Alice Reins – Creating a product to support horse riders with disabilities

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

Hi my name is Jacqui Edwards, I became a Mum to Alice in 1999 when I was 33 years old. I have been a single Mum for the last 17 years!

What’s your business called?

My business is called Alice Reins Ltd

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I design and have made horse/pony reins for disabled people and those who have difficulty holding their reins.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I first became a Mumpreneur 12 years ago when I trained to become a professional dog groomer, I set up my business in my back garden in a shed because I wanted to be able to take Alice to school and pick her up and also be at home in the holidays. I then had to have an operation which meant I could no longer dog groom for a living because it was too physical. It was then I had to think of something new.

My daughter Alice was born with one functional hand and wanted to ride a pony independently of me when she was 6 years old. To make this possible for her I designed and had made a pair of special loop reins and now she competes with the able bodied at everything!

Alice inspired me to set up Alice Reins Ltd because it dawned on me that maybe my design could help other people and so Alice Reins Ltd was born almost 2 years ago.

How did you fund your start up?

To fund my start up I trawled the internet gathering information about starting a business and ways to fund it, I eventually found MAS the manufacturing advisory service who, after an initial interview about my idea, granted me match funding, this was fantastic as I had nothing! A very dear friend loaned me a small amount too to whom I will be forever grateful.

How do you manage working around your children?

When I was a dog groomer it was easy as I was at home working in my back garden for myself and so I had complete flexibility. I still work from home now and it is even easier because Alice is that much older.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

A typical day for me would be the school run in the morning then I would come home and do the usual bits of housework. I then check my emails and make sure those are dealt with. I would then manage my social media ie Facebook, Twitter, Instagram , Pinterest and LinkedIn. I would also spend time researching to see what was going on in the equestrian world to keep up to date with it all. I would also look for new ways of marketing, speaking to our media manager and website developer etc. It is a constant learning curve which I am thoroughly enjoying. I would do the school run again and take Alice to ride which is always a pleasure.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

The main challenge in the first instance was to learn to make the right decisions about things I knew nothing about! To overcome this I spoke to as many people as I possibly could about so many different things. IP protection is a mine field but is essential to your business and products and so is important to be aware of things that could happen and the rights you have. Advertising is very expensive and so I have to think constantly how to promote my business in other ways ie social media and attending events such as Para Dressage which is a total pleasure. This may sound strange but I found it a challenge to become tougher but this is a must if you are to enter the business world of negotiation!

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

The best thing ever is being able to have spent and spend time with my daughter.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future are to expand my business, ideally I would like our own factory and create employment. Oh and I would love to move house!

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

The best advice I could give is believe in yourself and your idea and make it happen, I started with nothing and that is no exaggeration, with hard work and an inquisitive mind and the ability to talk to people you can do this!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Yes, I would like to say a huge thank you to all those who have advised me and helped me continue grow my business, I owe them a whole lot. Also to all those who are thinking about setting up their own business, it really isn’t as scary as you think, just be very nosy and ask a lot of questions! You’ll be fine.

You can find us at www.alice-reins.co.uk
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/aliceReinshorseRidingAids/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AliceReins
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/alice_reins/

Book Review: Find your extraordinary by Jessica Herrin

Despite not being a high achiever at school Jessica Herrin managed to go on to graduate from Stanford and become the founder of a very successful tech company in Silicon Valley. Once she was ready to start a family her goals changed. Her aim was to give both herself and other women a way to run a business that allowed them to prioritise family. She achieved this by launching mid range jewellery brand, Stella and Dot and brought direct selling up to date to provide other women with a business opportunity.

I was keen to get in to her story and found the introduction a bit slow but once she began telling her story I was really engaged.

The book is structured around her 6 P’s of the entrepreneurial spirit. The first P is passion, which is about realising the importance of focussing on what you want rather than what society thinks you should want.

The next P is for path, this one isn’t quite so straightforward. It becomes clear that following your path involves careful judgement to decide weather it’s time to change tactics as we have a tendency to want to change our path because things are getting hard when you actually just need to push on through. The part that really resonated for me was the importance of doing something rather than nothing. It’s tempting to keep putting off starting something as you want it to be perfect but it’s better to get started and make changes along the way than never start at all.

I’ve always been a positive thinker so the next P was a no brainer for me. I firmly believe that we all achieve more when we think positively but that does make it hard for me to judge her advice on changing your mindset, I’m not sure how easy it would be to apply it if you tend towards negative thinking.

