#mumpreneur12 09:00 : Registration 09:45 : Welcome 09:50 : Seminars one, two and three. 10:35 : Guest Speaker Michelle Holmes 11:20 : Comfort break 11:40 : Guest Speaker Claire Young 12:30 : Lunch
Fan of Melon with Fruits of the Forest Compote & Raspberry Coulis Roasted Breast of Chicken with a Wild Mushroom & Madeira Jus, served with Seasonal Vegetables and Roast Potatoes White Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake (vegetarian/vegan/gluten free alternatives are available)
13:30 : Guest Speaker Kate Wilson 14:15 : Seminars four, five and six 15:00 : Networking break 15:30 : Mumpreneur Awards ceremony opened by Vanessa Gold 17:30 : Event Close
Do I Need A Website Now? In this day and age it is pretty much vital for a business to have a website. It is highly recommended to set a website up from the outset of starting your business – it doesn’t have to be a large website, a page or two introducing your business will do just as well.
can display information that is commonly requested from you to help reduce the time you spend dealing with customer enquiries, be it help on sizes, opening hours, availability. Including this on your website ends up being more convenient for your customer and your business.
Yes, even for a small business and even if you are not planning on selling online.
Strengthen customer confidence Most people turn to the internet to search for information before making a purchase or hiring someone to do a job for them. A well designed, informative, easy to use website can vastly help strengthen your customers confidence in your business. For example:
Why would you want a website? Read on... A website is always available A website is constantly promoting your business, even whilst you are sleeping, eating or out with your family. An online store never closes so you can generate sales 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Potential customers can find your contact details in an easy and convenient way, whenever they require and existing customers can recommend you easily by sharing your website address. And remember, if they do not find you online, there is always the danger that they will find your competitors. Reduce your costs Your website provides an easy outlet to provide information to your customers, reducing the expense of printing and mailing brochures. You get the advantages of a wide, or even a worldwide, audience with low costs compared to other forms of advertising. But most importantly your website can help save you time! Your website
I was recently looking to hire a small skip so I turned to the internet and found via Google Local various different companies in my local area. I then contacted those I felt looked suitable, this decision was based on a number of factors, including; • whether they had a website or not! Some of those listed simply had an address and/ or telephone number – I could not find any information about them to discover what range of services they offered. • the quality and amount of information provided on the websites (some had no indication of the range of skip sizes or availability). • presentation - those with a well designed easy to use website made me feel more comfortable that this was a good company
to deal with. â€˘ availability of contact information, you would be surprised how many did not have contact telephone numbers available for me to call to request their services! The company that got my business was the one which I felt comfortable would provide me with a good level of service, but would not have happened without their website providing the confidence to contact them in the first place. â€˜The exception that proves the ruleâ€™ The only time I believe you would be better without a website is if you have one that makes your business look bad. You may well have come across one before; broken pages, information years out of date, prolific spelling mistakes, bad design, adver-
tising windows popping up everywhere... These things can create a negative impression of your business and could cause customers who would otherwise have used your services or bought your products to go elsewhere. A website is an important part of your business and a worthwhile investment. The added advantage of setting one up early on is that you can market it within all your business communication and social media profiles. Securing an appropriate domain name (eg:www.yourcompany.com) allows you to set up email addresses specific to your company, firstname.lastname@example.org appears more professional than a hotmail or yahoo address. by Sadie Knight... Glassraven.com
Inspirational Business Mum One Year On... It’s hard to believe that nearly a whole year But prizes aren’t everything: in our submishas passed since I was amazed and de- sion to the Mumpreneur Awards, we said lighted to win Mumpreneur UK’s Inspira- we’d turn over a million pounds in 2011, our tional Business Mum of the Year Award. first year of trading… and we did. This year, I’d been at the conference in 2010 and we’ll turn over two million pounds. So the had thought that the Inspirational Business business is growing, and you can buy our Mum of the Year Award was always won apps on iTunes app stores throughout the by a category winner. When the category world and our books in shops from Sainsawards had been made, and we weren’t bury’s to small-scale independent bookincluded, I was, I’ll admit it, a bit disap- shops. pointed, though all of the winners sounded impressive and deserving. Of course, the challenge When the winner of Inspi- “We said we’d turn of balancing work and rational Business Mum of a mum doesn’t go over £1million in our being the Year was being deaway and I continue to scribed (before the name first year... we did!” worry about the choices I was announced), it really make. A few months ago, took a while to recognise that the speaker Mumpreneur UK suggested that Channel 5 was describing… me! News speak to me about being a woman in business. This TV appearance prompted a Since then, we have won a number of other conversation with my daughter, which I reawards. We publish apps for children (for ported on the blog on our website (you can use on smartphones and tablets) and have find it if you search for “breakfast interview” won several awards for them both here in on www.nosycrow.com). At the end of the the UK and abroad, including a Junior Mag- conversation, she says, “Right now, when I azine award for Best Story App in 2011. We look at what I want my future to be, I think publish books for children too, and though that I want to find a way to combine running we’ve yet to win a book prize, our books are my own business and successfully bringing regularly shortlisted for awards. And the up a child or children. I haven’t been comcompany itself has been recognised as well pletely brought up yet, but when I am older as our products: in February, we won the I think I will think that I have been brought Independent Publishers Guild Children’s up successfully, so that’s what makes me Publisher of the Year Award, their Newcom- think that combining running a business er of the Year Award and their Innovation of and bringing up a family is possible.” Perthe Year Award. haps I am doing something right!
