My working day is 4 hours long

Well, that's not strictly true. But I've been making significant changes to how I run my business.

It is often said that to get a new business off the ground requires a lot of long days and weeks, something which can be a personal struggle, and be a struggle for our friends and family as well.

In the last few months, I took on more work than I could sensibly deal with, because I felt it was an important step to boost PrimeBox's success. There were days where I'd start working at 7am, and not really stop until early hours the next morning.

Ultimately, I am pleased with the work I produced. But at what cost?

I wore myself out, for a start. It left me with little energy to even be able to relax properly and to spend time with those I love. Being tired meant the longer days weren't efficient. If you work for 12 hours in one day, but the tiredness means you work at 50% efficiency, you'd be better off working a normal 8 hour day and making sure you give yourself time to rest. And I've taken that on board now.

While I want my business to succeed, I need to remember why I started my business.

It wasn't for riches, or to stamp out competition. It was to provide for my wife and I. All I ever wanted was to do a job I enjoy, and make enough money to be comfortable.

So I have a plan. As standard practice, as far as working for clients goes, my working week is now 20 hours. If I can fill 20 hours a week with paid work, that's more money than I need.

The benefit of this system, is there is still 50% of the working day to do everything else. There are always admin tasks; emails need reading and replying to, accounts need sorting, invoices created, quotes written, meetings taken. Sometimes there will be bugs which need fixing, or issues which need addressing to ensure a project stays on schedule.

There will be days or weeks where there is little admin to do. So what happens to that 50% then? At that point, work can be brought forward, meaning clients get there projects completed ahead of schedule. I can focus on personal projects which may help boost the business. I can do more marketing, develop more products and services. It opens up a world of possibilities.

I am fully aware that there will always be times where longer days will be required, or simply working at different times of the week to ensure projects are completed on time and launch smoothly. There may be times where I need to get up in the middle of the night to get a website back up and running for whatever reason, before the client loses money. But as a general rule, if you're contacting me looking for work, consider one or both of the following:

  • My daily rate is £120. I only work mornings, or
  • My daily rate is £240. I only work 2.5 days a week.

I do what I do because I enjoy it. I enjoy designing websites, developing unique projects, talking to my clients. I enjoy walking, cycling, listening to music, board games, spending time with my friends and family. I want to get the balance right, and hopefully now, I will.

Posted by Ant on the 24th April 2014 at 5:02pm. (0 comments)

Categories: Business


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