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.
2 Replies to “Network your way to success”
I think it really helps to think of networking whether face-to-face or through social media as an opportunity to learn and grow from the connections we make rather than from a ‘how will this help me make money’ view. I read a great quote today from Nick Williams co-founder of http://www.inspired-entrepreuner.com “There is no-one so powerful as a person who feels loved, encouraged and supported. We evolve at the rate
of the tribe we’re plugged into.” This is a great thought to bear in mind to give yourself confidence whether you’re about to do your 1min presentation at a networking meeting, deliver a workshop or publish your blog.
Thanks Elinor, that quote is great, but I particularly like ‘we evolve at the rate of the tribe we’re plugged into’. Very true, and I’m finding the older I get, the more true that becomes!