Mum running a business with a baby

25 Home Business Ideas for Mums

Based on the stories that have been shared on Mumpreneur Inspiration we’ve compiled a list of business ideas for Mums. These have been inspired by the stories shared on Mumpreneurs Inspiration somyou know they can really work for Mums.

 

The 25 HomE Business ideas for Mums

Selling things on the Internet – If you’ve got some space for storage then selling on the Internet could be an option for you. The promotion can be done in your own time and little ones usually quite enjoy a trip to the post office. Even if you don’t want to develop your own website their are plenty of third party sites you can sell through such as eBay and Etsy.

Best for: Mums with storage space who need complete flexibility
Worst for: Mums without customer service experience

Stories from Mums who are running businesses selling online

Virtual assistant – If you have great administration skills and are good with technology you could offer your skills as a virtual assistant, helping other business owners with their day to day tasks. You can generally work in your own time as long as things are done by the deadline.

Best for: Mums who are organised and good at working to a deadline
Worst from: Mums who find admin tasks dull and repetitive

Stories from Mums who are virtual assistants

Creating and selling information products – If you are knowledgable about something you could consider creating information products such as online courses, ebooks or even a blog to share that knowledge. Once the products are created you can focus your time on marketing so this can be a great home based business for Mums.

Best for: Mums who are knowledgeable about a particular topic
Worst for: Mums who don’t have the best IT skills

Stories from Mums who are selling information products

Remote coaching – If you’re very experienced in something you could consider remote coaching, this lends itself well to coaching in areas such as business, marketing and finances.

Best for: Mums who enjoy helping others
Worst for: Mums who don’t enjoy working on a one to one basis

Stories from Mums who are remote coaches

Face to face coaching – Some types of coaching work better in the real world but can still be scheduled round family life. You may already have skills that you can coach such as fitness, parenting or counselling or you could train in one of these areas. You could either run this as a home based business if you have a home office or hire space at a local business centre for the actual consulting.

Best for: Mums who have access to some space to carry out the coaching
Worst for: Mums who have small children with them full time

Stories from Mums who are face to face coaches

Antenatal classes – Some woman are inspired to join this industry through a good birth experience and some by a bad experience. Whichever is true for you, if you’re passionate about woman’s experience of birth this could suit you but you will need some childcare.

Best for: Mums with a passion for supporting new Mums
Worst for: Mums who don’t have great empathy

Stories from Mums who run classes

Childminder – Probably the only job where you can have your children with you all the time while you do it. Everyone in your household will need to have a background check and you’ll need to do some basic training. The government is keen to increase the availability of childcare so there is lots of support available.

Best for: Mums with a decent sized home and don’t mind some red tape
Worst for: Mums who don’t enjoy looking after children

Stories from Mums working in childcare

Baking – Becoming a cake maker or decorator is something that appeals to lots of women. If you’ve got the skills to create something really beautiful then you can make some money.  You’ll have to be very well organised to fit it around small children. You’ll also need to keep your kitchen very clean to meet the health and safety requirements.

Best for: Mums who have a good kitchen space and like to keep it clean
Worst for: Mums who don’t have time to keep on top of the cleaning

Stories from Mums running food based businesses

Crafts – If you enjoy crafts then you could make them to sell. You could either do this online, through your own website or a third party site, or via local craft markets.

Best for: Mums who enjoy working with their hands to create something
Worst for: Mums who won’t  put as much time in to selling as creating

Stories from Mums running craft based businesses

Bespoke items – One of the things that small businesses can do better than larger ones is create personalised items, this might jewellery, pieces of art, castings or clothing.

Best for: Mums who have sometime alone to work on items.
Worst for: Mums who want a business they can scale.

Stories from Mums who run Bespoke item based businesses.

Graphic/website design – If you have design skills these can allow you to work around your family as you can design for other people in your own time while little ones are asleep or at school. It’s a busy marketplace but if you can develop a good reputation in your niche then you can be successful.

