9 Essential tips for starting a small business as a new mum
Starting your enterprise as a fresh mum may sound like an overwhelming idea, however, not many parents realise this might be the just right time to do it. The first years of parenthood is when mums and dads are primarily interested in jobs with more flexibility. While there is a risk of leaving a secure and regularly paying job to start something out of scratch, if you start right from the very beginning, you can join the club of thousands of new mums who took a big leap and succeeded. Here are the nine essential tips.
Passion beats expertise
While not all startup mums have business backgrounds or have a business school degree, in many cases their passion is more important than experience. Being 100% dedicated to what you’re doing is the safest way to a successful business. As proven many times, a unique approach and a great idea can launch your product or service more effectively than hours and hours spent analysing business reports and statistics.
Hold your ground and get funding
Unfortunately, even in 2019, women entrepreneurs may still find it harder to obtain funding for their business ideas than men. According to Joanne Lenweaver, Director of the WISE Women’s Business Center in Syracuse, New York, women are still being overlooked for funding due to old prejudices, especially when the person in charge of lending is a man. For many women, this means using a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
Flexibility not equal to more time
If the guiding idea of starting a business is to spend more time with your baby, you might get disappointed. Even if you start early, when they are young, it doesn’t mean you can take every afternoon off. Your business requires as much care and attention as your child. Being your own boss gives you more flexibility, but the hustle goes on 24/7.
Outsource certain chores
Trying to balance between your business, home, and family life is often impossible without giving concessions. If you feel others will do something better than you while saving you time, make it happen. Decide what roles you can outsource, and do it from the beginning. Find a gardener, cleaner, ironer, and a bookkeeper, and focus your time on marketing and running the business.
Build a network of support
You might be a master multitasker, however, no amount of caffeine can replace supportive people who can assist and encourage you as you make your way up. Whether you’re trying to figure out how to start a cleaning service or learning the ropes of event planning, seek out your people and hire their strengths and expertise. People who share your vision and entrepreneurial interests are highly beneficial for your company. Networking is a popular buzzword today because many companies have survived their initial years though relationships.
Get yourself and your baby health insurance
In case both you and your child are on the insurance plan provided by your employer you’re just about to leave, you need to make arrangements to switch to your partner’s insurance plan. Still, keep in mind that you might have to wait for the next policy renewal period, which means risking without insurance for a couple of months.
Do what you know and love
A startup business idea combined with something you love and are good at is a failsafe formula for a successful company. It’s always easier to offer products and services that you have experience with. For example, many successful startup mums have started a business selling pregnancy- and baby- related items. Aside from sharing your expertise, in that case, you get to interact with other mums and get some first-hand evaluations of existing products or services.
Research the market
While it may seem to you that every new parent needs your great product or service of yours, guess what, you’re not the first ‘mumpreneur’. The best place to start your market research is your backyard. Without overextending your initial resources, invite a group of people of varied backgrounds over and ask for their feedback on your idea. Don’t forget to ask them to sign a non-disclosure agreement first.
Find a partner
If the thought of starting a business on your own still seems overwhelming, try finding a like-minded partner to make the big leap with you. Knowing that someone else is in it will give you more security, and more importantly, decisions are always easier to make if there are two people involved.
With inflexible working hours and demanding bosses, for some mums pursuing a career is not such a great option. Starting your own business as a fresh mum may not give you more time to spend with your baby, but additional flexibility and the fact that you get to stay at home means a lot.
About the author: Mike Johnston is a lifestyle and business blogger from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and Divine magazine. He has also contributed to numerous family, financial and green living blogs. Mike’s goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.