More than half of the UK public believe that the school holiday system should be restructured to benefit budding entrepreneurs and small businesses, according to new research.
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A survey by virtual receptionist group ava revealed that 53% of respondents would back reform to the staggered term times that cause problems for many small business owners.
The lack of consistency means children in the same family at different schools are off at different times, making it harder to arrange childcare.
Women were more in favour of making a change than men, with 62% versus 45% saying it would be a good idea. Younger people between the ages of 25 and 34 saw more benefit than older people, the research found.
Commenting on the figures, Piers Chead, CEO of The Formations Company, said greater clarity over when holidays take place would make it easier for business owners who are parents to plan ahead.
“Aside from bank holidays, there is no ‘set time’ of certain [school] holidays, [which can make] childcare a nightmare. Consistency is key,” he said.
“With consistent holidays, working parents can schedule their business calendar at the start of the year with confidence that they can achieve their business goals.
“Perhaps splitting holidays evenly across the year could benefit parents, allowing them to tailor their schedules around the children’s time off, rather than forcing them to take an extended amount of time off from work.”
Ava has come up with a list of five tips for entrepreneurial parents worried about how terms will impact them this year:
Don’t be too proud to seek help from a third party - Whether it’s answering calls from customers or taking care of your accounts, don’t take on too much yourself. Get help!
Keep things professional - Make sure your children are aware that certain areas of the house are out of bounds. Maintaining a clear divide between your home and business life is key.
Make every minute count - If the school holidays are causing you to lose four hours of productivity a day, you need to make sure your time is used wisely. Cut out unnecessary admin and save it for a week when you have more time to play with.
Build a network - Sometimes you can feel like the only person who is trying to launch a successful business while raising a family at the same time. You’re not! Network with other home business owners; learn from them where possible and try to help each other out.
Always have a Plan B and C - Even during term times, there will be days when your children have to unexpectedly come home from school for whatever reason. Have a Plan B and Plan C in place to ensure your business can continue to operate as normal.