Tell us a little about your business:
Mum Plus Business is a unique free online service for mothers of all ages, backgrounds and levels of experience to form local business partnerships. The website offers a secure search and messaging system to find a local business mum partner in a mutual field of interest. Our unique service is very practical and efficient – offering busy mothers the opportunity they need to find a suitable business partner in a specific industry sector and location in a safe and convenient manner at any time of day.
What was your job before starting your business?
After graduating in Communication Science I worked in PR and Marketing.
How did you go from your old career to your new business?
Whilst on maternity leave I decided that I didn’t want to return to my old job as I didn’t want to leave my baby in a nursery at such a young age yet.
What were your reasons for starting a business?
I am very passionate about the cause especially during such a challenging financial environment with increased childcare costs and living expenses. Also, I didn’t want to leave my son in a nursery yet whilst he was still very little. With my family living in Holland and my husband’s family 4 hours away by car in Manchester – starting my own business seemed the only adequate solution.
Did you use any childcare?
No, I didn’t use any childcare. I have had to balance family life with setting up Mum Plus Business. I work when he is happily playing next to me, when he is napping or in the evening. Thankfully I have a very supportive husband who takes my son out to the garden, park or playground in order for me to do some work at weekends too. And when family comes over they are more than happy to watch our son while I work.
How did you get your business idea?
After my son was born I wanted to start a web design agency but lacked the technical skills and missed the social interaction that I would normally have working in a company. I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I could find another mother who I could work with, who would understand my family situation and complement my skills. I researched the concept online and could only find information about networking events and conferences. What was lacking was a focused way of finding a suitable mother to team up with. It had to be flexible and efficient not to mention highly practical. This was when the idea of Mum Plus Business was born and the journey started.
What where your challenges and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge for me was to promote the service with limited contacts. The most important lesson I learned from this challenge was to persevere, and keep talking to people as in many cases it led to forming useful contacts and advice. It may seem daunting approaching a large organisation, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how helpful people can be when you open yourself up.
What training, information or advice did you need to get started?
My study background is very applicable to the business idea that I came up with. Communication Science involves several different disciplines such as Marketing, PR and Psychology. Also, there are many great websites out there who can offer a lot of helpful information too.
If you could give one piece of advice to a mum of a baby or toddler starting a business, what would it be?
My advice for any mum who is thinking of setting up her own business would be that you must have a passion and believe in what you are doing. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have an extensive amount of experience. Even the most successful entrepreneurs started at some point. Your passion and motivation will attract people’s attention and will help you succeed in your venture.