Slowing down when you need to

One of the things many people considering self-employment are looking for is more control over their work. This ranges from day-to-day logistical things like arranging your diary to enable you to do the school run and being able to work at home for when the plumber comes to more fundamental things like when to step away from a client.

But one of the big things that control can also give is the ability to adjust your work around life events or changes. Sometimes everything at home is sorted such that you can (and want to) work full pelt in your job, and that’s great. But sometimes you want the balance to change, either temporarily or permanently. My own example is maternity leave. My consultancy was in the relatively early stages at the time, but when I was going to have my second baby I stopped all marketing activities and took on no new clients. This left me with a core of regular clients, and with only them and with no marketing, my workload was greatly reduced. This enabled me to take a couple of weeks of doing nothing at all when baby arrived, then progressing to answering email queries/drafting letters for a few clients around baby’s naps but with no client visits.

Once baby was six months old I was out marketing again and taking on new clients, and things went from there. But I was able to keep things ticking over on a reduced level for those few months to suit my personal circumstances. I also know of several self-employed people (HR consultants and others) who have done similar, some also for maternity leave but also several to accommodate caring responsibilities for elderly parents, family illness or similar. If you have children, the stage they’re at might influence how much time and effort you want to put into your business at any given moment. You could reduce client numbers significantly or alternatively consider employing someone to provide services to some (or even all) clients for a period of time if that works best for you.

Of course these decisions have a financial impact  – reducing to only a few core clients reduces income, as does paying someone else to provide your services, and not marketing your business will have an impact immediately and for a while after you’re ‘back’. But the same would apply in any job and the ability to slow things down for a few months or even a few years and then pick back up again when you’re ready can be invaluable when it feels like something has to ‘give’ for a bit.

If you’d like to know about working with face2faceHR in order to take control of your working life, do get in touch.