A freelancers market means that you don’t have to settle




As a mum, sometimes you feel you have to settle with juggling and compromise. You’re either in a job you don’t want to do because it fits around school pick up times, or, you’re not spending enough time with your little one as you have to be at a job which is longer hours than what you would prefer. You just settle for this as you can’t always see another option. Like many other mums in the UK, Julia struggled to juggle a career as a Data Analyst Team Leader with her two beautiful young children and felt that she was being pulled in all directions.

In a post Brexit market, one thing that comes with the uncertainty is a booming market for freelancers. So perhaps 2017 is the year to learn a new skill or qualification and take the jump into freelancing? We’ve all been there and sometimes it’s difficult to know where to make that change, particularly when it comes to employment. You spend a huge amount of your life in work, and it’s important for health and wellbeing to enjoy what you do.” Says Julia Hill, a 36 year old mumpreneur from Andover.

What do you enjoy?

Shortly after the birth of her second child Julia knew things had to change. Although she’d been in her current employment for 12 years, her job was no longer fulfilling her and her young child was in nursery, neither of them was enjoying it.

Julia looked at the aspects of her role as a Data Analyst Team Leader and realised that what she wanted to do was find something she enjoyed. In her role as a Data Analyst Julia realised that she loved was working with numbers so Julia investigated which roles included a large amount of numeracy and she settled on Bookkeeping.

Flexibility

Julia quickly realised that to have the flexibility of working around her children’s needs self employment was the way forward which would require some further studying. Then, she looked at which providers would be best suited to deliver the Bookkeeping qualifications she needed. After researching all options, Julia decided that the Bookkeeping course with Open Study College/ICB. Taking the bull by the horns, she signed up for ICB Levels 2, 3 and 4 Certificates in Bookkeeping.

Being out of the learning cycle for some time, Julia soon found that she enjoyed distance learning as it also gave her the flexibility to learn when it suited her and before long, in just one year with Open Study College, Julia had completed levels 2 and 3 with flying colours, achieving distinctions in most of the exams. After less than a year of studies Julia was awarded her own Bookkeeping Practice licence in June last year.

“As a mum with young children you feel that your employment opportunities are limited to either compromising your childcare or stacking shelves. I decided to be the owner of my own destiny and thanks to the courses through Open Study and ICB, I am now on the way to having a thriving Bookkeeping business which is rewarding for me and works for our family.”

This time of year, whilst you may be stuck in doors you can put that time to good use, reflect on what you want to change, investigate what you need to do and make plans for your better future for you and your family.

This post is in collaboration with Open Study College

Carnsight Communications




Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

My name is Jessica Morgan (or Jessica Jefferys – depends if I’m at a business meeting or a playgroup!) I became a mum in March 2012 with Rosa and for a second time in April 2015 with Dylan. I live with my children and husband, Steve, who works in advertising.

What’s your business called?

Carnsight Communications.

Can you describe it in one sentence?

PR and communications for businesses – particularly small and creative ones.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I opened officially at the start of 2016. I’d worked in advertising and PR for 15 years and a move away from London to Bath forced the issue! I wanted flexibility to work around my children and it’s certainly the kind of job you can start off doing alone with just a laptop, a phone and some good contacts.

How did you fund your start up?

I started working from the kitchen table and as money came in I paid for more equipment and resources. We’re currently building an extension which will include a home office.

How do you manage working around your children?

I started off doing evenings and weekends then added a few nursery sessions for the children. When Rosa went to school I increased childcare and I now work three days a week with bits and pieces in between. I aim to spend quality time with the children and do every school drop off and school pick ups three times a week.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

I get up around 6.30am so I can get ready before the children wake at 7ish (the power of Gro Clocks!) My husband is usually gone by 7.30am so I get the children fed, dressed and ready and we get out the door for nursery and/or school drop offs. I find trying to stick to timings in my head helps with the morning routine (e.g. breakfast all done before 7.45am, dressed and teeth by 8.10am etc.) We get in the car and drive when I’m working, walk if I’m not.
My desk is in the kitchen so once I’m back home I try and get everything cleared away and tidy before 9am when I start my day in front of the laptop. It’s a mix of phone calls, social media, emails and writing. I head to London at least once a month to see clients and contacts and also have more local meetings – e.g. in Bristol.
I try and break for lunch but usually it’s soup or sandwiches in front of my computer as I find the days go so quickly! No housework or anything else during my work days – there just isn’t the time. I finish around 5.15pm and start pick ups. I’ll check emails regularly and if I need to I’ll do extra in the evenings.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

