The Confident Mother: A Business Coach’s Story

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

I’m Sherry, mum to two gorgeous redhead daughters. One’s a teenager (will be a smart and sassy research scientist when she grows up) and the other is an almost-teenager (and already a published author).

What’s your business called?

I run The Confident Mother, an independent coaching practice.

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I am an author, coach and speaker. I work with ambitious women to help them get clear on what they really want and then find the confidence to do it, particularly in technology and professional services, whether that’s help with their career  confidence, dealing with the inner critic, sorting out work-life balance or stepping up to new leadership responsibilities.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

A former Global Head of IT Service in a City law firm, I was made redundant in 2009. I used my LinkedIn contacts and networking experience to find a new role setting up and managing the UK operations of a US outsourcing company. As my daughters got closer to secondary school, I realised I was fed up spending my work day in a glass box office when what I really wanted was to be more available for my children. I decided to take a different approach to my work-life-family balance and set up my business in April 2012. Even though at first, I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do!

How did you fund your start up?

I was lucky in that coming from a legal IT background, it’s a fairly small market. Everybody knows everybody and I was very well known in my then niche (law firm service delivery). I quickly won 4 law firm clients and effectively that funded my start-up.

How do you manage working around your children?

It’s so important to look after yourself first so that everything you do works for you. As women, looking after ourselves is often the easiest thing to drop. But self-care is not a luxury it’s an absolute essential. It gets easier as the children get older because they need you in a different way. I start work once they’ve left for school and stop when they get home for half hour or so. While they’re doing homework, I carry on with client calls, blogging or podcast interviews. Because I work with mums, I offer a few evening calls too. Thursday mornings I go running and go to choir.  School holidays can be trickier but my husband is a teacher so he is around too. He was the stay-at-home parent for about 4 years when I went back to work full-time after maternity leave so he is very capable (as are most men if we only would give them the opportunity).

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

I don’t really have a typical day, more a typical week. Mondays is an Admin / CEO day – marketing, finance, planning etc. I talk to my accountability partner every Monday at 8am. I mentor for The Coaching Academy on Mondays and Thursdays. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are reserved for client coaching calls and VIP days. Fridays is typically a podcast and social media day, though I will spend time every day on Twitter and LinkedIn. If I have a speaking gig in the evening, I set up afternoon appointments the City with law firms and banks interested in my leadership confidence programme to make the most of my time in the City. I blog twice a week on my website and LinkedIn. Plus two podcast shows Confident Conversations and On The Tipping Point launching late June. I aim to get to two networking events a month, trying to avoid Monday evenings (when my husband works) and Tuesday evenings (running club night).

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

Like any business, I’ve gone through ups and downs. My business has evolved and changed direction since I started. My biggest challenge was trying to be something or someone I’m not and figuring out who I want to work with. I didn’t realise until a year ago how important authenticity is to me. I have learned that it is really important to focus on doing work that you love and doing it in the way that you love doing it.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

I love the freedom, the independence and the flexibility. More than anything I love being in charge. Plus my children have a strong role model in me.

What are your plans for the future?

One of the great things about running your own business is that there’s always room for creativity and growth! I love being on stage so I want to do more speaking events. And I love working with groups of women: I absolutely believe in the power of masterminds and peer groups. When like-minded women gather together, magic happens and the result is always bigger than the sum of the parts. I want to bring more women to my business mastermind and my Leadership Confidence programme.

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

Oh so much advice.

·         Just get started. Don’t wait for it to be perfect because “done” is WAY more effective than perfect. It might be scary, it might be hard … but just get started.

·         Don’t try and do everything …. As in don’t spread yourself too thin over 6 different social media channels. Don’t sell 20 different services. Don’t try and do it all by yourself. Get help.

·         “Get a coach”. I know – I’m a coach so I have a vested interest! Seriously though, working with a coach is what got me started. Otherwise I might still be sitting in that glass box office. Get help, get support, get accountability. A coach will support you, encourage you, challenge you and give you the kick up the backside that you’ll need from time to time. If you can’t afford a coach, buddy up with an accountability partner.

