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The Benefits of running a Digital Business

I’ve always loved the digital aspect of running a business – creating the websites myself, setting up Facebook and Twitter and managing the social media campaigns. For the last 7 years I have been running community focused small businesses in West London. The businesses all revolved around mums and being a new mum myself meant that through the businesses I built the most wonderful network of friends and colleagues, and really felt part of the community I was living in.

Everything changed in 2015 when we were given the opportunity out of the blue to move to Abu Dhabi for my husband’s work. Not wanting to turn down such an incredible experience, we packed up and headed to the Middle East, two young children in tow. Abu Dhabi’s population is 85% expats, so it wasn’t hard to find likeminded friends and immerse ourselves in the experience. However sacrifices did need to be made and to take up this opportunity meant that I needed to take some time away from my businesses in the UK.
For the first few months I was all consumed with the move – settling the kids in to a new school, learning about new processes and a new culture. However as soon as I started to have some headspace again, I got itchy feet, and realised how much I missed having a focus and a purpose, separate to being a mum and dare I say it, a housewife.
I decided to embark on some online digital marketing training to develop my skills. It was brilliant to have a focus again and something that was ‘mine’, and investing in myself really did make me a happier mummy.

After completing my training my eyes were well and truly opened to how many opportunities exist to build an online business. The benefits of running a digital business are HUGE when it comes to being a mum and having to work around the family. You can create your own schedule, whether that’s working around childcare or grabbing a few hours every evening. You can live anywhere in the world and still work on your business. And I love the fact that you can work from the comfort of your own home, a coffee shop or even on a beach with a latte in hand.

My own experience inspired me to create Making Mumpreneurs, which is a website dedicated to empowering mums to build digital businesses. I share information about online training courses, similar to the ones that I took, as well as tips and inspiration to help them on their journey.

The most exciting thing about my new digital business is the scalability. My audience is currently 50/50 UK and UAE, but my aim is to become global and help mums all over the world. This kind of reach would not even be thinkable before the likes of Facebook and Twitter, but now it is highly achievable.

Believe me, it’s never too late to re-skill and re-invent yourself as a digital entrepreneur, the world is your oyster!

Erin Thomas Wong
Founder of Making Mumpreneurs


Running a Business around Children with Additional Needs - running online business

Running an Online Business

The massive growth of the internet over the last 10 years has offered many online business opportunities. This is  especially true for those who need to work flexibly from home as mothers often do. In the early days you needed coding skills or the money to pay someone to code for you to be able to launch online. There are now hundreds of options to design your own website with no more than the basic computer skills. The flip side of this is that of course, low entry barriers can mean a saturated market. That means it’s more important than ever to have something that will set you apart from the competition.


One of the most popular types of online business is retail. Before the internet, mail order businesses had to invest a huge amount in national advertising in newspapers or on TV to make people aware of their Products’s. They then need to spend more money sending out catalogues which might or might not lead to a sale. Now people wishing to sell online can do so in a number of different ways. They can promote their products either for free or at a low cost via social media and email. If you want to sell products online you have two options.

The first option is to launch your own website. Great because you get to keep all of your profit, but harder to get seen by people. The website will need to be optimised to ensure that search engines can find it. An active social media presence is likely to be necessary, all of which takes time.  Love Anais is a great example of selling direct from a website.

The other option is to sell via an already established website. Many small businesses use eBay to sell their goods but Amazon also had a thriving community of self employed people selling their wares. You can also sell directly through social media. With shopify you can integrate a shop in to your Facebook page. If you make your own items then you can look at more creative outlets like Etsy or it’s more UK equivalent, Folksy.

The other question is, what are you going to sell? Fine if you make your own things but if not you’ll need to find some products. If you don’t have space to hold stock you might want to look at drop shipping. An arrangement where by you promote a product and take orders then a wholesaler ships the items. If you’ve got space to hold stock then you can buy your products from wholesalers (although bear in mind they are unlikely to give you credit in the early days). Check out to find a list of UK wholesalers. The other option would be to focus on one product and buy it direct from the manufacturer. This is great if you’ve seen a product overseas that you think would do well in the UK.


Information products

Another popular type of online business is the creation and selling of information products. These can be ebooks, ecourses or membership services that provide expertise of some kind. If you are an expert in your field information products can be a great way to leverage it. Once the product is created there is no limit to the number of people that it can be sold to. The work really comes with promoting the product so good social media skills are key. Cassie Farren’s story shows how she used her expertise to create an ebook.


