Updated: Mar 5, 2020
With the number of female-led businesses in the UK on the rise, it’s clear that ‘mumpreneurs’ are an increasing force in the business landscape.
Despite the sharp upsurge in female self-employment, the number of women starting businesses remains much lower than that of men. Women do not lack ability or ambition and all that’s needed is one clear business idea. So, what’s holding us back?
Women are less likely than men to know entrepreneurs or to have access to funding, mentors and business support groups. Without a support system to fall back on, many women feel they are at a loss as to where they should start, how they should strategize their business and how to set attainable goals.
We want to encourage more women to join the entrepreneurial world, so we’ve come up with a cheat sheet of business tips to help mompreneurs successfully map out their business venture from the very beginning.
Working hours shouldn’t be a deterrent for entrepreneurship
One of the biggest perks of being your own boss is that you are free to work the hours that suit your schedule - making it an excellent opportunity for mums who find that the traditional work schedule is too fixed to suit the demands of parenthood and employment.
Make a list of everything you need to do to get your business off the ground. Once your schedule is organised and you know your routine for the upcoming week or month, you can work your hours around your daily mum to-do list.
To determine the total number of hours you want to work, you will first need to work out your desired annual income. Write down how much you would like to earn and calculate how many hours you will need to invest to achieve it.
When you create a business, it becomes your baby and it can often become difficult to allow other people to become involved in the infrastructure of the business. But the reality is that if you don’t want to be working tiresome hours every day, you will have to allow others to assist in the business when the time comes.
Research your product or service before investing
A lot of mums start a business with every intention to build it successfully to make a profit.
You may have an amazing idea for a product or service, but before you go any further, you need to research the market. It’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of a new business but not every business concept will be a winner.
Market research is invaluable in determining your idea's potential. A few hours online will help you gain a general sense of the type of person your product or service will appeal to and can set you on your way to understanding how you can target potential customers.
Think of the objective you want to achieve through your research and write down a list of questions you need to answer. Your objectives should give you the information you need to go ahead with your business, tweak your strategy or scrap the idea completely.
To know the true value of your product you will first need to understand some basic information:
· Product:What is the purpose of your product or service?
· People:Find out who your target customers are. What age demographic are they in? Where do they live? What are their interests?
· Place:Are you going to offer your product or service online, in-store or from home? Will you offer it locally or globally?
· Promotion:How will you promote your product or service?
· Price:How much will it cost to make your product? How much will you charge for it? Will it make a profit?
Give your business the best start
The primary cause of business failure is lack of planning. Whether it’s inadequate market research, lack of social media presence, financial mismanagement or a slow website, these mistakes are all due to the absence of one crucial thing: a business plan.
Your business plan is the foundation of your company and is the best starting point to figure out what your business goals are and what steps you will need to take to achieve them.
A good business plan should direct you through each phase of your business, giving you a guideline on how to professionally manage and grow your new business. There’s no right or wrong way to write a business plan. What is important is that the plan outlines your needs and what steps you will take to reach them.
If you haven’t heard of the SOSTAC model, it's worth getting to know before you start planning your marketing strategy.
SOSTAC stands for:
· Situation – where are you now?
· Objectives – where do you want to be?
· Strategy – how do you get there?
· Tactics – how exactly do you get there?
· Action – what is your plan?
· Control – did you get there?
Getting ready for the launch
Your business or product launch is the first impression people will get of your company so you want to make it a memorable one for all the right reasons.
If you want to be successful, you need to plan and execute a well-timed launch that will bring your business to the attention of your target customers.
In today’s competitive market, it’s essential to start promoting your business before you actually start selling. You will also need to find a way to set yourself apart from the competition while representing your brand. The ultimate goal is to generate hype about your business before launching.
Remember, before you launch it’s essential that any outstanding issues that could affect your ability to turn over a profit have been identified and solved.
Social media for reaching your marketing goals
Using social media to promote your business can seem daunting at first but it is one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach customers and give a voice to your brand. If you're not communicating with your customers through social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, you're missing out on business.
Using social media can help with a number of goals, such as:
· Increasing website traffic
· Raising awareness
· Generating sales
· Creating a brand identity
· Improving communication with new and existing customers
Building a support network
Don’t underestimate the power of the people around you to move your business forward or hold you back. It’s important that you have at least one person by your side to offer you guidance and hold you accountable for your goals.
Your business mentor should be someone who really understands what you are trying to achieve and has the best intentions for your business’s success. Having a mentor will help keep you motivated, offer a second opinion and keep you and your business on track.
Business is full of ups and downs. If you need someone to act as a sounding board for your ideas and to give you straight-up advice, then let The Mum Mentor know.