 

Website: http://theconfidentmother.co.uk/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/SherryRB

Facebook: The Confident Mother group https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheConfidentMother/

LOVE to connect on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sherrybevan/

Confident Conversations podcast:  http://confidentconversations.libsyn.com/

Woman on iPad next to little

Running two Businesses: Confident Cooking and Tea for You

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

Jacky Farbrace and I am 54. My husband is Kevin, 56 and we have been married 15yrs. We have two children, Michael 20yr and Lucy 17yr.  We also have our spoilt Westie Darcy.

What’s your business called?

I have two business. Confident Cooking and Tea to You.

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Confident Cooking –  I will show you how to cook basic, tasty family meals and support you in ditching the ready meal and takeaway along with meal planning and easy to use recipes.

Tea to You – I provide an Afternoon Tea service which is delivered to your home for your enjoyment as well as traditional cakes and cupcakes made to order.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I had my first business 7yrs ago doing Book keeping for self employed individuals.  This came about wanting to be flexible around the children when they were at school and being able to do more things with them in and around the school, like attending ALL the plays, fairs, PTA events, sports days etc etc.  It also overcame the need for constant child care during school holidays.

How did you fund your start up?

Out of my own money.  I cut down my days at my paid job and started taking clients on until I had enough to quit my job.

How do you manage working around your children?

When they were at school all my work was done between 9am -2.30pm and in the evenings if necessary.  Now it is done around being a taxi service for my daughter between college, work and boyfriend. My son is at university now so he is completely independent.  I also have the added responsibility of taking my elderly mother to and fro doctor and hospital appointments, so the flexibility still comes into play.

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

I get up around 8am (I know that’s late, but I can) quick cuppa and a look at facebook & Instagram. Take daughter to college, 16mile round trip. Home, a bit of breakfast, tidy kitchen, put any washing on and attend to any other household jobs I may have.  If I have a Tea to deliver that day, then all household jobs wait until the afternoon as I have fresh scones to make and sandwiches to prepare.  All Cakes would have been made the night before. Most Teas are booked between 12pm & 2pm.  Squeeze in some lunch have another look at Facebook & Instagram.  In the afternoon I will plan content for Confident Cooking, recipes, meal plans, What will I video or photograph me cooking.  Plan dinner (will it be something I can use in my cooking group).  4pm, collect daughter from bus stop in town (the bus doesn’t come out to us).  I then sit and have a cup of tea and a natter about her day for half an hour.  5pm, check diary to remind myself what I am doing tomorrow and rest of week, it’s an age thing, brain of a gold fish, then start preparing dinner.  I may or may not set up camera ready to video or photograph what I am doing.

This is a typical day, but on a busy day, I will fit in grocery shopping, a trip to the doctors or hospital with my mum (she has regular check ups for her cancer for which she is in remission and on a waiting list for a new knee).  Squeeze in a trip to the dog groomers and vets, a catch up with friends over a latte or a chat with my dad and there you have my life.  Oh, Husband comes home anywhere between 6 & 8pm, so a catch up with him, back on Facebook & Instagram, then my time (Corrie), glass of red or a G&T, soak in the bath and bed around 11pm.

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

The main challenge is always money.  Wanting to invest in the business with coaching, Website development, Social media campaigns and support, merchandise and advertising material.  Have I overcome them, not really, it is all on a wing and a prayer and what I can afford at the time.  It’s frustrating because I know to be able to invest would grow my business and allow these things to happen.  Chicken & Egg.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

Doing what I want to do when I want to do it.  Having control over what I do and how I do it and being able to drop everything to be there for my family and friends.

What are your plans for the future?

I want to grow my cooking business passively to a point where it is earning me enough money that my husband can take early or semi retirement. The plan is that he will be able to do this in 5yrs time.

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

Just do it.  I spent too many years thinking about my business until I was so unhappy with the constraints of a paid job that I decided to go for it.  Don’t be scared.  It does help to having a really supportive husband.

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

Don’t let other people put you off, follow your own instinct and do what you love.  They say hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I wasted so many “what if’s” and “if only’s” that I could have been at my 5yr plan and beyond by now.  But, better late than never, at least I won’t wonder now, because now I know.

facebook.com/confidentcooking

www.confidentcooking.net

Confident Cook on Instagram

Tea to You on Facebook

www.teatoyou.net

Tea to You on Instagram

Mum holding baby while working on a laptop

Admin and Bookkeeping Service, Organised You

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

My name is Karlene Rivers, and I’m a mum to Sophie and Joe who are 6 and 4 years old.

What’s your business called?