Best for: Mums who either have or are willing to learn design skills
Worst for: Mums who don’t like their creativity to be directed by someone else

Stories from Mums who run Design based businesses

Book keeping – Accountancy and book keeping can work well around a children but you’ll need to already have the skills and qualifications as it’s difficult to get qualified without a period of working for someone else.

Best for: Mums who enjoy attention to detail
Worst for: Mums who don’t already have qualifications in the area

Stories from Mums who run book keeping/accountancy based businesses

Baby and toddler classes – Massage, music, gymnastics, dance, babies and toddlers can do it all these days! These can combine well with having children, some people take their children along to the classes but it is easier if you have enough childcare to cover class times, then admin, lesson planning and marketing can be fitted in elsewhere.

Best for: Mums who are comfortable standing up in front of the group
Worst for: Mums who don’t enjoy small children

Stories from Mums who run baby & toddler classes

After school classes – If you prefer older children and have a skill you could teach them then you could run after school classes, karate, music, swimming and dance are all popular things for children to take part in after school.

Best for: Mums with a skill to teach
Worst for: Mums with no childcare

Stories from Mums who run after school classes

Fitness classes – This could be standard adult classes, a buggy fit style of class or a class for Mums and babies to do together. If you’re interested in fitness you could train as an instructor even if you don’t already have the skills.

Best for: Mums with a passion for fitness
Worst for: Mums who,wouldn’t be comfortable with teaching

Stories from Mums who run fitness classes

Nanny – There is much less regulation for Nannies than for childminders and full time Nannies are often employees of the parents whose children they look after however some Nannies work on a self employed basis but in their clients Homes.

Best for: Mums who would enjoy a long term relationship with their clients
Worst for: Mums who don’t want to work in someone else’s home

Stories from Mums who work in childcare

Beauty therapist/hairdresser – These jobs can be done from home or on a mobile basis, while you couldn’t really have your children with you it’s possible to book appointments for times that you have childcare.

Best for: Mums who have some help with childcare, even just at the weekends or in the evenings
Worst for: Mums who don’t have a qualification in the area or the willingness to get one

Stories of Mums who run hair/beauty businesses

Selling by subscription – Subscription boxes where people sign up to receive something each month, great because there is automatically repeat business and can be promoted online and via social media in your own time.

Best for: Mums with a great product idea
Worst for: Mums who get easily bored

Stories of Mums who sell by subscription

Events – An event based business can work well around children as the events themselves can be scheduled when childcare is available and the promotion can be fitted in to evenings and nap times.

Best for: Mums who are organised
Worst for: Mums who don’t enjoy marketing

Stories from Mums who run events based businesses

Pet Sitting – If you love animals then pet sitting could be a great home based business for you. You look after other people’s pets in your own home, usually for a few weeks while they are on holiday but sometimes for longer.

Best for: Mums who like animals
Worst for: Mums who like things clean and tidy

Running an animal themed website 

Making and Selling Jams and Chutney – While you’ll need to have your kitchen approved by the local council and follow strict hygiene rule, if you have a talent for cooking you can turn it into a business.

Best for: Mums who love being in the kitchen
Worst for: Mums who don’t like cleaning

Stories from Mums who work with food


Indexer
– If you have good attention to detail and enjoy being organised then you could consider training as an indexed.

Best for: Organised mums
Worst for: Mums who don’t like detail

Stories from Organised Mums

Seamstress – If you’re handy with a needle and thread you can earn an income from it by taking in mending in alteration work. If you’re creative you could also make your own items to sell.

Best for: Mums who enjoy sewing
Worst for: Mums who don’t like fiddly stuff

Stories from Mums who make a living through textiles

Social Media Manager – If you love social media there are companies who will pay you to run their accounts for them, you’ll need a good knowledge of the platforms and be able to follow their style guidelines.

