Starting a business as a mum can be hard. Not only do you need to juggle the expectations of you as a mother, partner and a business person, but we are sometimes all too hard on ourselves as well.
Taking the plunge into business is rewarding, but it's great to know what to look out for before you do.
Here is some top advice from some mumpreneurs that have been through it all and came out on other side with some great experiences.
Aerlie Wildy from Healthy Life Coaching:
"Have a financial management strategy in place for the first year or so that you are not stressed about money – especially if you are not working in another job at the same time. It can get very stressful when there is no money coming in to the business as you establish it.
If you are prepared for it, have set timeframes for reviews, and can manage without the cash for that time, you will lessen the pressure on yourself – especially when there is no money coming.
Communicate with your partner and extended family. It’s important that they understand what you are doing and take it seriously. I developed a business plan and set up a meeting with my husband and went through it with him.
He was surprised at the extent of planning that I had done, and understood the concepts much better, and is now able to support me emotionally (like a workmate) when I need a bit of a boost. I suggest that you communicate this to your extended family too is because you will need their support, encouragement and possibly babysitting too.
If they think it is just a hobby, they may not show much interest, think you are wasting your time, and be encouraging you to go back to work – all of which are unhelpful when you have a burning desire to get out and sell your unique idea.
Mandy Scammel from Mums Manual:
Mums Manual is an app that helps mothers find out all they need to go through motherhood.
"Firstly, it sounds really cliché but if you find something you’re passionate about it won’t feel like hard work. Because let’s face it, there never seems like enough hours in a day already, and to add in another commitment just seems crazy, but it can work if you find it enjoyable.
Secondly, set boundaries for yourself from the start in regards to how your business will fit into your life, especially if you run it from home.
Finally and the most important piece of advice I have is dream big. Children don’t stop women achieving things, they actually give.
Anya from Interior Design Practice:
"Identify real gaps or niches in the markets. I meet a lot of mums who have started kids related businesses, but some are just too niche considering the size of the Australian market, i.e. there is no real sizeable market opportunity to make it worthwhile.
A considerable amount of planning and research therefore needs to be done upfront to identify the true size of the market.
The biggest challenge I think mumpreneurs face is people not taking them seriously as businesswomen ― particularly family and friends. Everybody sees their business as just a hobby.
You really need to set yourself up properly, therefore - with business cards, website and even consider sharing some office space outside the home, even if it's just for a few days a week.
Also, do not give away your talent or service free of charge to friends and family - if you don't put any value behind what you offer, then no one else will.
Kate Barbar from Big Steps Little Feet:
"You can have it all - but not all at the same time. Don't rush into it when your babies are tiny, it's tempting to start something when your child is in their first year of life, everything seems organised, happy, you have energy and enthusiasm, by all means, do market research, write a business plan, marketing plan and cash flow forecast, set goals. Do more market research - but enjoy your babies first.
The business can become a BIG needy baby in a family - so much energy and passion and finance are driven toward the business and the young children in the family also grow and need more of you as well. I think it's important to always keep a check of who you are the mother of.
My second bit of advice is to get an Au Pair. It's such a beautiful and stress-free (and affordable) way to be a mum and a business owner.
There's some really great advice in there, especially about enjoying your family first, and establishing yourself properly, which includes finances and legal issues. Passion will make the whole process easier too. Please don't forget to share this article with mums you know.
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