Today, we want to share a blog with you, written by Gwen Payne – www.invisablemoms.com.
Susan & I have 6 children between us, so we understand how hard it can be to balance being a woman, Mum and running your own business. Gwen gives some great tips, so sit down with a cuppa and enjoy!!
Woman, Mother, Entrepreneur: Doing it All
More women than ever are taking the leap toward entrepreneurship. According to Essex Magazine, “Recent statistics show that women currently own nearly 33% of UK small businesses, which shows a remarkable shift from four years ago, when just 17% of founders were female.” And this is only expected to increase.
That said, being a mom and an entrepreneur comes with its fair share of challenges. Female founders are faced with finding the ever-elusive work-life balance, which can feel almost impossible. That’s why it’s critical for women founders to figure out how to make it work so they can realise their entrepreneurial dreams while devoting time to their families. British Baby Box takes a look at things to keep in mind if you’re a mom on the path toward business ownership.
Pros and Cons of Being a Founder and a Parent
Entrepreneurship has its benefits for parents, but it brings challenges too. Consider these advantages and disadvantages of starting a business as a parent.
- Entrepreneurs choose their own hours and business location.
- Save money on childcare. This flexibility lets entrepreneurs work from home with kids, hire part-time childcare, or alternate caregiving with a co-parent.
- Unlimited earning potential. Beyond the lean startup phase, business ownership offers greater earning potential for fewer hours.
- Longer hours. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs tend to work longer hours especially in the early years, and taking time off is difficult.
- Unpredictable income. As work ebbs and flows, so does an entrepreneur’s income. Income fluctuations are especially challenging for families with high monthly expenses.
- Loss of benefits. Without a spouse’s career to fall back on, leaving a benefitted job can leave families paying more for some costs.
How to Grow a Business Quickly
Long-term, business ownership is a boon for moms. In the short term, however, it leaves families financially exposed. Closing the gap requires launching and growing a business quickly to establish a reliable income.
1. Connect with support for female founders
Organisations including the HATCH, Female Founders Fund, and Astia help female founders create business plans, connect with mentors, and develop business knowledge. Practice due diligence, and connect with local business organisations, find funding opportunities like grants and loans, and start networking.
2. Start an in-demand business
Businesses with a proven concept and growing demand are the best choice for entrepreneurs who can’t afford an extended period without income. Take these popular business ideas for example:
- Food delivery
- Property management
- Travel planning
- Online trading
- Cleaning services
- Fitness instruction
- Financial consulting
3. Choose a business name
A business name should be memorable and brandable. Don’t agonise over choosing the perfect business name. Business names can be changed or modified later by filing a fictitious business name, also known as a “trading as” name. Women who choose to open a business in their own name, but want more privacy for their every business affairs, might prefer to use a trading as name.
4. Expedite business startup
This flexibility is important because it allows business owners to establish a legal business entity ASAP. After registering as a corporation, limited company, or partnership, businesses can obtain tax permits, purchase insurance, sign contracts, and apply for financing as an independent entity.
When undertaking these activities, you’ll likely be shuffling a lot of paperwork. Your tasks can be made simpler by scanning a number of pages and creating a single PDF to reference and exchange documents digitally. This way, you won’t have to fumble around with multiple physical copies of documents every time you make a new application.
5. Build a strong brand
The importance of branding for startups in a competitive business environment can’t be overstated. Yet while the expertise of a branding agency is invaluable when crafting a brand identity, hiring an agency for every need isn’t feasible for fledgling brands. Budget-conscious startups can pair a style guide with DIY design tools to create social and website graphics with brand colours, fonts, and imagery.
Health Insurance for Entrepreneurs
Health insurance is a top priority for entrepreneurs with children, especially those who are pregnant or recently had a child. Self-employed individuals can buy health insurance through various providers. Having supplementary insurance can give you peace of mind.
Tips for Working at Home with a Baby
Entrepreneurship gives women flexibility for balancing work and family. It doesn’t, however, make it easier to juggle both at once.
1. Use daycare alternatives
Every new mother benefits from someone to help around the house or watch the baby while they sleep. Add a business into the mix and childcare isn’t just a perk, it’s a necessity.
Alternative childcare solutions save money compared to centre-based care. These include:
- Babysitting cooperatives
- Nanny shares
- Part-time nanny
- Mother’s helpers
2. Invest in hands-free baby care
Hands-free pumping bras make multitasking possible for nursing mothers and allow others to share in feeding duties. Other must-have accessories for work-at-home parents include a supportive baby carrier, a high-quality baby monitor, and a white or brown noise machine to mask noises.
3. Establish a daily routine
A Mother Far From Home points out that daily routines help women adapt to life as a mom and entrepreneur. Routines ensure the important things get done and reduce overwhelm and fatigue. Routines should also include time for self-care and getting out of the house.
In addition to routines, find ways to ensure your home is optimal for health and relaxation. Make a point to keep your home clutter-free and tidy (or hire someone to do it) so you have one less thing to worry about each day, and always keep healthy foods stocked to ensure you are eating nutritious meals even when you’re on the go. As for staying active, make a point to break free from work at least once a day for a quick walk outdoors, whether alone or with your child(ren).
Life changes like starting a business can be daunting — especially for women who have small children at home! Achieving success in this new and exciting stage of life requires a can-do attitude and tools, resources, and support to help along the way.