Best for: Mums who enjoy being online
Worst for: Mums who find social media addictive

Stories from mums who run online businesses

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10 business ideas for mums

 

Distracted mum working from home

Distractions when you’re a Mum Working from Home

Being a Mum working from home is great, no commute, no work wardrobe, no office politics and you’re there if the children come home sick and to attend all the school events. The only trouble with being a Mum working from home are the distractions. There are so many things that can distract you when you’re at home, from unexpected visitors to unfinished housework, it’s a wonder we get anything done. We had a chat with some bloggers who work from home and here are ten things that can distract us when we’re supposed to be working.

Social media

Beth from Twinderelmo  sums this one up. “Facebook stalking. I can quite happily tell you where my school best friends cousins daughter went on holiday last summer and where my neighbours dog goes to get him nails trimmed…”

Babies and Small children

If your trying to work with your children at home then they bring their own host of distractions, as pointed out by Natasha from Mummy and Moose, the sound “Mum mum mum mum mum mum” is pretty much constant.

For Alex from Lamb and Bear, nap refuseniks are the problem “Seriously, if he naps it’s either on me or on the sofa for half an hour. In that time I have to eat, drink, shower, pee, work, get dressed, oh and make sure my eldest is fed, washed, dressed and happy!”

The TV

Tracey from Kids Cruises blames Holly and Phil for distracting her from working but it’s not just daytime TV that’s the problem. For Amy, from Amy and Tots it’s Paw Patrol “I can never turn those dogs off! Its like the children know!” For me, it’s a case of take your pick of TV distractions. The latest show on Netflix, a new box set on demand or the stack of Masterchef on the planner. It all seems far more appealing than working somedays.

Housework

While this is never a problem for me (my husband wishes it was) housework can be a distraction for some. “Like the dryer finishing. I have to empty it, fold, put away or even iron as I hate a big pile. Ends up taking forever” Emily from Babies and Beauty

Other people working from home

Occasionally me husband works from home. I’m thankful it is only occasionally. The first problem is the laptop. While I usually work on my iPad you can guarantee that the day he works from home and needs it, I will too. The other problem is the noise. He needs to make phone calls for work plus he dictates for the secretaries to type up and the noise is sooo distracting.

Interruptions

Research has found that it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to a task following an interruption. So when a mum working from Home opens the door to take a parcel for a neighbour or answers the phone to someone selling double glazing, they don’t just lose the minute that it takes to do the job, but also the 25 minutes it takes to refocus.

Books

As a former librarian I love to read. Unfortunately books can distract me in two ways. If I’m reading a really good novel then the temptation to pick it up during the day when I’m supposed to be working is high. The other problem is that whenever I don’t know something my immediate response it to find a book about it. This inevitably leads to a good hour spent on Amazon reading reviews to choose THE best book, followed by more hours reading the book.

Food

Food is one of my favourite distractions. Bek from Dillydrops says “I seem to have to get cups of tea regularly and snacks.” and I’m just the same. The problem with being a Mum working from home is that when the children are out it’s my chance to eat all the things I don’t want to share with them!

Volunteering (and being volunteered)

One of the great things about being a mum working from home is that you can help out with school events. The trouble is that once people realise you have that flexibility you’re expected to help with everything. It’s difficult to make it clear to people that sometimes, work has to take priority.

Procrastination

And finally, the big one. “Anything and everything – for some reason anything will seem more urgent than work does at the time. Yesterday I felt the need to organise my sons 9-12 month clothes by colour. He’s 7 weeks old I have a hell of a lot of work to do. This is why I can’t work from home.” Kirsty from Life with boys

Want to read more about working from home? Check out what I wish people knew about being a Mum with a business.

Distractions when you’re a work at home mum

Home Business Ideas for Mums

With childcare costs as high as they are working in the home is an appealing option for many mums. Unfortunately there are a lot of unscrupulous people promising unrealistically high earnings for home working jobs. To help you find an opportunity that really can earn you money from home we’ve put together 5 home business ideas for mums. These aren’t get rich quick ideas and all will take time to establish but, with hard work, can create an income.

