You Can Still Run A Business After A Baby


baby-businessIn this modern world where women crave for greater independence than their counterparts of years gone by, the prospect of having a family can spark fears of being tied to the home, a loss of career and a loss of independence. And, in some families, the loss of an income can lead to financial difficulties. These are sacrifices that many are willing to make for the sake of having children – but it doesn’t have to be this way, because after baby you can still run a business without compromising the job of being a mother.

Smart women aren’t having children

According to recent research headed by psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics, the more intelligent a woman is, the less likely she is to want children.  He suggests that for every 15 point increase in IQ the desire for motherhood drops by 25%. Census data also shows that if a woman has an advanced degree she is less likely to have children.

But, irrespective of education, birth rates are falling as more couples choose not to have children. The reasons most commonly cited are: no wish to have children; work commitments make it undesirable to have a child; and, inability to give a child the life it deserves.

Women with children can still succeed Continue reading “You Can Still Run A Business After A Baby”

I started a business with a baby: Claire Rocuzzi of Better Birthing

Tell us a little about your business

Better Birthing offers a wide range of antenatal and postnatal services, from antenatal classes to doula support both postnatal and in labour and breastfeeding advice too. It is important to me that all women receive information that they need, when they need it.

My dream would be to ultimately see the whole “process” of birthing become natural and led by the instincts that we are given rather than how we are told to do it. All in all, the whole childbearing process is a wondrous celebration of all that is woman. My calling is to add to this experience, making it a memorable one by providing emotional support and knowledge to the mother-to-be and partner. Who knows, maybe one day my dream will come true? Part of my dream is to treat each mother as the unique woman that she is, and to walk with her, besides her, on this wonderful journey that she is on.

What was your job before starting your business? Continue reading “I started a business with a baby: Claire Rocuzzi of Better Birthing”

I Started a Business With a Baby: Alexandra Atkins of The Ultimate Baby Shower

Tell us a little about your business

My business is The Ultimate Baby Shower Ltd (TUBS), which is the first company to focus on the British baby shower market. Rather than copying the way the U.S. are doing it, I have thought about what the British public would like. This involves cosy afternoon teas with girlfriends, swapping hints and advice, spoiling mummy to be, eating elegant baby themed cupcakes and cookies – supping the odd glass of pink champagne! The decor is elegant and sophisticated with butterflies, parasols and baby themed accents. I recognise the fact that new mummies should be celebrated and need plenty of hints and advice before baby arrives. It is a fun affair and watching the opening of the cutest of baby gifts goes down very well too!

What was your job before starting your business?

I used to work as an Environmental Consultant and travelled to Europe working on projects for oil and gas companies. I thought I would continue to do this once my baby arrived and employ a nanny to look after her while I worked but as soon as I saw my daughter I knew I couldn’t be away from her so I set up on my own.

How did you go from your old career to your new business?

I always thought I would continue my job because it is what I worked towards throughout university and it was the career path I always wanted. However during my maternity leave I handed my notice in because I couldn’t hand my daughter over to a nanny while I spent all day at work or travelling. I wanted to enjoy her as much as I could.

What were your reasons for starting a business?

I needed to use my brain and keep busy. I found I was spending time visiting other people with babies, going to baby groups, having lunch with mums etc. I felt I was being absorbed into a world of babies and I needed my own focus. I’d always been busy studying or working and I couldn’t cope with not having this organisation anymore.

Did you use any childcare?

To begin with I only worked during nap times – forming my ideas and getting things down on paper. I also worked evenings. After about 6 months (when my daughter was a year old) I had a part time nanny who worked 3 mornings a week. I spent this time creating my website, setting up the business etc. I worked 3 mornings a week, during the afternoon nap and in the evenings between my daughter going to bed (6pm) and my husband getting home (9pm). If my daughter was unhappy at any time when the nanny was with her then I would sit working with my laptop on my knee while she played on the floor with the nanny.

