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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the site here. This is my third year in business for myself and although work is going well, I can't seem to draw the line between my business and the rest of my life. I really enjoy working for myself and probably wouldn't change it for anything. When I was just an employee, I would "watch the clock" and could shut down my brain from work after I punched out. Now that I am in business, when I do look at the clock, I usually think to myself that I wish the sun was up all day/night long. Then I could get done everything that needs to be done. I am sure all self-employed people feel the same way. Well, with a wife at home (pregnant wife) I can tell she gets a bit irritated that even after I walk through the door, I have plenty of office work to get done. Its not unusuall for me to work from 7am to 10-11pm. My question to you is- how do you manage your time so you can live a regular life? Is it worth it to hire out some of "administrative" stuff?
 

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Fisherman
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Pregnant wife at home? Let her help you with some of the administrative stuff so she can take some the of the stress off of you.

I keep a writing pad next to the bed so I can write down the things that run through my mind as Im trying to sleep. I sleep better when Im not trying to remember something.

Try thinking of "work" as jobsite stuff, and the things your taking care of at home as "things you just have to take care of". It works for me, so does taking a day off to go fishing to enjoy the fruits of being self employed.

Everyone needs a carrot...
 

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Carpe Diem
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My question to you is- how do you manage your time so you can live a regular life? Is it worth it to hire out some of "administrative" stuff?
DELEGATE!!! The biggest issue I had was thinking I could do it all myself. It takes time to find but take advantage of every opportunity given to you. If there's a supplier that does more of the "ground work" for you then others, use that supplier. If you have a friend or relative that can do something for you (offers help), take advantage. If there's software that can automate a portion of your business, use it. You may not be able to afford to pay people to do all these things but there are "complimentary" services out there. Check with you local community college about small business help. Hell, even by being a member of this site, you are receiving free help/advice!

Remember, you don't know what you don't know. Never be afraid to seek advice from others. I leave the important stuff to people I pay; accountant, lawyer, banker. But there are others that chip in a helping hand, thoughtful advice, tools/materials or administrative labor for free. Just don't forget their generosity when you start making money :laughing:
 

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DavidC
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Do what you do best yourself and hire out the other stuff. You can take a sack full of receipts to an accountant once a week and stop worrying about the books for example.

Take a good look at your business and decide where you want to be in 3, 5 & 10 years. Unless you want to be a one man show forever than you must delegate (hire out) something somewhere along the line. Even a good one man show has support from others.

What ever you do, make certain that there is some time somewhere for that pregnant wife or you will be dealing with an ex-wife and visitation rights.

Good Luck
Dave
 

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Agree w/delegating. My husband & I have been in business for years & he works the field while I do the office. We also have an accountant & use QB. We prefer to enter all receipts, reconcile accounts, pay bills, etc. ourselves. That way if there is an error somewhere we can catch it. At the end of month we send books to accountant - he looks over, makes adjustments as needed, then closes out the month. He handles payroll, taxes, etc. so that takes a little off us.

Maybe your wife can do some bookkeeping, phone calls, etc. during day to free up your time in the evening. Not easy managing a small business, unfortunately working in the office in the evening comes w/the territory if you aren't able to hire an estimator, etc. We try to set a certain time for office in the evening then get out & shut the door, of course it doesn't always work as planned. Good luck...........
 

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Pregnant wife at home? Let her help you with some of the administrative stuff so she can take some the of the stress off of you.

I agree with many things said on this thread except this one. I too have a pregnant wife at home and this is the last thing I want to do. She can't remember her own name half the time (I always hear "hormones are making me crazy"). 90% of my stress is from trying to keep my wife from feeling stress as she is 7 months in and I want her to be comfortable and happy.

I usually get up between 4-4:30 and do all the paperwork I can before I head out. My brain is usually shut down by the time I get home so I just accept that I can not do much in the evenings and therefore spend the evenings with wife and kids. Keeps everyone more or less happy.

Don't know if you have kids now but after you do, you may find nights are usually too crazy to get much done if you have a home office.
 

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Thom
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typically, but not always:

For an employee, your job is what you do.
For an entrepreneur, your job is who you are.
 

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Well, with a wife at home (pregnant wife) I can tell she gets a bit irritated that even after I walk through the door, I have plenty of office work to get done.
You're screwed, women now a days will just nag you and keep you from advancing in your career. There may be a few exceptions where the women will support you and maybe even help out with your book work, but it's really unlikely! When are guys going to learn? Don't get a women until you've achieved whatever it is you want with your career.
 

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Banned
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My question to you is- how do you manage your time so you can live a regular life? Is it worth it to hire out some of "administrative" stuff?
Step #1 will be to raise your rates.

You can't do anything until you do that. Add up all the jobs you do in your company and what it would take to pay individuals to do them. Book keeper, estimator, installer, gopher, helper etc...

