Whether you’re heavily invested in the political storm, the UK is currently experiencing, or you’re staying well away from the debates that continue to dominate the news agenda, the concept of a Brexit Britain can be a tough landscape to navigate.
We recently undertook some research looking at the businesses who have launched and thrived since the Brexit referendum vote and discovered which entrepreneurs had made the most of the unstable environment to create, grow and succeed in their new business venture. This included Mush, and Koru Kids, two businesses which have grown out of the business determination of two parents.
The following are some of the reasons why starting a business now as a parentpreneur may not necessarily be a bad thing.
People may be less inclined to launch a business venture when the state of the country’s economy is in flux. Those with this mindset are also less likely to succeed. Utilising all of the information available to you, such as audience growth, potential market share, current product or service demand, or any other industry insights, can mean that perhaps you are capitalising on this opportunity to start and grow a business.
There are exceptions to this of course. If your business would be directly and negatively impacted by Brexit it may not be the best idea. For example, if your business relies on EU imports, your business model may be affected in the short term as the country continues to understand its position with the EU. However, most people – including Government – know so little about the consequences of these negotiations, therefore taking a risk now could put you months ahead of your competitors and help to establish your name much earlier on.
When the threat of a political crisis looms, businesses are keen to review their partnerships, scrutinise their supply chain, and open up new relationships. Now could be the ideal time to leverage your status as a parent and business-minded person to forge new business partnerships or lines of supply. Networking can be as simple as reaching out on LinkedIn, attending local business meetups, or even discussing ways your businesses can grow together. There are even specific business associations for parents, such as Mums in Business. People may, however, be more thorough in their checks of new business partners than they used to be.
More stringent checks
With economic instability, comes more stringent checks and deeper analysis of a businesses’ background. This can come in the form of credit checks or even personal background research. Either way, we exist in a time where people are far more careful about who they work with.
Now, whilst people want to forge new business relationships, they also want to invest in the correct ones: it should only be viewed as a negative if you are a business owner undertaking poor financial practices or making poor investment choices.
An increased focus on the research of partners and businesses means that entrepreneurs work with those who are legitimate and share the same growth goals. It’s a positive for economic growth as it creates an environment of trust, ripe for mutual expansion.
British buying power
If the Brexit process has achieved anything, it’s shown the love the public has for buying British and putting money back into the economy. As a fresh British business, you can capitalise on this through your marketing efforts. When designing your website, social media activity or offline promotional materials, highlight ‘Made in Britain’ or ‘Established in UK’ where applicable. This can be a strong unique selling point and in an era where consumers want to champion British business, it could become the reason you are chosen over a competitor.
Parentrepreneurs are now in a unique position where the economic uncertainty that Brexit presents creates an environment ripe for disruption. Parents should not feel discouraged from starting or growing their business in this landscape. We would advise all business owners to focus on developing relationships that will prove productive for both parties. Now is the time to succeed when others are slowing down and getting complacent. Just remember, if you are taking risks, ensure they are calculated.
Carys Hughes is Chief Financial Officer at Creditsafe
By having business systems in place for your business you won’t have that feeling of disorganisation like you are constantly trying to put out fires. We take a look at the importance of business systems for parent entrepreneurs.
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Running a business and bringing up a family is something of a juggling act and you will see a lot of information about striking a work/life balance in order to feel like you have really got this thing under control. This is like suggesting that we can neatly cut our time in half, devoting it exclusively to our home and work in turn. The reality could not be further from this, however, and in all honesty, it is time to ditch this pressurised unrealistic ideal that we keep being sold. You are not failing if you cannot neatly segment your life into the two categories, far from it! Being a parent and business owner is no mean feat but rather than fighting for the unachievable why not strive to create some harmony instead. To be brutally honest there is no such thing as a perfect balance. Sometimes you will actually sacrifice some family time to grow your business, but conversely, you will also find you will sacrifice the business to focus on your family at times too. Neither is wrong or failing and what works for you might not work for others. Harmony is an individual thing and finding your own levels of harmony is what matters. If you resolve to do one thing this year, make it the intent to stop looking for a work/life balance and instead replace it with harmony. Here are five great way of achieving family and business harmony to get you started.