Laura Rigney Managing Director & Co-Founder Laura is a married mum of three boys aged 8, 6 and 5. She overseas the day to day running of the organisation and takes control of all aspects of funding. Laura’s hobbies include shoe shopping and Downton Abbey!
Catherine Kelly General Manager Catherine is in a long term relationship and mum of two boys aged 8 and 4. Catherine is the one who answers the majority of your emails and keeps Mumpreneur UK running like a well oiled engine. Catherine’s hobbies include cleaning and list-mak-
Amanda Farren Co-Founder Amanda is a married mum of five children and various pets. Although Amanda has now left Mumpreneur UK to pursue her ever impressive career, she will always be considered a strong foundation in the growth of the organisation. Amanda’s hobbies include socialising and photography!
LESS guilt, MORE pride... Please! A wise man once told me, ‘guilt is like a suitcase full of rocks, you don’t wanna be carrying that shit around with you.’ I think you mumpreneurs could learn a lot from that wise man. As a man who is married to a successful mumpreneur (1 business wasn’t enough for her, she set up 2, www.verynicethings. co.uk & www.pegmarketing.co.uk ) and somebody who runs an organisation employing 19 Mum’s you’d think I would know better than to offer advice to such mortals but read on and hopefully we all come out of this a better man (or mumpreneur). I know how hard it is to be a Dad to a new born (now 3.5 year old) whilst trying to maintain some level of control over a growing business, so I can only imagine how hard it is for working mothers, let alone you mumpreneurs. I don’t think Mother Nature has helped you when it comes to the added (don’t say hormones, don’t mention hormones, think of something else man) ‘maternal instincts’ she laid upon you beyond those of us lowly fathers. The Suitcase Full of Rocks It’s those maternal instincts that add to the guilt, I’m sure. You know the guilt I mean? Nursery guilt; school breakfast club guilt; after school club guilt; working in the evening
guilt; working at weekends guilt; working any time, having said that, guilt. And this is before the guilt felt in every other element of parenthood. You just can’t stop worrying can you? What they eat; what they don’t eat; what they watch on tv; how much tv they watch; how they behave; how many of their clothes are yet to be cleaned, ironed (as if), and put away; how much shopping is (or rather isn’t) in the cupboards. I could go on. Being a mumpreneur impacts on all elements of your life. Hopefully there isn’t too much blood (well, it’s not as profitable injuring yourself in the workplace when you’ve only got yourself to sue) but there will be a good deal of sweat and many tears. Countless early mornings and late nights, weekends too for sure, which when you think about it makes sense why it’s so difficult balancing business with children. They’re pretty keen on those mornings, evenings and weekends too aren’t they? Nursery and school help take care of the middle section of the day but what Mum in her right mind would not feel guilty every time she drops her little treasure off for the day? I imagine it is worse if you work from home all the time like many mumpreneurs do. ‘If I’m at home, surely I should be with my child’ you can almost hear them scream as they walk away. ‘If I’m my own boss, why on earth am I working instead of looking after my child?’ The nursery our little girl goes to is just around the corner from where we live.