You'll discover you're working for about $1.98 an hour.

Raise your rates and higher the first person you think will help you the most.

Now you're on your way to being the guy you quit working for.

And welcome to the real world. :laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This all great advice. Especially about raising my rates. I charge enough to pay my wages and sometimes enough to pay some business expenses. A homeowner told me once that I didn't charge her enough. WOW! The upcoming jobs will be adjusted to include costs for the behind the scenes expenses. Thank you all for your input
 

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Fisherman
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I agree with many things said on this thread except this one. I too have a pregnant wife at home and this is the last thing I want to do. She can't remember her own name half the time (I always hear "hormones are making me crazy"). 90% of my stress is from trying to keep my wife from feeling stress as she is 7 months in and I want her to be comfortable and happy.

I usually get up between 4-4:30 and do all the paperwork I can before I head out. My brain is usually shut down by the time I get home so I just accept that I can not do much in the evenings and therefore spend the evenings with wife and kids. Keeps everyone more or less happy.

Don't know if you have kids now but after you do, you may find nights are usually too crazy to get much done if you have a home office.

I havent had to deal with a pregnant wife for 15 years, my memory could be a little off. :laughing:
 

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Starving Tile Artist
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This all great advice. Especially about raising my rates. I charge enough to pay my wages and sometimes enough to pay some business expenses. A homeowner told me once that I didn't charge her enough. WOW! The upcoming jobs will be adjusted to include costs for the behind the scenes expenses. Thank you all for your input
Geez, that sounded terrible. This statement could cause some axes to be brought out on this site.

Unfortunately, and I hate to be the one to say this but. If your are charging only "enough to pay your wages and SOMETIMES some business expenses". Your homelife is the least of your worries.

I sincerely hope that Finley has shed some true light on your thinking. If you need help seeing "How much" you should be charging and what all you should be charging for, take a look at some older post in the business section.
 

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I charge enough to pay my wages and sometimes enough to pay some business expenses. A homeowner told me once that I didn't charge her enough.
If you can stay on top of the three basic accounting statements, you should know how much you are making. More specifically, the profit and loss statement, but you should stay on top of all of them and know what they're there for. However, it sounds like you don't have much time to do that.
 

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MyOnlineToolbox cofounder
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how about some mobile computing to stay with you

it seems that the crux of your challenges is catching up with accumulated work. Perhaps a portable computer with a wireless internet connection will allow you to just manage your day as you move along. Maybe you will not be completely caught up as you walk in the door at home, but you would be much more ahead. That is what I heavily believe in, especially for small mobile businesses. Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Unfortunately, and I hate to be the one to say this but. If your are charging only "enough to pay your wages and SOMETIMES some business expenses". Your homelife is the least of your worries.


I think that came out wrong. My business is doing well. I just don't know if I could bring on help. I had a book keeper for awhile and I let her go. It was just another expense. I do use an accountant as needed. I think if I brought on a carpenter, I could take on even more work. How can I find a good, trust worthy carpenter. This person would have to protray my company as I do. Although, it would allow me to take care of some of the "office stuff".

Does anyone here use a web based estimating software? It doesn't need to do any of what Quickbooks does. What are the costs associated with them?

Thanks again for all the great information.
 

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sounds like my missus because I work for myself she thinks I can take a day off all the time to take care of my daughter when day care is closed. Well this voting Tuesday I took off I ended up giving a $2500 job to a friend caus I couldnt get to it.
While she went to work for a few hundred bahhhhh Humbug
 

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Gumby
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As a business owner, the business is a full time job. Dawn to dusk and in to the night. I try to set aside time for bills/accounting in the evening when I come home. I use a simple spreadsheet that I start for every job as a tool to make my bid from. I have a column for my actual expenses. Stay on top of this and it is easy. Once I start a job, I add it to a "Master" spread sheet with all my jobs for the year. Things only get out of hand when I don't stay on this. This system gives me instant feedback on my profits and bidding. I also track my mileage on this master sheet and it has all the numbers linked to my schedule C self employment, schedule A etc.

The wife. Your wife is the most important piece of your life. (If you disagree bail now). I hope you chose correctly. I have been married 19 years. I have been away a big part of that in the Air Force. She pays the bills and steps up to the plate when needed. She is my partner. Now(the last 4 years since I started my biz) we just enjoy being in the same room at the end of the day on our laptops doing work, watching a show etc. Take her out on a date once a week and have no distractions. Cook with her, clean with her etc.

I like the suggestion of keeping a notebook with you to write stuff down before you forget at night. I am so anal I even have check lists to make sure I don't forget tools for certain jobs. All my systems reduce my stress, increase my work competence and completion, save me money and make me happier and available to spend time with my partner.

Good luck to you and yes we share your burden.
 
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