By November 21, 2012 Read More →

Small business and work/life balance

How one small business owner prioritises family

Work from Home Wisdom - small business and work/life balance - Paul Cox, SpinLessPlatesPaul Cox of SpinLessPlates is on a mission to enable himself and other small business owners to have more family time:

Hi Paul, I think your childhood experiences led you to feel strongly about making the best possible use of time?
My parents ran 3 successful hotels throughout my childhood. They were grafters and worked continually which meant we didn’t have much family time. I decided there was no way I would work and only see my kids asleep, after all what’s the point of having a family if you don’t spend time with them?
Although my childhood was a bit unusual, it did lay the foundations for my own small business success. I learned lots about business from my parents and they were sharp. My mum knew her numbers and my dad was exceptionally skilled at managing the customers. What’s more, because of the high level of responsibility and freedom I was given from an early age I came to trust and rely on myself. As a result I’ve had the bottle to take big risks and put things on the line. SpinLessPlates would never have happened without this self-belief.

Your earlier career was a bit different to your life today, wasn’t it?
In my early career I followed my parents example and worked ridiculous hours as a sales rep for a photographic company in London. I enjoyed pushing myself to make the sale and it wasn’t unusual to be clocking up 100 hours a week. I loved the job but it burnt me out and at just 26 I collapsed in the office.
This was a big wake-up and it was then that I first turned to self-employment. For a while I ran a design agency with two friends and then in 2003 I set up Fings – a promotional merchandise business with my wife Michele.
Fings did really well and although I’d streamlined lots of the admin, it still required a lot of time. When Michele and I had our first daughter, Isabella, I knew I needed a change of strategy and find a different way to provide for my family as well as spend time with them.

What led to SpinLessPlates?
With children in the picture I became very interested in focusing on residual income. The idea of front-loading work that would generate income even when I’m asleep was very attractive!
SpinLessPlates started life as bespoke management software for Fings. I needed something that would integrate with my website, and allow me to automate my quote, sales invoice and purchases as well as manage my contacts all from one place.I didn’t want to waste time faffing with paperwork and duplicating work across different bits of software. Like other small business owners I wanted something that was simple to use and actively helped me to run my business.
SpinLessPlates was born after a chance meeting with my bank manager. She pointed out many small businesses are turned off by complicated software programmes and there was a gap in the market for a really simple alternative that was designed with the needs of the small business owner in mind.
SpinLessPlates has been in development for the last 2 years and is now available to all small business owners who want to streamline their day-to-day business operations so they can work less and earn more.

Paul will be back soon to reveal the planning and cloud-based software secrets that allow him to spend more time with his daughters.

Posted in: Family

20 Comments on "Small business and work/life balance"

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  1. Sneha says:

    Hi Paul,

    Have never heard about this software before will try to use it as my father has a small business and he is all time busy with the work having no time for the family.

  2. Hi Paul. I really enjoyed reading this article. It’s really interesting to see how your childhood experiences played a role in your business values and I can relate to the requirement to find a way to be successful in your work whilst being a dad at the same time. Congratulations on developing SpinLessPlates. What an achievement 🙂

  3. Wenie Langacre says:

    Hi Paul, that sounds really great. I never heard that software before. I am very much agree with you that we have to balance our everything that we do. I think this software will help.