Starting a business is not easy, and sometimes no matter how much planning you put in place things often don’t go plan. The parentpreneur journey is a roller coaster of a ride.
I like many business owners have made mistakes some more costly than others however those mistakes have made me into a better businesswoman. I have put together 4 things I wish I knew before starting a business.
You have probably heard the saying “cash flow is king,” and it is king. Cashflow is a vital part of business and miss management of your cash flow can be the downfall of any company. One of the mistakes I made with one of my business was spending money on products that my audience never wanted. The most effective way to manage your cash flow is by creating a budget and justifying every expense so that you know exactly where your money is going.
You can read more about 3 financial mistakes start-ups should avoid and How to build an emergency fund for your business
2, The power of an email list
Never underestimate the power of email. It’s one of the most effective ways to communicate with current customers and prospective ones. This was a mistake I made in a previous business I had, I built my list too late so when the business launched I had no list to market to. Start list building early to generate leads for your business before you even launch your business that way you have an audience to survey and market to once you launch.
3, Family time is golden
When you run your own business, you may often feel that there is no time left for anything else especially in the starting up phase. However, if you are trying to establish a business, alongside raising a family, life can become much more of a balancing act. When I started my business, I did not put boundaries in place and business time overlapped into family time, which resulted in me not spending enough quality time with my family. Create time boundaries with your family and friends, for example during my core working hours during the day; I put my mobile phone on airplane mode to cut out all distractions. If there is an emergency, my family and the school can call the landline to get hold of me. I very rarely work on weekday evenings between the hours of 4 pm – 7:30 pm – that’s my core family time.
4, The importance of self-care
When you choose to start up a business, you want to put your heart and soul into making your business a success. This means that you will often find yourself not taking any time for you. It is normal for us all to feel stressed out at times, however, as a business owner, chances are that you are going to find yourself in stressed out situations on a regular basis. Over the years of running a business and suffering from burnout, I know the importance of taking time out for myself, and I schedule in self-care time as I would schedule a meeting with a client.
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Katie Massie Taylor shares her business journey. Mush was born when Katie and Sarah struck up a conversation in a rainy London playground, both with two small children. After keeping each other sane and happy in the months that followed, they realised that all mums should have access to a free and fun way to make friends nearby in the same boat.
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If you are a parent and you are looking to set up your own business, then chances are that you are going to want to weigh up whether or not you want to do this by finding yourself a little office space or simply setting up one at home.
Whilst working from home isn’t always easy, we think that it is a great idea. There are a variety of benefits to working from home and to help you to understand why it has become more and more popular, we have put together the 3 smart reasons to start your business from home.
One of the main benefits of owning your own business is the flexibility that it provides. Whilst at times you are still needing to work long hours and dedicate time to your dream, you can do so from home. This means that you are much less likely to miss out on time with your friends and family.
You can set your own hours, work when you need to and just generally be in charge of your own diary. Something that you may not have been able to do whilst you were an employee rather than an entrepreneur.
No-one likes having to pay tax, so for those who are keen to find ways to reduce the amount of tax that they have to pay, they might want to consider working from home. There are a number of tax benefits that you can obtain if you are someone whose business is based within their home. This can be a deduction for the costs of heating your home as well as keeping the electricity flowing.
These tax benefits can be worked out as a percentage and given to the Self Assessment Office, or if you are not able to work it out then you can also claim for a specific sum for every month that you work from home.
Running a business can be expensive. Particularly when you think about those overheads such as rent and bills. When you first set up your own business there is a good chance that money is going to be tight, particularly if you have given up your own work to follow your dream.
This is where working from home is really going to help you. One of the most obvious benefits of a home office space is that you have much lower overheads then you would if you were based in an office. The heating, electricity and other utilities are already covered as part of your house and despite the fact that you may find that the bills go up, but they are nothing compared to opening up an office.
Working for yourself and setting up a business is not an easy feat. Why not make things that little bit easier for yourself and work from your own home to start with? If you find that over time you need an office space then at least you will be well established and be ready to take that next, all important, step.
Having a passion for something is a great start to any business, but you still need to find out whether it is going to be a legitimate business idea and work. This episode covers choosing a business idea and making it work.
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One of the hardest things to master when you run your own business is your productivity. Whilst you are going to want to make sure that your business is a success, from time to time you can find that you feel your focus start to drift, particularly if there are things going on within your family life.
The trouble is, the only person who can help to make sure that you are productive is you. You are in charge of your own productivity and this means that you need to take control and make it work.
We know that this isn’t easy, particularly for parentpreneurs, so with this in mind, we have put together some of our top tips for taking back control of your productivity.
Take regular breaks
Now we know that this one probably sounds really weird, but the truth of the matter is that we need to take regular breaks in order to recharge and refresh ourselves. There are going to be times when you are going to want to power through those tasks, but if you feel yourself flagging then take yourself away from the screen, if only just for a few minutes.
Embrace the quick wins
Whilst too much multitasking or getting distracted isn’t great for your productivity, there are times when it pays to drop what you are doing and move to something else. This is particularly true if you have found yourself a quick win. If you know a task is only going to take a few minutes then do it. Not only will it give you a big tick on the to-do list but will remind you that you can get things done too!
Now, multi-tasking is entirely another thing. Whilst we think we are capable of focusing on 100 things at once, the truth is that we are really not. Instead, our brains need to have one thing at a time to think about. Give up on the idea that you are going to be able to multi-task and instead give your full attention to one particular job. You will soon get that task done and then you can move onto the next.
Turn off your notifications
If you are the type of person who is easily distracted (and let’s face it we all are) then you will want to try and minimise the risk that your eyes will wander. Turn off all notifications on your phone and laptop, apart from the ones that are incredibly important. That way, if someone is trying to get in touch with you, then you know it is for something that you have to do. Not just because they have uploaded a great video of a cat to Facebook.
Set times for key tasks
Things, like checking your emails or working on your to-do list, are things that everyone has to do on a daily basis. However, you can find that you get bogged down replying to messages and sorting out which is the most priority. Instead, set certain times throughout the day when you will focus on these tasks, then for the rest of the time, they are not something that you will need to look at.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways that you can try to improve your own productivity. Sometimes the key is to remind yourself just why you are doing what you do and that should give you the push you need to reach your goals.