by Malini Thakerar
As a mum who is just starting out in business, in addition to the usual worries of whether your idea will fly, whether you’ll make money from it and whether you are capable of doing this, there are the added realities of being a mum in business such as juggling your business and your children and family! Here are three of the biggest challenges I see that new mums in business face and, if you are one of them, what you can do to overcome them.
- Focusing on “the how” instead of “the what” – when you’re first starting out, it’s really easy to get caught up in what I call “the how”, i.e. how you are going to get your business out there and how are you going to sell your product/service – essentially the marketing and sales side. However, a key step that precedes this is defining “your what” – what exactly are you selling, who are you selling it to and what is your message. I see so many people who either skimp or even skip this step altogether and then struggle to get their business off the ground. It’s crucial that you spend some time upfront getting clarity on what you are offering, otherwise you risk being too broad and not positioning yourself effectively within your market
- Perfecting the business vision – it’s important to have a vision for your business – that end point where you want your business to be in e.g. 2-3 years time, but don’t get fixated on it as it will likely evolve. I see many new mums in business who spend hours and days mapping out their vision for their business and thinking that they have to have it nailed 100% before they can start anything else. The issue with having something mapped out that is so far removed from where you currently are is that it then becomes really hard to figure out where to start. Once you have an idea of your vision, focus instead on breaking it down into small chunks and in particular, what you need to do initially to get going to create some momentum. If you do this, you’ll have a much better chance of generating some initial results quickly, which is really important psychologically when you’re starting out!
- Not having a plan – I’m a big believer in the well-known saying “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. That’s not to say that I believe in planning for the sake of planning and you certainly shouldn’t spend too much time on creating a lengthy plan at the outset because your priority should be getting traction and getting those first few sales. However, the flip side to this is what I call the “shot gun approach” where you just flit from one thing to the next without any thought for whether you’re focusing on the right things. This is when you start to feel overwhelmed or like you haven’t achieved anything because you don’t know whether your efforts are focused on the right tasks. Spending some time planning out what you need to be doing even for the next month or so and then breaking that down on a weekly basis will help you remain focused and productive – essential when you are a busy mum juggling many balls and often with just small and defined windows of time to work in.
If you’re a new mum in business and if any of the above resonates with you, check out the Trailblazing Mums website for more articles and support.
Malini is the Founder of Trailblazing Mums and supports Mums who are ready to take the leap to create and grow their own flexible and profitable businesses around family. She believes that it is possible to create and lead the life you desire and that life doesn’t stop when you become a mum. Yes things change A LOT but if you have a desire to do work you love by running your own business and be actively involved in your children’s lives, it is absolutely possible.
“At the end of the day we are all role models for our children and if I can inspire my son to follow his dreams and foster a belief that anything is possible, then I will have felt like I’ve done my job!”
Prior to starting Trailblazing Mums, Malini spent over 10 years consulting businesses, from large corporates to small businesses and entrepreneurs across the globe.
Follow her on Twitter @trailblazingmum