I’ve had to adjust to working alone. In fact I quickly started working with trusted freelance colleagues to give me extra resource at busy times and I enjoy working with others when I can and I find networks are great to get advice and tips when I need them. Children’s illnesses are always tough – obviously for them as well! I’m usually the one who looks after the children when they’re sick so that can be difficult to balance with work at busy times. My husband helps when he can.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

The flexibility. I love the fact that I can work my time around me and my family. No more missed nativities or trying to coordinate time off for sports day.

What are your plans for the future?

I would love to continue to grow the business and work with more people in the same work space rather than just virtually. It’s a creative industry and getting heads together really helps.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Start small. You can build up from there. Small steps feel much less daunting than big ones and allow you more flexibility initially. Also be prepared to adapt your offering depending on what’s needed in the market.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Just a big thanks for supporting women like me!

Carnsight.com
Www.twitter.com/cornwalljess

Pink spaghetti franchisers

Franchisers Story: Pink Spaghetti PA Services




Becoming franchisers is something that many small businesses consider as a method for growth, Caroline and Vicky from Pink Spaghetti PA Services have done just that.

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
Caroline Gowing, 44, Mum to Charlotte, 12 and Imogen, 9, wife to Pete
Vicky Matthews, 44, Mum to Holly, 12 and Tom, 7, wife to Chris.
We both live in Cheshire

What’s your business called?
Pink Spaghetti PA Services

Can you describe it in one sentence?
We offer small business owners the elusive 25th hour in the day for their business and domestic tasks.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?
We started Pink Spaghetti in 2009. We were inspired by the need for flexibility in our working life, where children and long hours simply did not mix.

How did you fund your start up?
We funded our start up from savings, and budgeted very wisely!

How do you manage working around your children?
Our business is based on flexible working. Our phone systems allow us to only answer a call if we are free from screaming or giggling children, we use technology so we can work from play bars or a home office, our work can be done mainly in the hours we choose, so during school hours, or very early/late during the holidays. We are at every school run, assembly and sports day and we are proud of that.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
Every day is a varied one! For customers we may be doing book keeping, writing social media posts or researching a holiday. To build the business we will be doing marketing, lots of networking and social media. As we run a franchise we also have lots of contact with our franchisees, training and supporting. Every day is varied, without a doubt!

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
Growth has been a challenge for us, trying to balance bringing on staff but only when we are sure. We are both risk averse, so we use a lot of talking, reporting and planning to make sure this is done at the correct time, supporting the growth but making sure we will still get paid after the staff do!

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?
Flexibility! All our franchisees have this flexibility too. Every hour you work is for yourself not for someone else – that is so valuable. Neither of us would ever go back to corporate life.

What are your plans for the future?
We are building our franchise offering steadily. We currently have 24 franchise areas across the UK, and we aim to grow that next year – we have another three going live in January 2017.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
Go for it! Take advice, don’t plan too much but deal with everything as it comes in, and be prepared to take your business in a direction you don’t expect, if customers want something slightly different to what you thought they would want.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
We have this year won Working Mums Most Supportive Franchisor award, and the Smith & Henderson best new entry award to franchising. In 2014 we won the EWIF (encouraging women into franchising) award for best new franchise, sponsored by McDonalds. We have been finalists in many more awards.

www.pink-spaghetti.co.uk
www.pinkspaghettifranchising.co.uk
www.facebook.com/pinkspaghetti
www.twitter.com/pink_spaghetti

Caroline from added zest

Adding Zest Ltd




Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

I’m Caroline Cavanagh, wife to Nick who is in the army and Mum to Nadia and Eden who are 12 and 11.

What’s your business called?

