Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
Hello, my name is Katie and I am Mum to two boys aged 13 & 8, a mini daschund called Monty and two cats and am married to John – life is busy!
What’s your business called?
My business is called Great Little Rewards (GLR)
Can you describe it in one sentence?
We aim to provide engaging pocket money toys and fun activities for young learners – we import from the USA, Japan and, of course, source from the UK as well
When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?
I started GLR alongside a four day a week job in 2011 and have worked on it full time since April of this year
How did you fund your start up?
With my savings
How do you manage working around your children?
I started working full time on GLR from April 2016, before this I had been working on it part-time. It is tricky balancing work and my family, especially during the school holidays. I work school hours during term time and then log on again once they have had dinner and done their homework. I find it challenging to be disciplined enough not to be distracted by constant emails/calls and to be present for the children, but am getting better at managing my time.
Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
A typical school day is that I get up around 6:30am and check my email. I then get the children (and pets!) sorted out and start work properly from around 9:15 onwards. We have several large Clients and I spend at least the first hour or so following up with them to make sure that we are providing everything they need – we aim to provide outstanding service. We are launching a new concept (www.greatlittlerewards.co.uk/joinus) and are looking for interested Mums and other Partners at the moment, so I am spending a lot of time trying to plan that and to make sure our communication is right. We are also developing a GLR capsule range and I’ve been busy managing everything from the design to the stock control for that. We have a warehouse in the beautiful Lake District and I liaise with the team up there every day to make sure we are in good shape and have enough of everything we need. Planning takes up a lot of time!
What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
It is very easy to think that what sounds simple as a concept is simple in reality! My natural style is to have ideas and to leap to action immediately without thinking through all the details of what is involved. I have to force myself to plan and to break down the ‘big idea’ into simple steps and milestones which help us achieve our goals – I am now doing this much more consciously! I have also found it tricky to work at home full-time and to clearly separate home life from business life as, if you are not disciplined, the two blend together and you never switch off and the family can suffer as a result. Another challenge is to ensure I actually pay myself something! Whilst it is relatively easy to turn over money, it is very tempting to re-invest everything you earn and to never take any income, which is difficult if you are relying on it to pay your bills!
What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?
I love, love, love what I am doing now. I am my own boss, I work flexibly and can fit around my family’s needs. The opportunities for success are only limited by my imagination and creativity and I love that!
What are your plans for the future?
We have big plans for growth. We have just launched www.greatlittlerewards.co.uk/joinus and we think that is a really exciting concept for anyone who likes our products and wants to earn extra income in a fun way. The margins we have created are unrivalled. We are also working on some large contracts for 2017 and are very excited about those.
What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
Believe in yourself – if you want it enough you can do it but break down what you need to do into ‘baby steps’. It can be overwhelming to think of that you need a complete website, for example, so start small – maybe start with a single page and grow from there.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I think I’ve covered everything – I also started www.sniftyfundraising.co.uk a couple of years ago but have struggled to get much interest in that, although I believe it is a unique and great offer (guess I would think that, though!)
Feeling inspired to start your own business? Have a look at The Business for Mums cour