Organised You

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Working parents supporting small businesses with Admin and bookkeeping services.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

Prior to having my second child, Joseph, I was working as a Director of a Financial Adviser firm quite far away from home. I’d reduced my working week to 3 days after having my daughter, but they were long 7-7 days and with her starting Nursery and the arrival of my son, Childcare was going to be come an issue. I therefore decided not to return to the employed role and Organised You came about originally has virtual support firm to allow me to work from home around the kids.

I remember thinking that I would love to set up my own business, but that I didn’t have a product to sell, the only thing I am good at is the operational side of business. It took me a while to realise that I could provide that, as a service, to those that weren’t as good at it.

How did you fund your start up?

As my business is service driven, and originally I worked from home, there were no start up costs. I did, however, steal my husbands laptop!

How do you manage working around your children?

When I first started the business Joe was very young and still slept a lot during the day. I used to spend time doing work whilst he slept, and as the business grew I spent a lot of evenings and weekends working. I’ve also been very lucky to have help from both my mother, mother in law and my sisters with childcare over the years. As the kids have got older I’ve worked around school and nursery hours and whenever we refer to a working day in the Organised You office, we always mean a 9:30 to 2:30 day.

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

How my day goes is very dependent on where I am working. Unless I am travelling to London or somewhere far afield for the day I will take the kids to school and be in the office for just after 9. My day can be full of all sorts of things, from bookkeeping to compliance and I am quite often attending conference calls. One of my team Ant is frequently based from the office with me and there is a never ending debate about what music to listen to. We can get through a huge amount of tea bags in one day!

On some days I work onsite for clients, updating and maintaining their own Finance systems or holding meetings to move projects forward. I may be there to help one of my team solve an issue, to provide cover, or additional support.

Generally I have to be very Organised, as the business name suggests! I plan my weeks well in advance and have a very organised colour coded diary!

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

There’s always a risk with what we do, that firms will encourage staff to go and work for them directly. I try to avoid this by providing my team with a really supportive, flexible working environment and a variety of client work that they wouldn’t get working with just one business. I want our clients to find value from working with us all as a team, and the array of skills and experience this gives them access to.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

That I get to have a career but not miss out on any of the key moments with my kids. I can nip out of the office to see a Nativity plan and be back in time to attend a conference call. When my kids are sick they come to the office, curl up in our big arm chair or play with our box of toys. I feel like I have the best of both worlds and I love that I get to enable friends and colleagues to do the same.

What are your plans for the future?

To grow and help more Working Parents and small businesses. I’d really like to develop our Financial Adviser arm as we can really help Financial Advisers cope with their regulatory requirements. I’d also love to test my organisational skills with some event organisation.

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

Always make time for business planning.  A goal without a plan is just an idea.

www.organisedyou.com

Twitter

Facebook

The Story of Athaid, a Jewellery and Homewares Business

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

My name is Sarah, I am 46 and married to a farmer. I’m mum to Jack (17) and Daisy (11)

 

What’s your business called? 

Athaid (an old Scottish word for magpie, very adapt as I love collecting colourful things).

Can you describe it in one sentence? 

Colourful jewellery and home accessories to make you smile

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you? 

I’ve always loved to make things and friends started to ask me to do things for them. As I work part time and help on our farm I needed something I could do from home and fit around my busy life and I wanted something for me, that I was in control of too.

How did you fund your start up? 

I started small with a couple of commissions and built things from there

How do you manage working around your children? 

My son is away from home now and my daughter loves to help when she can, or I work when she is in bed.

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

There is no such thing as a typical day, farming is very unpredictable but I am very organised and seem to fit everything in I need to!

 

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

I struggle to market my business – I did a few local fairs but I live in a very rural location with little footfall at events so these were not for me. I needed to sell from home so decided an Etsy shop and social media would be a better option.  

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur? 

The feeling you get when somebody buys something you have made, a real feeling of satisfaction, this girl can!

What are your plans for the future? 

Expand my range, see a celebrity wearing one of my creations, and get more exposure

 

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

GO FOR IT- YOU CAN DO IT!

 

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

Join networking groups of likeminded people who can offer support and advice when you need it.

 

https://www.instagram.com/_athaid_

https://www.facebook.com/athaidhome

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/athaidhome

https://twitter.com/athaidhome

coaching businesses run by mumpreneur

Supporting other Mums in Business – Cassie Farren

What’s your business called?