My business is called Adding Zest Ltd

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I help teenagers and their parents overcome anxiety and build resilience as a platform upon which to develop confidence.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I made an active choice that being a Mum was more important than financial success, but having the mental stimulation that work provided was still important to my own well being. Becoming self employed seemed the best answer. As the children have grown, it has allowed me to be the Mum I want to be but fit in the work commitments to allow me to still be ‘me’ and keep a platform from which to grow as my children’s needs change.

How did you fund your start up?

Fortunately the investment was not high so within the realms of self-funding.

How do you manage working around your children?

It has changed with the children. Initially it was just when they slept, I used a bit of childcare when they were toddlers and then when they started school, I was a Mum until 9 and after 3 and prioritised work for the 6 hours in between. Now that they are at secondary school, those 6 hours have grown to be 8 so I’m practically a full time worker again.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

Working from home is a big factor in keeping all the balls up. The first part of the day is all about getting everyone out of the house but then I can just ‘put the washing on’ or empty the dishwasher throughout the day to keep the house going. Walking my dog in the morning is key as it is ‘me’ time when I get to think through problems and plan. I also find that being out in nature and getting the heart working is a part of the routine that just cant be compromised. Once the children get home at 4.30 I work hard to close the laptop and give them my full attention. That’s the downside of working from home; the temptation is always there to ‘check emails’ but I have learned that this compromises everything – not giving the children the attention they deserve and the work is being done without focus. So now I aim to compartmentalise my day – I am either working, parenting or having me time and ensure each is given full focus. That way, I believe, I am the best version of me I can be and so everyone wins!

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

The biggest was my husband going away for 12 months to Afghanistan and both children under 7. I learned what was important and what could be left. Taking on the role of being both parents and getting my children through that period was my priority and if that meant the house was not as clean as it could be, or I earned a bit less, then so be it. Whilst it was a tough time, I learned two great lessons – every challenge will end and you will have learned something from it. These lessons have meant that when new challenges come up, they are not as scary as they will end, I will be stronger for it…..

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

I’ve been to every sports day, every school play, every concert. These opportunities only come once. I am not a millionaire (yet) but that’s still possible and ‘Ill do it with all those wonderful memories stored away and no regrets.

What are your plans for the future?

Now that my children are at secondary school, their needs for me are changing allowing me more focus on the business. I wrote a book this year, have just won a national award and have big plans for next year to take my business to a new level – and one that will also help my own children as its working with teenagers so that also supports motivation. Finding a way to bring the two elements of my life together really helps as they can contribute to ideas and feel included in my work. My aim is to be a good role model for them.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Only ever compare yourself to you. If you start to compare your products, your earnings, your client base etc it is likely you will always find someone better. However that is not a fair comparison. I once worked with someone who was the same age as me, a multi millionaire, global following by thousands who loved her work, travelled the world, award winning author………who had no children, a failed marriage, spend more than half the year away from her husband…….If I only focused on the first half, I felt like a failure. When I saw the bigger picture, I now the comparison is incomparable! When you compare yourself on one element, you lose focus on all the other areas. So the advice is just compare yourself to whom you were yesterday. If you are stronger, fitter, healthier, happier, richer in any way, you are a winner!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Enjoy today. Yesterday has already gone so learn from any mistakes and look forward. Know where you want to get to and ensure every step is leading you closer there but tomorrow, next week, next year, isn’t here yet so dont spend lots of time focusing on it. The only chance you have to enjoy now is NOW so make the thing you are doing now, one that leaves you happy.
www.anxietyalchemy.co.uk
www.addingzest.com
https://www.facebook.com/AddingZestLtd

Want to start your own business but haven’t had your big idea yet? Check out  our course, Business for Mums: Finding the right idea for you

Lucy is a MAD ACADEMY FRANCHISEE

Franchisee Story: MAD Academy




Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
Lucy Curtis, I have 2 children, a daughter who is 12, a son who is 9 and 2 step sons 9 & 7 years.
I have been married to Dan (who works in the charity sector) for 2 years and we live in Surrey. We met doing one of our pastimes, amateur theatre.