1. Try Themes for Your Week
On a Sunday spend some time deciding what your priorities are for the coming week, it doesn’t matter if these are home or work priorities, they are all part of your life! Then see if you can create a theme for each day, maybe Monday’s are about shipping orders, Tuesdays are for Marketing, Wednesdays for returning calls and answering correspondence, Thursdays for the kids and Friday’s anything goes depending on what is needed. To-do-lists make a great addition to harmony, you can see at a glance what needs to happen, but the priorities give the list a focus and a purpose above and beyond just working down the items. You could organise the list by priority so things near the bottom can be left undo if time escapes you, and you will not worry or stress about these things as they are not the priority they can wait.
2. Choose Wisely
We have all fallen into the yes trap, where anything that comes our way we accept and take on. This can add to our burden and heap on the guilt. It is important to consciously make choices that fit with our overarching desire for harmony. We are conditioned to work hard, in fact so hard it should all but kill us, and while this is admirable, it isn’t terribly practical or harmonious. It is time to take back control and start making choices that actually fit for us. If you do not want to take on something, then don’t feel you have to. No is such a little word but really hard to say. It is time to practice this, as for some reason it tends to be something we can say to our family, but not in business. Examine what you are taking on because if it damages your mental health and your personal and family life, is it really worth it?
3. Get Out
There is a tendency to push vital self-care habits to the side and convince ourselves that they do not form any part of our harmony. Well, that is a common misnomer, and in fact, self-care is an integral part of maintaining this harmony. So what does that mean? Well, it means that you need to be active and get out and about in the real world. It can be easy to go from desk to home and back again, desperately working all the hours you can to get everything done but the benefits of walking the dog or going for a run cannot be overlooked. Exercise helps with mood and the regulation of hormones, which is actually more important than you might realise. So take the time to go for a swim, take the kids out on the bikes or something else active.
4. Don’t Forget to Sleep
Burnout is an issue that can affect anyone, but if you run your own business, then you will want to avoid this one. Not sleeping well can cause a myriad of health issue not least feeling tired all the time. It actually weakens the immune system and leaves you susceptible to coughs, colds and viruses. It also lowers the processing power of the brain which funnily enough links directly to our productivity. Make sure you find time to rest, even if you don’t sleep well at least resolve to lay on the bed and relax with no electronics. Try meditation this is a great way to relax the brain and help restore a natural balance in the body even when you are feeling super busy.
5. Remember Who You Are
We are human, not robot. There is a limit to what we can do, and pushing ourselves actually only means that something somewhere slips. Forget trying to live up to some ideal dictated by the internet or social media and stop searching for the impossible. You are more than enough, and you need to take time to congratulate yourself on what you do achieve rather than berate yourself over things you do not get done. Our children are only young for such a short time you want to look back on the period with warm memories and no regrets. Harmony is how you will achieve this when you realise it is ok to drop the ball on something every once in a while. It doesn’t matter if you cannot attend one meeting or you cannot make every playdate on the calendar. The balance comes not from our work and home life, but from the acceptance, we find within our harmony.
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Running a small business isn’t easy. No-one is an expert straight away and getting to grips with all the different aspects can be tricky. The great thing is though; there is always room for improvement. We all can try harder and do better at being a business owner.
Not sure where to start when it comes to improving yourself and in turn improving your business? Sometimes the best thing to do is to change your own mindset as well as some of your own habits. These don’t have to be huge life-changing things, in fact, sometimes, even the smallest of changes can have the biggest impact on your life.
If you want to make changes to your business, improve your productivity and just generally create a business that you can be proud of, then the time has come to make a change. Take a look through our five habits that will make you a better business owner and see if there is anything that you can try out for yourself.
Have a morning routine
When you own your own business, particularly if the work is completed from home, then it can be hard to get up and get going in the morning. This is where a morning routine can really help. Some business owners may go for a run or a brisk walk before they start the day, some may decide to sit and have some breakfast while they catch up on the news or read a book for half an hour.
One of the simplest things that you can do as a business owner is to make sure that you get yourself up and dressed as if you were going to work. Slouching around in your pyjamas may be incredibly comfortable, but it doesn’t always get you into the right work mindset.
