‘Time is money’ is often quoted in the business world– but with one in four workers clocking an extra 10 hours a week or more, can you put a price on spending time with family or improving your mental wellbeing?
While technology is regularly blamed, with many people checking emails at the dinner table or firing up the laptop after putting the children to bed, digital platforms have helped one self-employed HR consultant win the battle for a healthier work-life balance.
Charlene Flynn set up Colman Kayman HR Services and in the early days sacrificed time with her family to catch up on paperwork. The 34-year-old also juggled studying for a master’s degree in Human Resources Management and Training in addition to the usual challenges a start-up faces.
Determined to win back her personal time without comprising her business goals, Charlene embraced digital. Since then, she has re-discovered two hours of her evening to spend precious moments with her children as well as progress with her master’s degree – all while securing new clients and making a profit in her first year in business.
She said: “The personal benefits as well as the return on investment for the company have been incredible. I knew all about employment law but didn’t know as much about digital.”
To help Charlene understand how to integrate solutions within her day-to-day activity, she had a 1-2-1 with Superfast Business Wales adviser John Mills, who introduced her to software such as Microsoft Office 365 and OneDrive.
She added: “My services are incredibly time-sensitive so having an instant response for clients is vital. In addition, as a result of the changes, I have also been able to keep on top of back office tasks whilst providing my services.
“I can reply to emails remotely, which is ideal as I spend a lot of my day visiting clients or attending meetings. Also, I now store everything on the cloud to access relevant data from anywhere, and it also backs-up my files, which means I no longer have to carry printed documents and worry about losing them.
“Another hugely reassuring aspect was knowing that my files are safe and secure from a GDPR perspective as my client base grew.”
Charlene’s focus on growing her consultancy continued to be razor sharp and is a shining light to entrepreneurs that less is more.
She added: “There was a worry that not working all hours of the day meant that turnover would be negatively impacted. Hopefully I am showing others that nothing is further from the truth.
“I attended a Superfast Business Wales search engine optimisation (SEO) workshop, which also included the chance to have an audit completed. Since making the changes suggested to me, enquiries through the website have flown in and I have doubled the number of clients, which has helped me make a profit in my first year!”
Charlene is hoping for another year of business growth – all while maintaining the ideal work-life balance.
“I want to increase our client base so will continue our efforts with SEO as well as introducing social media and other digital marketing,” she added. “And I already have a cloud-based CRM system in place to help me manage all customers efficiently and effectively.
“As it stands, we’re forecasting growth for year two, and Superfast Business Wales played an instrumental part in our first-year successes and the momentum we have.”