Become a member of Mums The Boss: new membership package and discount

It’s hard to believe, but it’s over three years since Mums The Boss’s first networking meeting in Bedford.

(Well, perhaps not so hard to believe for me as I went along with my then 4-month-old baby….and she starts school this September!)

Since then, Mums The Boss has grown across the UK and branches are still opening now.

In their own words, Mums The Boss “believe that, while each one of us may be a solitary mum working from home, by working together and sharing experience and information we can help each other to grow stronger and more profitable businesses.”

The great news is that you don’t have to live near a Mums The Boss group to benefit as anyone can become a member.

By becoming a member of MTB in 2012 you can benefit from promotional opportunities as well as an exclusive members newsletter containing expert content from the UKs top business mums. In addition, they will send you a handy Networking Notebook, to help you make the most of your face-to-face networking opportunities.

Annual Membership usually costs just £75 per year, but if you buy before 31st March you can grab it for £60.

Click here for more information or to sign up.

Network your way to success

For many mums, going back to work after having a baby can be a real struggle. Switching from home to a high-pressure workplace can be a difficult transition, and part-time work that’s flexible and affordable is few and far between at the moment. If you’re expecting a second child or juggling school schedules, it may no longer be practical to be out seeking work. At the same time, it may seem to be a big challenge to start up your own business.

Many mums who have succeeded in starting up a small business from home have begun by doing a lot of research. Thankfully, the Internet is incredibly useful in this regard as it gives public access to all kinds of company accounts and social profiles. By doing research, you can find out about your clients and competitors, and start the next, and perhaps most important, phase of your business.

Networking doesn’t come easily to the majority of people, and it’s even harder when mums are restricted from travelling to conventions and appearing at breakfast meet-ups. But thanks to social media, there’s plenty of space to make your niche, whether it’s by offering advice or establishing a presence in certain communities. And it’s not reserved for people who have degrees in computer science, either; just build a profile and go. The benefit is twofold as you get to know others in your industry and discover personal aptitudes that you might not have been aware of before.

At this stage, it’s important to support others as much as possible. Without the support of a company, you will encounter many challenges that will seem scary, and you will probably need to rely on your community at some stage in the future. You will probably also have to leave your comfort zone on a number of occasions. Take these opportunities to demonstrate your expertise in your industry through creative outreach such as workshops and giveaways, and keep blogging, tweeting, up-voting and commenting on a regular basis.

The Internet can be an overwhelming place for people just starting a business, especially if you’re doing it on your own. But many mums can extend their expertise through conversation – online, that is! Simply by reaching out, establishing connections and ensuring you build a niche for yourself in your industry, it’s possible to be a stay-at-home mum and a successful businesswoman as well.


Creative Commons License photo credit: ammgramm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five minutes with Venita Dada Anthonij of SheNovate

Today I’m delighted to bring you an interview with Venita Dad Anthonij who has just launched SheNovate, a new way for women in business to network. I first (virtually) met Venita last year when she launched MUMbitions, so I was keen to catch up with her and find out more about SheNovate…

Hi Venita, welcome to Business Plus Baby! Can you tell us a little about SheNovate?

SheNovate is an online international networking platform for, and in support of, ambitious and innovative business women.Based on the four pillars: meet, share, connect and discuss, I am hoping that like-minded business women will meet, support and collaborate with each other in order to reach business success.

The site offers networking tools, a magazine, business directory, TV (videos) and online resources that are all aimed at supporting women in business as well as a platform to promote themselves and their business.
Throughout the year I am planning to roll out some of the plans I have for SheNovate. Being a woman and business mum, I have learnt what I want and need to support both myself (personally) and my business, and I have created my plans around some of those wants and needs.

Part of that is reflected in SheNovate as it is now, but there is lots more that is yet to come.

I joined your community, Mumbitions, last year. How does Mumbitions fit in with SheNovate?

Mumpreneurs will find their own networking group on the platform, the MUMbitions group. There are also different sections on the website that are aimed at mumpreneurs.

The reason for the change is that although I feel quite positive about the word ‘mumpreneur’, last year it became clear that some of the women who combine the roles of mum and business owner don’t like to be labelled under that category.

At the same time, it’s undeniably true that running a business and being a mum does require specific skills and support. I don’t want to alienate anyone, and that is exactly why I launched SheNovate with MUMbitions as a group.

I hope that any woman who runs her own business, whether mumpreneur or not, will find the support they are looking for at SheNovate.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself please?

I am Dutch, married to Richard (who has his own web design and software development business), and mum to 2.5 children:

– Nathan (6 going on 16)
– Lauren (in her terrible 2s)
– and our “little belly-camper” (due in April).
I have a degree in International Business and Management, but my main passion – study and in business – revolves around marketing.
My career has primarily been on the sales floor and training departments of a.o. Monster Worldwide. Just before we moved to the UK a couple of years ago, I got an incredible job-offer in Holland to start up and manage an entirely new sales department for a great company in Holland. But Richard had already accepted an opportunity here in the UK. So, although I decided to turn down the offer, I decided to set up my own business here instead as I have always had the “dream” of starting something up for myself. Initially I helped Richard in setting up his company, and then moved on to my own. Several “adventures” – which have taught me a lot about business and myself – have led to where I am now, SheNovate.

