Why Mumpreneurs Should Make a Decent Profit

mumpreneur profitI've been reading Mum Ultrapreneur, partly because I'm doing some business book reviews for Mums The Blog, but also because I just love a good how-to-start-your-own-business book.

(What did I think of the book? I'll let you know when Mums The Blog publish my post…)

As I was doing a final skim through Mum Ultrapreneur's interviews with business mums, I nearly choked on my biscuit when I read:

"…lots of business mums I've come across said their husbands aren't at all [supportive]. Which I think is something important to mention. I've found that a lot of husbands, because they're so money focused, find it difficult to understand what they're wives are doing because they're not bringing in that much money. Lots of mums in business are only doing it because they really enjoy it and it's creative"

Alli Price of www.motivatingmum.co.uk

Photo by showmeone

It wasn't the bit about the unsupportive husbands. Not everyone has an entrepreneurial streak, and if you don't have one yourself, coping with  one in your partner can be unnerving.

What made my crumbs fly was this –

"Lots of mums in business are only doing it because they really enjoy it and it's creative"

One huge advantage of running your own business is that you can do it your way. But surely making a decent profit has to be a central goal of any business? True, most of us mumpreneurs have two aims – to make money and to fit our work around our families. But I'd assumed that the making money part was a no-brainer. After all, a business that you enjoy, is creative but only makes peanuts isn't a business. It's a hobby.

Many businesses go through periods where they make no profit at all, especially at the beginning. But the aim to make a decent profit has to be there for it to be a bona fide business.

I wondered why I was so rattled by Alli's quotation and I've nailed it down to three things:

1. A creative, enjoyable business that makes very little money is a huge wasted opportunity.

If the business makes some money, there's every chance that with a few tweaks it could make a lot more. Perhaps it needs more of a focus,  a business plan or marketing plan, a review of pricing, more training or business advice.

2. What's really going on here? Are we selling ourselves short as business mums?

Many of us Brits still see money as a slightly grubby subject and I suspect British women are particularly affected by this.

The trouble is that this belief can lead to women not having the confidence to ask for what they are entitled. I don't think it's a coincidence that many of the jobs that are done by female workers are the lowest paid. That, in turn, lowers the status of work that women do. Perhaps lurking behind all this enjoyment and creativity is a woman afraid to ask for what she is really worth?

3. I don't want anyone to think of my new business as a little hobby to keep me busy while I care for my babies

I may work part time, but I take my business every bit a seriously as I took my previous career. In fact, the stakes are even higher now. I need the money to keep a roof over my family's head and I want to set a good example for my children. I aim to do work that I enjoy, but if it doesn't pay me what I'm worth I'll find another business idea.

None of this is meant as a criticism of Alli Price or Mum Ultrapreneur. Both are passionate about helping mums to start businesses exactly as I am. I hope the quotation has been just a starting point for my thoughts and that these help a mum somewhere to get a decent profit for all her hard work.

Because it's hard work even if you do enjoy it.

What are your thoughts? Please do drop me a comment below.

Did you start a business with a baby (or a toddler)?

Would you like to appear on Business Plus Baby? Could  sharing your story help an aspiring  mumpreneur start her business? Or maybe telling your story could you inspire a mum who is already running her business? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

If you like the sound of this (and you’d like a link to your website) this is what I’d like to know:

  • Tell us a little about your business
  • What was your job before starting your business?
  • How did you go from your old career to your new business? Did you hand in your notice when your maternity leave ended? Or work part time after having your baby, then leave your job later on?
  • What were your reasons for starting a business? Wanting to spend more time with your child(ren)? The cost of childcare? To be able to work flexibly?
  • Did you use any childcare? If yes, how much? If no, how did you find the time to do any work? How did you manage your time? Did you work mainly in the evenings and nap times?
  • How did you get your business idea?
  • What were your challenges and how did you overcome them?
  • What training, information or advice did you need to get started? Did you get this, if so where from?
  • If you could give one  piece of advice to a mum of a baby or toddler starting a business, what would it be?

Drop me a message using my contact page. Looking forward to hearing from you!

A blog to watch: LittleMumpreneur

Mum blogs have been around for a few years now, but business mum blogs are still new, exciting and developing fast. My personal favourites being Family Friendly Working, Mum's The Blog and Self Employed Mum.

So I was really pleased to see that Erica, otherwise known as Littlemummy, is branching out into business mum blogging. Littlemummy is one of the best mum blogs in the UK ( in my opinion anyway!) and  Erica sums it up nicely when she says she blogs about 'life, parenting, trying new things'.

In creating new LittleMumpreneur blog, Erica is giving herself more space to talk about blogging, entrepreneurship and eventually subjects like marketing and social media. Erica already has a lot of experience in blogging (I recommend her free course Mum Blogger E- Course), so I'm looking forward to watching LittleMumpreneur grow over the next few months.

Business Ideas For Mums: Antenatal Teacher or Therapist

antenatalTell me more…

An antenatal teacher helps pregnant women prepare for birth using techniques like hypnotherapy, visualisation, relaxation, exercise or yoga. A therapist might use therapies such as reflexolgy, reiki and massage to do the same.

