Work Life Balance – Managing a Business and Family Life
Click here for the whole Diary of a North London Locksmith series.
I operate as a locksmith in High Barnet (EN4, EN5) covering London and Hertfordshire. In my last diary post “Family Business – Team Slane!” I mentioned that working as a family business has its advantages and that it does come with its challenges. In this post I will share with you how we manage work life balance as a North London based family run locksmith business.
As well as being a Locksmith I am a husband and father of 2 fantastic children. A girl 12, and a boy nearly 9. I have to admit that balancing work and family life has not been something that I find easy. It is a constant challenge.
Employed Versus Self Employed
When I worked as an employed locksmith life was much more straightforward.
There was a definite divide between work time and time off with the family. I was on emergency call out every second weekend. I had a fixed number of days holiday which I could take when I wanted more often than not.
Also I focused on locksmithing alone.
Becoming a self employed locksmith has made achieving work and family balance more challenging.
Time Off With Family
Taking holiday has a whole new meaning as a business owner. To be honest I’m never really off duty. Even when I take time out I still take calls. My working hours are not fixed. We are a 24 hours locksmith in North London and I answer calls throughout the day, evening and night. Quality standards are important to me and I am keen that every caller gets a high quality response to their query.
Aspects of Running a Business
As a self employed locksmith I now need to consider much more than just locksmithing;
- marketing and advertising
- ………..and more.
Advantages of Being Self Employed
There are plus points to running my own business or else I wouldn’t be doing it, however it is not the easy option.
I can manage my own work schedule. This helps when it comes to sports day, teacher meetings and other situations where I want to be there to support the children.
Having control over the way the business is run and performs is empowering and I do enjoy a challenge. I feel that I am suited to running my own business and less suited to working for others. I have ideas and ambitions that I want to be able to put into practice.
My wife Anne works from home so she is able to deal with requirements for the business around the needs of the children on a day to day basis. This works for us but we are constantly adapting the way we manage things to balance both family and work.
A Juggling Act
I have to say that balancing work and family is something that we are always trying to work on. It is a real juggling act when it comes to running a business and having a family.
I would be interested to know how others manage. This is one subject I am not qualified to offer tips on!
If you are considering embarking on a career as a locksmith read the post “Is Locksmithing The Job For You?”. It explains what skills and qualities are required and what you will need to be prepared for when starting out as a locksmith.
Martin (The North London Locksmith)
Updated in 2021