Ideal for logistics but, if the wind is pointing a certain direction and the cherubs are playing outside, then you can hear them from our house. My wife spent the first 12 months setting her businesses up wrestling with the turmoil in her heart every time she heard it. Our little girl was only in nursery 2.5 days a week but I know the guilt levels were high. I feel the same on days when I work from home or if I get a bus to work (it departs from just outside said nursery). There is nothing worse than standing outside a building from which you can hear the chuckles or cries of your offspring when you have to get on a bus and travel away. Everything in your maternal psyche tells you this is wrong. But your maternal psyche doesn’t pay the bills does it? Your maternal psyche doesn’t let you follow your dreams. Your maternal psyche doesn’t reflect on the positive elements of these situations either. In fact, nurseries and schools are very good for the young’uns (even breakfast clubs and after school activities too). Children learn far more than they could ever hope to if a working parent was at home with them for the day, especially with all the work related phonecalls, emails, documents and tasks there are to get through.
future. All those minutes, hours and days on the phone, lap-top, and kitchen table are worth while -don’t ever underestimate the impact your hard graft has already had on your offspring and will have in the future. If the fruits of your labour are literally ‘putting food on the table’ how can you ever feel guilty about that? If you’re still waiting to break even, think about what a difference it will make to your family when you do. And it’s not just about now but in 12 months and 12 years time. You’re building a legacy that, who knows, one day might become ‘& sons’ or ‘& daughters.’ Likewise, never underestimate the positive impact images of your passion, creativity, commitment and hard work will have on your children. I guess we would all rather that work doesn’t impact on family life as much as it inevitably does but showing your children your work ethnic is no bad thing in my opinion. I’d rather my daughter sees the work I have to do so often at home rather than an image of what I’d actually far prefer to do if I could (sit on the sofa, eat crisps, drink wine, watch sport on tv – simple souls us Dad’s really).
“What Mum in her right mind would not feel guilty”
Lose the Suitcase -Be Positive So how about you stop looking at all of those things as negatives for once? You must be a positive person if you’re a mumpreneur – it’s what got you to this point in the first place. You are a role model to your child and a brilliant one at that. Not only are you a Mum, you are an entrepreneur. Ok, you might not be Richard Branson yet but you have created something out of nothing, not many people can do that you know? A business! It works now, it will be even bigger in the
You are Your Own Boss Never forget that you are your own boss. How great is that? It’s everything you ever wanted I bet (granted with some major headaches you didn’t really envisage when thinking of ‘the dream’ but you got yourself in to this so reap the benefits of it too). When you’re feeling that guilt about a phonecall or meeting encroaching on your family day remember the upsides you’ve gained along the way too. Don’t forget about the time you snuck off to the beach that day you knew it’d be sunny; the bike ride you took for a picnic; or the times you managed to pick him or her up from nursery early because
you could knock off for the day when the rest of the world was still clock watching.
As my cricket coach used to say to me ‘do as I say, not as a do’.
Importantly, if you can’t think of any memories like that – then make some! You are a mumpreneur, so live that way. You think differently to everyone else, that’s why you’re here. Just because everyone else works Monday to Friday, 9 ‘till 5 doesn’t mean you have to. You can be as flexible as you want to be. You haven’t got a boss anymore remember? Don’t let guilt be the boss of you.
So put that suitcase full of rocks down every now and again will you? Be proud mumpreneurs. You deserve to be!
Switch off – be a Mum Sometimes even you mumpreneur’s need to switch off too. Make sure you give yourself some time for your family -‐ lose the ‘preneur bit and just concentrate on the Mum part every now and then. Sometimes it is better to work the evening (if it means you’ve had some quality time with the family during the day). And who cares if you’ve got to do a couple of hours on Saturday if you’ve got the whole of Sunday and Wednesday to yourselves? Don’t worry, the world will keep spinning, even Richard Branson took a few breaks to go hot air ballooning around the world didn’t he? Switch off – be Yourself Harder still, like all Mum’s, you even need to lose the Mum bit sometimes too and take a bit of time out for yourself: walk; run; listen to music; read; garden; bake; be creative; eat; drink; meet friends; be merry. Sleep. Be yourself every now and then. Not your child and not your business. You’ll be a better mumpreneur for it. Be Proud If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in the past 7 years of building an organisation then it’s that: ‘at the times when you feel like you can least afford to take a break, you need to take one the most.’ This is far easier said than done. I’m still not very good at recognising the signs but if you can you’ll go far.
