How to work from home efficiently.
How to separate home life and work when both are in the same place.
How to switch off when working from home.......

And many more BLOG titles that make you think... 'Hey, I could do that'.

Firstly I am not demeaning the worth of any of these blogs as I have read each and everyone of them. And this time next year my daily diary will be as follows;

1. Alarm will gently wake me from my sleep at 7am and I have a shower with no one trying to break into the bathroom.
2. 7.10am my Nanny arrives, wakes the children, dresses them, feeds them and drops them to school, not before they gently kiss me on the cheek.
3. Mr Kookee struts into the kitchen, gives me a morning kiss followed by freshly ground coffee.
4. Just before I begin work the doorbell rings again and my cleaner arrives. Hooray.
5. I work, continuously, efficiently and happily until I take a short but well deserved lunch break.
6. I go back to work, yes you read that correctly, I said I GO BACK TO WORK.
7. The nanny collects the kids, helps them with there homework, gives them their tea.
8. I finish work for the day, eat my tea, sit down, put kids to bed, and smile.
10. We have a family holiday every year,  not just those with the number 9 in it.

When you find the perfect BLOG please let me know - until then here is some light reading

This will happen.  But for now this is more like the TRUTH.

So what are we looking at.
Well I have 4 kids, 3 school age, 1 at creche part time.  A husband who is the most over enthusiastic entrepreneur I have ever met, but has not figured out the cloning process yet, and did I mention he 'thinks he's BATMAN. I am a carer, I run a food business,  I don't get a wage (as yet), household income doesn't quite match household outgoings, in 15yrs of marriage, and excluding our honeymoon we have had 1 family holiday for 5days to Legoland Windsor. 

Q:   How do you run a food business from home successfully?

A:    Well this is how I do it.

(Rules of Food - No Kids or Animals present when producing - Full prep and clean down completed before each production - All records maintained correctly - Follow a comprehensive HACCP plan)

Animals - I don't have any........sorted

Kids - As soon as they are at school I start immediately doing my cleaning prep. I don't eat, drink, sit down or stare into space for 1 second.
I produce for 3 hours solid.
I don't cut corners or jeopardise the finished product. I only produce the volume that my current machinery allows. I try to build up a reasonable amount of stock to meet demand.
I never over commit on delivers, if I don't have stock I am honest with the customer and give them a definite delivery date.

12.30pm - I collect the youngest from creche.
Then it's clean down time.  This I can do with the baby at home.
I use this time from 12.30 to 2.30 to clean down, check emails, start dinner, put on a wash, tidy round, have lunch etc.. this lets me get ahead.

2.30pm - I collect the 3 other kids (although this changes in Sept as the eldest who is Autistic is heading to secondary so it will be 2 kids at 2.30pm and 1 at 3.30pm ish). This is a huge deal for our family this year, there will be tears no doubt.

5.30pm - Respond to any emails that I received, and place orders if needed.

7.30pm - Bed for kids

My evenings involve

  • Social media updates
  • Completing the days paperwork
  • Household chores
  • Prep for the next morning, i.e lunches
The days I don't produce my 3hrs are spent doing deliveries, phoning or calling into customers.

I stock take every 3mths, this way I always know what ingredients, packaging and finished goods I have in stock. This information is priceless, as I can work out product trends, sales forecast, ingredients volumes and do a gap analysis.  

If I have a meeting or event that runs over I have the option of leaving the youngest in creche longer.. this costs money so this decision is based on need only.

All of the above works brilliant - but that's on a good day.

So here's the last 4wks:
Creche closed for 2 weeks holidays.
Decided to take the opportunity to potty train 2yr old.
Kept him off an extra week to ensure this was complete.
He didn't make it back to creche as he has Mumps.
So no production has happened in 4wks. (thankfully I had stock, but this is about to run out)
Can't take him anywhere so uniforms, shoes, bags, books still need to be bought.
I spent most of the 4wks being a taxi for the other 3 while they go to summer camps.

So I took the 'opportunity' and completed my business plan, HACCP plan, Grant forms, stock takes, new ordering process, deep clean of the prep area and set myself some goals starting next week.

Lets be honest......
I want the Nanny
I want the Cleaner
I want to get my teeth stuck into each and every project
But ................... well there is no BUT

It will happen.....
Kids will grow up
I will have more time
I will get a wage, turn a profit and have the help I need

It will take time, hard work and persistence.  
One thing I learned was that keeping the family away from your work because they are too young to understand or you don't have the time to explain doesn't work. Find away to involve them, trust me it will make all the difference.
My kids know everything about the business, they help with stock takes and know when to give me space to take a call or answer an urgent message.

To sum up, so far I have.............
  • Started a business
  • Maintained a business
  • Grown a business
  • Kept my sanity
  • Stayed Married
  • Turned 40 and have minimal grey hair