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Husbands business taking over our life! Any tips?(13 Posts)
Not really too sure why Im posting but at a bit of a loss as to what to do & wondered if maybe anyone had any solutions or experiences..
My husband was made redundant 3-4 years ago & decided to set up as self employed doing what he was employed to do. I was a little nervous to begin with but his company offered a really good package in terms of training/materials/references etc which made it allot easier for him to start out.
Fast forward to January this year, he is doing very well, he is taking on lots of work/clients which is great but the business is beginning to take over our lives.
He is working 6 or 7 days a week most weeks, he leaves around 5am most days & usually isn't home until about 7pm, by which point he is exhausted so doesn't really get to see or spend any time with the children. If I need to discuss something with him I am having to text him info as by the time he's home showered & eaten he is ready for bed & doesn't really want to be having discussions.
I have offered to try and help out where I can, but I don't really have any experience of running a business so feel a bit like I am winging it with regards to tax returns VAT returns etc etc. He has just recently taken on a member of staff to help with the workload so I am desperately trying to sort out what I have to do/provide for that but this has given him more work rather than eased it.
He is very good at his job & his clients are always very happy but he isn't as great at the admin side of things, he does try but now it seems he think its easier to use me as his (unpaid) admin assistant!! I am taking calls, taking HUGE parcels in, doing VAT returns, Tax Returns, CIS payments, ordering stock etc etc. I have two (very busy) children & a dog to look after & I do all the normal house bits like the shopping cooking & cleaning aswell as caring for my mum who isn't well. I just don't have enough hours in the day to be doing all his work as well but if I cant get things done, he has to come in & do them when he gets home, so I kind of feel like I have to help.
I constantly have people telling me how good it is that he runs his own business/he can work on his own terms etc etc but we genuinely saw him more & had more quality family time when he worked for someone else!!
I don't want to carry on like this as its going to start affecting our relationship but what can I say/do that will help him out? Is this normal when you run your own business?! Any tips that might help me manage it all better??
Things getting worse before they get better with a new member of staff is normal. You hire thme because you are overwhelmed but then you have to do loads of extra stuff to get them up to speed. When they are up and running it should be fine though.
It sounds like he needs more staff, especially an admin manager type person and/or an accountant who does more.
A service like SmartPA or similar might be helpful to take some of the load off you at least and then maybe more off you.
Ultimately though, he has to decide how much work he's willing to do. I am self-employed. I turn down work even though it pains me and worries me. I had to decide where the line was for me. He will have to do the same at some point.
Presumably if he got the flu or something he'd be fucked, right?
Seeing someone to get help to build a 5 year business plan might help him to lift his head up and realise he needs to make some hard choices.
Find a decent accountant. They will do your VAT, payroll, tax returns etc
They should also be able to give general business related advice and effectively pay for themselves with the money they save you
Definitely get an accountant. That will mean you don't have to do the majority of his admin. It is hard running your own business though. It took me four years to begin to reap the rewards of being self employed and after five years, take my foot off the pedal slightly. I do still often work until 9pm, but I juggle things like the school run and ferrying ds around to activities as well as work. Persevere with him, it does get better, but it takes a lot longer to get a business going and keep it going, than people realise.
It's sounds like a typical fledgling business, and a successful one st that.
Thanks so much for the replies. Im going to have a look at accountants in the area. Smart PAs also a great idea, I've seen a few advertising locally.
Yes Run Rabbit, he would be stuffed. He doesn't generally get ill but he actually had a really bad accident at work recently, cant say what it would be outing but he was in hospital for 2 days & was still taking calls & sending emails/invoices. It could have been allot worse which has made me think allot more about how much he's doing.
Yes, an accountant would make a massive difference if they could take over the VAT returns, CIS, payroll, etc. Just take the time to find one that's right for you. An unsuitable accountant could make things worse. Don't go for the cheapest or the first one you contact. Take the time to talk to them, and choose one who you get on with and "talks your language" - don't let them talk down to you or baffle you with technical jargon. There are plenty out there. Also check on their qualifications etc as literally anyone can call themselves an accountant and set up an accountancy practice. In the absence of a recommendation from a friend/family, best to play safe and look for a "chartered" accountant so at least you'd know they were qualified, insured, etc. Lots of "chartered" accountants work out similarly priced or even cheaper than some of the unqualified ones. I'd suggest you talk to, say, 3 local accountants, a one-man band, a small firm and a High Street firm to compare them, then if you don't gel with any, try another 3 and just keep going until you find one you can talk to confidently.
Forgot to say, yes, this is perfectly normal and virtually all small businesses go through this kind of pain whilst they are growing. I started my accountancy practice around the time my son was born, and got my office when he was just 6 months - I did the 7 days per week working (though mostly only half days at weekend), so DS was basically brought up by my OH for a couple of years. But, once things had settled down, and I got a couple of staff settled in and up to speed, things were a lot better and I was down to normal office hours. Now, many years later, the staff have gone, and I'm only working part time, but I still have a very decent income because I've cherry picked the better clients and got rid of the dead wood. Businesses evolve - it's hard in the growing phases, but the rewards come later once the business is mature and you've got yourself a steady stream of the higher profit/lower stress work.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read and reply, I really appreciate it! It’s great to hear it’s quite normal for him to be so busy, don’t want to complain about the work but I suppose it’s just getting the right balance. Thanks for the tips on accountants, I will definitely be using that advise to find someone who understands our business! Thanks all once again x
If your looking for someone to do CIS, vat returns
Sorry posted too soon. Was going to say that a book keeper would prob be your best bet and just an accountant to pass the books to finalise the accounts once a year.
The self employed have this problem.
Marketing, admin, accounts, prep, invoicing - it's all down to that person and can't be delegated.
A lot of people tempted to go self employed are often unprepared for all the work involved.
My dad was s/e. He found an accountant who was a customer and gave him mates rates and mum helped with typing up estimates and invoices.
Sorry, no help at all.
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