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To ask if your partner has started their own business how long did it take before...

(14 Posts)
mameulah Sat 07-Jun-14 00:32:05

...they didn't have to work long, long hours seven days a week?

We are nearly in year 5 and whilst there are some things that are easier my DH still doesn't actually get proper time off at weekends or holidays. When, oh when did you see this actually happen in your house?


caroldecker Sat 07-Jun-14 00:43:31

running your own business is 24/7 for life. No employees, always stuff to do and concern where next paycheck is coming from. Employees and always needing to check they are doing the right thing.
Most senior managment will also work these hours, checking emails, calls etc.
More so if this income is essential for the family.

IwinIwin Sat 07-Jun-14 00:53:59

Agreeing with caroldecker . The only time it eased for my dad was when he made enough money to train up staff to delegate to. He was still very, very busy but could relax a little more.

DoJo Sat 07-Jun-14 00:56:32

It really does depend on what you do and your personality type. My partner and I both run our own businesses - we work around our other commitments and try and do as little as possible for as much money as possible, but then we just use my skills rather than selling or manufacturing or anything along those lines.
Do you think your husband actually 'needs' to do this much work, or was he a workaholic before starting the business?

ExitPursuedByABear Sat 07-Jun-14 02:24:58

DH works from home so never really stops but has plenty of time iyswim. Often get phone calls in the middle of the night. And he rarely goes away.

Backtobedlam Sat 07-Jun-14 07:20:01

DH has employees so technically should be able to delegate, however, he doesn't like to go away and leave them to it and likes to oversee a lot of what's going on. I suppose because it's your own money not someone else's you care more. It has been going over 10 years now but he still replies to emails at 2am in the morning, leaves me sat in restaurants while he takes calls, and takes his work laptop on holiday! Pro's though is more flexible working-he's been able to come to every nativity, sports day and related events.

Like Backtobedlam, DH and his partners have about 15 employees now (14 years into the business), so there is more delegation, he doesn't work late nights or evenings routinely now, well about 1 weekend in 6 and one or two late nights a month, but when there's any sort of crisis/busy spell he does drop everything, always ends up taking calls on holiday etc. He's always had a lot of flexibility WRT doing childcare, school sports days etc, but that is harder now as he can't be seen by the employees to be waltzing off all the time (even if he still does work longer hours than them). The first 5 or so years they didn't have enough work at times and came close to folding more than once, we'd both rather they were too busy than too quiet.

mumaa Sat 07-Jun-14 08:12:23

I am with you, we are 5 years in and have recently managed to get him to take 1 day off thanks to help from someone in the family. The day he takes is midweek as it is the quietest for his business.

I have accepted that this is the best thing for the moment, of course I would love him to be off at weekends and actually have time off for a holiday (even an at home week off would be nice) but no joy yet, we MIGHT manage this in the future but cash flow aside, good staff are incredibly hard to find, especially as we couldn't afford to pay for a lot of hours so that makes it difficult to find someone who would find that enough too.

The thing I actually find more difficult is everyone else... Even my ILs don't seem to understand that DH needs to work all weekend every weekend. I get a bit fed up having to repeat the "he's working" mantra.

Joysmum Sat 07-Jun-14 09:45:57

I don't think this is a business issue, this is a personality issue. I also don't think it's limited to those in their own business. There are those who work for others who do all hours, not because the job calls for it, or because they need the money.

Tbh I think there are those who simply put their work above everything else.

Freckletoes Sat 07-Jun-14 09:54:37

The only way you are going to get him to take time off if is he schedules it in. Could he not allocate one day a month to not working and having some family time? The business isn't going to suffer for this and if he knows it is coming he can get everything organised for before and after the non working day, with customers/clients knowing in advance that he is not available that day. If he had a medical procedure to go through or similar he would have to do this. I would think he will appreciate the time to just being able to kick back and relax. Then if this is working start scheduling in once a fortnight. There's not much point him working his backside off for money but you having no kind of family life. If he won't do this because he "can't" then the problem lies with his attitude or method of working.

Neena28 Sat 07-Jun-14 09:59:16

Sadly 13 years in I can safely say I have worked everyday of every week in some capacity this year so far. I have done the accounts on bank hols and written reports at 4 am on Sundays. I am very very grateful to still have a business after the recession tho and it was established well before it hit. To be in year 5 and still going is bloody amazing. It will be down to the fact that your partner has taken on so much himself so that he hasn't had to delegate (and therefore pay someone else) that has probably helped enormously. We hope if things improve then delegating will become possible as things start to improve.

I do understand how hard it is tho and you have my sympathies.

mameulah Sat 07-Jun-14 10:06:36


I absolutely disagree with you, although I do understand why you may think that.


'Good staff are incredibly hard to find...'

I couldn't agree more. I have been shocked to the core over the last five years about what new employees have felt was acceptable in terms of their attitude and contribution to the work place.

And whichever one of you said that you care more because it is your own money that is being dealt with, well I think you are bang on too.

I guess that getting good employees is really the trick. And then you never do get to switch off when you are accountable for every penny, and everyone else's income. As someone else who runs their own business said to me recently, if you are the owner then every single customer is your boss. If you are an employee you don't have the same headache.

I suppose was hoping you would all give me an specific answer like 'it was easier after five years' but I guess it just isn't like that.

mameulah Sat 07-Jun-14 10:09:00

Neena And well done you too! It sounds like you are on the same page as us. I think the way forward may be for me to have a more active role in the business although my skills are not particular to business at all. And I have heavily pregnant with a toddler. At least that way it would be on our turns and we wouldn't have the incredible red tape to deal with should he taken on another employee that would rather do anything else but actually work.

attheendoftheday Sat 07-Jun-14 11:02:17

It was 3 years before he was bringing in money reliably, and six years (and starting a second business) before dp was earning well. He doesn't work all hours (he's actually gone down to 4 days a week since we had the dds) but he is always on call, and has often had to rush to a computer during family events to fix emergencies.

There are lots of perks to dp being self-employed - he has reduced his hours to do childcare, can normally take time off for sick kids, he takes the dog to work with him, and he isn't having to justify the times he's off sick (he has a chronic health problem) to anyone else.

The downsides are that he has employees he needs to pay before himself, so his pay packet isn't always the full amount, or on the date I was expecting. But it works for us (as I have a stable, reliable job).

The thing that made the difference for dp's business between earning peanuts and earning well was going through an accelerator program - he got 13 weeks intensive mentoring, a chunk of investment and a lot of networking opportunities, and it's made a bit difference.

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