As part of the “People” P she describes her father, I loved this part as I was inspired by his willingness to teach himself the things he didn’t know in order to move forward. I also thought his attitude to parenting was interesting, focussing on encouraging his children to do things for themselves to help them develop. She describes an exercise to help you listen better to those around you and that’s something I’m going to try as I realise I am often more focusses on what I’m going say next rather than what the other person is saying.

Perseverance is the 5th P and focusses on keeping going despite adversity, the idea that the people who succeed are simply those who keep going is a very powerful one. I also liked the idea that when we are unhappy we don’t necessarily have to change our choices, just make our current ones better.

The final P is productivity. This is the one that had the biggest impact for me. She talks about the need to make trade offs to prioritise what matters, instead of saying that you don’t have time for something, say that you don’t choose to prioritise it, this helps you to see what really matters. She also points out that it’s important to spend your time on a high value activities that align with your objectives rather than the things you enjoy or find easy.

My big takeaway from the book though is about chunking time and staying focused on one thing. She described some research that showed the human mind is a bit like a factory machine, it has to be tooled up to start work on a particular project and when you change task it has to be retooled, wasting valuable time. I have the habit of stopping what I’m doing frequently to check emails or reply to messages. In future I’m going to set aside chunks of time to work on a task without interruption. In fact I’ve already started by writing this review in one sitting without getting distracted by other tasks! Unfortunately it was only partially successful as my 6 year old kept interrupting me to ask for help with his Lego but I definitely got it done quicker than I would if I had been checking social media and emails while I did it.

Although Jessica is in the direct selling industry her advice is applicable to women in any field and I found “Find your extraordinary” a very inspiring read.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book to review but all opinions are my own

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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

www.makingmumpreneurs.comimage
www.facebook.com/makingmumpreneurs
www.twitter.com/erinthomaswong

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.

Retail

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 wholesaler.co.uk 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.

Blogging

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”.

Services

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

Running a Coaching Business – Happy Working Mums

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

My name is Emily Thorpe I am married to Andy and we have 2 boys who I would call spirited (!) called Fin age 11 and Jakey age 8
We live near Chichester on the South coast.

What’s your business called?

Happy Working Mum

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I help mums to ditch the mummy guilt, and go from stressed and overwhelmed to relaxed, happy and balanced.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

When I was pregnant with Fin, I imagined what kind of mum I would be, I was envisioning something like Mary Poppins; happy, playing games, singing songs.
My reality was a million miles away, I felt guilty for going back to work, I was SO tired, stressed and overwhelmed with all the things I thought I should be doing.
Then when I had 2 boys I found to my horror I had become a shouty mum! I decided to train as a Life Coach so I could work from home, but in fact my life coaching training gave me all the tools I needed to be the Mary Poppins mum I’d dreamed of, without leaving work. However I became so passionate about helping mums that I gave up my career as an Air Traffic Controller in 2015 to become a coach full time.

How did you fund your start up?

I was fortunate that my day job as an Air Traffic Controller (part time) enabled me to have the time and resources to start my business. Being a coach does not have a lot of overheads as it is usually done over the phone or Skype.
So really it was just my initial training, having a website created and having a coach myself.

How do you manage working around your children?

One of the key points I share with my clients is about having boundaries. We all have different commitments so there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution however it is vital that you compartmentalise your time and attention to allow you to be fully present, whether you are working or playing with the kids, There are lots of practical ways to fit both work and quality time into your life. You definitely can have both.

 

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

I always do the school run and get home by 8:45 and I tend to tidy up or put a load of washing on before 9. I like to spend the first hour of my day on self care, that could be going for a walk or a bike ride, meditating, listening to audio books, generally feeding my body and soul in some way. The rest of my day will depend on what coaching commitments I have, but I usually fit in a combination of the following;
some marketing (Facebook posts/ blog posts)
some connecting (emails/calls)
some creativity (planning workshops/projects or writing articles)
some big planning (looking at my goals/schedules)
and finally accounts

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

Doubting that I can do it or will be successful. This is all about taking your hand off the back door and taking that leap of faith. For a while when I started I had the thought in the back of my mind that if it didn’t work out I could just continue with my ATC career. But there comes a point when you have to go full in on your vision and your dream and when you get to that point your commitment levels and determination go through the roof.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

One of the main reasons for being a Mumpreneur for me was the flexibility. I remember having to go to work when Fin was poorly, Andy was on a day off thankfully, but all Fin wanted was cuddles from his mummy and it broke my heart to have to leave him. They’re older now and not so clingy, even when they’re poorly but I definitely have more options to work the hours I choose.

What are your plans for the future?

