Mums Business Inspiration can come from many places. On Business for Mums we’re shared the stories of hundreds of Mums who have started their own business. They all answered the questions “What inspired you” and we’ve used their answers to look for recurring themes.
Mums Business Inspiration: Why Mums want to start a business
I had a always known that I wanted to start a my own business but I had never known exactly what I wanted to do. It took until the maternity leave of my second pregnancy for me to take the leap. The stories shared on Business for Mums suggest I wasn’t alone in knowing that self employment was the direction I wanted to take.
“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.” Lisa from A Fine Choice
It can also be the experience of motherhood that inspires the Starting of a business. Grace from Beauty by Grace was inspired to start her business by the need for a sense of self “Even though I absolutely loved being a mum, I felt like I had lost myself, I felt like I had no identity.” Keeping hold of your personal identity can also help with postnatal depression.
Many life changes are inspired by a significant life event and that’s no different for Mothers, Suzanne started working as a virtual assistant as it offered a way to work that suited her circumstances.
“I was in a car accident and as a result of the injuries, I was off work sick for a few months, which I hated. I was desperate to get back to work but needed a role that was flexible as I was still recovering, so I decided to hand in my notice and began building up my own Virtual PA business.” Suzanne from Pink Diamonds Office Support
For Ethne from Wood Street Books, it was a personal tragedy that led her to reassess her priorities and become self employed.
“I disliked my job intensely and had long had the desire to become self employed. I had a miscarriage in March 2013 which made me reassess my work/life priorities and I promptly handed in my notice at work. Fast forward 12 months and I had finally completed my long overdue accountancy qualifications and done all the leg work involved in becoming a self employed accountant just in time for Erin’s arrival. Then there was only the small matter of managing a start up as well as a new born baby!”
Mums Business Inspiration Ian often triggered by the thought of leaving their children to return to the work place. That then pushes them to start a business.
“I was feeding my youngest in Chessington World of Adventures and looking through a parenting forum. It was about 6 months from my return to work and I was having that wobble….”I can’t possibly go back to work, my babies need me at home!”. I saw a post on a forum from another Mother with the same dilemma and someone had mentioned Pink Spaghetti Virtual PA’s.” Laura, Pink Spaghetti Franchisee
It can be important for Mums to both be their for their children and retain a sense of self. For a lot of women to best way to achieve that is through self employment.
“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.” Caroline from Added Zest Ltd
There are also less positive circumstances that push Mums in to self employment:
“What inspired me was not being able to get a job! Previous to 2012, the last time I’d been applying for jobs was 2001 and things had changed A LOT! I wanted something well-paid and part-time but I wasn’t getting anywhere so essentially I was forced into the position of finding freelance work – and it grew from there.” Tanya from How to become a Virtual Assistant
Mums Business Inspiration: Where Mums ideas come from
So, we know why Mums want to start a business, but how do they come up with their ideas? A lot if Mums take their inspiration from a skill they already have:
“I was approached by my son’s headteacher to give French classes in the curriculum from Year 2 to Year 6 last year. Then I also set up Spanish breakfast and after-school clubs there. I was then approached by another school to do the same. Next I started looking into ways of expanding without compromising my life-work balance and came across Kidslingo.” Jill from Kidslingo
It can also be reigniting a previous passion that leads to a business:
“Initially, after having my first son in 2012 I became a little frustrated at the lack of time I had to concentrate on my art. But then one day I drew him – nothing radical! – bit it was a breakthrough…I showed some family & friends, who really liked them & said that they could relate to them & so I decided to make them into more finished pieces in order to produce limited edition prints to sell. So, my family is a huge inspiration!” Anne-Marie Rickus Arts
For other Mums, a new business means a completely new direction:
“I found a book online about how to become a VA. All you needed was internet connection and you could work with people online. This was a totally new way of looking at things for me and I realised that I could be doing this and working with people all over the world.” Chichi Eruchalu
People often imagine that all businesses are inspired by a gap in the market or finding the solution to a problem. Evidence from the stories on Business for Mums suggest that this is the case for only a small proportion of Mums. Here are a couple of examples:
“I had always enjoyed making and sewing but didn’t have time or resources to make more ambitious things such as clothes and, speaking to peers it appeared that there are many people in the same boat. When I looked around crafting shops or haberdashery departments in the larger stores they were full of kits, aiming to simplify a particular craft, but none contained kits to make actual clothing.” Kate from The Pretty Lovely Company
Businesses can also be inspired by a childhood experience:
“I’d had a bad experience as a child learning to swim and I swore my kids wouldn’t be afraid of water…I looked around for children’s swimming classes but was disappointed with what I found. Eventually, I found classes in London and I used to go all the way to London once a week from Buckingham! The owner of that particular swim school asked if I would like to be a teacher so I qualified and became a swimming teacher. I started teaching locally and I was in the pool one day and a lovely little baby was sick on me – and that was my lightbulb moment! I thought, I need to be doing something for myself…” Tamsin from Water Babies