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Managing During Quiet Spells?

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Pete Brindle

New Member
My business often struggles during the summer months, because a lot of children don't want lessons over summer - and we offer blocks of 10 anyway so very very few choose to pay the extra to extend over the holiday period. So this leaves 6 weeks where there is nothing to do. Of course we get the building sorted, have a few planning meetings, but none of that brings us any money.

Do you have specific times that you're quieter than others? Are they predictable, or do they take you by surprise? At least we know exactly when ours are, so we can spread payments out meaning that staff don't need to go without!
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
The problem for us lies in the fact that we never actually know when these "quiet spells" are going to occur, but they do, often. It means that we often have staff sitting around doing nothing, and of course they still need to be paid. I have just about figured out the right balance of costs and downtime to mean that it isn't too bad, and there are always other little things to be done around the place when there isn't anything specific to do that we've been hired to.
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
The problem for us lies in the fact that we never actually know when these "quiet spells" are going to occur, but they do, often. It means that we often have staff sitting around doing nothing, and of course they still need to be paid. I have just about figured out the right balance of costs and downtime to mean that it isn't too bad, and there are always other little things to be done around the place when there isn't anything specific to do that we've been hired to.
I'm not sure if I'd be able to cope if I didn't know exactly when the quiet spells were going to occur. It sounds like you've got it all worked out, but I hate not having anything to do, and it sounds as though that would be a problem if I was in your industry!
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
I'm not sure if I'd be able to cope if I didn't know exactly when the quiet spells were going to occur. It sounds like you've got it all worked out, but I hate not having anything to do, and it sounds as though that would be a problem if I was in your industry!
It has taken a bit of getting used to, but sometimes I won't even come into the office when it's quiet, because there's no point me being there doing nothing. I'll just give the staff bits and pieces to be getting on with, and I'll stay at home and catch up on my own personal paperwork or something. There's always some way I manage to fill the time!
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
It has taken a bit of getting used to, but sometimes I won't even come into the office when it's quiet, because there's no point me being there doing nothing. I'll just give the staff bits and pieces to be getting on with, and I'll stay at home and catch up on my own personal paperwork or something. There's always some way I manage to fill the time!
It's what you're used to I suppose. We get a lot of time off in the summer because the kids all go on holiday and it drives me mad, lol. But I have just been asked to compose a short piece for a local youth group, so that will keep me quiet this year!
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
It's what you're used to I suppose. We get a lot of time off in the summer because the kids all go on holiday and it drives me mad, lol. But I have just been asked to compose a short piece for a local youth group, so that will keep me quiet this year!
You're a composer too? Wow. Have you always been musical, even as a child? You do get some people like that! I can play a few instruments myself, but I'm not a natural particularly.
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
You're a composer too? Wow. Have you always been musical, even as a child? You do get some people like that! I can play a few instruments myself, but I'm not a natural particularly.
Yeah I've always done music. I studied it and found I was quite good at thinking of ideas. Nothing to set the world alight or anything but enough for what it's needed for anyway.
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
I have decided the what I can do during the quiet spells we get is to work on my second novel! I only have about 6,000 words of it so far but I like it, and know exactly how things are going to pan out. So maybe I will actually get it written at some point!
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
I have decided the what I can do during the quiet spells we get is to work on my second novel! I only have about 6,000 words of it so far but I like it, and know exactly how things are going to pan out. So maybe I will actually get it written at some point!
Awesome, what's it going to be about?
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
Awesome, what's it going to be about?
About a family coping with the murder of their youngest daughter.. not nice, but I always find it much easier writing about depressing things than happy ones for some reason!
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
About a family coping with the murder of their youngest daughter.. not nice, but I always find it much easier writing about depressing things than happy ones for some reason!
I understand that, the emotion must help to give you the inspiration you need to write. Well good luck with it anyway! I hope you can write successfully!
 
Jennie Stamp

Jennie Stamp

New Member
I have decided the what I can do during the quiet spells we get is to work on my second novel! I only have about 6,000 words of it so far but I like it, and know exactly how things are going to pan out. So maybe I will actually get it written at some point!
That's exciting. Is your first novel published? Can we read it anywhere? My other half is also writing a novel, and a few short stories, in his spare time.
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
I understand that, the emotion must help to give you the inspiration you need to write. Well good luck with it anyway! I hope you can write successfully!
Thank you :).


That's exciting. Is your first novel published? Can we read it anywhere? My other half is also writing a novel, and a few short stories, in his spare time.
It was published, but self published via Amazon. When I started approaching companies for this one they were keen for me to withdraw it, work on it some more (which I really can't be bothered with at the moment) and then publish it through them after this second one is out. So I don't know when it will be back, but it's exciting - the thought of having it as a hard copy rather than just an ebook!
 
Jennie Stamp

Jennie Stamp

New Member
Thank you :).




It was published, but self published via Amazon. When I started approaching companies for this one they were keen for me to withdraw it, work on it some more (which I really can't be bothered with at the moment) and then publish it through them after this second one is out. So I don't know when it will be back, but it's exciting - the thought of having it as a hard copy rather than just an ebook!
That's very exciting! You'll have to let us know when it's back :)
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
That's very exciting! You'll have to let us know when it's back :)
I will do! I get major writer's block though, and I haven't been involved with those particular characters for two years, so it's a challenge.. but there's a company offering me actual real money for it this time lol so hopefully that will help to keep my eyes on the prize so to speak!
 
Jennie Stamp

Jennie Stamp

New Member
I will do! I get major writer's block though, and I haven't been involved with those particular characters for two years, so it's a challenge.. but there's a company offering me actual real money for it this time lol so hopefully that will help to keep my eyes on the prize so to speak!
That's so exciting! How did you go about approaching companies to see if they'd be interested in your book?
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
That's so exciting! How did you go about approaching companies to see if they'd be interested in your book?
Each publisher will have guidelines, usually on their website. Some won't accept manuscripts without an agent but other (usually smaller) ones will. They'll ask you for a plot summary and either a small sample or occasionally the full thing to read through. It's so important to make sure the summary you write is good. It's a bit tricky at times because you're obviously only allowed to get into talks with one publisher at a time so it can be a bit slow but if you strike lucky it's great!
 
Jennie Stamp

Jennie Stamp

New Member
Each publisher will have guidelines, usually on their website. Some won't accept manuscripts without an agent but other (usually smaller) ones will. They'll ask you for a plot summary and either a small sample or occasionally the full thing to read through. It's so important to make sure the summary you write is good. It's a bit tricky at times because you're obviously only allowed to get into talks with one publisher at a time so it can be a bit slow but if you strike lucky it's great!
Brilliant, thank you and well done!! :)
 
R

Robert Frost

New Member
My wife started writing a book once. she stopped when we started planning this business - now we have got it up and running she may go back to it
On the topic of downtime - not sure when we will be quiet yet, being a hotel I guess it's hard to know from the off
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
My wife started writing a book once. she stopped when we started planning this business - now we have got it up and running she may go back to it
On the topic of downtime - not sure when we will be quiet yet, being a hotel I guess it's hard to know from the off
Hopefully she can get back to it. Getting a book completed is something that is incredibly rewarding, so she really should try!

I have no had ANY downtime this summer at all, which is a new thing for me. I have hardly posted on here lately, but I have a lot to report back, and it's all good.

Looking very excited for me and my little business at the moment, I just hope this luck I've been having continues!
 
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