What’s your business called?
I own the MAD Academy – Camberley franchisee

Can you describe it in one sentence?
Music and movement for pre school school children

When did you become a franchisee and what inspired you?
February 2014, I wanted a career change and with my divorce settlement, I decided to try something that inspired me. I have a background in music, dance and theatre and so it was an obvious choice!

How did you fund your start up?
I loaned myself 6 months of capital and then gradually paid myself a small wage as the business took off.

How do you manage working around your children?
My teaching hours are generally during school hours, but my admin is before and after school and some weekends. My children understand that to have a Mum who can work around them is a compromise. They accompany me during school holidays and help me with parties. Its a family concern and everyone has to make allowances. That said they would like me to sell the business so I’m not so tired!

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
School run, admin and preparing class plans for each class (they are all bespoke so I have to ensure they are relevant for each session as I teach a broad spectrum of abilities). Out teaching classes, generally x2 per morning. Lunch and maybe catching up on emails and then another session in the afternoon. Straight to the school run (learning lines whist waiting for the bell to ring) and then home. Normally more admin or prep, cook dinner and then on the sofa for around 7.30pm, although this will vary dependant on the workload. Tuck the children in bed around 8pm and then have dinner,

What challenges have you faced as a franchisee and how have you overcome them?
Building up form scratch – being as flexible as possible and patent. Understanding that its not personal and if someone doesn’t want to rebook then its probably circumstances not me!
Lack of finances initially – being patient and mindful of costs
Loneliness – working for myself on my own all day is lonely. There is no office banter or someone to chat to other than clients – trying to chat with family members or colleagues where I can.

What are your plans for the future?
To continue at the same level. I could potentially take on agents but I am mindful that this will actually raise the workload as I would nee to manage them and their workload.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
Be patient and don’t take things too personally. Be as flexible as you can and go the extra mile for people. they won’t always appreciate it but many will!

www.madacademy.com
MAD Academy – Camberley

Think franchising might be for you, check out our Mums in Business Course, or find out more about franchising.

Business ideas for mums wondering which business is for them

Which Business is Right for You?




When you were little, it seemed so simple. You wanted to be a firefighter, a nurse, a teacher or, in my daughters case, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Once you’re a bit older it’s a bit more complicated (you realise you’re never going to be a turtle, green isn’t really your colour after all) and you have to take decisions that will effect your future, weather that’s to carry on studying to follow a career path or to find a job and start earning. When you go on maternity leave for many women it’s a bit like going back to that question of “what do you want to be when you grow up” except it’s “what do you want to be now you’re a Mum”. For some it’s to be a stay at home Mum, for some it’s to be a working Mum and for others it’s to become self employed and work around their family. If it’s self employment, then you need to decide which business is right for you.

So you want to run a business

You’re then back to the question of what do you want to do?  I knew for a long time, even before I had children, that I wanted to be self employed but just kept waiting for the right idea to come along. I had no idea which business was right for me, I imagined that one day I’d have my eureka moment. I’d come up with some great product to solve an everyday problem or think of a service that I could turn in to an international franchise. It didn’t happen and eventually, after having my second child, I realised it wasn’t going to. I needed to make it happen by picking an idea and going with it.

Which Business?

In reality, only a small number of businesses start with eureka moment. When I look at the stories shared on the Mumpreneur Inspiration website it’s clear that inspiration for which business to start comes from a whole host of places. Many Mums have turned a hobby into a business. Lots have become self employed doing something they’ve done when employed. Some have built a business around selling a product they love or teaching something they’re good at.

Starting a business is a huge commitment, even if your start up costs are low, the time and emotional energy required are massive. It’s really important to find the one that will give you the rewards you’re looking for. Both in terms of both finances and satisfaction.

Finding the right idea for you

To help you do this I’ve created the course “Mums Starting in Business: Finding the right idea for you”. The course takes you step by step through the process of deciding if self employment is right for you. How you’ll manage to work around your children, getting to know what you need from a business, generating business ideas and how to evaluate those ideas to see if the business will meet your needs.

