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How many days do you work?

Discussion in 'Get productive' started by Hushy, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. Hushy

    Hushy Member

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    I have this question to ask micro business owners, I own and run a Screen Printing business with my partner. Work with us is sometimes dead for a month and then picks up really fast without advertising etc, we don't run adds very much because we feel they don't work well at all for us.

    Anyway, My main question is, When you're absolutely flat out, What are your work hrs? I find myself working 7 days a week for a lot of the year, even if Sat/Sun are half days or sometimes even full days, normal monday to friday is 8am to around 7pmnon stop. I get burnt out really fast, loose motivation and get a little hot under the collar because I feel my business is failing even tho I'm working around the clock with jobs to do, I guess I feel like I can't complete everything I need to, yet can't afford to bring on another employee. The set mind of "fast service brings me returning clients"

    My market is tight with competition so I pretty much work for scraps in the end and because clients know there are many many printers out there they price gouge as much as they can!

    Anyway, When you get to the weekend, do you turn your work off? Emails/workshop/phones etc? and just enjoy the time with family and friends? and if you do do this, How do you get over the anxiety of wanting to get in there to make sure everything is right and done?

    I have tried turning off emails and have never succeeded!

    I know i'm not the only one....
  2. MissSassy

    MissSassy Renowned Member

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    You are not alone, there are many people in the same boat!

    The trouble is that unless you take the time to straighten this out you will burn out and become resentful to your business, your customers and to your partner.

    Try getting a little business advice to help you structure things better and work out better ways of pricing your offering. The changes you make could really help to improve your business and your lifestyle.
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  3. ScarlettR

    ScarlettR Well-Known Member

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    Monday to Friday, 8 hours a day, thanks to discipline in my routine. Never looked back.
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  4. Steve_Minshall

    Steve_Minshall Well-Known Member

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    On the face of it. If you are "working 7 days a week for a lot of the year" and 11 hours a day non-stop, but can not afford help then you are underpricing yourself.

    You have to be brave and put your prices up. There has to be a sweet spot where you lose some work to reduce your hours but get paid more from the remainder to compensate.

    If your business can only operate by you working like this then it is not a sustainable business and you need to have a rethink about what you are doing. Working like this is ok when you are in start up or for a short term project to take the business forward. But if this is your 'business as usual' operation you have to change something.


    Ask yourself the following:
    • What can I do to make me the printer of choice other than being cheap?
    • What can I do to throttle/boost my work flow to even up the load?
    • How much do I need to earn to make the income I want within the hours I want?
    • Where do you want to be next year? 5 years?
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  5. Hushy

    Hushy Member

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    Steve, I also find myself doing this in a way where, I'm building the business faster than normal, and I think I am, overall since the beginning the business has grown 5 x over, Now we took the leap with my partner quitting full time work to help out so taking more money out of the bank to live our lifestyle and pay off our property.

    I have done a LOT of market research and I can't raise my prices, if I did the work would go down the drain faster than you could click your fingers, A LOT of Australia is already seeking their jobs from China and America, Printing businesses are closing left right and center. Its also so up and down, for instance April -May were two of the worst months we had ever! then June already is our highest grossing month in 3 years!

    I guess what I should also mention is I built this from nothing, I got into a niche market and doing well when the work is there, I never got any loans or leases (apart from a warehouse), I just used money as it come in to build and get better equipment (Still doing this) I have now got rid of the warehouse and bought land that we now operate from, But there's always new printers, methods and systems to keep up with that cost a sweet penny.

    So I guess you could say Business is ok, but because I/we personally don't see the returns (yet) it makes us feel this way, but hoping some time in the near future things will even out and we can start to enjoy the rest of our life, Our main issue is the emotional roller-coaster side of things.

    And the main question being, How to handle the anxiety, and do a lot of soloists still work weekends? or like ScarlettR said "Monday to Friday, 8 hours a day, thanks to discipline in my routine. Never looked back. "

    From this week coming, I have decided to do what Scarlett has done.. and just deal with it. If it doesn't work and I loose customers because of a slightly slower turn around so be it.. but is that really the right frame of mind for someone in business to have?
  6. Divert To Mobile

    Divert To Mobile Renowned Member

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    Monday to friday 9-5 unless something requires immediate attention or the voice kids is on. :)

    Steve
  7. bluepenguin

    bluepenguin Renowned Member

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    I see lots of business owners fall into the trap of working ridiculous hours, and many of them see this as a reason to be proud of themselves, but what's the point? Compared to getting a traditional job, we often make less money, take on far more risk and responsibility, and generally work our behinds off every day: Surely their should be some perks to owning a business... Such as having more time or flexibility for our families, or to pursue hobbies, or to eat pizza, etc...

    I don't think many people get the end of their time, turn to their loved ones and whisper, "I wish I worked an extra 15 hours every week."

    Personally, I work 8:30-5:30, Monday to Friday, and I never answer the phone before 9 or after 5. If I'm super busy, I start earlier - but I make sure I'm home by 6 so I can hang out with my family, and have some time to recharge. If I let my clients dictate my hours, this would definitely not be possible, as everyone always wants everything yesterday - unless you tell them they have to wait - and 90% of the time, they magically find that they can wait a couple of days longer.

