So you have decided you want to create a work life that fits around the family and have a great business idea under your belt. Now what? How do you start out on your journey from mum to mumpreneur?
There is no simple blueprint when it comes to getting your business off the ground, but there are some useful things to know and do before the real work starts.
Here are the first 8 steps I take mums through when they come to me with a business idea, but are not sure how to move forward.
1. Make sure you have what it takes to “Be the Boss”
Take a step back and take the time to assess if working for yourself is the right move for you. Do you have the passion, qualities, skills and experience that will give you the best possible chance of success? It’s better to find out now!
Start by asking yourself these questions:
Write a clear statement of what you want for you and your business and what you hope to achieve. I know this might sound very obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many mums I see working 10 hour days without having any idea of what they are working towards! Make sure your vision is ambitious, but realistic. Add as many details as possible to bring your vision to life - who, what, when, where, how? Once you’ve written your vision, put it somewhere you can see it every day - either in your journal, on your work desk, or posted up on your fridge.
3. Get clear on your reasons why
Next write down all the reasons why you are committed to achieving your vision. When you inevitably hit a bump in the road on the pathway to your dream, your reasons why will give you the motivation you need to push on through and achieve results. If your reasons are not powerful enough, then come up with better reasons or a better vision.
4. Make a plan
Once you know your reasons why and the direction you are heading in, you’ll need a map to get you there. Start off by setting your business goals, and then draw up an action plan with all the steps you will need to take to reach them. I’m a big fan of 90-day action planning. You can find out why and how to create a 90-day plan here.
Keep your focus and motivation by setting yourself deadlines for completing the activities in your plan. Want to avoid feeling too overwhelmed? Chunk each activity down to small and manageable daily action steps.
5. Get informed about the practicalities of setting up a business
Make sure you know everything there is to know about the practical side of setting up a business in your country, including the legal considerations and requirements. How do you go about registering your business with the appropriate authorities? Do you need a special license? How about insurance? What taxes will you need to pay?
6. Organise and communicate your schedule
Make a list of everything you need to do at home and to get your business up and running. I use a nifty online tool called Todoist to prioritise and keep track of my work and family to-do’s. Todoist works across all devices and and the basic version is free.
Once your tasks are organised and you know your schedule for the upcoming week or month, communicate it to your family in advance so they’ll be prepared to help.
At home, practice cutting down on non-essential household tasks - often the tasks we think we “should” be doing in our roles as partners and mums - and remember to invest in yourself. It is impossible to be everything to everybody. Coping with the demands on your time is so much easier when you have invested in nurturing yourself first. Exercise, eat well, get enough sleep and give yourself space for non work or family related activities.
7. Start building your team of supporters
Don’t underestimate the impact of the people around you to move you forward or hold you back. You need at least one person by your side to offer you encouragement, support, and hold you accountable to your goals. Someone who really understands what you are trying to achieve and how important your business is to you. If you’re based in Berlin, consider joining this mastermind group for start-up mums, or find a friend or coach to be your accountability partner and help keep you motivated, honest, and on track.
8. Play to your strengths
Even the most talented people will struggle to successfully manage every aspect of a business. One of the best things you can do at this early stage, is to recognise your strengths and outsource or look for help with the parts you find difficult or simply don’t enjoy doing. For example, if your creative skills are excellent but you struggle with keeping on top of the finances and admin, you might consider hiring a virtual assistant to give you a helping hand. Places you can outsource to include peopleperhour and Upwork.
If you follow the steps above; you’ll have clarity, structure and clear attainable goals to strive for.
Now all that’s left to do is to dive right in and take action!
Make a stand for yourself. Decide that your vision is within your grasp, it’s simply over to you to get out there and make it happen.
The best of luck. I know you can do it!
At Work Happy Mums, July is ‘put your big girl’s knickers on and start a business’ month! I've got a great line up of events and lots of practical and easy-to-implement advice to share with you to help get you started on your journey from mum to mumpreneur. Plus I'm offering a special discounted rate on Ready, Steady, Launch!, my 3-session one-to-one programme for mums who are looking to launch their business in the market brimming with confidence and the best possible chance of success.. Sign up to the Work Happy Mums newsletter and follow us on Facebook to make sure you don't miss out on what I've got in store for you over the next few weeks.