E-commerce

If there’s a product you’re passionate about then selling online could be for you. If you’re fairly good with a computer then there are plenty of packages that will help you to build an e-commerce site. You couldn’t also consider selling through another platform. eBay is a popular choice as is Amazon. If you’re selling something you’ve created yourself then Etsy can work well. Just bear in mind that all of these sites will charge you a fee for using them, usually a percentage of sales. If you plan to hold stock you’ll need some storage space, either at home or through a company. Alternatively you could look at drop shipping, where you take the orders and pass them on to another company to ship. Read about Mums who run e-commerce businesses.

Bespoke items

Bespoke items are one of the few things that small businesses can often do better than large ones. There are hundreds of items that can be personalised for buyers for example clothing, food items, gifts, stationery or furniture. Just be prepared to spend as much time Marketing the business as you do on the creative process. Check out our stories from mums who’s create bespoke items.

Blogging

Of all our home business ideas for mums this one will probably take the longest to build in to a profitable business. However if you enjoy writing it may be one of the most fulfilling. Bloggers make there money from advertising on their blogs. In some cases they will be given a product as payment for reviewing it, in others they will be paid either to write a post about something or to publish a post written by someone else. They also sometimes sell display advertising on the blog and run affiliate programs like Google Adsense. Read blogger KatyKicker’s story for inspiration or check out this fab course on how to get started as a blogger.

Information products

Information products describes a range of products, usually online, that provide the purchaser with information they need. The products might be ebooks, courses or access to a library of resources via a subscription payment. The hard work is in creating the products, once that’s done, the focus is on marketing them. This way you can continue to make money from them long after the initial hard work is finished.  Have a look at our information product stories to find out more.

Virtual assistant

If you have excellent admin skills then you could put them to use to creat an income. Many small business owners prefer to focus on the core elements of their business and outsource the admin to someone else. This creates opportunities for people whose forte is admin. You’ll need a decent laptop and good broadband speed to make it work. Networking skills to help you find your clients. To the stories from Mums who have become VAs have a look at our business to business stories.

Other home business ideas for mums

We’re tried to stick here to home business ideas for mums that are fairly accessible to everyone but if you have a particular skill set you may well be able to make use of it at home. You may be knowledgable about something that you could teach. You could either do it by inviting clients to your home or via the internet. If you’re a coach or counsellor you could offer your services via Skype. Perhaps you could do something you’ve done before but on a freelance basis. Whatever home business idea you choose to go for, make sure that you meet the legal requirements by getting insured and informing the council, landlord or mortgage company if necessary.

Want to start a business but not sure which one is right for you? Check out our course “Business for Mums: Finding the Right Idea for You

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Home business ideas for mums

Typing services

Offering Admin Services – WB Typing Services

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

My name is Wendy Bailey and I’m a single mum to two children, aged 6 and 8.

What’s your business called?

My business is called WB Typing Services and I run it from home.

Can you describe it in one sentence?

It’s an audio and copy typing service for those businesses and individuals who require a regular typing service but without the need for employee-associated costs.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I became a Mumpreneur in 2009 when I had my daughter. I was passionate about being a stay-at-home mum and finding something that enabled me to do that. I thought about typing as I was proud of my GCSE grade A* and I also had my Pitmans and RSA qualifications. Friends and family have always asked me to type up their documents as I was very speedy – I think my Grade 7 piano helped that!

How did you fund your start up?

It was very simple and there weren’t really any start-up costs. I chose to work from home and my only initial outlay was about £50 for a foot pedal for the audio part of the typing.

How do you manage working around your children?

I work during school hours and then of an evening once they’ve gone to bed and also at a weekend when they are with their Dad. It seems to work just fine. I’m prepared to sacrifice some of my free time rather than the time with the children so it suits me perfectly.

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

I tend to spend the evenings prior to a working day organising what needs to be done for that next day so I’m ready to start as soon as I’ve dropped the children off at school. The jobs vary in deadlines – some clients want things back in 24 hours, for others their documents are due in a week’s time, so I always make sure I’m organised so as I can fit in those urgent jobs for a client.

