Growing Your Business

As the summer ends, how do you feel? Have you managed to juggle work, spend time with the kids and have time to relax? Or has it all been a horrible scramble from day to day managing your business at the same time as being a full time childminder, cook, housekeeper, chauffeur and cleaner?

Over the years that I have run my businesses, I have really changed how I work. Initially I did everything … but swiftly realised that I needed help to do the jobs that took me a long time. I got in a VA to help with invoicing and once a year used a very affordable accountant to submit my tax return. Moving forward eight years, I now have a great team who support me. Getting someone to do all the website management has saved me hours – especially hours of putting right errors! I do a lot of partnership working: coauthoring a book or collaborating on a course or event is much more efficient than keeping everything to myself. And it really pays dividends when it comes to the summer holidays.

If you would like to get more support for your business but worry how to pay for it, remember that you can make the business far more effective if you do the jobs that you are good at and outsource the ones that you struggle with. If you are nervous about getting other people in to work on your business, here are some tips to help you find a freelancer, prevent problems and develop a successful working relationship with freelancers and causal help. I’ve been using different people to support my business over the last eight years and I’ve tried and tested these ideas!

  1. Get recommendations. I rarely hire anyone from ‘cold’, but instead use people for whom I have had personal recommendations.
  2. Start small. If you’re thinking of working with a freelancer ask them to do one small specific task and see how you and they get on.
  3. Be clear. If you are working with anyone, be specific about what you want done, when you need it by, any standards you need to be met, and the price that you have agreed. Put this all in an email, or the freelancer may create a contract for you.
  4. Communicate. Phone and email regularly to freelancers and remote workers. You can encourage them to share any problems they may be experiencing and get updates on progress. You could build regular updates into your email about the work or the contract.
  5. Pay on time. If you have found someone great to support your work, recognise this and thank them, and pay their invoices promptly so they are keen to help you in the future.

There are lots more ideas for support for your business on the Mumpreneur Guide blog. And don’t forget to visit the Family Friendly Working Business Services directory to find some of my top recommendations for people who can help your business.

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