Mum running a franchise business

Eight Best Franchise Business Types for Mums

A franchise can be a great way to start a business (if you want to know more, check out our post on franchising). You get to learn from someone else’s mistakes and have a business that you know can be successful. The key to successful franchising is choosing one that meets your needs and with so many to choose from that can be difficult. We’re rounded up the top 8 franchise business types that can work well for mums.

Franchise Baby & Toddler Classes

Baby and Toddler classes can be a great fit because they are generally term time only. You may be able to take your little one with you. It’s important that you like babies and small children and are happy leading a group. Lots of classes will require you to sing too so you can make use of all of those nursery rhymes you’ve learnt since becoming a Mum!

Pet Sitting franchise

If you like animals then pet sitting could work for you. This type of business can take many forms from, having animals stay in your house like family pets, a cattery or Kennels type arrangement, visiting other people’s homes to car for pets or just walking dogs while people are at work. While you could start this type of business alone, one of the main benefits of franchising is that insurance is generally provided for you.

Nearly New Sales

Baby and Children’s Nearly New Sales are becoming more and more popular. There are a number of different franchises around to choose from so you’ll need to do your research carefully. You’ll need to work at weekends sometimes to run the sales and spend plenty of time marketing the events to make sure they’re successful.

Castings/fingerprint jewellery Franchises

Children are small for such a short amount of time that we all love to have mementos. There are now many franchises that offer either castings, which can be of hand, feet or bumps or jewellery with hand, finger or foot prints. These franchises can offer flexibility and an outlet for creativity.

Franchise Parties

Children’s parties are big business with parents admitting to spending an average of £320. Some franchises offer a variety of party types while others are quite niche for example for example science or football. You’ll need a big personality and be happy to work at the weekends.

Cleaning franchises

Before you dismiss the idea because you’ve got enough cleaning of your own to do, cleaning franchises don’t generally involve you doing any actual cleaning. Franchisees market the business and hire other people to do the cleaning. Some franchises deal with PAYE and National Insurance which makes the business much easier to run.

Publishing Franchises

There are publishing franchises available both online and in print. There are a number of franchises that run print magazines, the basic content is created by the franchise and then franchisees sell advertising and distribute the magazines. Online publishers run large websites and franchisees buy the rights to sell advertising for a certain geographical area.

Virtual Assistant franchises

Becoming a virtual assistant (offering admin support from home to small businesses) is a popular choice with Mums. There are now a growing number of virtual assistant franchises that can help you get started. You’ll want to choose an established franchise so that you can benefit from their reputation and marketing.

With so many different franchises available it’s important to do your research to find one that will work for you. If you need help deciding which business is best for you then our course “How to become a Mumpreneur” can help.

8 best franchise business types for mums

Is it time to change from Stay at Home Mum to Mumpreneur

Being a stay at home Mum can be great, you’re there for all of the milestones, you don’t have to worry about finding (not to mention paying for) childcare and there’s no commute to worry about. However it can get a bit lonely, and dare I say it, a little bit boring!

Your brain feels numb from overexposure to Cbeebies

Talking to/about toddlers all day can get a bit mind numbing after a while. If you feel like you need an intellectual challenge then starting a business can provide you with that. Even if you’re still suffering from a bit of baby brain (my kids are 4 and 6 and I’m still using that excuse!) getting the brain cells working again can help you shake it off.

You’re worried that you’re not keeping up with workplace skills

Taking a career break to care for your children can have an effect on your long term career. Keeping your skills up to date is one way to mitigate the effect and running a business is a great way to do it. Running my business I’ve developed my IT skills, research skills, communications skills, writing skills. I’ve even learnt web development and marketing from scratch.

You need something that’s just for you

Having children is great but it’s easy to lose your sense of self when they take over your world. Running a business can give you back your sense of identity. It means that for some of the week you’ll get called by your own name instead of so and so’s Mummy. Starting a business helped me to avoid a repeat experience of postnatal depression after my second child was born.