Cassie Farren

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Empowering Mums in Business

When did you start it and what inspired you?

January 2013. I ended my marriage in 2012 and started life again as a single mum with 2 children from 2 dads. I hit rock bottom and wasn’t sure what to do with my life. I had a coaching session with a lady who told me that it hadn’t worked out when I worked for anyone else as it was time to start my own business. I laughed at her ! I had no money, no relevant qualifications and not much belief in myself but 3 months later I launched my business.

How did you fund your start up?

I saved up over 2 months and bought a new laptop and a website and got to work.

How do you manage working around your children?

My children are at school so my main hours are between 10.15am and 2.45pm – I will work occasional evenings if I need to.

Can you describe a typical day?

8am – 9.15 School run 9.15-10.15 walk and feed our dog 10.15- 2.45 work ( Skype calls, blogs, online networking, social media ) 2.45-4pm School run 4pm onwards – making packed luches, dinner, homework & relaxing once the boys are in bed.

What have you found hardest?

It has been hard learning so much, it can feel very overwhelming at times which is why I started an online group for other mums in business so we can all support each other.

What’s the best thing about being self employed?

Being able to go to every sports day, school play, parents into school day and if the boys are ill I don’t need to call my boss to ask for permission to look after them.

What are your plans for the future?

I am going to be launching a VIP programme which I’m really excited about.

What advice would yo give to Mum’s just starting out?

My advice would be to ‘know your why’ what is your reason for really wanting your own business and what are your goals? Make sure you know these as there will be many days where you feel like you have hit a brick wall and you maybe ask yourself is it all worth it. This is completely normal but it’s then that you need to remember why you started and why you want this to succeed which will help you to take a deep breathe and pick yourself up again.

Website : www.cassiefarren.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/cassie.farren

LOOKING FOR MORE MUM’S BUSINESS INSPIRATION?

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Home business ideas for mums image

A Fine Choice Ltd

What’s your business called?

A fine choice ltd and a fine choice photography

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I started off with setting up an online shop for reusable eco products,
needed product images and became a photographer 4 years after setting up my
initial business.

When did you start it and what inspired you?

2010, when my youngest was a year I started watching out for ideas. I wanted
to do something that worked around my three young kids (they were 1, 3, 4
when I started) and also something I am passionate about. I always liked
toxin free products but couldn’t always find them in the UK which got me
thinking I should import products which I can’t get here.

How did you find your start up?

Well, I had to buy 5500 stainless steel bottles upfront. It was a huge
investment and took a lot of consideration and research. I did lots of
project management before I had kids so writing a business plan was straight
forward. I am also a positive person. At no point I had any doubts once the
calculation and research bit was done.

How do you manage working around your children?

I love it! I love working when they are in school and I love not working
when they are at home or on holidays. The only thing they used to complain
about was going to the post office when they were on holidays. I had to drop
off my orders. I said to them: would you prefer me having a full time job
and you going to a holiday camp? So spending 10 mins at the post office
before doing a day out was their accepted choice.

Can you describe a typical day?

I never call my work “work” as I am passionate about both business. I do
what I feel is right in that particular moment. I love editing images after
I had a photo shooting. It’s great to give people some memories and get some
lovely feedback on the images they like most. I also love doing some SEO and
realising (after a while) it has helped with my ranking for my eco products.
On a typical day I do a bit of everything, I love variety and could never do
a job where I had to do the same stuff all day long.

What have you found hardest?

Over the last 5 years I found out that direct selling is really not in my
nature. I love having an online shop where people can have a browse and
order if they are interested. It means I don’t have to call them and
convince them of the benefit of BPA free products and the benefit for the
environment. Initially I did a lot of b2b and called up companies to see if
they wanted to stock my products. I hated it and still hate it. I got an
agent to do my job and switched my business to mainly retail instead of
wholesale so now I don’t need to do any cold calling anymore.

What’s the best thing about being self employed?

Flexibility, happy people, doing something for the environment, your own
income, working around kids and showing them by doing so that you can do a
lot if you really want to.

What are your plans for the future?

I think everything falls in place by itself. Not sure what the future brings
but I would probably try to add more products to my current product range
and for my other business extend the portfolio into wedding photography
What advice would you give for someone just starting out?

