As an accountant turned business coach, Clare Wood knows first-hand the trials and rewards of owning her own business with a bub in tow. She’s here to give her top tips to go beyond surviving to thrive as a mum in the business world.
“When you really get to know what your purpose and your why is, absolutely anything becomes possible and the whole world opens up allowing extraordinary things to happen. You have got to believe in yourself,” Lisa Messenger, founder of The Collective.
The term “mumpreneur” has become a point of controversy in the business world as some women don’t like the fact that the term isolates out women (after all, business men with children are never called dadpreneurs!).
Love or hate it, the fact of the matter is that mums in business now represent one-sixth of all small businesses. Working mums have a tough gig. Juggling family time, living out your passion, balancing cash flow and dealing with parent guilt are daily challenges. If you are currently running your own business and ready to reach the next level, Clare Wood has created a series of steps to take that will increase the likelihood you will thrive as a mum in business.
Clare’s top tips to surviving and thriving as a mum in business:
Write down your purpose
Why did you start your business in the first place? Is it for more time with your family, money, flexibility, work-life balance or to fulfill a dream? Stay true to this purpose and acknowledge when certain aspects of your business have to give. If you started your business to have more family time, ensure your goals and financial expectations reflect that.
Master time management
Map out your week to see what is feasible and keep yourself accountable. Adjust your schedule throughout the week as things change and develop. Remember, this is your business so give it the time it needs to succeed.
Create a business plan
Failing to plan is planning to fail. A business plan will force you to write down your business goals with timelines and guidelines to achieve them. This allows you to accurately measure success over time. Be sure to refocus every six months and revise your business plan as the business develops.
Manage your money
You need to make sure you can afford to run your own business and have reasonable expectations about how much money you’ll make in the first year. Calculate expenses, including overheads, to ensure you have continuous and increasing cash flow. According to Australian Securities Commission, the number one reason that small businesses fail is due to poor cash flow.
Find the right support
Hire the services you need to succeed. This may include a bookkeeper, babysitter, cleaner, business coach and anyone else you need to make sure you set yourself up for success.
Failure is opportunity
Mistakes will be inevitable. It is critical that you learn from your failings and continue moving forward. Be reasonable about what you can achieve and know that running your own business will have the highest highs and the lowest lows. Take time out for yourself when you need it and schedule in self-care and rest.
Being a mum and running a business are two of the hardest jobs in the world. And some people are crazy enough to do both at the same time! But you don’t have to tackle it alone… seek support and keep chasing your passion!