How to Work on Your Business After 12 Hours at the Day Gig!

One of the bigger challenges my part time solopreneur clients experience is making the time for their business “passion.” It’s no secret that these days that the workplace almost doubles as your home. The hours are becoming, and often feel, brutal. Some business meetings can start as early as 6:30 or 7am and the departure time can vary from 6-8pm!

If your obligations involve children or family to care for after work that means your “work day” can extend well into the evening! And so clients will say, “How can I begin to do something on or in my business at 9 or 10pm and make an impact?” They’re tired and burned, out both physically and mentally.

I understand because I’ve been there! I had to find time after a 12 to 14 hour work day to do “something” to move my business forward. It could be very frustrating. Sometimes I didn’t know what to do, sometimes I’d do the less important stuff, or I’d just plain run out of time! So since this is about truth and I believe in “full disclosure”, I won’t kid you or my clients. I won’t say it’s ok, we’ll figure out how to write a web page, newsletter, tweet, blog post or article in 10 minutes or less and you’ll attract an amazing number of clients – just like that! Sorry, it just doesn’t happen like that! It will take some creative planning and unique approaches.

Let’s begin with three strategies for how you can maximize the minimal time you have as a part-time (or full-time) solopreneur!

Strategy #1: Make a plan for the week…

What are the few, but important things you need to get done this week? Perhaps you want to “tweet” a tip or new program or service you have. Prepare seven short, high content messages or tweets to share with your followers. Once you’ve prepared these short messages, you can either post one daily or use http://www.socialoomph.com/ to set them up to be delivered automatically. You can reuse these messages as valuable information you provide to your online networks so that they’re learning more about who you are and what you offer!

Strategy #2: Use your calendar effectively

At the start of the month, identify the key marketing activities you want to accomplish. This could include your newsletter, email campaign, teleseminar, webinar, direct mail or a list building activity. Decide on 2 or 3 max that you want to accomplish within the month. Then begin to line up the daily activities on your calendar. Again focus on 1 – 2 per day that you can easily accomplish. By scheduling your action this way, you feel good that you’re accomplishing something and you don’t overwhelm yourself or lose your sanity!

Strategy #3: Got a timer?

Remember the old egg timers your parents may have used to boil eggs? Well, believe it or not, they’re back! Well, for your business, not breakfast! Yes, you can actually use a timer to help you manage your time, effectively. Let me give you an example of how this could work for you.

Say you want to do some research about what your client’s wants and needs are. You’ve found a group where they post questions, share experiences and participate as a community. Great find, right? (They do exist by the way!) So you want to spend time reading, absorbing and even responding in the groups’ forum. But you don’t have all night to do so.

Solution? Set the timer! Commit to 30 or 45 minutes of focused activity in the forum. Using the timer helps to keep you on your time track and psychologically helps you to zero in on the valuable vs. the trivial.

My coach’s request is that you take one of these tips and implement it before the end of this week. I know that given the time challenges you’re likely experiencing, using just one of these strategies can give you great results!

I’d really enjoy hearing how these strategies have helped, so tell me about your success, ok?

Ideas for Keeping Children Busy After School

Do you struggle to keep your children busy after school? It can be very tiresome to deal with energetic children after a long day at work. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to use up a lot of your own energy to keep the kids entertained.

Clubs and Societies

One of the easiest but in many cases costliest ways of making sure your kids remain entertained after school is to enroll them in various clubs and societies that relate to their interests.

For example, sporty young kids would probably love the opportunity to use up their excess energy taking part in activities such as football, swimming, gymnastics, athletics or alike. Consult the school, community centre or your local council on opportunities in your area.

Do you think your child could do well in music? If it’s singing they might be good at, find out how to join the local choir. Perhaps there is one at the school, the community centre or the local church. For those looking to learn how to play an instrument, there are options as well. Most schools have an orchestra or band of sorts that it could be possible to join. Alternatively, hire a private tutor.

Other options for after-school fun and socialising include joining groups such as the Brownies or Scouts. These are great for teaching your children how to be independent, and gain some real life skills.

There could be some more niche interest groups on offer in your local area too that could see your little one learning anything from survival skills to floristry.

Kitchen Fun

If you, your older children or your childminder are keen cooks, transfer this interest and these skills to the younger generation. No one is ever too young to help out in the kitchen; it’s just a case of assigning age-appropriate tasks that don’t involve sharp knives or other potentially dangerous kitchenware.

You could be baking or making dinner for mum and dad. Activities that young kids can do are mixing ingredients, kneeding dough, and washing fruit and veg, for example.

Experiments

Scientific exploration and discovery should be encouraged, as it teaches kids a lot about how the world works. You’ll be happy to hear you don’t need many resources to carry out experiments at home. Many can be done with the help of just a few common household items. Find instructions online or in children’s activity books. Many charities and educational foundations produce materials that you could use, such as the popular SEEDKIT.

These types of activities are often meant to make it easier for children to understand scientific concepts such as electricity, buoyancy and viscosity.

Small Business Is Hard Enough: The Challenges of a Small Business After a Disaster

Disasters, I know we all hate that word. As humans we gird ourselves and simply say, “It won’t happen to me”. But the data shows that it’s not if it’s going to happen, it’s when is it going to happen.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 40% to 60% of small businesses fail following a major disaster. The number of presidentially declared disasters has more than doubled in recent years. However, many disasters don’t affect a large number of people like these declared events do. In fact, fire is the leading business disaster.

If that is not bad enough, researchers estimate that approximately: half of business do not survive their first 5 years and 8 out of 10 fail within the first 3 years after a disaster.*

Small Businesses have unique challenges that are quite different from their larger counterpart. Since 52 % of businesses are operated from the owner’s home or property their ability to recover is harder simply because they have to focus to two recovery efforts. There is never enough time to get them both done quickly and easily. If their business is in their home, there is no place for the work to continue. The property damage for a small business owner impacts BOTH the family and their business.

While owning a small business may seem like the American Dream, owning a small business has many challenges. But after a disaster the challenges become more profound. There seems to be recurring views of these owners both before and after the disaster.

Here are 7 challenges Small Business Owners face after a disaster:

1. Illusion of Security

2. Nothing could be done to protect against this

3. Complete 360-degree disaster for the individual

4. Self-imposed limits

5. Imprudent use of financial resources

6. Not understanding what is happening to their customer base

7. Assumption everything will get back to normal

Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. The largest challenge for small business owner is planning.

Small business owners invest a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to make their ventures successful, yet, many owners fail to properly plan and prepare for disaster situations. You can protect your business by identifying the risks associated with natural and man-made disasters, and by creating a plan for action should a disaster strike. By keeping those plans updated, you can help ensure the survival of your business.

When disaster strikes, having a plan and being able to put it into immediate action can mean the difference between staying open to service the needs of your customers and community or shutting down for a few days.

I know, not another plan! Who has time for that?

Resilience is different from preparedness. Where preparedness is something that you do; resilience is something that you become. In becoming more resilient, you as the owner should take intentional action. Do one thing today. (Just one thing). Do you back up your data? No, then get that done. Do you have an emergency contact list for your employees, suppliers, major clients? No, then get that done. Do you review you insurance policy every year with your agent? No, then get that done. Little by little, doing one thing moves you closer.

You’ve finally achieved your dream. Don’t lose it to a power outage, hacker disruption, fire, earthquake or other disaster. If you’re not prepared, a disaster could put you and your employees at risk, possibly shutting down your business forever.