How did you get your business idea?

I have cousins in the U.S. who had numerous baby showers and kept asking why I wasn’t having them. I always thought they were rather tacky and not my kind of thing although I loved the idea of getting the girlfriends together to offer hints, tips and advice to mummy-to-be whilst eating cupcakes and having a glass of champagne. I found a way to create baby showers with elegance and style.

What were your challenges and how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenge has always been, and still is, splitting my time between my work and my children (I now have 2 daughters age 6 and 3). I’ve worried whether my work is taking my time away from my children. If my children have been unhappy then they have always come first, meaning my business has suffered along the way and taken much longer to get to where it is now. I closed the business for 12 months after my 2nd daughter was born because I couldn’t cope with a new baby, a 3 year old, a house move and the business. We had just moved to a new house in a new area away from friends – there was no child care so I needed to be with them full time. I worked evenings to keep things ticking over but that was all I could do. I never wanted to compromise being a mummy. Even now I work 3 days a week and every evening when they are in bed.

What training, information or advice did you need to get started?

I went to Business link to begin with but because my business was unknown to anyone at the time (baby showers weren’t really heard of in the UK back in 2005) it wasn’t much help. It’s been a huge learning curve for me because I didn’t know where to get help from and didn’t seek advice about running a business. I jumped into it, thinking I could do it and I did. Organisation and determination have been key to me succeeding. My business has changed massively along the way and isn’t what it was 5 or even 2 years ago. It has evolved as I have gained experience from my customers. I have responded to their needs and they have helped form the business.

If you could give one  piece of advice to a mum of a baby or toddler starting a business, what would it be?

If you’re starting a business and find you can’t cope because of demands from your little one then put the business on hold, sort out what needs sorting out, and pick it up again. The good thing about starting a business is that you’re in control of your time and where it is spent.

Ten Ways to Stretch Your Maternity Pay

It’s not easy starting a business when you’re on maternity leave, so here are a few tips to make your money go further.

  1. You are entitled to free prescriptions and dental treatment while you’re pregnant and a year after the baby is born. Don’t forget to book in a dental check up before your child is a year old (easily done when you’re busy with a baby!).
  2. Shop around for home and contents insurance and car insurance. If you can’t find time to do that, phone your insurance company when your renewal letter arrives and ask them if they can give you a better deal.
  3. Shop around for gas and electricity too. Often the best deal is the web tariff, so you don’t even need to pick up the phone.
  4. Have you got baby equipment that seemed a good idea before the little one was born, but has hardly been used? How about that heavy travel system that fills your entire car boot and that travel cot that turned out to be too small? You can sell these now and spend the money on kit for your older baby such as a play pen, garden toys, a bigger travel cot and a baby bouncer. You can buy and sell at Netmums.com, eBay, car boot sales and notice boards at some Sure Start centres.
  5. Look up new recipes using seasonal ingredients. Seasonal ingredients are usually cheaper than ones that have been grown overseas, they are better for the environment (less travel) and you could support local farmers too.
  6. Try planning your meals for the week before you go shopping. This saves you having to throw away food that has gone out of date because you bought too much. It also saves you from popping to the supermarket mid-week when you run out of food. That means you won’t be tempted to spend £20 more than you expected! Meal planning sounds a pain, but with a bit of practice it’s hardly any effort at all.
  7. Check to see if your mortgage company will let you take a payment holiday for a few months.
  8. Sell your maternity clothes on eBay.
  9. If you have credit cards and or accounts with home shopping companies, make sure you pay them on time. I never used to miss a payment, but I was a bit disorganised after my babies were born and I missed the payment deadline by a couple of times. Once you’ve added up the interest and late payment fee, it can be surprisingly expensive. Check to see if your credit card company will take a minimum payment by direct debit – at least you won’t have to pay the fee then.
  10. Check out www.babybudgeting.co.uk for loads more ideas for saving money when you have a baby.

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