It also doesn’t matter what time you do this routine. Some people may get up at the crack of dawn, whilst others may work later on in the day. The important thing is what you do and how you get yourself mentally prepared for the day ahead.
Learn the art of delegation
As people, we are all prone to try and do everything ourselves. This is definitely true within business. The phrases “oh it will take me longer to show them how to do it” or “I can make time” are often heard. The trouble is, sometimes we don’t have enough time, or it wouldn’t take long to pass the information on, we all like to hold onto tasks as a way to reassure ourselves that we are important.
If you are the owner, then you don’t need to reassure yourself. You are important. But so is everyone else that is part of the team. Not only will delegating tasks out help you to focus yourself on other aspects of your business, but it will also ensure that valuable knowledge is passed around, making sure that you have a highly skilled team behind you.
Realise the importance of self-care
Focusing on our businesses is something that we all want to ensure that we do. However, this can often be to the detriment of our own health and wellbeing. It is good to have passion and drive towards making your business dream a success, but this has to be balanced with self-care.
Self-care is incredibly important. Taking some time for you is the best way to recharge your batteries and replenish your energy stocks. It doesn’t have to be a weekend off, sometimes all you need to do is to sign out of work and have a bath or perhaps just sit and unwind. You will soon start to feel a whole lot better.
Don’t be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone
Human nature means that we all like to stick with the things we are used to and that we feel comfortable doing. Whilst this can make life a little on the dull side, it can actually have a much bigger impact on you as a business owner and your business as a whole. This means, that if there is one thing that you need to try, it is stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new.
Businesses, no matter the industry needs to grow and develop if they are going to succeed. Which means, from time to time, you are going to need to take a big step away from your comfort zone. See it is as a chance to shape the future of your business, take a deep breath and be above everything else, be brave!
We all fail from time to time. This is just a part of life as well as a part of business. Failure can seem like the worst thing that could happen, but sometimes it can be a chance to improve or make changes.
As a business owner, it can sometimes be hard to think of a failure in a positive light. However, it can be one of the best steps that you can take. Not only does embracing failure allow you to see ways that you can change and improve what you can offer. But it can also give you the push to take risks and make decisions that you might not otherwise have made.
Once you start, you will soon find that these habits become something that you can do with ease. In no time at all, you will be a much better business owner, and you will see this reflected, not only in your customer satisfaction and success but also in the way that you feel and act as a business owner!
Hurricanes, Tornado, Floods, and wildfires are some of the natural disasters that can cause a business loss of up to $ 150 billion. Notice is usually given before there appearances, can your business survive the natural disaster? A good entrepreneur is one who knows how to endure such a crush before they lose everything. That is why with the tips provided below, you can prepare your small business for the next tragedy before it’s too late.
Create a response plan
Surviving a disaster needs preparation, a loser will act after the tragedy has destroyed everything including people’s life. Have a written plan that entails all the actions that the company will take in case of a natural disaster. Ensure all your employees are aware of the idea, and for your tactics to work out, you have to ensure there are several meetings for the same if something new comes to your attention. More so, your employees have to be aware of the escape route plans, the usage of the firefighting tools and so on. You can establish a remote system and appoint some employees will work from home if there is a shutdown.
You have to review regularly your the insurance coverage of your business to be sure of enough coverage. Investing in insurance coverage is the best weapon during a natural disaster. That is why you must have an insurance cover that caters for extended coverage, property loss, business destructions, and business closure. It should cover for all natural disaster in case one of it happens.
Create a good communication plan
Since your property is covered and can be recovered after a breakdown, losing your customers will be a loss, that is why you have to have a communication plan. Employees are part of your business, so they should be aware of your communication plan so that after a temporary shutdown, you will be able to win back your customers and clients. The method is efficient if you manage all communications but have some people leading the clients’ contacts, customers contact, and even the insurance company contact.
Storage of company’s data
Back up plan is an essential plan for your business. Retrieving customers contact lists and data after a shutdown is easy if stored in the cloud or other database systems. You should have a reliable hard drive, and a copy of it stored in another office at a safer place. Moreover, with the company’s data in the cloud, employees can still access information on important documents, and ongoing projects, thus, they continue working remotely.
