind that things are ticking over nicely while you’re off having fun with your kids.

Kathryn Hall provides Virtual PA support for creative women. You can find out more about her services on her website.