Saturday, 4 March 2017

How I manage work as a home educator.

The things that go in my favour to allow me to work from home is that I am a single parent so I have no partner to worry about and that I need very little sleep, also home educating makes life even easier in terms of time.

My working day can consist of many working hours combined with family living, some of our sourcing days come when we are out grocery shopping, we will nip into the local charity shops and kill two birds with one stone by searching for educational supplies and things for the kids as well as eBay stock.

We recently had a wonderful experience with one of the clients who had a 101 year old neighbour, whilst we were collecting the clients items to list on eBay on consignment, we had the great fortune to do a project with the neighbour and interview him about his life.

Most of my work  is done in an evening, I will list from around 7pm when the kids are starting to get ready for bed, they are at the age where they like to bath alone and sort their own pyjamas out so I get some free time to start my photography, once they are in bed at about 8:30 either reading or sleeping I have free reign until about 11pm to list what I have photographed. Once 11pm hits I can then start on the picking for dispatch. I usually end the day with some general tidying up and rearranging the stock in the stock room at around 1.30-2am so I know what I have to list the next day.

The morning will generally start around 7.30 or sometimes earlier if I have one of those usual insomnia nights and end up getting up around 5-6.30, where I check if there are any messages that need answering and start making sure things are ready for dispatch and printing labels.

The kids usually get up around 9:30 and we have breakfast together and clean up the kitchen for the day. We then make sure the postage is ready and head off to drop off the post, once back from post dropping they start on some Maths or English or whatever it is they have planned academically for the day, we all sit together and whilst I am doing some listing they work on their education for a couple of hours, usually I do very little listing and the kids get my full attention whilst helping them with their academics.

This is a typical day, but we have days where they have clubs to attend twice a week so whilst my planned day is a 14 hour working day 7 days a week with ebay this works well, as some days I do less hours due to other commitments but I never have to feel guilty for loosing a few hours of the 14 hour working day as some days I take a few hours off if they have a home education event to go to or we are meeting with friends, the way I work is very flexible. 

When we go to clients or sourcing it feels more of a social event than work and some days when I am sourcing online I manage to get other household things done or things done with the kids listening to the online auctions and paying attention when the item I want comes up, baking cake with the kids and listening to auctions is an interesting task.

My most intense time during the month is when I do the accounts for the clients at the end of the month, for three days I spend working on my Maine Bookkeeping clients accounts doing payroll and book keeping and then work on the Maine Trading Consignment accounts where I have to split the invoice and work out commissions and charges, these are time sensitive and require concentration and accuracy. Nothing can get in the way of those days, day trips and friend visits are avoided. Those are the only days that cannot be interrupted by outside events.

eBay has become more of a part of life, constantly sourcing and learning about business.

It works great for me because for both the book keeping clients and the eBay clients pick ups the kids come with me and working from home allows me to fit what I do during the day and night around the kids needs all whilst avoiding huge childcare bills.

Doing eBay is very social, you are not stuck behind a computer screen all day, the collections of stock from suppliers or customers or charity shops means a lot of time is spent socialising with people, there is always new people to meet and stories to hear and people to learn from, so it may seem to some as a very isolated kind of business to run but in fact is the very opposite.

Ideally I could do with a second pair of hands to do more listing as listing is the most essential part, without listing nothing gets sold and no money is made.

That should be one of my priorities this year, to get a second pair of hands to do some listing for a couple of hours each week.

I have started an ebay blog all about my ebay escapades so why not pop along there and see if you can get some handy tips on ebaying, ask questions and find out how you could fit an eBay business into your life to raise some extra cash.

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