I had to get mean and here’s why…

The week I had to get mean, and here’s why…

Okay. Caveat. I didn’t get mean. It felt mean.  But it was actually just good business. 

As every business grows, changes are needed.  

Often you don’t know what those changes are before it’s too lateYou’ve made the mistake alreadyBut that’s okayMistakes are good in my bookFrom mistakes you learn. From mistakes you get closer to the correct answerBut oh my, mistakes are also a big fat pain in the bum. 

At SpareMyTime we’re growing quickly

That means mistakes are made more frequently.  Partly because what worked well for our business 6 months ago isn’t working now.  Partly because we’re always trying new things. Certainly, what worked in 2020 (the year we started) is about as helpful today as a chocolate teapot in a heatwave.   

And that’s just what happened. The policies I had in place for my team over the summer holiday just weren’t appropriate for a business of our current size, scale and quite frankly, electric energy.  We were using a lead rope to hold onto a dragon.  

If you work with SpareMyTime, you’ll know just how brilliant my team are 

Exceptional I’d say.  Their dedication to deliver first-class support is inspiring.  However, everyone – I mean everyone finds it hard not to take advantage of a good thing when it’s staring you in the face.  (I know you don’t think you do, but I can guarantee it… you do). 

In our case, our ‘good thing’ was that we just hadn’t got a hold of our holidays.  Particularly the long hot sweaty juggle of the summer holidays.  

So what happened…the team took advantage of a good thing.   

Did we have a formal process for booking holiday… no 

Did we have a formal process of knowing everyone’s core working hours… no 

Were we working on the basis that ‘keeping in touch’ is good enough … well yes, yes we were. 

And you know what. 

Summer didn’t work out as we had planned 

It wasn’t the sleepy break we’d all been assuring ourselves it would be.  It was a full-on monster.  250 hours of work came through the door in 3 weeks and we were on our knees*.  Mostly due to half the team being AWOL (well not actually AWOL because we’d not confirmed the WOL bit in the first place). 

So the net result was that those who’d actually stuck around carried the load.  And that’s no fun for anyone. 

But you know what, it worked out. As with all mistakes, it wasn’t pretty. But importantly you’d not have noticed from the outside AND we learnt a big old lesson (adding systems sharpish).

So yes, I do feel mean being stricter with my team.  But was it worthwhile to form foundations for a happy, well-functioning business fit for the future. 

Well yes, yes it was. 



*If you formed part of our August overload, you are AMAZINGEvery hour you book with a SpareMyTime VA keeps one of my fabulous team in workIn fact, it’s meant we have recruited two more fabulous staff in the last couple of weeks, who can now work flexibly around their other responsibilitiesThat will never not be amazing. So a massive thank you to youYOU ARE BRILLIANT.  

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