I’ve been meeting so many mumpreneurs – mums running their own businesses – recently and I find them really inspiring. I can totally understand the appeal of being able to run a business from home while you’re raising a family.
In the current climate I know it’s something many of you will be thinking about as well, so I’ve asked Erica Douglas and Antonia Chitty from becomeamumpreneur.com to share their top tips to starting a business:
1. Time. Work how much time you have available for earning. List your priorities such as earning money, or finding work that lets you stay home with your children. Be realistic if you plan to work around the kids, as children may not understand "mummy's working". Write down your work hours, whether they are 12-2 each day during nap time, 9.30-11.30 to fit with nursery, 7-9 in the evenings or a combination on different days.
2. Skills. Then, write down your skills, and ask others what they think you're good at. Write down all the different ways you could earn money. It’s important not to rely on one source of income.
3. Ideas. Create a mind map of all your different ideas, then prioritise the ones that you could set up most easily.
4. Set up. Get started with the first business idea. It doesn’t have to be the biggest, but just something that will start you earning right away. Remember to cost up your business idea and note down how much of your time it takes. Time is precious for busy mums and some ideas can fail because they bring in too little money for the time you invest.
5. Keep learning. If your first idea doesn’t work out, learn from the experience. Get some support and training to add to your learning as you go. Go back to your list of skills and add in areas that you struggle with, and get help with those your weakest in – for example, marketing, PR, post office runs, bookkeeping. Investing in support and training will allow your business to grow and develop.
Remember, you don't need one big idea or lots of investment to become a mumpreneur. You can do it bit by bit while still working full or part time. If you're a stay at home mum you can quietly work away on various things that could build into a full time income.
written by Liz Jarvis