Mums in Business work hard! As a 21st century woman we like to think we can “have it all”, although that statement is under much debate, we can have it all if having it all simply means living the life you want. Many Mums want to grow and challenge themselves after they have a baby and it can often be a time where they want to venture into being their own boss so they can work around family commitments. A huge thanks to Lea Boyce for this list – Client Services Director – BOYCE Family Office
Here are a few tips for Mums thinking about or in the process of starting their own businesses:
Business Structure – seek out advice from your Accountant, you need to ensure your business is structured the right way for your personal family circumstances
Business Plan – this is an essential document to help keep you focused, on track and ensure that your idea is viable. Business Plans aren’t just for the bank! You can find great templates online from your State Governments
Budget – this should form part of your business plan, it is important to understand start up costs, ongoing costs, income forecasts and ultimately potential profits
Goals – your business plan will include your “big picture” goals but you should also set up varying levels of goals, including short, mid and long term. Your goals should include both business and personal goals
Registrations – ensure that you are registered correctly with ASIC and the ATO according to your structure and your trading plans
Insurance – no matter how small there is insurance to cover all scenarios, we recommend using a broker, and the small fee you pay them will ensure that you are correctly covered. Check out www.getinformedinsurance.com.au to understand more about insurance brokers
Premises – where will your business be conducted? If it is a home based business think about where in the house it will be run from and how that will impact on your family. Remember, you need to be able to walk away from the business to relax with the family so you must be able to put it out of sight / out of mind.
Staff – do you need staff to help in the business? How will you recruit staff? If you have a home based business how do you feel about strangers coming into your home?
Book keeping – we recommend that you use an accounts program from the start, this way you will know exactly where you are financially at any time. We recommend cloud based programs such as Xero, which has varying levels for small to large businesses and start at very reasonable rates
Marketing – social media is a very influential tool across many industries, think about how you could use it for your business, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn. Also think about a website, these can be set up easily and cheaply.
Hours of work – it can be hard for Mums to juggle everything we try to achieve in day without a business so we need to set some parameters around when is work time and when is personal time so we ensure balance, this is especially important for home based businesses
Get a Mentor – a mentor doesn’t need to be a high-powered businessperson who has achieved dizzy heights in a particular field. A mentor should be someone who you admire, who you feel comfortable with and who will support and encourage you on your journey
Set up Checkpoints – when we get bogged down in the effort to get our businesses going and keeping balance in our loves we can forget to stop along the way and have checkpoints to see how you are tracking against your goals
Be Open Minded – when we have a wonderful idea we can become very focused and single minded about how we see the business, we need to be open to receiving feedback from customers, family, friends, associates even if the feedback doesn’t necessarily sit with our own vision
Professional Advice and Support – contrary to what many small business owners believe, engaging the services of professionals is not expensive. They should be able to help you grow your business and in the long run quality professionals will save you money. After all you cant be good at everything so why not hire a book keeper if you really aren’t a numbers person or get a lawyer to look over your contracts with customers
Confidence and professionalism – Be your brand! You might think that just because you are a Mum running a small home business you aren’t seen as a professional and influential business, firstly people don’t need to know where you run your business from and regardless if you present a professional and confident brand people will simply see you as you are
Have fun – life is a wonderful adventure and it is here to be lived to the fullest everyday. If you aren’t having fun then this is a sign to have a checkpoint. Love what you do, love your family and friends and engage yourself passionately in everyday