I Started a Business With A Baby: Shelley Connors of The Marketing Bean

I set up my Marketing and Event freelance service, The Marketing Bean, when my daughter was 10 weeks old.  Crazy? Well maybe, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  In this guest post discover how I juggle mummyhood, business and being a good fiancée, oh, and writing my new blog http://themummybean.blogspot.com/, did I mention the crazy part?

The business bit…

The Marketing Bean is a freelance marketing and event service, helping small businesses grow.  We provide companies with experienced and professional freelancers as virtual marketing assistants.  The Marketing Bean can support in all aspects of marketing from social media, PR and copy writing to event management, administration and conference facilitation.

So how did I get here?

After the first 10 weeks of having my beautiful baby girl in my life I knew I didn’t want to go back to work full time but knew I needed to work somehow. We fell pregnant whilst living in Australia so I had to leave my job there as a Marketing and Sponsorship Executive and wasn’t entitled to maternity pay from the Government when we got home as we had been out of the country too long (don’t get me started) So…www.themarketingbean.co.uk was born and I have been taking on freelance work from home ever since.

Ready? Set? Go!

So I knew I wanted to work for myself… then what?

I’d suggest either stick to what you know, like me, I have always worked in events and marketing so trusted my skills and experience.  The alternative would be to expand on a hobby or something you feel passionate about.

I set my website up free of charge, using ‘Getting British Businesses Online’, I would highly recommend this service.  It’s easy to use and comes with fantastic, user friendly resources.

Then I networked, the best business tip I could give, both face to face and online.  Join networking sites like 4Networking or forums like Mumpreneur UK and attend events, seminars and conferences if you can. If this isn’t practical due to childcare then Twitter and other social networking sites are just as effective in getting your business out there!

But I can’t juggle!

Nor can I, but I can organise, and so can you. ..

I’m upfront with my clients, they know I have Belle full time and that she comes first.  Therefore I get the best of both worlds, the ability to organise my week around Sure Start classes and play dates whilst still actively using my business skills and contributing to the household, UK economy and wedding dress fund (Vera Wang in my dreams!)

I am lucky and if I have meetings to go to, or days I need to be at events both Belle’s nannies can help out, or James will schedule time off when he can. But, for the majority, I work around Belle’s routine so I can enjoy her and we can spend time together.

Setting up your own business may sound scary and doing so with a 10 week old baby may sound pure madness but I am so glad that I did and would encourage any new mum to do the same.  Being your own boss is a great way to ensure you spend as much time as you want with your little one (and the other half, don’t forget about them, date night is a must!).  It works for me, and I’m sure it can work for you too!

You can read more about Shelley’s business at www.themarketingbean.co.uk (Twitter: @marketing_bean).

Or if you would like to know how she’s getting on in her continued journey of working motherhood, James adoring and wedding dress hunting please follow her blog
http://themummybean.blogspot.com/ or Twitter @TheMummyBean

Comments

  1. Naomi Richards says:

    Some great advice here. The beginning part of starting a business is hard and you can feel like a headless chicken but you learn along the way and the journey is exciting. Well done!

  2. Wow, this is an impressive story. I did some maternity cover for a fellow business owner and know how tough the first few months can be. This gives you great flexibility and time with your child whilst still developing yourself and keeping up to date with the industry. Well done!

    • Thank you Felicitas,

      It is working really well for me. Belle is just over a year now and I’m so glad I get to spend the amount of time with her that I do, plus I still get to flex my creative juices in the evening (whilst making some money) 🙂

      Take care!

  3. Thanks for the greet article. I love reading it!

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