Flexible Business of the Month – Naturally Cool Kids

What’s your business?

Naturally Cool Kids is a children’s winter and summer skincare company that deals mainly B2B, with some sales direct to customers. We have five products within our range that are Sold by online and bricks and mortar businesses.

How is your business flexible?

I am a mum of two so I need to be flexible within my working day. This will mean taking calls, email s and conference calls when I am out of the office. I also need to divert calls to my mobile from time to time too.

If I didn’t have access to these facilities then it would make my job incredibly hard as I would have to be in the office at set times, which just wouldn’t work with all of my commitments.

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

I have a home office which I work from, however with meetings and children I need to make working away from my desk as easy and straight forward as possible.

Do you work set hours?

NO! Set hours would never work for me, it isn’t in my make up as I hate to be restricted, hence the reason I work for myself, working for someone else would be a nightmare. I also like to be able to attend any family activities that may be going on throughout the week, so for me I work evenings and weekends too.

The down side is that you never switch off as you are always finding the time to fit extra bits of work in. Having my phone to work from allows me to do this successfully.

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

I have an iphone and ipad, that are literally glues to me day and night, and then I use a standalone system in the office. I have my e mails available on all three systems and skype on iphone and ipad. I divert my landline phone to my mobile when I am away from my desk.

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

Iphone and ipad as they do more or less everything you need, from e mails, telephone and conference calls, note taking, voice recording I can do almost anything in such a quick and  effective way that it saves me so much more time. If I have to wait until I was in the office to work then I would be way behind on a daily basis.

What are the advantages to running a flexible business?

The advantages are your life can go on. You’re not stuck within the same four walls day in day out like years gone by. I think it’s good for your head to be able to go out and about and not miss out on other things going on in your life. Before you would feel guilty leaving work behind or not attending a family event now we can have it both ways.

How does being a flexible business benefit your customers?

My customers know that I am run off my feet working the business with minimal help. So for them it is great that I can be there for them day or night. It sometimes works out that they email or call later in the evening and I have more time to give them than I would throughout the day.

They also know if I take a few days off with the family, that I will get back to them as I have my mobile devices with me, so for the sake of a few minutes I can keep in touch with them.

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

Yes, you have to be self motivated and focused. It is ever so easy to be lazy or get distracted, when you have other things going on around you, which are sometimes more fun.  On the other hand you also need to know when to stop and put the mobile devices away as they do take over peoples’ lives.

Balance is key, and if you can maintain that then you shouldn’t have a problem. I think if you like to work to a routine then flexible working isn’t for you.

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

Priorities, what is the most important thing each day and how are you going to balance it. Every day is different, which in my eyes is fantastic, but you really do need to plan too flexibility comes with clever planning beforehand. Also think about what do you need access to when you are away from your desk and will the mobile device you have chosen work for you on that basis.

It may be a blackberry is better than an iphone depending on your line of work and what you need.Flexible working is definitely the way forward for many businesses and something I believe will grow in the coming years.

 

To find out more about Naturally Cool Kids, click here, like the Facebook page and follow Naturally Cool Kids 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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