You aren’t comfortable relying on your partner for money

Let’s be clear, being a stay at home Mum is of equal value to going out to work. You are entitled to a share of the household income. Knowing this still doesn’t mean we always feel comfortable about it. Earning your own money can be very satisfying. There’s nothing quite like treating your family to a meal out with money you’ve earned from your own business.

You want to set a good example for your children

Following your dreams is a great example to set for your children. If you want to run your own business, doing so can help show your children that you can achieve whatever you want in life if you work hard.

If you’re feeling inspired to swap being a stay at home mum for being a Mumpreneur check out our 10 Great Business Ideas for Mums.

5 signs it’s time to change from stay at home mum to mumpreneur

Considering a franchise

Considering a Franchise? 5 Questions you need to ask

Starting a business is a big decision so it’s important to take everything in to account when considering a franchise and deciding weather its right for you.

What size territory should you look for when considering a franchise?

In some ways, the larger the territory the better. The more people in your territory , the more potential customers you have. However if you only want to work a set number of hours so will only run in one part of the territory then you may end up paying for areas that you won’t operate in. For example, if your territory has two major towns and you only plan to operate in one. If your business is something people will only travel a short distance for, like baby classes, then a small territory could be better. If you’re offering something that people will travel for then a big territory can help make sure you aren’t competing with other franchisees.

How much are the on going fees and what do you get for them?

Most franchisors ask you to pay a fee, usually monthly, quarterly or annually. This is to cover the cost of things like national marketing, maintenance of resources like websites and support. Sometimes the fee is a percentage of sales or it can be a fixed amount. If it’s fixed, bear in mind you’ll have to pay it, weather you’re making money or not and if you plan to keep your business quite small, it can be a big chunk of your profits.

To decide if the fee is reasonable, find out exactly what you get for it. How much national marketing do they undertake, how quickly is the website updated and how much Support do they offer you? Find out what their service standards are in terms of how long they expect it to take for them to reply to emails, make changes to the website etc.

What will your relationship be like with other franchisees?

One of the main benefits of running a franchise as opposed to going it alone is the support and much of this comes from more experienced franchisees. Is there a way for all franchisees to keep in touch, for example a forum or a Facebook group? Are there any training events or get together where you’ll meet in person? Do the local franchisees work together to benefit from local events, for example splitting the cost of regional advertising or trade show attendance?

How is Social Media dealt with?

Social media is a massive part of how people find out about goods and services these days. This means it’s important to understand how it will be used when considering a franchise. Are social media accounts set up for each individual franchise? Or are they regional with a number of people sharing a page? Are there guideline for how to manage it? Both in practical terms and the protection of the businesses reputation.

Also on the subject of social media, it’s also worth having a look at posts and reviews about the business. This will give you an idea of the sort of reputation they have.

What happens if it doesn’t work out? Or if it does?

While it’s important to be positive we also need to protect ourselves if the worst should happen. Find out if you are able to sell the franchise if you no longer want to run it. If you are, do you need approval of the franchisors? Do they take a percentage of the sale price? If you just want to stop running the franchise, will you owe them anything? Some franchise contracts include an agreement that you will continue to pay the management fee. This can be until another franchisee is found or your contract expires.

On the other hand, if you still want to carry on when the contract expires, what are the renewal terms? Is renewal automatic. Is there a charge? Can they increase the management fee when you renew?

If you’re considering a franchise then check out our Eight Best Franchise Business Types for Mum  and our directory of franchise opportunities.

Considering a franchise? Here are 5 questions you need to ask.

Mum typing with baby in arms

Signs it’s time to quit your job and become a Mumpreneur

Being a working Mum can be great. With the right employer, the right childcare and the right support it can work and lead to happy Mum and happy children. If it doesn’t seem to be quite working for you, check out these signs that it’s time to become a Mumpreneur.

