The crippling costs of childcare and the need for a better work life balance has coined the term “mumpreneur”; the ever increasing number of self employed mothers driving a boom of business across the UK.
This group of business minded individuals are outdoing their male counterparts dramatically as The Telegraph has recorded that the number of self employed women is almost three times more than men. Where many may see every day problems as a drawback, these mumpreneurs are seeing them as opportunities. Knowing their market is key- who better than to create products for the needs of parents and children than parents themselves.
It is not only the childcare and parenting sectors they are saturating but answering to the international demand of British made handcrafted products. Popular website Etsy.com, dedicated to handmade goods, lists 100,000 businesses in Britain where more than three-quarters of them run by women.
They are certainly growing in numbers- according to Mumpreneurs UK, there are 300,000 self-proclaimed mumpreneurs, contributing £7.4bn to the economy each year and well and truly doing it right.
Obviously it’s not all plain sailing getting there. Here are three big challenges which the “Mumpreneur” comes up against.
1. Adapting to flying solo
Chances are you will have been sitting on your idea for your business for quite a while before taking the plunge. Through navigating your firm from start up to maturity you will more than likely need to take on almost every role in the business, the good and the bad. You must be passionate enough about your business to drive it forward at every given opportunity. That being said, when there are mouths to feed, evidently both you and your drive will be working on overtime.
2. Cash Flow
Having a little money behind you to get things rolling is always recommended. Although typical mumpreneur start-ups have been known to develop from as little as £500, cash flow is critical for new businesses. Essential costs such as product stock and marketing materials will leave your pockets looking empty at first, so it’s best to be aware of these from the start. Need a helping hand? Extra start-up cash, local business groups and incubators can offer funding and loans.
3. Separating work and play
Set aside a few hours each night where your work phone and emails are switched off so you can actually do what you intended- spend time with your family. It also swings both ways however, housework or familial obligations can get on top of you when you are trying to work. If you can afford it, having a serviced office space to escape when you need it can be the perfect solution.
Regardless of what your start-up involves, the most important thing is that you make it work for you and your family- you never know it may become your life’s work and a means of employment for many.