These techniques may also be used to help women recover after the birth, to adjust to motherhood or get back into shape after having a baby.

photo: gabi_menashe

What are the benefits?

  • If you are passionate about pregnancy and birth this is a perfect opportunity to work with women at a fascinating time in their lives.
  • As mothers and mothers-to-be, your clients will usually be happy for you to work around your family.
  • Working hours are flexible and will often be in the evening or at weekends to fit in with your clients work and family commitments.

Things to consider…

Your clients will only need your services for a period of a few months, so you'll need to think of ways of catching them early on in their pregnancies. Unless you have lots of clients who go on to have big families, you won't get much repeat custom either! But you could encourage clients to recommend you to their pregnant friends, perhaps by giving them discount vouchers.

It's a good idea to make sure your website appears near the top of the search results in search engines  e.g. if you're a maternity reflexologist in Coventry, aim to be top of the list when someone types 'maternity reflexology Coventry' into Google. Potential clients will then find you if they have decided they want your service but haven't yet found a local teacher/therapist.

You can improve your cash-flow by selling courses, rather than individual sessions. It means that you know you have covered your costs (such as room hire) at the start of a course rather than having to worry about it before every session.

You could offer several different therapies or courses. This might mean being a therapist with a pregnancy specialism (a reflexologist who also does maternity reflexology) or a pregnancy/birth specialist who offers several courses or therapies (e.g. hypnotherapy and reiki).

Further information

Training:

activebirthcentre.com – teacher training for the Active Birth method

www.hypnobirthing.co.uk – teacher training for Hypnobirthing

maternity-reflexology.com – training for reflexologists who want to specialise in maternity reflexology

birthlight.com – training to teach yoga in pregnancy

Examples of mums who are antenatal and postnatal teachers or therapists:

Soles  to Soul reflexology and maternity reflexology

Karma Birth birth workshops, pregnancy and postnatal yoga, pregnancy massage and reiki

No More Excuses pregnancy and postnatal fitness

 

Not convinced that being a Antenatal Teacher or Therapist is for you? Take a look at other business ideas for mums.

 


Business Mums: This Could Solve Your Biggest Problems

home officeThe number one  problem for business mums has to be childcare. If you're running a business around a family, most childcare isn't  flexible enough to fit your working life.

Working from home isn't  as great as it might seem, either (unless your home office is like the one on the right…). You can miss connecting with other adults, you're stuck sitting in the trail of mess left by your children and you really wouldn't want to invite clients in to sit in it too!

photo: Jeremy Levine Design

If you live in South London help is at hand from May – and I hope it will extend to the rest of the country soon.  Let me introduce guest blogger Melissa Talago to tell you about Third Door and the  launch competition you can enter now:

Ever since I set up my own PR business almost 4 years ago, I have battled with one thing: Childcare. It has been a nightmare. When the kids were both still under 3, they went to nursery. But the nursery only had Mondays and Fridays available, the worst two days for me to get anything done in my industry. Plus if the kids were sick, they couldn't go and I was left once again not able to work. There were times when I had way too much work and needed extra childcare and other times when I didn't have enough work to justify having them in childcare, but couldn't risk losing my nursery place.

And did I mention the cost!! My pay used to go directly into my bank account and straight out again to the nursery. I should have just gotten my clients to pay the nursery direct and cut out the middle man!

I know I'm not alone in having these issues. Childcare for working parents – particularly those trying to freelance or set up their own business – is a nightmare. But now someone has at last had a brainwave. It is just such a good idea, that I absolutely had to work with them.

Take a look at Third Door – particularly if you're a parent living in SW London.

Shazia, a mum to a 2 year old and 4 month old (so imagine how much sleep she's getting!), decided that there had to be a better way of allowing parents to work remotely with flexible child care that suited them.

So she and her husband created Third Door, where you get flexible work space (a hot desk or meeting room) with on-site childcare (in an OFSTED registered creche) all done on a pay-as-you-go basis.

No more having to stick to certain days assigned to you by a nursery. No more having to pay for childcare that you can't use when your child is sick. No more mad rush to pick your child up from nursery after work – because they're just downstairs. No more wondering how your child is doing, because you can pop in and see them, perhaps have lunch with them. No more working on your own in your spare bedroom without any other adult company as you can network with like-minded parents in your area. No overheads of having your own office.

The benefits just go on and on. Like I said, a brilliant idea.

The company is launching in May in Wandsworth, just up the road from Cupcake Spa for those of you who know it. And to help celebrate its opening, Third Door is running a competition that I genuinely think will change somebody's life.

The prize includes:

  • 30 hours of free workspace and childcare
  • Third Door membership
  • a Business in a Box package that includes logo design, company name registration, business cards, letterhead and website creation
  • 3 hours of consultancy from experts in finance, legal, marketing, PR, technology, social media and business coaching
  • a laptop
  • a smartphone

Basically all the tools you need to start up your own business or enable you to work part-time, freelance or possibly build up a blog. Sometimes in fact, all you need to be able to change your life is some child-free time to think, a blank screen to tap ideas onto, a strong coffee and someone to talk to. If you win this prize, you can do exactly that!

So if you want to enter, go here. And please help spread the word about this to anyone who you think would benefit from it.

Melissa Talago is the owner of Peekaboo Communications