Your Sunday is ruined by the thought of Mondays

If you spend your Sundays dreading Monday, worrying about everything you have to get done, it’s time to reevaluate. When your work is having a negative effect on your free time then something needs to change. When my husband was unhappy at work, Sundays always felt a bit off because he was worrying about king back to work the next day.

You aren’t happy with your childcare

Some children run in to nursery without a backwards glance but others have to be pried off you. It’s normal for children to have trouble separating from you and most will settle as soon as you’ve gone but if part of you is worried that they aren’t happy their then launching a business where you can keep them with you might be the answer.

You feel like you’re missing out

First words, first steps, first supermarket tantrum. All parent want to be around for (most) of these milestones but the benefits of working can be a fair trade off for missing them. If you feel like you’re losing more than your gaining then it’s time to become a mumpreneur.

You hate your job

If your job makes you miserable then you’ll definitely want to consider a change. Your children will pick up on your unhappiness and happy Mum=happy baby. As they get older they’ll be aware that you’re staying in a job that makes you unhappy. This may give them the wrong impression of work is like. My Mum hated her job as a legal secretary when I was growing up but carried on because they let her work from home. It certainly effected how I imagined my working life would be. I dreaded starting work and was actually pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t as bad as I expected. (Although no where near as good as being self employed!)

You need something for yourself

Between looking after children, working, cleaning and general life admin, it’s hard to fit in any time for yourself. Running a business can mean that you can combine working, with doing something you love. This has certainly been the case for me. Once I became a Mum I wanted my time away from my son to mean something other than just earning money.

You want to become a mumpreneur!

Of course the biggest sign is that you want to start a business. If you’re showing signs that it’s time to become a Mumpreneur, check out our Ten Great Business Ideas for Mums.

5 signs it’s time to quite your job and become a mumpreneur

Becoming a childminder involves taking children out

Becoming a childminder

If you’re considering becoming a childminder then there’s a lot to think about. Like anything involving children it’s carefully regulated. Taking care of other people’s children is a big responsibility so it’s important think carefully about the decision before committing.

Are you suited to becoming a childminder?

Of course it’s important that you like children, you probably wouldn’t be considering it if that wasn’t the case. What people sometimes forgot is that you need to like parents too. Liaising with parents is one of the most important parts of a childminders job so think carefully if that’s something you’ll enjoy. If you have strong opinions about parenting this might lead to clashes with parents that would make it difficult for you to look after their child Looking after someone else’s children is a huge responsibility so you’ll need to decide if that’s something you can cope with or not.

If you’ll have your own child with you when you’re working you’ll need to consider how becoming a childminder will effect them. Will they enjoy having other children around or will they find it difficult to share you? If they struggle, how will you cope with it?


To become a childminder you need to be registered with the local authority. The only circumstance in which you don’t need to register is if you’re looking after children for less than two hours a day. You also don’t need to register if you only look after children over the age of eight.

The registration process involves undertaking a training course approved by the local authority. Some authorities run their own, alternatively most authorities have approved the course run by PACEY which is available by distance learning. You will also be required to complete paediatric first aid training. There are online first aid training courses to help you meet this requirement.

The local authority will want to check that you are suitable to look after children by carrying out a DBS check and speaking to referees that you provide. They’ll also carry out DBS checks on anyone else who lives in the house, including young adults.

Your Home

As childminders look after children in their own home, your home will need to be suitable. You’ll need to have enough space for children and ideally some equipment for them to play with. You’ll need to keep records for the local authority so will need space to create and store your paperwork.

The location of your home is also important. Parents will need to drop off and pick up there children so a location that’s close to family homes or a station can helpful. It can also be useful to be close to a school/preschool for pick ups and drop offs. Becoming a childminder could be difficult if you live somewhere very remote.

Finding clients

Most parents find their childminder through word of mouth but this can be tricky when you first start out. Make sure everyone knows that you are becoming a childminder. That way they can recommend you if they hear that someone’s looking for childcare. Most local authorities keep a list of local childcare providers so make sure you’re on it.