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

Having lots of work on and only one pair of hands! But I’ve found a few experienced typists (other mummies) who can assist me in busier times.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

Taking the children to school every day and picking them up. Never missing a class assembly. Being able to taxi them around to clubs and after-school activities. Knowing I can be at home with them if they’re poorly. Never having to ask anyone for time off!

What are your plans for the future?

To expand the business, to increase the number of clients I have and to provide more work for other mums looking to top up their family income.

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

If you’re passionate about it, go for it! I believe having a positive mindset and a can-do attitude gets you far. There are days being a Mumpreneur can feel lonely and overwhelming, but remember why you are doing it and stay consistent.

www.facebook.com/wbtyping

Entrepreneurial Girl at desk

Five Reasons Why Working From Home with a Toddler is “Challenging”

Last week I unexpectedly had my preschooler at home with me. It was a work day for me so I had things I needed to get done. We muddled along pretty well, with her entertaining herself for short stretches while I got on with things. The experience made me think about how different it was to when I was trying to work around a toddler.

Toddlers are very distracting

“Mummy, look at this insect I’ve found”, “Mummy, can I have a drink?” “Mummy, I can’t reach my trains” “Mummy, look at this bogey I’ve just picked”. Between showing you everything they’ve done (including the things you’d really rather not see) and their physical limitations, it seems impossible to work undisturbed for more than about 3 minutes at a time.

Everything seems to be sticky

Even though I was always strict about where food was eaten, when I was working around my toddler everything seemed to be coated in some kind of food stuff. If I could identify the food stuff, and not have to worry about it being something even less pleasant, that was a good day.

The emergency siren of “I need a wee!”

Potty training is stressful at the best of times. You have to be ever alert for signs that they need the toilet and when you see those signs it’s Go, Go, Go, weather you’re enjoying a nice cup of tea or on the phone to a potential client.

They want to “help”

As part of running baby and children’s Nearly New Sales I have to make up the 100 goodie bags that I give out at the sale. This involves creating 100 piles of leaflets to go in each bag. I foolishly thought this was something that my toddler could help with. NEVER. AGAIN. It was chaos. Think of those seems in films where someone comes in to a lot of cash and starts throwing it around. It was like that only with a sticky toddler and leaflets.

The GUILT

I try to get my work done when the children aren’t around (for both my sanity and theirs) but with the best will in the world, some of it has to be done when they are home. This can lead to lots of guilt when you need to make a phone call and they want to show you the tower they’ve just built. The thing to focus on is that when you work from home, they’ll have to wait 10 minutes to show you the tower. If you were out at work, they’d have to wait all day.

While having slightly older children has its challenges, I don’t miss trying to work around a toddler! If you’ve got a bit of time to spend with your toddler then why not check out these 28 great toddler activities.

Enjoyed this post? Read about other distractions when you’re working from home.

5 reasons working from home with a toddler is challenging

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

Invaluable

Virtual Assistant Story: Invaluable Ltd

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

My name is Carla (Fallows), I’m married to Marcus and I became Mum to Thomas & Benjamin in September 2013 and 2 Boxer dogs, Cassie & Mollie, complete our crazy Noah’s Ark family (we seem to have 2 of everything!)

What’s your business called?

Invaluable Ltd

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Virtual Assistant service providing admin and bookkeeping support to entrepreneurs and small businesses

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

January 2016 – I went back to work when the boys were 9 months old but it just didn’t fit in with family life anymore, I needed flexibility and the ability to look after my children if they were poorly without feeling guilty about my job

How did you fund your start up?

I didn’t! I had a laptop and a mobile phone and I just started from there

How do you manage working around your children?

