When you’re running a small business, no two days are the same. We caught up with Joanne Dewberry, business owner and Sage Small Business Expert, to see what the varied life of a self-employed person looks like.
Joanne’s also given us some top tips on networking, social media, and juggling family life to boot…
Being freelance means you never quite know what each day holds for you. Sometimes this is exciting and other times it's just plain exhausting!
When I started my small business, Charlie Moo's, I had two small babies and I kept thinking how much easier things would be once they started school.
Fast-forward almost a decade, and all three children are at school and I still don't have enough time in the day.
No two days are the same, but everyday is full of learning opportunities.
I'd love to say that my mornings are calm - setting me up for a productive day's work. But sadly, trying to get three children ready for school every morning is chaos.
Today, though, I'm heading to meet with a monthly networking group. We’re talking about email marketing - something I'm pretty ad hoc about.
I co-host a networking event, specifically for parents in business. We meet at a soft play centre, meaning parents running a business from home with young children are actually able to get out and network.
Most networking events are scheduled as breakfasts or evenings, which can be a struggle when you add a couple of children into the mix.
Working from home can also be an incredibly lonely experience. Having a networking support group gives you with people to talk to, glean advice from, and talk through ideas with.
Once I got home from the event, I had an hour (literally!) to grab a coffee and prepare for a Twitter chat with Sage UK.
I've been a Sage Small Business Expert for about five years now. I love working with them on a variety of projects including #SageAdvice. The topic for discussion today is one of my favourites - ‘juggling children and a small business’. Given the school holidays, it’s quite timely!
Never ran or taken part in a Twitter Chat? Keep these in mind...
Although the chat lasted 30 minutes, Twitter is so fast-paced that the time flies, and I'm still checking bits and pieces for a good while after.
Before I collect the children from school for after school clubs - it’s gymnastics and swimming today - I've got time to sort through my emails.
When it comes to tackling my inbox, I've adopted the ‘Four D’ approach - ‘do it, delete it, defer it, delegate it’.
As a small business owner, I don't have many opportunities to delegate, but I certainly do the rest. I find if I diarise time to take on specific tasks, they don't languish in my inbox or float around my to-do list.
Keeping my inbox organised is one of the many little things that helps me run my business smoothly and still be a hands-on parent.
I know tomorrow has to start with my parent hat firmly in place, as it's my daughter's school play.
Creating my own business has always been driven by a desire to create something that is flexible enough to work around my family.
I might not always get everything right (I often end up working once the children are in bed), but I know there are very few school events or holidays where I’m not there.
So here are my top tips for making time for your family while running a business...
We're giving away five free copies of Joanne's book Crafting a Successful Small Business: Making, marketing and merchandising.
Wondering what the book is about? 'Jam-packed with top hints and tips from real-life crafty small business owners in the know, this book is essential reading for anyone looking to craft their way to success!'
So there you have it. All you have to do to be in with a shout of winning is log in below (either with Facebook or your email address) then use the links to follow us and Joanne on Twitter. Good luck!
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Joanne is a 30-something coffee lover living in rural Dorset with her long-suffering partner and three children.
Joanne is owner, designer and creator at Charlie Moo's, specialising in handmade fabric party bags. She’s also a Sage Business Expert and author of Crafting a Successful Small Business. In 2010, Joanne was named Dorset Business Mother of the Year and has numerous accolades and awards to her name. In her spare time she likes to eat and watch crime dramas. Sometimes at the same time!
How do you manage your time as a small business owner? Give us your tips below.
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