Facebook can be a great place to advertise your services, in local parenting groups and general local groups. Lots of schools have a Facebook group for parents. If you know people with children at a local school you can ask them to mention in the group that you have vacancies.

Alternatives to becoming a childminder

If you don’t think your home is suitable for looking after children then you could consider becoming a nanny. Nannies look after children in their own homes and tend to ok after fewer children at a time.. Childminding hours can be long, if you want to work less hours then you could look at running baby and toddler classes or after school classes. If you’re really ambitious you could even consider setting up your own nursery.

What I Wish People Knew about Being a Mum with a Business

There seem to be a lot of misconceptions about what it’s like to be a Mum “running a little business”. In truth, even if the business is little, being a mum with a business is still really hard work. Here are the things I wish people knew about being a work at home mum.

My business is not a cover story for sitting at home watching daytime TV

In fact it’s far closer to the truth to say I started the business so that day time TV wouldn’t turn my brain to mush. That’s not to say I don’t catch up with the odd bit of cable TV while I’m eating my lunch or doing boring admin tasks.

I work on my business ALL the time.

Even though my children are at school and preschool now so I have most daytimes to myself I still work on my business ALL the time. In the evenings, at the weekends, when the kids are in the softplay. Even while I’m having my cup of tea in the morning. It’s great to have flexibility but being self employed also tends to be all consuming.

When you see me looking at my phone at the park I’m not on Facebook, I’m making money to pay our bills

I’m not a helicopter parent and generally leave my kids to it at the park. That would be the case weather I was a stating at home, working or a Mum with a business. Because I am a Mum with a business I get a bit of work done on my phone while they play, however I always feel like I’m being judged for it.

I’m not just playing at running a business

My business is my job, not my hobby. I may love it but I wouldn’t do it for free. I run a business to contribute to our family finances in a way that allows me to be there for my children and I consider myself very lucky to be able to so.

Being a work at home mum is hard

Being a parent is hard, no matter what the circumstances, so adding anything else into the mix will always make it harder. I’m home all day, so I’m responsible for all of the cleaning, tidying and household Managament. I’m responsible for making sure the kids are clean fed and clothed, are where they need to be, with everything they need to take. I’m also responsible for making my business a success, which, given the opportunity, I could easily work on full time. Instead I have to squeeze all my roles into the time I have, including trying to find time for self care.

I’d love to hear what you’d like people to know about being a Mum with a business, do people appreciate what you do or think you spend your days on the sofa watching This Morning?

Want to find the right business idea for you? Check out our course “How to become a Mumpreneur”

Want to read more about being a mum with a business? Have a look at “5 business skills that parenting has taught you”

Storage facilities

6 (Actually Useful) Storage Tips for your new Business

Not only are there numerous ways to get into business today, there is also lots of practical help to get you started with bookkeeping, marketing, promoting and efficiently managing your time.

What you don’t get so much help with is how to locate and organise storage. Not just for stock, but for office supplies, business records, and the technology to keep things running smoothly.

1/ Starting From Home

A popular option for many, running a business from home sounds logical since it’s a way to keep overheads down, work around the family, and save time and money in travel expenses.

If you’re considering this startup option, remember to factor in these things:

Space – you’ll need somewhere to work, and somewhere to store stock. Working space is relatively simple as anywhere quiet and reasonably private could serve, but storing stock needs more thought.
Delivery access – will stock arrive in lorries? If so, is there good access in your street, without risk to neighbours’ parked cars or children playing?
Storage access and safety – steps, slopes, narrow doorways, cramped hallways and steep stairs can all create health and safety hazards. It also means deliveries can become a chore instead of the pleasure that continued business growth and expanding turnover should be.
Overrun living areas – you don’t want to live in a warehouse. If boxes, crates or associated business equipment start overspilling their original designated area, home lifestyle can become severely cramped and uncomfortable.