I would love to enable mums all over the country (even the world) to ditch the ‘mummy guilt’ and beating themselves up for not matching up to this image of a ‘perfect’ mum. We’re all different and all perfect right now and we can have so much more fun, love and connection when we’re free of the burden or guilt and criticism.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Firstly find someone who is doing what you aspire to do and ask if you can buy them a coffee or lunch in exchange for asking them about their business. Find out how they started, what works, what doesn’t, their business best practices. This will save you so much time and effort, there is no point reinventing the wheel. Secondly, get a coach. If you’re not where you want to be, chances are you have some blocks or limiting beliefs that are keeping you stuck, A coach will cheer you on and keep you accountable, but they should also challenge you and kick butt when necessary!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Keep going. You are unique and you have a unique gift to bring to the world. No-one else can do what you do, the way you do it. So don’t give up, just keep going :0)

www.happyworkingmum.com
www.emilythorpe.com
www.facebook.com/happyworkingmum
Twitter: happyworkmum
Linkedin: EmilyThorpe

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Business ideas for mums wondering which business is for them

Smallprint – Running a Silver Keepsake Jewellery Business

Tell us a bit about your family?

Happily married with two fab teenagers. Flinn is 16 and Brogan is 13yrs. We have a very cute black lab called Rio

What’s your business called?

Smallprint

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Silver Keepsake Jewellery

When did you start it and what inspired you?

I started in September 2015, after leaving the civil service.

How did you fund your start up?

Fortunately I was able to use my exit package money to buy this franchise.

 

How do you manage working around your children?

As my children are older I can choose when I work, this does have its positives and negatives as feel unless I make a conscious effort to turn off, I find myself working all hours!

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

My day varies really, but as this is very early days I am concentrating on marketing as much as I can, do baby fairs, markets, playgroups nurseries etc I also do home visits. The rest of the time is taken up with admin, social media etc

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

I think my biggest challenge is coping with the financial instability, never really knowing from one week to the next what my income will be. I haven’t built up any reserves yet so cash flow is very low. Learning to make jewellery and use all the equipment (I handmake everything)was also a challenge after only 3 days training.

What’s the best thing about being self employed?

After being employed for 25+ years it is just great to be my own boss. Love making my jewellery, meeting new people and get a real buzz from making new leads.

What are your plans for the future?

To build a well establish business within my territory. To become the “go to” person for keepsake jewellery within Bath and Wiltshire.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out?

Make sure you do your figures, and that you have contingencies if things don’t work out straight away. Pick the right time of year to start, I started in September which gave me a 3 month lead in to Christmas time ( my busiest time of the year).

https://m.facebook.com/Smallprint-Bath-Keynsham-South-Somerset-and-South-Wilts-188980354452703/

http://smallprint.com/kerriethompson

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Get Better Coaching – Coaching Others to Help them Succeed in Business

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

I’m Wendy Ager, mum of two girls one born March 2008 and the other October 2011.

What’s your business called?

Get Better Coaching

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Through business coaching and mentoring, I help people grow their business.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

In 2007 I left the corporate world and started a diploma in Personal Performance Coaching with the Coaching Academy having met a coach working on a management development programme. I decided I had to learn that skill and then got made redundant whilst on maternity leave, which was perfect as I always wanted to run my own business and this gave me the opportunity.

How did you fund your start up?

I used the little bit of redundancy money I got to pay for the Diploma and get me started but my start-up costs were minimal. It all boiled down to my time and effort to set it all up. I learnt how to create my own website on iWeb, about copy, design and marketing through networking, talks, workshops and reading blogs and articles and watching videos online.

How do you manage working around your children?

I still work part-time during term time as my youngest is in nursery part-time and eldest at school. I normally meet my clients for an initial session then continue working with them by phone or Skype so there are no wasted minutes or money on travel for either party. When I started, I had one child and I worked on my business and with clients by Skype or phone when she at nursery and in the evening, but with two and the eldest’s later bed-time that’s no longer possible. Now I tend to only work with clients day-time when my kids are at school and nursery. I often work in the evenings on marketing my business and developing it online. It feels more like a hobby than work though, as I love what I do and have created with my business.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

No day is the same for me. My business is and will be evolving as time goes on. I work a lot on me and my business still at the moment, as I’m going to create a new website, make more online and automated ways to promote my business, like sharing how to use social media marketing tools. I have clients booked in for business growth sessions during the day, the odd event, like a workshop, talk or my networking events each month. I plan my time carefully at the beginning of each week and month to achieve my goals.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

When I first started out I launched as a Career Coach as I had a background in HR and Recruitment but everyone wanted to do what I’d done and leave the corporate world and set up in business for themselves. As a newbie myself, this was a challenge! I also set up a workshop quite early on that I thought I would use as a marketing tool to get clients, however, nobody booked them because I didn’t know how to market them.

