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Life as being self employed

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by jmgall, Oct 18, 2020 at 1:36 AM.

  1. jmgall

    jmgall UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 0
    So this may sound ludicrous in the current climate but I'm due to enter self employment within the next year, completing a buy out of a company in the weddings and hospitality sector UK.

    I am fairly happy with everything, coming to terms with accounting terminology and fully accept this will hit me like a tonne of bricks BUT what are everyone's top tips on how to get some kind of work life balance? For example 25% of enquiries come over the phone outside of normal office hours, if I'm on a date night with the better half how do I decide to answer the phone or not? Where is the cut off? What is an important enough to decide whether to answer or not? I understand this will be differant for everyone but any top tips would be fantastic.

    Thanks in advance!!!
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 at 1:36 AM By: jmgall Member since: Oct 18, 2020
  2. Interestedobserver

    Interestedobserver UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,025 113
    Are you sure buying a weddings and event business from someone right now is a good idea?

    Or is this a wind up thread?
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 at 7:49 AM By: Interestedobserver Member since: Apr 15, 2020
  3. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,950 1,928
    It could be a brilliant time to get into the wedding sector

    Or not. Only history will tell

    OP. Unfortunately you are in a small group f people to whom my advice would be - at least in year 1 - to be available to clients pretty much 24/7. It’s an emotive and highly personal business and building a reputation is everything

    Your mobile will be your best friend

    Best of luck!
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 at 7:57 AM By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
  4. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,525 1,193
    One of the things with the hospitality and entertainments industry is that they are not 9-5 businesses. Pre-covid calls would come up to maybe 11.30 at night, texts and emails at any time and you just get used to it. So you'll get contact at the time some get up and others go to bed. You don't have to answer any that are unknown and as long as you have sensible answering services, you choose. Worst for me were calls when physically you were working so could not answer and people didn't getting. My wedding photographer friend used to get waspy new clients who phoned him Saturday afternoons and got cross he didn't answer!

    Your better half needs to get used to you being missing at family time. Mine are ecstatic that for the first time in 16 years I will be home on Christmas Day. Personally, I'd rather be working.
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 at 8:00 AM By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  5. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    24,866 3,030
    Book personal time. During that time phone is switched off.
    Maybe you book it from 7pm one evening and switch back on next morning.

    Customers will either be willing to wait for a call back or the are not the customers you want.

    In business initially lots of new business owners chase all the business they can. Eventually you may realise that done cost you considerably in time and effort and stop chasing that type of business.

    Weddings - the industry is prepping for a busy year as those who delayed wedding look to have something while those who would normally get married also look to get something.
    Married with perhaps big celebration in a couple of years.

    A lot of your time will be spent out of hours for other people. It's when your customers are free, it's when wedding fairs are, it's when people have time.
    So set your limits and stick to them. Do not let your business destroy your relationship.

    Above all have fun.
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 at 9:18 AM By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  6. BustersDogs

    BustersDogs UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,351 252
    Get an answering service if you don't want to answer calls but don't want to miss work. I look after pets and sometimes calls late at night are them asking for help for health issues. Some industries you just have a closer relationship with clients than in others. I used to have one client book in after she chatted with her son in the States - usually 2am my time! I just got used to sleeping through and dealing with it in the morning. Well, morning USA time so not to wake her up....
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 at 9:30 AM By: BustersDogs Member since: Jun 7, 2011
  7. mattk

    mattk UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2,332 854
    Have "date middays" from 12-3pm Monday to Friday? That way you can man the phone in the evenings and weekends.

    As above, you could get an answering service, but depending on the service you're providing you have to decide if your customers will be happy not getting though to you on the first attempt.
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 at 10:17 AM By: mattk Member since: Dec 5, 2005
  8. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,525 1,193
    I started in the 80s selling radios as a part-time activity and it grew, but I moved into performing arts and the radio business tended to service our other activities, when my diary imploded in March I've been selling radios again into the marine, ham and business areas - the marine and leisure areas are really busy, and business spending is minimal. It's working fine, but again, phone calls and weekend activity are where much of the actual customers really are. I'm in the office today, and was here yesterday all day because that's when people want to come, and even odder the internet sales come through at very strange times. Why would somebody buy a boat radio at 2.30am? It's keeping my head above the water (pun not intended). I've had 9-5 jobs where you put your coat on and forgot about work, but I can't do that - so self-employment works for me.
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 at 10:33 AM By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  9. Interestedobserver

    Interestedobserver UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,025 113
    Many weddings postponed because numbers were limited

    No guarantee that's going to change in 2021 sadly
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 at 10:38 AM By: Interestedobserver Member since: Apr 15, 2020
  10. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    24,866 3,030
    And some people aren't willing to wait. So will have the official wedding then later when can get everyone round will do the unofficial wedding.
    Delaying a few months? Easy. Delaying a few years? Not wanted.
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 at 10:51 AM By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  11. tony84

    tony84 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    5,805 1,071
    I think realistically in the first 12 months, you are probably going to have to take any call at any time - you need to be generating income I assume so I would imagine your partner is going to have to be fairly accepting for a little while at least.