I can only work when they are either in nursery or in bed, it is extremely difficult to do anything while they’re around – just can’t concentrate. Having said that I have been on client calls whilst rescuing one of the boys from a fight in their house in the garden! I am really lucky with the clients that I have – they are all so supportive around the fact that I have a family – they are all either there or have been there, really makes me appreciate that they’re all such lovely people, not sure what I’ve done to deserve them

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

I don’t really have a “typical” day – I guess they’re typical in the fact that I sit at my desk and work for the few hours I have available, but what I do is never the same – I could be helping clients with their social media, doing their bookkeeping, managing their diary, designing them an e-shot on MailChimp, formatting documents, producing reports and spreadsheets, designing a presentation, sending out a “physical” mailshot, research etc etc etc. I manage my time through various apps and websites like Trello, Buffer – currently deciding between Clockodo and Adminja for logging time (instead of a spreadsheet), Evernote as well as always being on the lookout for new time saving apps

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

Initially it was finding clients – now that side of things is sorted (thanks to LinkedIn) my challenge now is time because the boys aren’t in nursery for very long, living for the new 30 hours coming in in September

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

The whole reason that I did it in the beginning – the flexibility and being around for my family

What are your plans for the future?

I’m hoping to bring on quite a few more clients and eventually start sub-contracting to other Virtual Assistant’s too

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

Make sure it’s something that you enjoy doing and just keep going – don’t listen to the naysayers and as corny as it sounds follow your heart, if it feels right it is

http://www.invaluableva.com/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlafallows/
https://twitter.com/InvaluableCarla
https://www.facebook.com/InvaluableCarla/

Invaluable VA

Mums Business Story: Pink Diamonds Office Support

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

My name is Suzanne Evans, I am married to Gareth and I am a mummy to two sons. Celfyn (2 years) and Ellis (14 weeks). Celfyn was born in January 2015 and Ellis in October 2016.

What’s your business called?

My business is called Pink Diamonds Office Support

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I am a Virtual PA who provides admin and bookkeeping support to local small business owners and Consultants.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I actually started the business before my sons were born. My husband and I started up our IT Company (Cloud46 Limited) in February 2012. My husband worked full time in the business from the beginning but I worked as a full time, permanent employee in a school and did the admin for our business in the evenings. A few months after starting our business 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.

How did you fund your start up?

Luckily there were very few start-up costs as we already had the computers and office equipment. As my husband works in IT he was able to create my website and set up my email account, so I was spoilt really! The main costs to begin with was for business cards and marketing materials.

How do you manage working around your children?

It took a good few months to build up a client base and once established, I was working full time on the business, which was great. Once I had my eldest son I realised that the workload wouldn’t be sustainable as I would need to take some maternity leave, so I took on an Associate who was able to cover my workload whilst I took a few months off.

Whilst on maternity leave I worked a keep in touch day per month and returned once my son was 9 months old. My eldest son now goes to nursery one day per week so a Monday is my dedicated office day. It took time to establish new ways of working with a child but I was able to fit the rest of my workload in around nap times and in the evenings, once he was in bed and I could work undisturbed.

I am currently on maternity leave with my second child but once he is 6 months old he will go into nursery on a Monday as well. I will then do as much as I can in the evenings once both boys are in bed.

Being a mum of two and running two businesses is definitely a challenge but I am able to work flexibly and use technology to help make life easier. All of our work files are securely stored in the ‘cloud’ so can be accessed from anywhere, at any time. My smartphone also allows me to get a lot done on the go, from accessing and responding to emails to checking and updating social media. My smartphone also enables me to be responsive to any emails that come in, even when I am out and about with the boys.

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

On an office day I get the little ones off to nursery and am at my desk for 8:30am. I check my emails and then plan my workload for the day. I usually get the Invoicing done first for our IT Company and I then move onto my client tasks that need to be completed. I am a great lover of ‘To Do’ lists and always prioritise tasks by their urgency. I tend to work until 4:30pm and then go to collect the boys from nursery. Once they are in bed for the evening I will then get back on the computer and carry on with my work. I tend to work between 7pm – 9pm and then wind down for the evening.

On a non-office day, I regularly check my emails, respond to them as and when I can and once the boys are in bed, I carry out any urgent tasks that need completing. I am always contactable to my clients 5 days a week during office hours.

