Tell us a bit about your family?
I am happily married to a serving police officer and between the two of us we have three children!
My son has just turned 12 years old, my step daughter is 5 years old and our daughter is 18 months old! They all keep me on my toes and there are days when I despair but I love them all with everything I have!
What’s your business called?
Mums Who Can
Can you describe it in one sentence?
Mumpreneur events and opportunities to show case the talents of local mum-owned businesses.
When did you start it and what inspired you?
When my 12 year old was born, the term Mumpreneur was rarely used. Given the fact that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter had yet to be launched and mobile phones were only just starting to allow internet access, it’s not really surprising.
Fast forward to my daughter being born, Mumpreneur is now a well-known description of mums taking the leap of faith and setting up their own businesses whilst juggling every day activities like breastfeeding, teething, toddler groups, school runs, and, of course, tantrums!
It was rude not to follow suit and in February 2015, Mums Who Can was born.
I wanted a business that allowed me to grow, create a brand and forge relationships that lasted. Mums Who Can is just that!
How did you fund your start up?
The great thing about setting up my business was the fact that I did not have to fund anything until I started getting payments in from mums who wanted to exhibit at our events!
How do you manage working around your children?
By sticking to a strict routine! Social media updates get done first thing in the morning before everyone wakes ups and I generally plan my week so I know what I need to get done. I am lucky that my hubby works various shifts including lates and nights so I get time in the evenings to work when he does – it also means that when he is at home I can afford to take some time away from the laptop. My daughter goes to nursery twice a week and with great technology like the iPhone, I am able to answer emails and Facebook messages throughout the day when she naps or plays.
Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
My typical day depends greatly on how far from an event I am! If I am in the lead up to an event with only a few weeks to go, my day is spent checking and re-checking arrangements, sending regular updates and ensuring all advertising is done as much as it can be. If, however, I have a few months to go before the event I tend to use this time to update the database of mums who wish to exhibit, send confirmation packs, chase invoices, and advertise on a more general level like taking part in radio interviews or press articles.
What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I have had to overcome is the fear of “asking”! In my personal life I find it very difficult to ask for help or ask for something to be free etc. but I have overcome this with my business as I have realised that if “you don’t ask, you don’t get” and it is so true! Everyone is always so responsive to what I do that they never mind helping out or offering their services.
What’s the best thing about being self-employed?
For me it’s watching the business grow into a well-known and respected company. Mums Who Can has quickly become a brand that is recognised and trusted. I have met the most amazing mums and developed friendships that will be long lasting. The testimonials on my website are all from mums that have exhibited at the events and reading them always makes me proud!
What are your plans for the future?
Over the next 5 years, I plan is to offer either Franchised Area’s or Area Manager roles that will allow Mums Who Can to grow into the rest of the UK and internationally.
What advice would you give for someone just starting out?
Find something that you feel a passion for. You will be spending an awful lot of time on the business when you start out and if you have no passion for it, it will fail quickly because you will find it a chore.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
It is very easy to be tempted to offer friends and family “freebies” but it’s important to remember that you are running a business and therefore should never feel bad about sticking to your normal prices etc. when dealing with people you know.