Trust yourself. You can do it but only do things you really like. Don’t
spend too much money on advertising. And yes, it will take a while to set
up a business properly so hold on and don’t give up easily.
Maybe find a nice networking group (there are free ones out there) do bounce
off ideas.

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

I absolutely love being self-employed. I can’t even imagine going back to a
9-2-5 job in an office. Working together with people I choose has many
positive benefits. That’s it for now

Looking for more Mum’s business inspiration?

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Surprise Box Club

What’s your business called?

Surprise Box Club

Can you describe it in one sentence

Surprise Box Club is an exciting crafty subscription box company whereby club members receive monthly vintage craft kits and exclusive jewellery kits.

When did you start it and what inspired you?

I plan to launch in time for Mother’s Day 2016 (6th March). I am a silversmith and already run my own jewellery business (www.triinu.co.uk). Making and selling small numbers of high end pieces of jewellery suited me while the children were very young and when my work times were dictated by very short nursery and playgroup hours, however now that they are 12, 10 & 7 I can commit and want to commit more time to my own business and I felt it was time to start something new. As part of my jewellery business I have also been teaching wirework classes to beginners and have absolutely loved this side of my business. I love the satisfaction of being able to share my crafting skills with others and this is what really inspired me to start Surprise Box Club. I am having a lot of fun creating all my craft and jewellery kits and filming the instructions. Crafts are having a real come back and it is a great way to switch off from a stressful day and can also be a lovely way to spend time with your tween/teen.

How did you fund your start up?

I don’t like borrowing money so I saved money from my jewellery business to put into Surprise Box Club. However, my budget is still quite tight! You need to prioritise. I decide that having a strong social media following should be my priority so this is something I am working on and I therefore chose to pay for one to one social media coaching. Apart from the coaching though, being active on social media is free!

How do you manage working around your children?

I always say that I am a full-time business owner and a full-time mum but I guess the maths for that doesn’t really add up! I work while they are at school and sometimes later in the evening. I also throw something to work on into my handbag and will do this while waiting for school to finish or at the leisure centre during a swimming lesson etc. It’s amazing how much you can get done! I also like to involve my children in my business. My son is a keen photographer so he helps me with my product photography. My middle daughter is outgoing so she helps me sell at fairs. And my youngest daughter created the most amazing stand out of Lego for me to prop my phone on at different angles when filming tutorials. Although my business is aimed at adults and/or older children they love trying out my craft kits.

Can you describe a typical day?

I start the day with my mummy hat on and am lucky that my husband is very hands on too. Mornings are chaotic and involve breakfasts, packed lunches, snacks, chucking ingredients into the slow cooker for our evening meal..…I’ve even been known to use the hairdryer to dry my son’s school jumper! I try my best but some things slip through the net! My working day fits around school so I start at 9:15 and finish around 3pm. I squeeze in an exercise class 2 to 3 times a week as I find this keeps me alert and focused. I start every day by checking and responding to emails. Then I work through my to do list. On Mondays I schedule all my social media posts for the week. I try to be disciplined and have a clear list of objectives for the day and the week ahead, but things crop up or children get ill so I need to be flexible. I try and take Fridays off to do some housework or meet a friend for coffee. I may sometimes do a little work in the evening but I’ll make sure that this is a bit of crafting while watching TV and enjoying a cuppa or a glass of wine!

What have you found hardest?

The fact that my To Do list keeps growing so I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed.
Finding it difficult to switch off. My business is all around me so sometimes I find it hard to stop.
I work from home so sometimes I get distracted. If I find I’m not feeling particularly focused and feel distracted by the pile of ironing then I will grab my paperwork and go to a café for a change of scene.
Not earning any money…yet! As I am in the pre-launch stage of my business I’m not yet earning any money but I’m very passionate about my business idea, and am feeling positive, focused and determined to make this work! It helps that I’ve been through this with my jewellery business so it’s a case of being patient.

What’s the best thing about being self employed?

Where do I start?! No commute; flexibility; I love spending time with my children whilst being able to focus on something for me; I am my own boss; I am passionate about my work; there are no office politics; when things are going right I feel a great sense of achievement; and the example that I am setting my children.

What are your plans for the future?

To launch for Mother’s Day and steadily grow the business. I am excited to see the direction my business takes me.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out?

