What effect does the teacher strike have on small businesses?

I don’t have an issue with teachers striking but gah! Midweek! And the week before the Easter Holidays! This is in no way an attack on any teacher but being a small business owner and a parent is hard enough without spanners being thrown in our carefully crafted routine! Our school provided plenty of notice but I know some schools will not say until Wednesday morning. How is one suppose to organise a family/job like this?

I understand that attendance fines aren’t issued by the teachers but you can understand why parents get miffed by it all.  The strike annoys me for these reasons :-

  • Wednesday this week is hectic!! Olive has swimming, Megan her ballet exam and Moo Beavers I could do with everyone being in their normal places instead of now thinking OK who needs to go where, who needs looking after and who needs shipping about!!
  • It’s the day before Moo’s 7th birthday who is now pondering whether he can strike on Thursday.
  • It’s disruptive to the children – a Monday or Friday would mean a long weekend. I totally understand that most teachers will be in school or without pay so does the day of the week mean much to them?

But emotional responses aside how does the teacher strike effect small businesses?

Taking Advantage 

I’ve already seen small businesses in the children’s activities/day’s out sector cashing in – half price entry offers, free food etc. Nurseries letting parents know they have space for school age children!! If you are a business related to children get thinking about a discount – bring a school age child for free, half price entry for school aged children, 20% off in store on toys! A discount code to use online – social media will be your friend in getting the word out there.

Shutting Up for the Day 

This is me! I normally work on a Wednesday afternoon but I’m not even going to contemplate it. Thursday Olive is at pre-school all day so catch up it is. Using features such as Facebook scheduling and Twuffer means I can keep mine and clients content fresh.  I’m lucky that a) I had plenty of notice and b) Wednesdays are bit dependent on Olive anyway.

Struggling Through

Some small businesses won’t be as lucky as me. Those who provide services such as hairdressers, baby classes will possibly have to take their children with them, rely on friends and family to rally round or even pay for alternative childcare.

I did a little shout out asking what small business owners thought of the #TeachersStrike –  Jill from Jill Alldridge Hypnotherapy made a good point “I think, when you have young children, you need to have arrangements in place for your children being off school – one of mine was sick at school today, and can’t go back for the next two days. I need to deal with it, and find a way to look after her, however inconvenient that it. It’s the same if there is a strike.”  

Do you have a plan of action/policy/procedure for when the unexpected happens?  As painful as these kind of days are for small businesses I think we have to remember the reason why we run a small business – for me it’s the flexibility, family friendly work life balance. So sit back and enjoy your #TeachersStrike Day!

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