No one ever plans to be a Mumpreneur. You don’t sit at school with a careers officer and tell them that one day you will start a business to work around your children. When you have children, life changes dramatically. You find yourself dealing with the stresses and expense of working full time and it can feel very overwhelming. It also means you cannot be there for your children when you would like as you have to fit around the constraints of an employer. This is when women turn to self-employment as they see it as the answer to these problems.
However, there are a number of common mistakes Mumpreneurs often make when starting their business, which I explain in detail below:
- Spending too much time faffing around
You must get clued up and plan. I see too many Mums procrastinating over what to do and how to do it. Absorbed in business names, logos, colours etc. which take up so much time and energy! They get lost before they start! So, start with your idea and research it properly! Is there really a need for your goods/services? how big is the market? Can you earn a viable income from it? Work out the costs now before you do anything else.
- Not getting the right advice
Don’t just speak to friends and family research thoroughly. It might be a good idea to book an appointment with your local enterprise agency which is normally free, or get a focus group together and talk to your ideal clients. Attending local networking events is also a great idea to get a feel of what people think of your business concept.
- Not investing in your business
You can set up a business on a shoe string but even shoe strings cost money! Equipment, tools, website, training, stationary and business cards all cost money, and are all crucial to the smooth running of your business. It’s also important to remember that this investment is continual. I am still investing in myself and my business 20 years later.
- Not putting in processes and systems from the start
Make things easy for you and your customers, automate as much as possible. Good systems and records form the backbone of any successful business.
- Putting the business first
Family must come first and the business second. Make sure you prioritise some time for yourself and your children. If not, you will regret it later when they have grown up and you weren’t there to see it happen.
- Not delegating
You are not an expert at everything so delegate tasks to others who are – from housework to admin. Don’t be a control freak.
- Not knowing your numbers
How are you going to make money? Are you going to be able to pay yourself? If not get a job or modify your business plan. Get an accountant to look through your business plan and understand what you need to do to make money – otherwise you don’t have a business and you will just be a busy fool.
- Not networking
This is something you do to gain wider support, ideas and referrals. You’ll really enjoy it when you find the right group.
I must highlight that not every Mumpreneur will make these mistakes, and even if you do make one or two mistakes, it can be easy to rectify and get back on track to curating and leading a successful business, whilst bringing up your children.