Make sure you have a great brand and logo. Try and keep everything consistent by using a particular font/s and stick to a particular colour palette.
List your strengths and weaknesses. Then either book on to a course to improve your weak areas or get someone else to do that job (my husband does my finances).
Persevere, follow your dreams, seek opinions & feedback on your idea, don’t be afraid to make changes to your business model and direction, and make sure you find time to switch off from it all.

http://www.facebook.com/surpriseboxclub
http://www.instagram.com/surpriseboxclub
http://www.twitter.com/surpriseboxclub
Http://www.surpriseboxclub.com

Looking for more Mum’s business inspiration?

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

craft based mumpreneur business

Sewthing Personal

What’s your business called?

Sewthing Personal

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Bespoke personalised embroidered items from baby gifts to work and sport wear.

When did you start it and what inspired you?

I started in November 2013 as I wanted some crafty hobby and people then began to ask me if I could make things for them so I decided to start up.

How did you fund your start up?

It was started with some savings I had to purchase a more industrial machine and equipment.

How do you manage working around your children?

It’s not easy. My eldest has begun primary school but my little one is at preschool so I try to get it done while they are both out. But they are also really good as they are used to the machine and like to try and help.

Can you describe a typical day?

8.40 Take my eldest to school and my little one to preschool.
9.30 home from school run set up design to stitch and then set up the next items to stitch

11.30 pick son up for lunch and give him back to preschool

12.45 back to it for the afternoon

2.50 pick up the boys

3.30 finish of bits

7.00 design for the next day/ reply to emails/ update social media

What have you found hardest?

Trying to fit as much as I can into one day. One thing with what I do is there are bound to be mistakes and machine error which can be costly time wise. Also that it takes over the house with equipment and stock.

What’s the best thing about being self employed?

Being able to be there for my children when I need to be

What are your plans for the future?

I would like to expand into other areas of personalisation and possibly look into getting a premises to work from in the future.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out?

Expect mistakes. That sometimes people don’t like your work and It’s not personal. It does take a lot of time being self employed as you have to find everything out for yourself.

Www.facebook.cm/sewthingpersonal

Looking for more Mum’s business inspiration?

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Sophie Oldhamstead Photography

What’s your business called?

Sophie Oldhamstead Photography

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Natural relaxed family & wedding photography

When did you start it and what inspired you?

I’ve always loved photography but was inspired by my daughter who was born in April 2014. I was working a job before maternity leave that I really disliked and their refusal to support me in any way as a working mum gave me the push I needed to give this a real go

How did you find your start up?

I was very nervous, we made sure we had enough savings for 6 months to cover us but after that there was no back up plan. I found it quite lonely initially and felt very anxious about how it would work but by networking and the help of friends to spread the word and meet mums in similar situations I started to gain confidence gradually. The work picked up with it.

How do you manage working around your children?

I manage by working whenever I can, I take advantage of weekends as my parents and her daddy are around to have her while I work. If I work during the week I have her with me on shoots and I do all my editing & admin in the evenings once shes gone to bed. Its not easy but we make it work.

Can you describe a typical day?

I tend to answer any urgent emails or messages in the morning while my little one has breakfast. We spend the morning together up to after lunch which is when she naps so as soon as shes down I crack on. I use this time mostly to edit any shoots that are in the editing pile or on the rare occasion that I’m up to date I spend the time doing admin tasks, accounting or marketing. Once shes up I spend the evening with my family before carrying on again once she goes to bed.

What have you found hardest?

I think its the constant nature of it, even when I’m looking after my daughter I’m constantly answering client enquiries and sorting things for clients via my phone or planning what I need to do. Its hard to switch off completely and I think I lose out on time with my husband as I need to work in the evenings but its a sacrifice we’ve made to suit our family.

What’s the best thing about being self employed?

Being able to work around my daughter, I’m there to take her to classes and I don’t miss anything with her and I know I’m incredibly lucky to be able to do that right now. While I don’t want to work weekends and late nights forever, for right now its a sacrifice I’m happy to make to be there when she needs me. I love feeling in control of my own future too, I feel like I can make things happen in my own life and its down to me which is a sometimes scary but empowering feeling to have.

What are your plans for the future?

For the next year its to focus on wedding bookings and building my portrait business. I have a 1 year, 3 year and 5 year plan for the business to keep me on track.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out?