    Maybe keep a log of what days the calls come in and see if there is a quieter night - I would say Sunday night must be relatively quiet, could you do your date night then?

    Once you have the cash flow and things going ok, you can probably then have a cut off point, even if it is a little later than a normal job - say 7.30pm?

    Like you, a lot of my business is outside of normal hours. I am now 7-8 years in and I have over the last 3 years or so been reducing when I take calls, I generally stop at around 6.30pm, anything later than that I will pick up the next day. There are some exceptions, if the family are out or if I am still working anyway. Or if on a Saturday I am just sat watching Spongebob squarepants for the 50th time, I might just nip upstairs and answer the phone.

    There will always be people who try at silly hours, I was once in town in a pub at about 10.30pm and someone called.
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 at 11:21 AM By: tony84 Member since: Apr 14, 2008
  12. Interestedobserver

    Interestedobserver UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,025 113

    I know an outside caterer who had 30 large weddings cancel on them this year

    They are by no way expecting those same weddings to definitely happen next year either

    And having to have a plan A and plan B

    And smaller weddings aren't financially viable for them to cater for

    The OP should take care not to buy into a white elephant
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 at 1:21 PM By: Interestedobserver Member since: Apr 15, 2020

    JEREMY HAWKE UKBF Legend Full Member

    5,226 1,805
    Seriously if you are starting up and you want to be successful you should not be asking these questions

    To make it work you have to give it everything for 2 or 3 years absolutely everything
    Put the hard work in and you might be able to take it easy in the future and enjoy life a bit more

    If you are concerned about your spare time it might not be the life for you
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 at 1:36 PM By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008
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  14. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    24,866 3,030
    Yes in the situation you mention things will be a while to get going.
    Can't see large gatherings like wedding parties before next summer - and could be the year after.
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 at 1:43 PM By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  15. Countrymun

    Countrymun UKBF Regular Free Member

    151 16
    [Why would somebody buy a boat radio at 2.30am?.[/QUOTE]
    Good question - I often wonder about people who buy dog wetsuits between midnight and 4am. Sometimes it's a customer in a different time zone but often from the UK so I figure maybe they are working a night shift somewhere and shopping on their break (or they suffer from insomnia perhaps :)
    Posted: Oct 18, 2020 at 4:58 PM By: Countrymun Member since: Sep 13, 2014
  16. Naheed Mir

    Naheed Mir UKBF Contributor Free Member

    90 7
    Suppose you’re constantly working, and you’re uniformly keeping your stress levels high. In that case, you’re severely raising the risk of stress-related illnesses, such as diabetes and many other things. Let your clients know about your available hours. So, I would recommend working full time on working days and switch off the phone on weekends.
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 at 10:06 AM By: Naheed Mir Member since: Aug 10, 2020
  17. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    24,866 3,030
    Not everyone keeps their stress levels high.

    And sometimes you need to work long hours. To catch an opportunity or to deal with a particular problem that will otherwise slow down other aspects of the business.

    For example lockdown in Wales from Friday - so the work that was planned for the rest of the month gets moved up to this week.

    Over time we can adjust to the demands of work and non work required in a business.
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 at 10:26 AM By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  18. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,525 1,193
    If you are self-employed you really must be lucky if you switch off at 5.30! If you want a stress free life go and work for somebody else, and give them the stress. Seriously, since cover hit and my core business evaporated, I have worked whatever hours necessary, and sometimes this means talking to a chinese factory at two AM! This will be my first year at home with the family for 16 years! Normally, Christmas dinner is a Tesco Microwave curry, on my own, overseas and I've never found it a problem. My working days might start at 9am and I get home at 11pm 6 days a week for 3 months. I'd love to have a self-employment job that could have 9-5 hours. Obviously some do - shops for instance, hairdressing and other things like my driving instructor friend - but my self-employment would not remotely work like that, as I service the leisure industry, so we work when others don't! There's no mental health issue to working long hours and stress comes in two varieties like cholesterol fats - good and bad varieties. Stress makes me perform better and remain sharp and focussed. The bad sort of stress I deal with by converting worry into concern, like lipids!
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 at 10:59 AM By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  19. IWW Limited

    IWW Limited UKBF Contributor Full Member

    35 2
    Good luck in the new venture, we service a lot of venues and we saw them drop completely off for the last 3 months.

    Over the last 2-3 weeks though we are seeing the levels of uniforms and workwear bought by event companies growing, steadily.

    Tides may be turning but always have one eye on that second wave.

    Good luck - don't let your personal mental health of physical health slip either. Money comes and goes, health doesn't.
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 at 10:59 AM By: IWW Limited Member since: Oct 16, 2020

    JEREMY HAWKE UKBF Legend Full Member

    5,226 1,805
    Naheed I have worked this way most of my life and you manage it You eat well do a bit of training or another hobby or pastime . Hence why I am furious when new start ups think it might be like a part time job !
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 at 9:08 PM By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008