I want to be the boss!July 29, 2009 at 10:32 am | Posted in Something for Mum, Work & Life | Leave a comment
Tags: Antonia Chitty, mumpreneur guide's start your own business book, work life balance
For some reason I decided that being in the early stages of my first pregnancy was the right time to set up my own business. Having got married and travelled the world, being my own boss and having a family were the next two priorities on our list. It just so happened that the two naturally occurred at the same time. Getting to grips with accounting, tax, marketing, planning, strategy and all things own boss like is hard at the best of times. Throw pregnancy hormones into the mix and you’re on shaky ground.
But us mums are pretty damn tough (supported by the odd eight-chocolate bar binge, and a few tears) and we’re really good at running our own businesses. There’s some great advice and support networks out there, and we’re really excited to have some expert advice from Antonia Chitty, author of the Mumpreneur Guide’s Start Your own Business Book.
Advice for mums thinking of setting up their own venture
If you’re on maternity leave, are you thinking of ways to avoid returning to work? Or perhaps your little one is about to start nursery or school this September. With plenty of news about successful mumpreneurs, you might be thinking about setting up your own business. This is a great way to choose your own work hours to suit your family. You also get to work in an area of your choosing: most mums tie in their work with an interest, skill or passion which can help you keep motivated.
Starting your own business can seem daunting, however. So what are the first steps?
- Come up with a business idea. You might have an idea of your own, or you may prefer to sign up for an existing direct sales business or franchise. Loot at whether there is a niche for your business. You are more likely to succeed if there is little competition in your area. Whatever sort of business you choose don’t forget to…
- Do your research. You may be excited about your new business, but the important thing to find out is whether people will buy. Don’t just ask friends and family as they are likely to be positive about whatever you do. Set up a survey online using something like survey monkey and print off some copies to hand out to potential customers face to face too. If your business is targeting mums, catch people at toddler group or the school gate and ask for their views.
- Make a plan. Business planning may seem daunting, but it is a great way to thrash out all the ins and outs of your potential business. Talk to your local enterprise agency: most offer free or low cost courses to help you get started with your plan. Enterprise agencies are also a great place to go for more help and resources.
- Take your plan and break it down. Again, don’t be daunted by all the things you now need to do to start the business. Work out the hours you have available to work and make a timetable. This will give you a realistic idea of when your business might be able to launch. It will also help you break big ideas down into small, achievable steps. One of the biggest problems for most mumpreneurs is lack of time. If you have a plan laid out they you can see what you need to do next even if you only have a few minutes.
- Finally, get some support. It can be lonely setting up a business single handed, but there are lots of mums out there doing the same thing. Join a forum or go to a local networking group and you’ll be able to get help and advice from experienced mumpreneurs.
We’ll have some more expert advice from Antonia on separating home and family time coming soon. I will not sort out this pile of the bears washing before I do my expenses!!! That is my mantra!