Build strong relationships with the employees
Employees are your family and relatives when it comes to business. A good relationship eases the recovery process procedure after a loss. You should also ensure clear communication to your vendors and clients after the disaster so that they also be aware. Your small business can face lots of challenges after a disaster like incapabilities of making a delivery. But keeping your clients updated will save you the loss.
Not everybody can prevent the next natural disaster, but with the above plan, it might save you more than you could have lost. The above method can help your business to be back on its feet earlier than you expected, only if you implement it.
Leona Harrison from Specialty Fuel Services
So, you’ve got a business. That’s fantastic. You’ve got something which you worked hard to build, juggling family life with everything else along the way. However, it’s not always a paradise.
In a lot of instances, you’ll find that business doesn’t move as quickly as you would like. This often is not your fault, but instead the industry you find yourself in. There are peak points of demand for any service, and then there are moments when it all goes wrong. We’re going to be taking a look at what you can do if you do find yourself in a moment where things aren’t going according to plan.
When you’re in an unfamiliar situation, it can seem like panic is going to set in at any moment. After all, you rely on a business to make money and keep your family looked after, so it’s almost expected that you would panic when the business is slowing down.
However, we advise that you don’t do that. Please, try not to allow feelings of fear and frustration overwhelm you. When people panic, they’re more likely to make snap decisions. While this can be useful in some situations, it isn’t going to help you as a business.
Identify Alternative And Temporary Work
When business is slow, we won’t argue that you shouldn’t sit around despairing. In a lot of instances, you need to find something which will provide you with a temporary source of income.
For example, people providing administrative services might find that writing letters for people online is a good supplement. Learning a new skill for yourself is never a bad thing when you consider the scale of the internet and just how easy it can be to make money on it. Not only have you found a source of work you can put down when business picks back up, but you also have a contingency plan for if business slows down again.
Promote Your Products In A Wider Location
If a business is slow, it might be because the places you’ve promoted in have had so many of your products or services that they just don’t need them right now. When this happens, it’s a case of making sure that you are taking the time to stop and promote in a brand new environment. Not only do you have the support of your existing audience, but you also have the much-needed testimonial from happy customers!
Overall, these are just a few of the different things that you can do as a parent entrepreneur for your business. While it’s not always easy to try and stay positive when business is slow, it’s vital that you try and keep a level head while you’re working to provide for a family. It can be scary when your business doesn’t provide for you, but it is not the end. There are other things that you can do to make sure that you have a good income stream, and it’s often a matter of taking the time to slow and down and focus.
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Whether you have days where you feel that your order page is seeing tumbleweed and nothing else, or whether sales are trickling in nicely but you are not overly busy, increasing sales is something we all long to achieve. However, running a business is also costly, so naturally, we try and avoid spending loads of money on advertising we cannot afford or professional coaches to tell us what we are doing wrong. But can you actually achieve better product sales without jeopardising your profit? We think you can, so here are some great ideas to boost sales.
Be Proactive on Social Media
While many social media platforms play down the organic reach because they want customers to use paid advertising, do not write it off as futile. Remember that social media is all about brand awareness and getting people interested in your message. Don’t just post product after product, try and get some interaction going, ask customers to leave reviews, start conversations by posting industry-related news, and then sprinkle in some offers and product placements.
Run a Giveaway or Promotion
People love something for free and failing that a discount works really well. Consumers can sometimes feel like they are bombarded by product after product, so they don’t bother to look unless something catches the eye. On social media, a giveaway is often a great way to boost likes and get your page shared for free. Once people like your page, anything you post appears in their newsfeed, so generating new likes creates a whole new potential customer base. It doesn’t have to be an expensive item or a significant discount, so don’t overstretch yourself.
Again, people are more interested when they think they are saving money, so considered offering a group of related products at a slight discount, you sell 3 or 4 items where you might have only sold one so, 10% off is a price worth paying. Many retailers offer these multi-buys on a flexible basis, as it is essential that customers feel they are choosing what they actually want not having something they are too struck on forced into the deal, maybe by a necklace and, if you add any set of earring, and any ring, the 10% discount will be applied.
Ask and Listen
Be sure to offer a feedback system when you make a sale. Your current customers shopped with you for a reason; you want to know what that was as it helps you understand who your customer base is. You also want to find out if they would shop with you again, and importantly if not, why not. This helps you effectively target any advertising you do, and if needs be make changes to the way you run your business.
