You’re a Mum (or Dad) yourself and you’ve set up in business, but what do you do when you need help? There are parents who are keen to work flexibly but don’t want to run a business. Find out here from Karen Kennard of Flexible Skills Bank how you could use them to help you.
As a small business owner, you probably set up in business because you had a particular passion, enjoyment or expertise in a specific field, but what many people starting out in business don’t bargain for are all the peripheral roles they are called upon to undertake, about which they have very little knowledge or experience – sales, marketing, finance, IT, administration to name just a few.
You may think is that you can not afford to take on employees to help out with these skills, but that is where you should think again and employ a Mum on a flexible or part time basis.
- Think flexibly – SMEs can find a whole range of skills they need at a price they can afford by thinking more flexibly. Among the mothers (and fathers) you’ll find hanging around at school gates are accountants, strategic marketers, PR specialists and a host of other highly-skilled people. After stepping off the career ladder to care for their families, many have struggled to find fulfilling work that fits around their responsibilities. They are often willing to compromise on salary as long as the job fits their schedule. Stay at home parents returning to work may have over 10 years of professional experience before they stopped work to bring up young children. Such experience can be put to good use.
- Treat yourself to a “Pick and mix” – Think of all the skills you could use – marketing, accountancy, administration, HR advice, IT or Sales professionals. This can be the perfect solution for start-ups and growing businesses that need an array of different skills with ever changing needs as the business develops – think of it as a “pick and mix” of skills to utilise on your terms.
- Try using remote workers – they can save you money and are more productive – virtual or remote workers can save you office space and can also help to create the image of a bigger company. By reducing the need for office space you can reduce your overheads and still benefit from a larger workforce. However, the key to managing remote workers is communicating well with them, and ensuring they are kept informed of what is happening so they don’t feel isolated. Open communication will help to develop a relationship built on mutual trust which is essential if remote working is going to be effective. Research has shown that people who work from home are more productive as they do not have the usual distractions found in an office environment.
- Use technology to the full – there is an ever increasing array of technology to facilitate home working, which can be used for meetings and communicating with employees. Make sure you get the right technology for your business needs and everything should run smoothly. Remote servers, conferencing software and mobile internet, mean that every employee should know what is going on in the company at all times, wherever they are.
- Think of the environmental benefits – reductions in time spent travelling to and from the office as well as to meetings can help reduce your company’s carbon footprint and make you a more environmentally friendly company. Use this in your company’s communications, for PR benefit.
- Improve employee loyalty – as many professionals struggle to find flexible work that does fit in with their family commitments, they will tend to be more loyal to an employer that facilitates this. Flexible working is now considered to be the number one employee benefit that job seekers look for in a new job. Companies that offer it are attracting a better calibre of staff and building a happier, more loyal workforce.
How can I find a flexible employee?
If you are looking for someone with specific skills and experience, it can be hard to find those skills in someone who wants to work locally and part time.
Flexible Skills Bank specialises in matching highly skilled local job-seekers who are looking for part time, flexible work to fit in with their family commitments, to employers who can offer flexible jobs. Companies don’t even have to pay for advertising roles, just for contacting applicants you wish to interview. Contact us today so you can start taking advantage of flexible workers.