Thrust into the role of business manager was not what I expected when I left full time public service to have my first child. As the business has continued to grow, the paperwork has also evolved into a never ending mountain of anxiety. With no formal business education I hit the ground running and dealt with each issue that arose as best I could at the time. Add in three kids, two of which are twins born 10 weeks premature and one busy husband and chaos quickly took over. No matter how hard I resolved to do better next financial year, it never changed. Without a framework, keeping up to date was too hard to manage.
Not only was the paperwork overwhelming but I also had to manage every detail of the business and make decisions which had consequences for our family. My husband is a tradesman and works long days in the hot Queensland sun. The last thing he wants to do is paperwork or think about what needs to be done. There are a lot of changes to keep up with such as taxation and legislation which impacts on small business. We were getting jobs located on mine sites which required attention to detail and new practices which hadn’t had to deal with so far. To get this wrong could prove very costly. I was so disorganized that I felt overwhelmed and really not up to the tasks at hand even though I knew that I was capable. As I work from home, there is no structure or deadlines which I have to adhere to and this makes for an ambivalent attitude towards getting the jobs done. Things started to pile up. I would watch television for hours and read books and magazines, all to avoid going into the office.
With the Milking It and Paper Flow system, I have established a clear and manageable routine which fits in perfectly with my role as a wife, mother and business manager. I don’t have that anxious feeling at 3am, waking up thinking what bills I hadn’t paid and quotes I hadn’t sent. Now I know what needs to be done on what day and then when that is finished I take some time for myself to watch television or read.
The flow on effect has been immediate. Arguments with my husband about work related matters ceased as I felt more capable of dealing with the business. Work related enquiries have increased and cash flow has also increased due to more timely input of invoices. The house is tidier and calmer and I no longer feel embarrassed when unexpected guests drop in. The kids have also embraced some of the ideas in organizing their homework and at home projects. We now have more time and energy to do things such as gardening. I also feel confident going away for the weekend knowing that my work has been completed for the week and everything is up to date.