This is why I threw myself in and learn’t so much about business and marketing, and that’s what I tend to help business owners now, improving and increasing their marketing so they can grow their businesses.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

Getting to choose my hours, working around and spending time with my kids.

What are your plans for the future?

To continue to work flexibly around my family, obviously to grow my business and help more people get what they want from being self-employed.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Use all the free and available tools, workshops, resources you can find in your area and online. Meet people and talk lots about your plans, aspirations and definitely get a mentor or coach if you can either using free resources or pay for one yourself. You cannot beat someone to work on your business 121 with. I have my own coach who helps me keep going!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

If you have a viable business, are good at what you do or have a product that will sell, don’t give up. But, don’t spend all your time faffing around complaining about not having the money or time to grow your business. Either find the money, or the time and work on activities that will work and help you grow your business!

http://www.GetBetterCoaching.co.uk

http://www.Facebook.com/GetBetterCoaching

http://www.Twitter.com/WendyAnnAger

The Hair Helper – Creating a Product

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

I’m Vanessa, married to my husband for just gone nine years. We have two children. My daughter is our eldest and was born in January 2012 with a head full of long dark hair which she never lost. My son followed in October 2013, he wasn’t quite as lucky in the hair department.

What’s your business called?

The Hair Helper

Can you describe it in one sentence?

The Hair Helper is a hair accessory organiser for little girls, storing all clips, bands, bobbles, and even the hair brush.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

We started the design process for our product at the beginning of 2015, the inspiration behind our product was my daughter with all her hair and copious amounts of hair accessories with no-where to put them.

How did you fund your start up?

We have used savings, and completed each stage as we’ve had the funds.

How do you manage working around your children?

This is something that I’m still learning to juggle. For the most part I work while they nap or have quiet time in the afternoon. If need be, I will carry on working in the evening. I don’t tend to work weekends, as we have actively chosen to guard that time for family and rest.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

A typical day will start with the nursery run for my eldest. That will then either lead to an activity with my little boy or catching up on housework. Just before lunch we collect my eldest from nursery, then it’s home for lunch and their down time. I will then quickly have some lunch, and set to work whether it’s answering or sending emails, packing orders, writing for our blog, preparing social media posts, filing etc. The afternoons will be quite relaxed and are very varied depending on what needs to be done – sometimes it’s a walk to the post office to send off orders, other times it can be a walk to the library or playground.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

The biggest challenges have most probably been financial – it’s not cheap to develop a product. We’ve shopped around to find the best deals possible. And other times, we’ve simply had to wait on doing things until we’ve had the means to.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

I love the flexibility of it, getting to decide my own schedule and plan business around my family.

What are your plans for the future?

We plan to make our product available to retailers. If the first Hair Helper does well, we would love to look into the possibility of developing more products.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

If you believe in your idea, and you have researched, weighed up and considered advice along the way…go for it!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

We will be attending the Pulse London tradeshow in May, and look forward to meeting potential retailers for our product.

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https://www.facebook.com/The-Hair-Helper-1641336276081459/
Thehairhelper.co.uk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thehairhelper/
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/thehairhelper/

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The Balance Collective – A Business Helping People to Achieve Balance

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

My name is Clara Wilcox and I am married to the lovely Scott; we have been together since I was 18 and have two lovely girls, Grace who is 10 and Lily who is nearly four.
What’s your business called?

The Balance Collective

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Coaching and consultancy to support parents returning to work and to empower their career and life choices.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

After I returned to work with my second in 2013, I found it surprisingly hard to settle back; it was a job I loved, a great team and a supportive manager, but that year away changed me. I was coached through the transition and found it so inspiring and wanted to offer this to others. When speaking to other parents, they couldn’t find support that would take into consideration being a parent and all that entails; often employers would tick HR boxes but not identify the mind-set and practical issues that challenge parents. I offer coaching in four main areas: Return to work, Career, Confidence and Balance and started in early 2015.

I was lucky with both of my girls I was able to go back to my management job on a part-time basis without it impacting any of the opportunities available to me or my career. However, this wasn’t open to everyone. Either parents have to take lower paid roles to accommodate the part-time or flexible hours, or they were in roles that couldn’t support their family needs. This is why I offer the flexible jobs board.