It’s really how hard to fit a course around family life. That’s why this one’s online, the lectures are short so that you can slot them in when you have time. There are also exercises that you’ll need to complete. These are where you’ll make the real progress towards your goal of choosing a business idea.

The course costs £95 but for our New Year, New Business offer we’re charging just £40. That’s less than half price. To claim the offer, just visit the course homepage and enrol with the code NEWYEARNEWBIZ17 by 31st January 2017 and start finding out which business is right for you.

Home business ideas for mums image

Home Business Ideas for Mums




With childcare costs as high as they are working in the home is an appealing option for many mums. Unfortunately there are a lot of unscrupulous people promising unrealistically high earnings for home working jobs. To help you find an opportunity that really can earn you money from home we’ve put together 5 home business ideas for mums. These aren’t get rich quick ideas and all will take time to establish but, with hard work, can create an income.

E-commerce

If there’s a product you’re passionate about then selling online could be for you. If you’re fairly good with a computer then there are plenty of packages that will help you to build an e-commerce site. You couldn’t also consider selling through another platform. eBay is a popular choice as is Amazon. If you’re selling something you’ve created yourself then Etsy can work well. Just bear in mind that all of these sites will charge you a fee for using them, usually a percentage of sales. If you plan to hold stock you’ll need some storage space, either at home or through a company. Alternatively you could look at drop shipping, where you take the orders and pass them on to another company to ship. Read about Mums who run e-commerce businesses.

Bespoke items

Bespoke items are one of the few things that small businesses can often do better than large ones. There are hundreds of items that can be personalised for buyers for example clothing, food items, gifts, stationery or furniture. Just be prepared to spend as much time Marketing the business as you do on the creative process. Check out our stories from mums who’s create bespoke items.

Blogging

Of all our home business ideas for mums this one will probably take the longest to build in to a profitable business. However if you enjoy writing it may be one of the most fulfilling. Bloggers make there money from advertising on their blogs. In some cases they will be given a product as payment for reviewing it, in others they will be paid either to write a post about something or to publish a post written by someone else. They also sometimes sell display advertising on the blog and run affiliate programs like Google Adsense. Read blogger KatyKicker’s story for inspiration.

Information products

Information products describes a range of products, usually online, that provide the purchaser with information they need. The products might be ebooks, courses or access to a library of resources via a subscription payment. The hard work is in creating the products, once that’s done, the focus is on marketing them. This way you can continue to make money from them long after the initial hard work is finished.  Have a look at our information product stories to find out more.

Virtual assistant

If you have excellent admin skills then you could put them to use to creat an income. Many small business owners prefer to focus on the core elements of their business and outsource the admin to someone else. This creates opportunities for people whose forte is admin. You’ll need a decent laptop and good broadband speed to make it work. Networking skills to help you find your clients. To the stories from Mums who have become VAs have a look at our business to business stories.

Other home business ideas for mums

We’re tried to stick here to home business ideas for mums that are fairly accessible to everyone but if you have a particular skill set you may well be able to make use of it at home. You may be knowledgable about something that you could teach. You could either do it by inviting clients to your home or via the internet. If you’re a coach or counsellor you could offer your services via Skype. Perhaps you could do something you’ve done before but on a freelance basis. Whatever home business idea you choose to go for, make sure that you meet the legal requirements by getting insured and informing the council, landlord or mortgage company if necessary.

Want to start a business but not sure which one is right for you? Check out our course “Business for Mums: Finding the Right Idea for You

Image of Virtual assistant Jo Phillips

Managed Virtual Assistant & PA Service




Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

My name is Jo Phillips, and I have two girls. Elise is 17, and Jessica is 3.5. I became a mum in 1999 and 2013.

What’s your business called?

Managed Virtual Assistant & PA Service

Can you describe it in one sentence?

As a virtual assistant I offer business support to sole traders, small businesses and individuals both virtually and on-site.

When did you become a Virtual Assistant and what inspired you?

I was working for a big company here in Coventry when I restudied to become a hypnotherapist. I handed in my notice and during the last week of my notice we found out we were having a baby ( it was a shock, to say the least). I had to rethink my plan and so I decided to become a Virtual Assistant. I have over ten years administrative experience having managed a Commercial Director and an Investment Director for nearly six years.