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

One of the main challenges I face is lack of time but then I imagine most business owners would say that anyway! To manage this, I always try to work as smartly as I can and being organised is a great help. I couldn’t live without my smartphone – I have a variety of apps which I can access on the go, for example: Xero for checking and working on our accounts, LinkedIn for connecting with potential new clients and HSBC Banking for paying invoices. It is amazing how much you can get done without being at your computer.

When the children are poorly can also be a challenge – luckily I have a very supportive family who are able to help out if I have an urgent deadline to meet.

Having a baby to care for again is definitely a challenge but I am still able to get things done – a stretchy wrap is a business lifesaver at the moment. I am typing this with my 14 week old fast asleep on my chest!

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

I love the flexibility that it brings and feel so fortunate that I can combine running our businesses with raising my two boys. If they are poorly I can usually work flexibly and make up the hours on another day. When my first son was born I made a conscious decision to scale down my workload during the early years of his life, so I could enjoy being a mum and seeing him develop. I am fortunate that I am able to do the same with my youngest.

I find running my own business extremely rewarding and am so proud of what we have achieved so far.

What are your plans for the future?

I recently passed my Institute of Certified Bookkeepers Level 2 Bookkeeping exam and I am hoping to start studying for the Level 3 soon. Once I am back from maternity leave and my Level 3 exams are completed, I am aiming to build up the Bookkeeping side of the business and increase my client base. I am also hoping to get back to networking as I haven’t been since my first son was born.

I aim to work part-time hours until the boys are of school age and I will then increase my client base again in a few years’ time, once I have more time available during the day.

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

Be organised – plan your time well each day and start to get into routines, so you know exactly when certain tasks will get done each week. Make good use of your calendar and diary and write everything down so nothing gets forgotten!

Get networking – without networking I wouldn’t have a business as I got the majority of my clients via word of mouth referrals. Networking can seem daunting at first but practice makes perfect. I found that with networking it is more important to focus on building relationships with other business owners, rather than just winning new clients. If trust and good relationships are established, referrals tend to occur naturally. Hard selling and networking is not a good combination!

Set goals – I found it really useful to have clear goals from the very beginning and wrote them down. A vision board is also a great way of keeping your goals in focus as you can put it on your office wall and see exactly what it is you are working towards. I tend to have long term goals of how I want the business to look a few years down the line, medium term goals and also general day to day goals. It is a great feeling once you start achieving them!

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

Always remember the reasons why you started your business in the first place. You are in the driving seat, so make it exactly how you want it to be. A happy, organised and in control business owner usually equals happy clients.

Website: http://www.pinkdiamondsoffice.co.uk/
Twitter: @PinkDiamondsOS
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PinkDiamondsOS

My home office before and after

Making my Home Office Back in to a Refuge

Before we had children, my home office was my refuge. It was a corner of the house that was just for me, full of beautiful stationary and perfectly organised. Over the years since the children have come along, other things seem to have crept in. Toys in the cupboard, a heated aired to dry the endless laundry and a whole bookcase of children’s picture books. Once I started running Mum2mum Market Nearly New Sales even more things have arrived in there. An urn, the 15 clothes rails I hire out, foam mats for the sale’s play area plus thousands of flyers. These are both my own and those of business who advertise at the sales so need to be stored carefully.

Storage and Sitting ComfortablyComfy chair

One of my goals for January was to turn the room back in to my refuge. It’s important that the space works for me and meet the needs of both my businesses. I tend to work on my iPad most of the time so ta ther than having a desk chair I decided to have something more comfy. I went with an IKEA chair that I used for breastfeeding.  Next I cleared out all the toys, some to other rooms, some to the loft and some to be sold at a Mum2mum Market! This meant there was much more space to store the bigger items in the cupboard rather than having them out at the time.

Focussing on my Goals

The other thing I was keen to have was a way to visually see the goals I was working towards. I looked at lots of different types of noticeboard but eventually decided to go with a plain magnetic whiteboard. It gives me the flexibility to have both annual and monthly goals written on it plus the option to attach images.

