11 Jan Starting your own business after maternity leave?
Are you in the throes of preparing for motherhood? But also wondering, how you can use your time after maternity leave to boost your career or build yourself a new one? Maybe it’s time to consider the route of running your own business.
There are around 300,000 (and rising) established businesses in the UK run by inspiring and ambitious ‘start-up mums’. Next time it could be you!
Starting your own business after maternity leave is a good idea. But, it is important to be realistic and acknowledge that balancing your own business with your new-born can be a challenge. So where should you start? Begin with understanding the common pitfalls that most women face, whilst trying to raise children and build a business at the same time.
What are the challenges?
- Not enough time – finding time to look after your children and fit in everything else is challenging as a mother. The truth is trying to juggle work related responsibilities with motherhood can be difficult.
- Self-doubt – there will be a real fear of failing, especially when you start questioning yourself about whether or not you’re doing the right thing.
- Guilt – most mothers tend to feel guilty, because it’s impossible for them to give 100% to either their business or family, unless they learn to strike that perfect balance.
So what’s the solution?
- Prioritise time for family
- Schedule “me time” to get clarity, re-focus and rejuvenate
- Minimise risk by researching your business idea thoroughly
- Find a childcare organisation or search for local nannies and babysitters
The next step would be to work on having some clear business goals, so allocate time for planning.
What are the steps to starting a business after maternity leave?
- Match your skills to your passions – focus your idea around your skills, talents and hobbies. Also, consider all the things you really love doing and what you hate, together with your skills and experience.
- Do your research – ask yourself these questions; will the people you want to target, buy your product or service? Is it unique enough to be appealing? Work on making your business different or better than your competitor’s.
- Create a business plan – this includes having aims and objectives and the steps you need to take to achieve your goals.
- Promote yourself online – create a blog, a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account in the name of your business.
- Don’t under-price yourself – do your math and calculate costs of your materials/time and work out an hourly rate.
- Remember the three P’s –
- Plan: even if your baby is asleep for an hour, make a plan
- Persist: starting a business is harder than you think. Sometimes it may take longer but don’t lose hope
- Promote: you may have the best idea in the world, but if you don’t promote it the right way, it won’t work
Benefits of becoming a start-up mum
- From home, in an office or abroad, flexibility to choose where you work is up to you. Flexible working hours helps in balancing your own business with young children. You can plan a long holiday or take a day or two off for a doctor’s appointment to keep up with your baby’s regular check-ups.
- You get to have more time with your family, especially to capture all those “first” moments of your baby – this is the main reason why many mums want to start a business from home.
- You can also contribute to the family’s finances because of your business success, all the while being home with your child.
- If you’ve ever had a job where your boss didn’t really appreciate your talent, then you will experience a sense of purpose and satisfaction when you run your own business.
- Without just being “mum”, you need to feel like your own person, and running your own business gives you an identity other than being a mother. It enhances your personal identity.
Being the owner of your very own home-based business can be your answer to the disparities experienced by many mums in the corporate world. Arise is a leading provider of virtual business solutions. At the forefront of ‘homeshoring’, Arise provides ample opportunity for people to explore the work from home option. To know more about Arise, get in touch with us today.