Juggling my job and my business

Overview

Having started belly dancing ten years ago as a hobby, it has since become a passion for me and I have eventually also turned it into a job. I now spend many of my evenings and weekends teaching classes, running workshops and performing around the UK. I do this as well as having a full time job working as a senior geologist for a firm of consulting engineers. I love the fact that these two jobs combine to challenge me both intellectually, physically and creatively, however, this does make my life very busy and makes good time management essential.

The challenge

One of my biggest challenges is being able to promote and administer my business, organise events and communicate with students and customers in the limited amounts of free time I have. Professionalism is very important to me in both of my jobs and it is essential to me that I do not compromise this. So, finding time to run my business without impacting on my nine-to-five job is challenging.

The solution

I set aside regular time to manage my business on a week by week basis, but, due to the nature of my work, this tends to be limited to relatively unsociable times. I need to be able to be responsive to my students and other customers in order to take opportunities as they arise, and therefore I find that I actually do a lot of my business administration on the move between my different commitments, both locally and as I travel further afield. Very soon after starting my business, it became apparent that it was going to be essential to set up a website in order to expand my business and communicate readily with my existing customer base, and so I set up clairedances.co.uk . I did this using Microsoft Office Live, which was great because it allowed me to set up my website for nothing. It also helped with my time management, as it allows me to quickly manage all of my publicity, contacts and communications wherever I am, on any computer I can access anywhere, for free. This is invaluable for managing my business in the time I have available and also keeping my outgoings low. And, perhaps more importantly, being able to do this frees up far more of my time to not do work and have some leisure time!

Key lesson

Managing costs, time and expenditure is key for any small business, especially during this current economic climate. Given the lack of a large work force, employees must manage their workload within their limited time and ensure that they have access to all required information whenever they need it.

Top tip

The internet is still the best medium in which to market and promote your business and there are a range of services and products to help you do this. My advice is to find the most cost-effective provider that also allows you to conduct your business at any computer, anywhere, anytime.

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