2/ Security

As the business grows and stock and equipment becomes more valuable, the issue of security becomes more pressing. Thinking about the risks of fire, flood, theft, or accidental damage when the business is new can help you reach informed decisions regarding storage.

Security includes the room you use at home, if you’re operating from domestic premises. Children, for instance, can cause accidental damage if they’re allowed to play in your workspace or access the computer needed for accounts and communications. Alternatively, if you’re storing stock in the garage or other outbuilding, consider installing additional locks, alarms, or CCTV so you can monitor sensitive areas. Some business insurances will make adequate precautions a prerequisite.

3/ The Home Office

Ideally, a room you can close the door on is the best solution when running a business from home, but it’s not always possible. Wherever you sit down to work, organise storage of office supplies so they’re nearby. If, for instance, you normally undertake admin tasks from the kitchen table, designate a cabinet or drawer for stationary supplies like pens, paperclips, notebooks, or accounting ledgers if you like keeping a physical record of cashflow.

Small changes, like moving your paper supply so it’s next to the printer or putting up a shelf by your desk to house reference materials, saves time and makes mundane tasks easier.

4/ Controlled Expansion

Expansion is normally accompanied by equal measures of pain and pleasure. The business is growing, profits are multiplying, but so is the workload and the need for efficiency.

How and where you store stock can ease expansion headaches if you take the increasingly popular option of business self storage. With short term contracts, it’s a simple matter to expand or contract storage areas without having to budget for months of expense. Seasonal fluctuations, for instance, can mean you suddenly need added space in the short term, and self storage makes it easy to add a room for a month or so just for the seasonal stock.

If expansion goes in fits and starts, flexible storage lets you stay on top of expenses and gives the confidence needed to take on bigger orders.

5/ Making Space Work

Efficiency depends on time management, so cutting down handling or travel time can pay dividends. Here, too, self storage makes it possible. By renting a room that’s a little bigger than that needed strictly for storage, then installing a desk or table, you can create a built in pack and dispatch area and take care of preparing orders for sale all from one location.

6/ Minimising Paperwork

Locating paper records or documents, and safely storing them is very much easier with synced cloud storage. There are free options with generous allowances to get you started, but choose carefully as it can be time consuming or expensive if you need more space in the future. Business accounts from providers such as Dropbox, for instance, let you choose which documents to share with colleagues or clients while keeping everything in one place. Having the ability to access vital records from multiple locations and devices means you have your virtual office wherever you are.

Storage should make life and business easier, not be another headache to resolve. Give it plenty of thought in the startup phase and it will serve you well for years to come.

This is  collabrituve post with Drew who writes for Big Yellow Self Storage. For more information, see their blog.

When is the best time to become a Mumpreneur?

You may not know you want to become a Mumpreneur until you’ve been a Mum for a while but even if you’ve known since before you conceived that running a business was for you it can be difficult to know when the right time is to get started. To help you decide we’ve explored the pros and cons of starting a business at the different stages of motherhood.

BeCome a mumpreneUr when you’re pregnant

If you start your maternity leave fairly it early it can be a great time to get started on your business plans, with work out of the way you’ll have some time to get your teeth in to things before the baby comes.

The downside is that you’ll have to stop for at least little while once the baby arrives which, depending on the nature of your business, could be disruptive. It’s also difficult to know until your baby arrives how much work you’ll be able to do around them, some sleep lots so you can get things done, some cry lots and you can get nothing done!

Starting a business when you have a baby

Babies generally need a lot of sleep and many are happy to sleep anywhere and this can be handy if you’re trying to run a business. Launching a business when you have a small baby can also be great for preserving your sense of self, something that can be hard to hold on to in the early days of motherhood.

However, when you have a small baby you will almost certainly be tired because, while they need lots of sleep, they still like to wake you up every few hours at night for a feed or just a cuddle. You’re also going through a huge life change and you might find transitioning to mother and business owner at the same time a bit too much.

