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Advice please on how to keep workload managable

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Advice please on how to keep workload managable

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Small Biz & Charities' MoneySaving
5 replies 850 views
ThosewhocanThosewhocan Forumite
1 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Small Biz & Charities' MoneySaving
Hi, i am looking for advice on how to manage a diary so that work doesn’t pile up and become unmanagable. Tips would be fab, also key business terms to search for so i can go and read blogs and books on the subject if needed, thank you.
Background- this is a small (one person) limited company. The work involves one to two days on sites across the country then four/five days in the office processing and drawing up data collected.
Fortunately, thanks to a strong network and loyal clients, getting regular work is not the issue. Managing to get out to clients within a reasonable time (2 weeks) then getting all the office work done is the big challenge. Turning down work means clients would use someone else and maybe not return, increasing prices slightly for newer clients hasn’t stopped the flood of work.
The situation right now means 5 am starts and 10pm finishes, jobs get started, nearly finished then new site work has to begin and there’s a late night slog to complete work that should have been pushed through weeks ago.
How do small businesses manage this? Thank you


  • 00ec2500ec25
    9.1K posts
    How do small businesses manage this? Thank you
    by taking on their own staff/employees or by passing some of the work to outside subcontractors

    no amount of "diary" management is going to get the work done if you have more than you can do alone
  • Mistral001Mistral001 Forumite
    4.6K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts I've been Money Tipped!
    Learn how to say "no". It is as simple as that.

    However it is never as simple as that. Is it? Refusing work has to be done carefully. If it is done without causing offense then you might lose some clients, but most clients will come back after spending a dissatisfactory time with your competitors. If it is done with causing offense you will probably lose them permanently.

    It is not easy to put up your prices. Also many larger companies will not employ one-person firms as they regard them as risky in so far as they can have problems with meeting peaks in workload, they have nobody to deputise when they get sick and do not have broad shoulders financially. Such large companies will pay the higher prices your bigger competitors charge just for the comfort of knowing that they will not be stuck with having to get somebody else in if the one-man firm cannot deliver for the reasons I have given.
  • SlinkySlinky Forumite
    6.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    If putting up your prices 'slightly' hasn't stemmed the flow of work, stick them up some more.
  • trailingspousetrailingspouse Forumite
    3.9K posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    What works for some people is to, basically, work a 4-day week. You spend 4 days a week doing the 'work' - meeting clients, working on site, etc. And one day a week doing the 'admin' - writing quotations, sending invoices, chasing debts, bookkeeping and so on. And of course the admin doesn't necessarily fit neatly into one day a week, and if a client wants to see you on your admin day it's hard to say no - but as a general principal it seems to work well.

    OH and I are joint shareholders of our limited - he does the work, and I do the admin, and we take on sub-contractors for some of the work. It's also more tax efficient, as we spread the income over two personal allowances and two standard rate tax bands. But that only works if you have someone in your life who is able/willing to do it!!
  • Elise1912Elise1912 Forumite
    54 posts
    Steve Chou's profitable online store and blog has some great tips.
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