Finally, and this is very important to me, I was working at the time in a non-profit, community focused role and wanted to continue this rewarding culture. This is why I have decided to work towards creating grants to help mums upskill or retrain so they have more career opportunities.

I worked on the business at the same time as working as a Project Manager in a local University; when the opportunity for redundancy came up in mid-2015 I took the leap and have been working solely on the business since November 2015.

How did you fund your start up?

The initial money came from the Social Enterprise funder UnLtd. As the aim for the business is to create the grants from some of the profits in the business. This fund enabled be to set up the site, get equipment and some marketing. The rest in the early days was my own savings.

How do you manage working around your children?

My eldest is in school and my youngest goes to nursery part time and I am very lucky that my Mum will have my youngest on the days she isn’t at nursery. It means I can do drop off and pickups and have a couple of longer days when it is Grandparents and Granddaughter time. I only work four days a week during term time and during the school holidays shift my days; for example I worked two days with Grandparents help over Easter then did a few hours in the evening.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

Typical day includes a couple of hours one to one coaching, usually over the phone or skype, writing my blogs, a bit of admin, social media (posting and chatting in groups) and creative time. I usually work using an Important/Urgent quadrant so I don’t become a busy fool and set time limits so that I am not trying to achieve too much in not enough hours!
What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

I am in my first six months of being my own boss, so the challenges I am facing at the moment are my own making. Fear of failure and rejection! As a coach, I always review my goals and how I am standing in my own way. I have a coach that I work on through this and try to push myself out of my comfort zone.
On a practical perspective, I have had to learn so much about my website and social media. I have lots of ideas but don’t know how to do them technically (in my previous role I have a Communications guru that would!) and not a lot of money to get someone else. Lots of learning which I love but I have to not be so impatient!

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

Doing something I love on my own terms and being in control of my future. My stress levels have gone down too which my family and friends have noticed!

What are your plans for the future?

To keep building the brand and expand my online and group coaching offering; there is only one of me and I want to help as many people as possible. All of this leads to my social enterprise aims to help thousands of women over my lifetime through my grant idea!
What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Know what you your minimum viable income; you won’t match your employed salary in a while and you will probably need to save up some capital to start you off.
Transitioning from employee to business owner can happen gradually, you may even do both for a while! It will shift too over time so you may need to pick up work outside of your core scope to pay the bills
Ask for help!
Don’t wait for the perfect conditions.

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www.thebalancecollective.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/Flexibleworkingforall/
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/clarawilcox
https://twitter.com/clarawilcox

Running a Sweet Business – The Candy Cart Company

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
My Name is Jennifer I’am 26 Years old I’am Married and I Have 4 Amazing Children , I Became a mum at the age of 18 When i was studding at Collage to become a Gold Smith Jeweller , My Children are Taylor age 8 , Lily age 4 , Rose age 3 and Liam age 2 .

What’s your business called?
The Candy Cart Company

Can you describe it in one sentence?
My Business is Fun Food Catering and Sweet treats for Events .

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?
As i had my children so young i had to leave collage and stay at home , I also had to leave my part time job too , as funding for childcare costs was to expensive , so one day i was sitting having a Coffee and said to my husband I’am going to start my own business doing Sweet Cones so i done a bit of Research and started off small and now I do all types of Event’s i.e wedding’s to Corporate events and travle all over the uk with Fun Food Hire and Sweet treats.

How did you fund your start up?
I had no Money and had to Borrow Money From a Family Member but it was only a small amount of £40 and thats were it all began I saved all the money that i brung back in and put it back in the business.

How do you manage working around your children?
It’s Hard to beging with but you get in a routine and my Husband is a great support and help .

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
My typical day normally starts around 6.30am getting the kids ready doing the car runs , getting them fed and washed , then coming back to my office and going through emails and enquires , Getting orders made and sent out, metting with client’s and organizing Event’s I have on at The Weekend . Each day is diffrent and never the same but again you find you get in a routine and you learn to have time for you, your family and business.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
I have not Faced any challanges yet with the business but i’am sure there are still to come and when the do i will be able to overcome and deal with them .

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?
The Best Thing about being a Mumprenur is working for myself being my own boss and having time with my Children and watching them grow up I Love what I Do and would not change it for the world.

What are your plans for the future?
Plan’s for the future are keept secret at the moment but there’s BIG thing’s Coming .

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
My Advice to Anyone who is a mum and want’s to start there business is Just go for it what have you to lose also Be open to learn all that you can. Build relationships. Practice in shared realities and Be willing to accept challanges

Twitter @candycartcompan
Website http://www.candycartcompany.com