How did you fund your start up?

I just threw myself into it. Luckily there was not a lot outgoing, and I have a very supportive husband!

How do you manage to work with your children?

Jessica goes to nursery thee days a week, and on the Tuesday and Thursday, I concentrate on tasks that can be completed with her around. I like to spend a little time in the evenings when hubby is home to get on or catch up.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

I currently manage seven clients on an ongoing basis. Each client is different, and their workload is also varied. Many of the tasks that I complete can be auto-scheduled or have a particular time frame to complete. I normally start my day by checking emails, both mine and clients. I then delegate the priority management tasks. I use Asana to organise tasks and schedule social media for the day. I then contact a client’s customers to set appointments and handle his diary. I normally have a blog or e-book to write, and then I wait to see how the rest of the day will pan out. Most of my clients have their workload scheduled in advance which leaves me with time to tackle anything that drops in throughout the day.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

Initially, my first concern was how to find clients. Once the first one came on board, it was relatively easy forward. The main challenge earlier this year was an unpaid bill, that is not a nice process to go through, but it was dealt with. Being self-employed can be difficult because you don’t know some months where the next client is coming from but if you can forecast ahead, you can cover the quiet periods.

What’s the best thing about being virtual assistant?

Spending time with my family and knowing that I am in control of my day. If I want to take a morning off or pop ou somewhere, then I can. I love being flexible and available for my three-year-old.

What are your plans for the future?

I am hoping to expand in the next two years and offer a training system for school leavers thaare less academic than usual. I would like to take on a small office and train them into someone they can be proud of and where they can eventually set up their own business, confidently.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Keep at it. It is so easy just to throw the towel in and when you think it is all bleak the next opportunity will come along. Make sure you have a plan in place and forecast for the tough times.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

If you are thinking about becoming self-employed then why not try it, make sure that you have your finances in place to cover for the first few months and go for it. What’s the worst that could happen? You’d have to go back to work. Be prepared and have a plan and take the leap.

Phone: 02476 596 965Managed tasks virtual assistant
Mobile: 07718 598 626
Email: info@managedtasks.co.uk
Website: www.managedtasks.co.uk
Skype: vajophillips

 

Wondering if a Virtual Assistant business might be right for you? Our course Business for Mums: Finding the right idea for you, could help.

CV Writer

Mums Business Story: CV UK Writer Ltd




Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
Jo, I am a mum to two little people both under 5.

What’s your business called?
CV UK Writer Ltd

Can you describe it in one sentence?
CV writing service that is affordable and flexible to work with the needs of job seekers.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?
I started my business in 2012 because I wanted to stay at home with my little people, I have been in recruitment for many, many years and supporting and advising candidates is what I enjoy the most so this type of business suited that.

How did you fund your start up?
It didn’t really cost anything to start up as it’s all online, I still work so any costs like website development etc were paid for by my salary.

How do you manage working around your children?
I make sure the days I have off are focussed on them (No choice really!!), and days I work I allocate time at the beginning and end of the day to promote the business. I’m basically working 2 jobs, 3 days a week!

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
A typical day starts very early with me making sure have my social media in order, I plan who I have to contact that day and start about sending emails, any calls I will make later on. I check emails, respond to clients and then the house wakes up and mum duties call! I get the children up, dressed and fed and then take them to their various childcare, I will then get on with my salaried role for the day. At the end of the day after dinner and the children are put to bed I will do more work on my own business, catching up on things I wasn’t able to do at the start of the day and perhaps planning for the next day.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
I’m terribly time poor, I have a senior role I am salaried for which has to take priority over my own business during the working day so I have to squeeze everything in, I rarely get anytime to myself as it’s all full of work, on the days I have with the children I don’t do any work, I wouldn’t want to but it’s pretty impossible with two small people who need you (Took me 2 hours to send a fairly simple email one time for one reason or another!).

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?
Being in control and feeling empowered in your own life, so much of it is taken up by other people its good to have something that is all mine that I control.

