Flexible Business of the Month – Make Your Words Work

What’s your business?

Make Your Words Work is a design company set up to enable our clients to use design in ways that will transform their business.

How is your business flexible?

I do not have a permanent office which has allowed me to work anywhere in the world and at any time I choose.

I have set up a co-operative of freelancers who all work remotely and to their own schedules.

Working flexibly with my co-operative lets me tap into the talent of women (and men) at home with children who can no longer work to the 9-5 schedule with a commute to an office. These designers work to a project fee (rather than per hour) and a deadline - how they deliver the work is up to them allowing them to deliver the work around the needs of their family whilst still earning an income.

Do you have a main office or is most of your work done on the go?

On the go, but I often use my house or members club as regular base.

Do you work set hours?

No, I work whenever I need too

What technologies does your business use to help it be flexible and productive?

  • Cloud based sharing (Dropbox)
  • Evernote for task management
  • Mobile phone as main point of contact
  • Skype for face to face meetings with my co-operative
  • A range of apps for tracking time, banking/paying suppliers on the go and presenting work for new business meetings
  • Excellent wifi is required at all times

What one technology couldn’t you manage your business without and why is it so important to your business?

Cloud based severs for sharing work

What are the advantages to running a flexible business?

Not being restricted to a schedule of 9-5, Monday to Friday has allowed me to:

  • work across the globe from Cannes, Avignon, Melbourne, Lake District and Suffolk with no detriment to my clients.
  • not be restricted on days holiday per year which meant I was able to see my family who were over from Australia everyday that they were here for their holiday and fit work in around seeing them.
  • be less tired as I can take time out when I am not feeling productive and can then maximising the times when I am feeling productive and change my work schedule to suit.
  • tap into some amazing talented stay at home parents who struggle to get back into the workplace as too many businesses are not flexible.
  • have the most incredible sense of freedom!

How does being a flexible business benefit your customers?

My customers get me at my very best so the work and quality I can deliver them is better.

They also get to tap into the amazing missing talent of new parents who were no longer in the workforce.

Does it take a certain type of person to be a flexible worker?

Perhaps – you have to enjoy what you do so you are motivated to do work. If you don’t enjoy what you do then there could be too many excuses to not work. If people where paid on results rather than the hours they did then I think they would naturally be more productive for businesses anyway!

More importantly I think it needs a certain type of manager (or leader) to allow flexible working for their team/business. Too many are distrustful and assume flexible working means people will not be lazy.

What tips would you give to someone who wants to make their business more flexible?

Forget the way business has traditionally been done and design your work around you – obviously keep in mind at all times how you are going to deliver and be available for your client. It is too easy to assume that the way that we have always worked is the way you should still work - make it up instead! The great thing is you can try things out and change them if you need too – be inventive!

 

To find out more about Make Your Words Work, click here, and follow them on Twitter.

Follow @O2BusinessUK and @SmartaHQ and head to O2 for great tips on how flexible working can improve your business.

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