I’ve even managed to clear out all the children’s picture books and use a small bookcase to store all of my lovely business related books. This means that the living room book shelves look much tidier and the children have their books in their own rooms.

Now that my home office looks so lovely I am determined to keep it that way. I’ll have to be ever vigilant against toys and other household paraphernalia sneaking back in but hopefully that’ll be easier now that the children are a bit older.

Tidy desk

 

Caroline from added zest

Adding Zest Ltd – Helping Young People Manage Anxiety

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

I’m Caroline Cavanagh, wife to Nick who is in the army and Mum to Nadia and Eden who are 12 and 11.

What’s your business called?

My business is called Adding Zest Ltd

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I help teenagers and their parents overcome anxiety and build resilience as a platform upon which to develop confidence.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

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.

How did you fund your start up?

Fortunately the investment was not high so within the realms of self-funding.

How do you manage working around your children?

It has changed with the children. Initially it was just when they slept, I used a bit of childcare when they were toddlers and then when they started school, I was a Mum until 9 and after 3 and prioritised work for the 6 hours in between. Now that they are at secondary school, those 6 hours have grown to be 8 so I’m practically a full time worker again.

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

Working from home is a big factor in keeping all the balls up. The first part of the day is all about getting everyone out of the house but then I can just ‘put the washing on’ or empty the dishwasher throughout the day to keep the house going. Walking my dog in the morning is key as it is ‘me’ time when I get to think through problems and plan. I also find that being out in nature and getting the heart working is a part of the routine that just cant be compromised. Once the children get home at 4.30 I work hard to close the laptop and give them my full attention. That’s the downside of working from home; the temptation is always there to ‘check emails’ but I have learned that this compromises everything – not giving the children the attention they deserve and the work is being done without focus. So now I aim to compartmentalise my day – I am either working, parenting or having me time and ensure each is given full focus. That way, I believe, I am the best version of me I can be and so everyone wins!

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

The biggest was my husband going away for 12 months to Afghanistan and both children under 7. I learned what was important and what could be left. Taking on the role of being both parents and getting my children through that period was my priority and if that meant the house was not as clean as it could be, or I earned a bit less, then so be it. Whilst it was a tough time, I learned two great lessons – every challenge will end and you will have learned something from it. These lessons have meant that when new challenges come up, they are not as scary as they will end, I will be stronger for it…..

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

I’ve been to every sports day, every school play, every concert. These opportunities only come once. I am not a millionaire (yet) but that’s still possible and ‘Ill do it with all those wonderful memories stored away and no regrets.

What are your plans for the future?

Now that my children are at secondary school, their needs for me are changing allowing me more focus on the business. I wrote a book this year, have just won a national award and have big plans for next year to take my business to a new level – and one that will also help my own children as its working with teenagers so that also supports motivation. Finding a way to bring the two elements of my life together really helps as they can contribute to ideas and feel included in my work. My aim is to be a good role model for them.

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

Only ever compare yourself to you. If you start to compare your products, your earnings, your client base etc it is likely you will always find someone better. However that is not a fair comparison. I once worked with someone who was the same age as me, a multi millionaire, global following by thousands who loved her work, travelled the world, award winning author………who had no children, a failed marriage, spend more than half the year away from her husband…….If I only focused on the first half, I felt like a failure. When I saw the bigger picture, I now the comparison is incomparable! When you compare yourself on one element, you lose focus on all the other areas. So the advice is just compare yourself to whom you were yesterday. If you are stronger, fitter, healthier, happier, richer in any way, you are a winner!

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

Enjoy today. Yesterday has already gone so learn from any mistakes and look forward. Know where you want to get to and ensure every step is leading you closer there but tomorrow, next week, next year, isn’t here yet so dont spend lots of time focusing on it. The only chance you have to enjoy now is NOW so make the thing you are doing now, one that leaves you happy.
www.anxietyalchemy.co.uk
www.addingzest.com
https://www.facebook.com/AddingZestLtd