What are your plans for the future?
Ideally I would like to give up my salaried role and work for myself at home, that’s the long term goal.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
Be realistic, when I first started I was convinced it would take 6 mths for the money to come rolling in but it hasn’t worked out that way, sometimes a business takes time to grow and you should be prepared for that and not get disheartened, keep the end goal in sight and you’ll get there.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Networking is great to help you in all manner of things from admin contacts to technical support and you never know who might want to buy from you.
www.cvukwriter.com
Twitter @cvukwriter

If you’re hoping to start a business check out our course “Businesses for Mums: Finding the Right Idea for You

Mum working from home

Distractions when you’re a Mum Working from Home




Being a Mum working from home is great, no commute, no work wardrobe, no office politics and you’re there if the children come home sick and to attend all the school events. The only trouble with being a Mum working from home are the distractions. There are so many things that can distract you when you’re at home, from unexpected visitors to unfinished housework, it’s a wonder we get anything done. We had a chat with some bloggers who work from home and here are ten things that can distract us when we’re supposed to be working.

Social media

Beth from Twinderelmo  sums this one up. “Facebook stalking. I can quite happily tell you where my school best friends cousins daughter went on holiday last summer and where my neighbours dog goes to get him nails trimmed…”

Babies and Small children

If your trying to work with your children at home then they bring their own host of distractions, as pointed out by Natasha from Mummy and Moose, the sound “Mum mum mum mum mum mum” is pretty much constant.

For Alex from Lamb and Bear, nap refuseniks are the problem “Seriously, if he naps it’s either on me or on the sofa for half an hour. In that time I have to eat, drink, shower, pee, work, get dressed, oh and make sure my eldest is fed, washed, dressed and happy!”

The TV

Tracey from Kids Cruises blames Holly and Phil for distracting her from working but it’s not just daytime TV that’s the problem. For Amy, from Amy and Tots it’s Paw Patrol “I can never turn those dogs off! Its like the children know!” For me, it’s a case of take your pick of TV distractions. The latest show on Netflix, a new box set on demand or the stack of Masterchef on the planner. It all seems far more appealing than working somedays.

Housework

While this is never a problem for me (my husband wishes it was) housework can be a distraction for some. “Like the dryer finishing. I have to empty it, fold, put away or even iron as I hate a big pile. Ends up taking forever” Emily from Babies and Beauty

Other people working from home

Occasionally me husband works from home. I’m thankful it is only occasionally. The first problem is the laptop. While I usually work on my iPad you can guarantee that the day he works from home and needs it, I will too. The other problem is the noise. He needs to make phone calls for work plus he dictates for the secretaries to type up and the noise is sooo distracting.

Interruptions

Research has found that it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to a task following an interruption. So when a mum working from Home opens the door to take a parcel for a neighbour or answers the phone to someone selling double glazing, they don’t just lose the minute that it takes to do the job, but also the 25 minutes it takes to refocus.

Books

As a former librarian I love to read. Unfortunately books can distract me in two ways. If I’m reading a really good novel then the temptation to pick it up during the day when I’m supposed to be working is high. The other problem is that whenever I don’t know something my immediate response it to find a book about it. This inevitably leads to a good hour spent on Amazon reading reviews to choose THE best book, followed by more hours reading the book.

Food

Food is one of my favourite distractions. Bek from Dillydrops says “I seem to have to get cups of tea regularly and snacks.” and I’m just the same. The problem with being a Mum working from home is that when the children are out it’s my chance to eat all the things I don’t want to share with them!

Volunteering (and being volunteered)

One of the great things about being a mum working from home is that you can help out with school events. The trouble is that once people realise you have that flexibility you’re expected to help with everything. It’s difficult to make it clear to people that sometimes, work has to take priority.

Procrastination

And finally, the big one. “Anything and everything – for some reason anything will seem more urgent than work does at the time. Yesterday I felt the need to organise my sons 9-12 month clothes by colour. He’s 7 weeks old I have a hell of a lot of work to do. This is why I can’t work from home.” Kirsty from Life with boys

Want to read more about working from home? Check out what I wish people knew about being a Mum with a business.