Is it a crazy to try and take the first step towards launching your business now or is it time to stop using everything as an excuse not to start? These are the questions I was asking myself when Maeve was 5 months old and I came up with my business idea.
I had been made redundant from my 9 to 5 job only recently and was starting to realise that without the prospect of going back to employment that it was suddenly feeling overwhelming. I felt that our daily routine had become monotonous and I wasn’t getting much satisfaction from it anymore.
Don’t get me wrong I love being a mum and spending time with Maeve, but I’ve held a job ever since I was 14 and there’s a part of my brain that needs to be stimulated in a way it wasn’t. This is the same part of my head that is also starting to question if it was the perfect time to potentially launch my first business.
Here are my top tips that can help you use this time productively and get you out of the starting gates:
- Buy a daily planner. This is a must. If I don’t do this for each day, I find that the work just doesn’t get done. Every night plan for the day ahead and break it down by each hour. Batch work during naps, before they wake up or at night and during your daily exercise.
- Realise that there are enough hours in the day – be productive and not “busy”. Stop watching tv so much and wind down social media time – they are the biggest game changers!! Allocate time each day in your daily planner and don’t try to multi task, it makes you less productive.
- Be free from the notion that you need formal qualifications to start a business. If you are passionate about something and if your business idea will help people this is enough to start. I knew nothing about fashion and self-taught everything that I know now. There are so many resources and tools out there waiting for you.
- Read Rob Moore’s “Start Now. Get Perfect Later”(hard copy or audiobook). This was the first business book I ever read. It really got me motivated to start and has really cemented the notion that done is better than perfect.
- Focus on selling before spending – you don’t need a lot of money. If you have a good idea and are passion about it, this is enough to start. Your biggest problem starting a business is making that first sale, not creating a logo or a beautiful Instagram account.
- Use your daily exercise to go for a walk and listen to audio books/ podcasts. Make notes in your phone of key takeaways and add to this with everything you learn.
- Get an understanding of your market. Who are you going to be selling to? Create a marketing avatar of who your ideal client is. Use nap times to research your potential competition, search google trends, join FB groups where your customers are and observe common questions/ topics.
- Research what your market needs. Make sure you have an idea, product or service to match your market’s needs.
- What are your USPs? What makes you different from what is currently available on the market? This is so important to know from the beginning because if your product/ service isn’t remarkable in some way you won’t stand out from noise of other companies. A great book to read on this is “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin.
- How will you get new customers? Think online platforms, Kickstarter campaigns, social media accounts, paid ads, organic SEO. You need ways to generate repeatable business.
I spent months binge listening to audio books and doing research online, and they are the most crucial takeaways to get you started. They will also minimise your risk of failing and ensuring that you can prove your concept before investing any money or more of your valuable time.
The juggling act of being Maeve’s mum and a solo business owner is hard, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Being made redundant from my salaried full-time job was a realisation that there is no such thing as job security.
I wanted to be able to build something that Maeve can potentially take over one day, and build multiple revenue streams that will protect us from potential situations like covid-19.
Sometimes I question if I have bitten off more than I can chew, but I believe that the timing for me to start my business was perfect. You know what they say – if you need something done, give it to a busy person.
Being a mum has been the most rewarding personal achievement, but launching my own business has been the most satisfying business accomplishment.
Katrina Parsons is based in London and is a first-time mum turned boutique business owner. She designs matching outfits for stylish mums and daughters, helpings mums feel and look beautiful. You can sign up to her free newsletter at her website, www.maeveandme.com.