Ben Blackman is a self-proclaimed ‘lazy workaholic’. Constantly guilt ridden, he runs Carers Central, a successful Charity in Lancashire, started from nothing, now supporting over 3,200 Adult Carers and 200 Young Carers through a staff team of 21 and annual turnover of £700,000 a year. Follow him on Twitter: @ben_blackman Read his blogs: www.redtrouserdays.wordpress.com
Diary of a Mumpreneur
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Amanda Dilworth, Owner of Ruby and Freddies tells us about her journey so far... Hi all...me again! Life is certainly getting busier now the business has taken off. I’m so proud of my little company -I’m working my socks off mind you - but it appears to be paying off. I have a couple of bits of news for this instalment; firstly we were in September issue of Vogue magazine - how exciting is that?!? Secondly; we are now stocked in another boutique-yipee! Our third bit of news you will have to keep reading for, you’ll get it towards the end!
Since launching my range I have been contacting baby boutiques mainly in London to see if any of them are willing to give me a chance. I had my first meeting with a business in Parsons Green which made me feel like a grown up for a while - you know the feeling- where your hair’s brushed, heels on, wearing clothes which aren’t covered in dribble or food and carrying a handbag which doesn’t contain random bits of duplo, crayons or food wrappers! I did however have two of my trusty supporters a couple of doors up from my meeting, my eldest Daughter and Daddy enjoyed a Starbucks waiting for me! Our second bit of great news; we had our first wholesale order - how exciting! A lovely little boutique in Buckinghamshire took the plunge and included us in their Autumn launch recently.
It’s been a year since we came up with the initial baby boutique idea and things have changed significantly from my initial plan. I thought I had it sussed with the boutique but once I started with our own clothing brand the ideas began to change as to what my brand was going to become. I groan when I think about the money and time that has been spent on things that are no longer part of our plan but I guess that’s part of starting a business. I also think it’s important to be flexible with your business model in the early stages – its important you quickly change and adapt to things that work and others that don’t.
The interest that has been shown towards my baby clothing brand has been great, especially for an unknown in the industry. So here’s our third and most exciting piece of news... because of the success of our first clothing range “Little Londoners”, we have decided to focus exclusively on expanding and developing the Ruby and Freddies clothing range. This means that over the next few months we will be developing new designs and garments. My designer Hana has her artistic hands at the ready so next time who knows what we will have to tell you about...see you soon! x
t After becoming a finalist in the s i l Mumpreneur Awards 2011 and going on to a n i be highly commended at the same event, Alistair F 1 Patterson of Kids Bee Happy tells us what’s been 1 p 0 U happening over the last 12 months... 2 h c Cat
Kids Bee Happy provides Sand Painting experiences to children.
we even include free children’s polo shirts so that the kids can feel part of it.
Sand Painting is a fabulous activity. It’s Hands on Arts and Crafts, it’s virtually mess free as we have carefully designed all equipment to ensure that the sand goes onto the product and not onto the floor.
And our customers are families, not simply children but families. Our Sand Art products are products that children do with their parents, with their grandparents, and even those older brothers and sisters that usually avoid doing anything with their younger siblings. Sand Painting is an activity that that provides entertainment for a family, regardless of the individual or spread of children’s ages.
It’s fun, its colourful, it’s tactile, it’s engaging and most important of all – it’s SAND!! Children love it, and they want to do it again, and again, and again. How does it work? Our products, for example a picture, has a lasercut design on it, and the top sections individually peel off to reveal a pre-adhesive underneath. The children then colour in the different sections with our vibrant coloured sand. Kids Bee Happy is a Family Business We have 2 daughters, aged 8 and 10 years old, and they have been key influencers in the business – through from helping us with designs, constant feedback on product, design, marketing, etc. We deliver the business through a franchise model that is specifically designed to be family friendly. We anticipate that many of our franchisees will only want to work part time, and therefore the business model, the revenue structure etc are all based around the fact that it needs to be a sensible viable business for someone only working 2-3 days a week. We know that parents in the UK right now don’t have tens of thousands of pounds in the bank to invest in franchise opportunities – but we do know that many people want an alternative to traditional employment options. We anticipate that people will work the franchise as a family, we include the full family in the training of our full franchisees,
During less than 15 months since launch, Kids Bee Happy has recruited over 30 franchisees across the UK, covering from Aberdeen through to Torquay. We have a huge diversity of franchisees including families with toddlers, families with older children who are returning weekly from university to help in the business, mother and daughter teams and also father and daughter teams. This means that we have effectively created over 30 new businesses, new jobs, within the UK during a very tough economic climate. In addition to this we have also expanded our own team here in Ayrshire taking on an apprentice, a full time franchise support manager, and a part time administrator, whilst also securing investment to ensure that the company is well funded, well structured and well positioned to continue our fast levels of growth. It’s been a very exciting year for Kids Bee Happy, and we know that the next year will be even more so.