Are you ready for the summer holidays?

It’s the time of year where parents across the land wonder where on earth the time has gone and how it’s already the end of the summer term! Business owners in particular will be used to a certain routine which will invariably go to pot once children are added to the mix. 

Yes, I know it’s still a few weeks ’til term finishes south of the border, but the Scottish holidays always seem to creep up on me, and due to a quirk in the calendar this year they are seven and a half weeks long! That’s quite a stretch of time when you’re trying to run a business and want to keep things ticking over but not at the expense of spending time with your children while they’re off. 

So how can you lessen the load and make the holidays easier to cope with if you’ve got school age children? 

1. Set your priorities

Can you work less over the holidays? Are you already being productive with the time you have available? Make a list of what absolutely needs to be done and focus on the most urgent or important tasks when you have time. If your time is limited, my advice is to use a timer. It’s amazing what you can fit into half an hour when you set yourself a mini deadline! There’s a good chance your clients will be aware that your time is limited over the holidays, so don’t overload yourself with extra work and make sure everyone is aware of what can be achieved realistically. 

2. Automate, automate, automate

Applications such as Hootsuite and Buffer are a godsend when it comes to automating your social media, so it’s well worth setting aside a period of time at the start of each week to schedule your Facebook and Twitter posts. If you need to write blog posts or newsletters over the holiday period, why not spend one evening doing a ‘blog bootcamp’ and get a whole bunch of them written and scheduled. 

3. Childcare swap

Unless you’re planning on spending every single evening working, ask one of your business owning friends with children if they fancy setting up a reciprocal childcare arrangement that works for both of you. 

4. Holiday and activity clubs

Every time I empty my children’s school bags another leaflet falls out advertising a summer activity club, so there’s certainly no shortage of them! If you know you want to try and have at least one really productive week over the summer, it’s worth looking into an activity or sports club where children will be occupied during school hours or mornings, at the very least.

5. Outsource!

If you’re really struggling, can you outsource some of the burden to someone else? If you need help setting up your automatic systems or you’re struggling to get those blog posts or newsletters written, or you just can’t handle the admin, a virtual assistant could help by taking some of these tasks off your hands and give you the freedom to enjoy more time with your family over the long break.

Enjoy the summer, whatever you’re up to!





Are you making yourself memorable?

Have you ever taken part in speed networking? It can be quite good fun! I was at an event last week where we sat in little groups of five, the organiser blew a whistle and we all got to speak to the others at the table for a minute before everyone switched and joined another table.

The only problem was that by the time we got to the end of the session, I’d pretty much forgotten what half the people did, and to be honest, I was so busy thinking about what I was going to say that I wasn’t always paying attention to the others anyway!

This got me thinking about the way we communicate our business to others. How can we make ourselves memorable with what we say to help people understand how we can help them, especially when we have to get it across so quickly?

For instance, I might tell the throng that I specialise in intelligent transcription.

So what? How does that help me?

So instead, I might change that to…I help creative people make their audio and video content more valuable with intelligent transcription.

Better, but what on earth does intelligent transcription mean?!

It occurred to me that while some people might have an idea of what transcription is, they might be baffled at the ‘intelligent’ bit, so I decided to explain briefly that it basically means taking out the ums, ers, hesitations and repetitionsfrom a piece of audio or video when you’re getting it down on paper. I got a few nods and smiles at this realisation, so I must have been making some sense!

Just because you’re an expert in what you do doesn’t mean others are, so if you’re able to explain your product and service in a way that gives others an ‘a-ha’ moment, so much the better!

How do you get across what you do to make your business and yourself memorable?