Just to go for it, I was prepared for the business not to be as successul as it has been as you need to be realistic as well as hopeful but working hard and giving it your all does really pay off. You need to be prepared to put in what it takes though, if I have to stay up until 4am to finish and edit then thats what you have to do and still get up for the day at 7am for mummy duties but the rewards really do outweigh the sacrifices.

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

My home studio is located in Rush Green, RM7 and am now taking bookings for portraits, cake smashes and weddings through 2016/2017 🙂

www.sophieoldhamsteadphotography.co.uk
www.facebook.com/sophieoldhamsteadphotography

Looking for more Mum’s business inspiration?

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Running a shop

Stamford Kidz Stuff

Tell us a bit about your family

My family consists of me, 3 children and a chihuahua. This was a late decision for me… nearly 60, children all grown up at 33, 30 & 27. So didn’t have to juggle school, sitters etc… They are behind me 100%, give me lots of encouragement and support, and advice on all things technical.. also helped that most of their friends had children, so in turn were able to give constructive opinions on my clothing choices. (I think I did not bad on my own, for a first time retailer hehe)

What’s your business called?

Stamford Kidz Stuff

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Affordable childrens clothing and toys with a smile and always time for a chat.

When did you start it and what inspired you?

Started in April 2015. Being made redundant after many years put me in panic mode… then a few days of going thru every emotion know to man or woman…few weeks of meetings, emails and negotiations I finally came to the conclusion that, actually, I didn’t want to work like that anymore. So, then a few weeks of applying for jobs before realisation dawned, why not work for yourself. But what to do. Pure chance brought me to this centre, to discover that the existing childrens clothing outlet was closing end of march… lots more leg work and research around stamford convinced me that this was a niche market. Only other source of children’s clothing in the town was supermarket stock or boutique expensive garments. Previous tenants were absolutely brilliant, very generous in sharing their knowledge,experiences, pitfalls etc.

How did you fund your start up?

Funded by redundancy pay and savings

Can you describe a typical day?

A typical day starts with a visual assessment of the shop, bit of a tidy, mop floor, replace any stock,key in till, check float, cup of tea, then i’ m ready to receive visitors. This centre is not overly busy, so I have ,lots of free time, changing manequin outfits, rearranging rails, relocating toys, continually assessing stock.reordering…this time of year is my first festive challenge, organising, school fares etc.posting latest pictures on Facebook & twitter. Continually reminding my customers of deals etc. Like to keep everybody informed.

What have you found hardest?

Not faced too many challenges so far… initially my constant dread was ‘have I bought the right stuff’, will people like them, have I got the right price point, have I advertised enough.’.. do you know what, I did everything I could possibly think of, my landlord advertised in local mags… With the help of my children, we launched on Fb & twitter, and all the business pages. I pounded the streets and did a leaflet drop, whilst my daughter approached lots of shops, coffee bars, leisure centre, tourist information and anywhere else we could think of… produced a cystomer questionaire.. looking for opinion and suggestions…loyalty cards offering a half price item on 6th visit, seems to a good incentive…
1 challenge recently lady buys 2 jackets for twin boys, returned 1 after a month with broken zip. To cut a long story short, following frequent calls & emails & trawling thru websites to find the identical jacket… to no avail.. I suddenly thought, what if I replaced the zip.. customer was delighted with the idea… keep twins the same… got a professional to carry out the task, keeping the customer informed all the time. I even delivered it in person… nhappy customer yippee…gratifying. But hopefully this doesn’t happen too often.

What’s the best thing about being self employed?

Best about being self employed, its all down to me, no dellusions, very realistic,and very objective,and very optimistic..no more having to answer to crazy reports deadlines and demands… this is it, I will do everything in my power to succeed and grow my wee business. Although I am not expecting miracles, as long as I am fulfilling a need. At the end of the day I cannot please everybody. It’s great fun and so rewarding, love chatting to all the wee ones who come through my door.

What are your plans for the future?

Plans for future I would love to rent an independent shop, as my current unit within a centre is rather restrictive time constraints, limited for space, certain rules and regulations.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out?

I have not been in business long enough to give advice,, but a couple of things I have learned is have a budget and stick to it, and I said from the start, that I would wait until more than 4 customers asked for the same item, then I would attempt to source and stock it.

Looking for more Mum’s business inspiration?

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.