How would you like to see your business develop in the future?

My hopes for SheNovate are that it will allow me (and a team of women) to help other women in starting up and running their own successful business.

Through the ideas and plans that I have, I hope SheNovate will be seen as a fun, supportive and innovative platform where everybody feels welcome to join and share in their journey to business success.

What’s your advice for mums running businesses, or those who are thinking of starting?

Be well prepared. Do what you love, because when you are passionate about your business it will show and it  will get you through the tougher parts of running your own business.

Don’t be demotivated by people who are not supportive, but rather get the energy to follow your dreams from the people who are.

Last but certainly not least….don’t ever give up on your dreams. Your journey to success might not be straightforward, but the destination is always waiting at the end.

Where can we find out more?

You can find SheNovate and the MUMbitions Group on www.shenovate.com

Twitter:  @SheNovate and @MUMbitions
If anybody wants to contact me, they can do so on:
+44(0)20 88191602
Facebook: VenitaDAnthonij
Thank you Venita!

Be careful who your friends are

The people we hang around with influence us more than we think.

That’s because our perception of  what’s normal comes from the people around us. Hang around with struggling self-employed people who have  clients-from-hell and are working their butts off just to make minimum wage and you’d conclude that’s just the way that self-employed life is. But if you spend time with self employed people who are doing well and have clients who are generally a pleasure to work with, then your perception would be very different.

I believe it’s very easy for us women in particular to get close to our business friends. We get to know and like them, and soon enough they become true friends. That’s great for overcoming the isolation that the self employed life can bring, but as the people around you have such a huge impact on you, it’s good to pay attention to who is in your circle every now and then.

Women’s desire to help others can be a problem here, too. Helping others is usually a really positive thing, but there comes a time when you’re so busy helping others that you neglect yourself. You can only effectively support people in your own business community (possibly any community?) if you’re exposed to positive influences yourself. Otherwise your community becomes a crowd of knackered and frustrated people who are just propping each other up!

Am I suggesting that you drop friends who are not helping you progress? Absolutely not, that would be really selfish. But you aren’t restricted to just the one community. There’s nothing to stop you building a network among people who are going to challenge you just a bit more than where you are now. By ‘challenge’, I mean that they stretch you a little, expose you to new ideas and create a bigger sense of what your world could be.

It’s so easy to slip into spending an hour in an internet forum or in a Facebook group which is, if you’re really honest, doing very little for your business. Instead, why not spend ten minutes there and another twenty in a group that will really help you and your business grow?

If you found this post helpful, why not join my mailing list? You’ll get weekly tips to help you thrive as a self-employed parent, as well as my a free e-book,”Running a business around a family: 9 Steps to success”.


Creative Commons License photo credit: ammgramm

Mumpreneur Monday Challenge: Get Out There!

Welcome to week two of the Mumpreneur Monday challenge!

How did you get on with last week’s challenge? If you missed it, the Monday challenge was to Promote Your Blog.

The internet is a wonderful thing but nothing beats meeting real, live people in the flesh. Too much time on your own in front of a PC can drive you a little bit crazy, so this week your challenge is to…

Get out there!

Here’s how you could do it:

  • Go to a new networking group

Pick one that suits your style – structured, informal, for mums, for women… take your pick.  Stuck for ideas? Ask people you know where they network and what it’s like. Also, ask if you can join them as a guest.

Want to take the little ones but there are no mums networking groups in your area? You could start one of your own! Take a look at Mums The Boss and Mums Business Club.

  • Have an informal meet-up (or a Tweetup*)

If you don’t want to start a networking group, you could just ask around if anyone knows any mums in business in your area, then arrange a time to meet up in the local park with the kids.

(*Tweetup = A gathering of people who use Twitter.)

  • See someone you know you should meet

Have you been bouncing emails around with someone when you know you should go and see them in person? It’s not always easy to getting around to meeting people face-to-face. This week, set the date and go and see that person.

  • Look for business events in your area

Sometimes you just need a breath of fresh air into your business. Look around for local business events and workshops where you can meet new people and get some new ideas. See Woman’s Work, you local Enterprise Agency or Universities, Business Link, or your local Chamber of Commerce.

  • Turn to Jelly

Have you heard of Jelly? It’s where groups of home-workers gather together and work in the same space for a few hours (but without networking). There are Jellies popping up all over the world and quite a few are in the UK.

If you’re a Twitter user, the hashtag #Jelly will keep you up to date with all things Jelly.

  • Go for a coffee, girls’ night out or whatever you fancy.

Between family and business it’s easy to forget that you’ve not been out just for fun for a while. So go out, enjoy yourself and recharge those batteries.

Drop me a comment and let me know how you get on!