People with very specific interests run content focused websites or blogs for a particular niche (rare breed pigs, complementary therapies for rabbits). They make their money by selling advertising. While this type of business is unlikely to make your fortune it can be a nice way to try and earn something from the thing your passionate about. Subscription based deliveries, where a box of items on a particular theme is delivered to your house each month, are becoming more and more popular. Check out surprise boxes story about craft based boxes. There’s even one for sanitary products called “Sanitary owl”.


Other online businesses provide services, such as web design or social media management, to clients and others create software or apps to provide a service. People with admin backgrounds often set up as virtual assistants to provide admin support for small businesses. Some professionals, such as counsellors, nutritionists and accountants, offer their services online via software like Skype.

The law

As with any business there are regulations that you need to be aware of. All businesses need to have some kind of liability insurance. You will also need to make sure you comply with the distance selling regulations if you are selling a product. The government provides a brief summary. There is also legislation around copyright, and data protection. You will need to comply with anti spam laws if you are creating a mailing list, The Law Donut provides a good summary of these.

For more ideas on internet based businesses check out out page of online business stories

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Running an online business

mumpreneur networking

Networking or just being friendly?

I don’t know about you but in the past, when people have mentioned networking I’ve always thought of a room full of very confident people all talking about what they do and imagined myself hiding in a corner hoping no one approached me.

I am an introvert by nature and always believed that networking wasn’t for me, until I noticed the, what I’m going to call, “soft networking” done by one of my former managers when I worked in libraries. She wasn’t a super confident person but she was super friendly and knew people from all over the library service and this meant that she always knew who could help her with a particular problem. In effect she’d developed a network without intending to, just by being friendly. After noticing this I took a minute to think about the people I knew around the organisation and realised that I had the start of the same sort of network myself. From then on I started to make more of an effort to communicate with people I came across in my day to day work, be it by email or in person. I would share information that I thought might be useful and always try to find out more about them and soon I too had a network of contacts who I could ask for help with different projects.


When I became a “Mumpreneur” I saw that there were lots of networking groups for mums, or women in general, who were running businesses but despite knowing that they would be good for my business I still couldn’t quite bring myself to attend. It was only recently when a fellow Mum2mum Market franchisee in the area commented on the fact that I always know what’s going on in the local baby and children’s industry that I realised I had again been soft networking with all the business owners that I meet running my business and had developed a new network of contacts.

Now that I’m running Mumpreneur Inspiration I email with lots of other Mums running businesses and fully intend to make use of their various services when I need them them to strengthen that network. I am doing plenty of soft marketing online too, I am a member of a number of Facebook groups for Mum and women owned businesses and try to help others out when I can. I also take part in relevant Twitter hours, these often friendly chats are a great way of expanding your network.

What I’ve learnt is that networking is really about being friendly, and that’s something I can do. I enjoy finding out about people and helping them out when I can and that’s really what networking is all about. One day, I might get up the courage to attend a face to face event but in the mean time I’ll be making good use of soft networking

Want to become a Mumprenenur? Check out our course to help you get started.

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Review: Business Start up 2016

If you’re thinking about launching your business in 2016 The Financial Times Guide to Business Start Up 2016: The Most Comprehensive Annually Updated Guide for Entrepreneurs (The FT Guides)
The Finincial Times Guide to Business Start up 2016 is a great place to start. If you’re new to business then it covers all of the basics and even includes a chapter on starting smaller businesses as opposed to full time ones.

Getting started

The book opens with a chapter on exploring your ideas which is great if you haven’t settled on one thing yet. It then encourages you to consider who your customers would be and how you might reach them.
One of the most useful features is the chapter “Are you sure?” Which helps you identify potential problems you might face in running your business.

The nuts and bolts

The book contains all the information on the legalities of setting up the business as well as other legal issues such as copyright, trade marks, insurance and franchises.
While the book does contain information on Finincial record keeping and Tax, it tries to cover such a wide area that it only touches the service and you may need to look elsewhere for more detailed information (we’ll be reviewing a great book to help you with that soon).


The book offers some great information on choosing your business name and branding. It also offers a summary of the different methods of marketing. These are useful as you can decide which methods would be right for your business before researching them further.


This book is a great starting point for planning the launch of your business and will give you a good overview of the different things you’ll need to consider. Look out for our future reviews of books that will offer you more in depth information on different areas.