Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
I’m Cathy Topping, and I became a mum to twin girls – Holly and Isobel – at the end of 2015. They were born in Sydney, which is where my husband and I had been living for about 5 years. When they were 4 months old, we moved back to the UK.
What’s your business called?
Your Web Toolkit
Can you describe it in one sentence?
I help small businesses to plan, build and market their websites
When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?
I was actually already a small business owner – graphic and web design – before the girls were born. Since they’ve arrived though, the upheaval has made me re-evaluate my approach to what I can offer in terms of products and services.
And so I came up with the idea of Your Web Toolkit in early 2016.
How did you fund your start up?
How do you manage working around your children?
It is hard! My husband is a teacher and has flexible hours, so we basically tag team the childcare. When he’s working, I have the girls. When he doesn’t have teaching hours, he takes the girls and I go to a café to get my work done. We both also work in the evenings. There’s not much downtime in our lives at the moment!
Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
I usually get a least a few hours each day, and I have been using Trello boards to keep on top of what I need to do. It’s an online tool that allows me to quickly see what I need to get done across my different business and client projects. This approach allows me to maximise the few hours I do get, so that I’m not wasting time thinking about where I’m up to, or getting distracted and falling into an internet wormhole!
Most days, I head to a café to work. If I’m at home, I get distracted by the girls, the housework, the temptation to sometimes just lie down! In the café, I can really focus and make sure my time is truly productive.
My daily tasks are very varied. At the moment, I’m working on course materials. I also try to have a blog post on the go – in some stage of being written or edited. I manage my social media accounts. I’m also updating and adding to my website as needed – new landing pages, updating existing pages. And then, around all that I fit in client work. Right now, I’m working on a website, ebook designs, and a logo.
What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
Trying to find enough time to get anything done is my biggest challenge. I’ve been using productivity tools to help with keeping me focused and moving forward
My new challenge is to get students and clients for my new website. I’ve been applying everything I know from my existing design business to generate interest and traffic towards the site.
What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?
In spite of the hard work involved in juggling my business time and ‘Mummy’ time, I am glad that I’ve got the opportunity to be around while my girls are this young.
Running my own business has its fair share of stresses and downsides, but the flexibility to work around other parts of my life is part of what makes me keep following this path.
What are your plans for the future?
I have lots of plans for my new business. Aside from working with small businesses and entrepreneurs, I really want to find a way to help young women and mothers. Although I’m not sure how that might look right now, I would like to find a way to help women who feel trapped because of lack of financial independence.
On a personal note, we’re hoping to get back to Australia later this year to visit family and friends.
What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
Get a website! Spend some time researching online marketing, and get a website built that is aligned with your marketing plans and goals.
You don’t need to spend a fortune either, there are DIY options that are really affordable – some are free if you don’t mind spending time working it out yourself.
Websites aren’t just for online businesses either. You can use your site as a marketing tool to send people into your physical store – for example.
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