    If I was to work longer hours on a regular basis, I can guarantee that after a week or two, I'd be getting far less done in 12 hours than I normally do in 8, as my brain would be mush, and my body would be exhausted.

    If you're 100% sure that you can't budge on price, than I'd encourage you to test what happens if you tell a new customer that you can't get the work done until [insert date here]. You may lose the job, but if you offer great products and customer service, people will be happy to wait. If you see that precedence at the start of the business relationship and train your clients to work within your parameters, they'll learn to be more organised and respectful of your boundaries.

    All that said, I do sometimes sit on the couch for a short time after the kids are in bed and reply to the emails I didn't get to or ignored during the day. It means I can focus on the more important tasks during the work day when I have the energy.

    I sometimes read emails over the weekend as they pop up on my phone, but I don't reply to them or action them until Monday morning.
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  8. ScarlettR

    ScarlettR Well-Known Member

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    You might want to listen to the podcast I did with the Flying Solo guys, which talks about how to structure your business processes/day so that you don't trigger anxiety (which is what I have personally suffered from, chronically, for years).

    http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-s...managing-anxiety-while-managing-your-business

    Because of the scheduling I've built, I teach my clients how to interact with me, not the other way around. I'm writing a book about it at the moment, but the podcast outlines what I've done which might help you think about how to create habits and structure to fit in to your day.
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  9. Hushy

    Hushy Member

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    Thanks Scarlett, Already listened to that! thanks, It was a good piece, I look forward to the book!!! Keep us updated!
  10. tonyk

    tonyk Renowned Member

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    As a sole trader, I tend to work seven days a week, but my hours are somewhat scattered depending on how busy I am. However, regardless of how busy I may be, I always make sure that I have give myself regular breaks to ensure that my mind is refreshed, which is vital when running an editing business.
  11. FalzonFinancial

    FalzonFinancial Member

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    I recently attended a time management seminar where we learned how to be more time efficient.

    An important tip I now utilise in my business is checking emails less often. This reduces interruptions and creates more effective workflow. By reducing this to a two times a day (morning and afternoon) I am more productive.

    Further, creating a prospective plan for your upcoming days can be helpful and is only effective when tasks are diarised. I utilise an online tool, Asana, to track upcoming tasks required where I can tick off tasks I have completed.
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  12. PerfectNotes-Kathy

    PerfectNotes-Kathy Active Member

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    So how did the week go - did you manage to work the reduced hours that you planned, without getting anxious?

    Kathy
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  13. Hushy

    Hushy Member

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    Well hahaha, I failed.. Have done 14 days strait now.. today was a 12hr session. Yesterday 10hr.

    I figure while its busy I may as well suck it up and just do it. I'm off emails now tho until I finish work.. That has helped a big deal only replying once a day.

    In a couple of weeks I hope to get to a 5 day routine again, as I have lost a few jobs being slow on email.
  14. topdog

    topdog Member

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    I run a handyman building services business and phone rings 6am to 10pm from 8pm phone goes on silent and calls are screened if it's important they'll leave a message. Anything urgent gets attended to later . I check emails every morning once or twice throughout the day ( I try and do this on my lunch break saves time etc ) and then evening this catches all enquiries , I get this on my phone as I'm on the road and have it sinked to my laptop so no double handling . I action /reply to the urgent or possible jobs etc the rest is done later 5-9pm . I to can work the long days 7-4/5 on the tools then 6-9ish typing out quotes /invoices going over emails organizing materials etc plus physically driving around Sydney to see quotes where needed.
    In my opinion You need to get better systems in place and manage time better . eg I got invoice2go app on phone and can invoice /quote clients as jobs completed and quotes come through rather than later at home saving me time off the laptop. Also I get people to txt or email pics of jobs which saves me driving everywhere . I got square and anz payment systems on my phone to avoid chasing $$ and get paid straight away. Sorted out a filing system for my paperwork labelled shoe boxes simple but effective hahaha , my wife who's an executive assistant has quote invoice templates and I can voice memo /txt to her and she types up and sends off via an accounts @ email etc you get my drift your problem appears to be time so find it ;) . Maybe try find a business coach /analyst that has worked in your field they'll surely be able to see some areas for improvement there always is. I'm contemplating this myself as I'm looking to get off the tools and manage more . Some good advice from the others too. All the best
  15. tomwhite

    tomwhite Member

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    Used to be 6 days, now down to 4.6 (short day Friday) and get more work done than I used to by being focused (daily plans, accountability, outsourcing...)
  16. help4bis.com

    help4bis.com Active Member

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    Interesting... being self employed I "attend" 7days :).

    Not sure if you can specify it in days, it is more hours really. If a day is 8hrs then there will not be enough days in a week, for some weeks. Generally I have it down to a few days a week (2.5-3 days), but that is merely the type of business I am in.

    I love what I do, one day might be getting good at it, some weeks more than others.

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