BecomE a mumpreneur when you have a toddler

With a bit of luck, by the time you have a toddler you’ve adjusted to motherhood, got in to some kind of routine and either they’re sleeping through or you’ve adjusted to a life with less sleep. This can be a great time to start a business, particularly if they’re still having a daytime sleep. The only problem is they are in to everything. There is zero chance of getting any work done when they’re awake, if you try to take a phone call they will be instantly climbing all over you and you’re unlikely to be able to take them out to business related bits and pieces without all hell breaking loose.

Starting a business when you have a preschooler

Preschoolers are great (I should know, I have one). The clue is in the name, preschool, that wonderful, government funded initiative that gives you 15 (or 30 if you’re really lucky) hours of peace and quiet, 38 weeks of the year. They’re also able to sometimes entertain themselves for a whole ten minutes and can, on occasion, actually be helpful (think putting stamps on envelopes, being so cute when handing out flyers that no one can say no). The only trouble is this is also the time you’re most likely to have baby number 2 added to the mix…

Starting a business when you have a school aged child

30 child free hours a week to work on your business is undeniably great. You might want to let them settle in before you get started but don’t leave it too long, the trouble with waiting till this point is that it might lose its urgency. When given 30 hours a week a regular job can seem easier to manage and you may be less likely to follow your dream. You’ll also need to think about how you’ll manage school holidays as going from have 30 hours a week in term time to zero hours a week in the 6 week holidays can be difficult to deal with.

if you think now might be the right time for you to become a Mumpreneur check out “Business for Mums”

Want to read about about Mums who have started their own businesses? Check out our stories.

When is the best time to become a mumpreneur?

Mum running a franchise business

5 Business Skills that Parenting has taught you

Parenting is a steep learning curve so sometimes it’s good to reflect on how useful all that learning is. Lets have a look at 5 business skills you’ve learnt from parenting.

Thinking on your feet.

When a problem arises in business we need to be able to find a solution fast. When a poonami arises out of a nappy (in particular at soft play, or worse, the swimming pool) the same applies. As a parent we solve problems on the fly everyday and that’s great preparation for running a business.


I know you curse all the times that you have to cook with a toddler hanging off your leg. The showers you take while entertaining a baby with peek a boo. It’s all great business training. When you run a small business you’re everything. The receptionist, the cleaner, the customer service team and everyone else needed to get your product or service to market. That takes a lot of multitasking.

Time management.

Nap times are short. Some people are lucky and get a glorious two hours from their kids, for others twenty minutes is a victory. Working out which tasks are priority for nap times and which can wait (until there are magically more hours in the day). Which can be done with the child awake (back to multitasking) and which can be delegated (to an unwilling spouse, a helpful relative or an eager older child) is a very useful skill.


It’s unlikely that you’ll ever meet a client who is as tougher negotiator as your two year old when they want chocolate and you’re offering an apple. Use the opportunity to hone your skills for when a client wants to negotiate on price.


Getting on with stuff.

There is no greater way to realise how fast time passes than to watch your children growing up. That, along with their amazing “live for the moment” attitude can help you to finally take the leap that you’ve been too scared of until now.

Want to put these business skills to use? Have a look at The Business for Mums Course

Want to see Mum’s business stories in your newsfeed? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

8 business skills parenting has taught you

Round up of the Best Online Business Blog posts

We’ve scoured the world of business blogging to find you the most useful blog posts on running online businesses. Have a read of the posts and don’t forget to subscribe to any blogs that interest you.

Joanne Dewberry writes lots of great posts for small business owners on her blog, this collection of Top Tips for making sales online also links up to lots of other useful resources.

If you’re interested in working as a Virtual Assistant the the VACT blog has some great posts including this one, Setting up a VA Business while working for your boss.

Finally Business Plus Baby has this great post on The Key Qualities your Business Website needs to have.

And of course, don’t forget to have a look at Mumpreneur Inspiration’s post “Running an online business” which has lots of great online business advice.

Do let us know if you spot any other great online business blog posts.

Want to see Mum’s business stories in your newsfeed? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.