Be Competition Aware
Check your prices against other similar retailers. You want to sit in line with them, and not be massively cheaper or significantly more expensive. Being too cheap, which is something we are all tempted to do, suggests to the customer that your product is inferior or in some way not as good. Pricing yourself out of the market is another glaring problem. Find the right balance and sales should increase.
As parents and entrepreneurs, the fight to maintain a business can be very challenging. It’s difficult to properly keep a grip on all of the various components which go into your business, so it’s easy to find yourselves compromising on things just to ensure an easy time. However, there are certain things that you have to make sure you do not compromise on when it comes to certain elements of your business. To try and help you understand, we’re going to be taking a look at five things that entrepreneurs should never compromise on.
A business can come and go. But a family? That’s an area you can’t ever compromise on. You have to make sure that you’re never sacrificing your family for your business. We know that startups can demand a lot of your day. We know that they’re not always easy to maintain and keep going. However, if you neglect your family from a young age, you’ll find that it can have detrimental effects on your relationships, your mental wellbeing and your emotional health.
The less successful entrepreneurs are the ones who take what they have and devalue it. They see it as being worth less than it is or apply a worth which is constantly shifting and confusing people. Your best strategy for success is to ensure that you have established value on your service and you do not compromise on it. This will hold you in good stead and improves the chance of success.
Briefly expanded upon in the family section, your health will remain one of the most important elements of your entire life. Irrespective of what’s happening to your business, don’t compromise on your health. As a parent entrepreneur, you need to be able to both run your company and also look after your children, so it’s important to be healthy and ready to do so.
As a business owner, you have to take steps to ensure that you are consistent. Successful entrepreneurs are the ones who follow through on their plans, ensure that they meet their objectives, and keep a consistently high level of quality throughout.
Planning And Preparation
The fifth and final thing that entrepreneurs will not ever compromise on is their unwavering dedication to prior planning and prep work. A successful entrepreneur knows that without planning, an endeavour will fail. You have to put the planning time in and also the time to prepare for all outcomes. The same principle could also be applied to parenting.
Overall, these are five of the different ways in which an entrepreneur will not compromise. As parents, compromise may seem like a necessary evil in specific instances. However, there are many situations in business where you must remain committed and consistent. You can not afford to waver on some aspects of the business because they are a surefire path to failure. It’s important to know when to back down and when to hold your ground. Both in business and parenthood, this characteristic will become invaluable.
Running a business can be a challenging task for the parent entrepreneur. One of the major challenges you’ll face is trying to grow a successful business while raising a family. This means that you don’t have all day to make alterations to a website, or to keep an eye on social media accounts like Twitter. That’s why you have to make sure that you get the most from Twitter hours. To try and help you make sure that you do this, we’re going to be taking a look at what they are and how you can make the most of their benefits.
So, What Is A Twitter Hour?
To begin with, you need to understand what a twitter hour actually is. Imagine an event which has been designed to make the most of Twitter for businesses. With a specific hashtag, you can join in a conversation solely about one thing. It’s a way for people and businesses to showcase their ideas, appeal to customers and clients, and see what the competition is doing.
How Do I Make The Most Of A Twitter Hour?
Reaping the benefits of a Twitter hour is one thing, but fully maximising these benefits is another. You have to be ready to go when the hour starts, and to have a clear plan for what you’re going to promote or what educational value you want to bring to a conversation, how you’re going to promote it, and also how you’ll respond to the queries of customers and clients.
A clear understanding of the area you’re promoting in is also absolutely critical. You should try and work out what will sell. This will also involve making sure that you’re promoting in the right twitter hours. There’s a lot of them on the platform, with the same premise often having multiple hashtags which link to different conversations. You need to find the optimum place to promote yourself because that’s one of the ways that your business can grow properly. You should also take the time to properly engage with other businesses because the more exposure your business gets, the better. If the followers of another organisation see them interacting with you, this raises the possibility that you’ll get more people taking an interest in you and thus improving your business.
Overall, the benefits of a Twitter hour are well worth the effort, but you do have to know how to take advantage of the time you have. It’s important to be ready in advance because this will save you scrambling for content and ideas. Engagement with other companies is also heavily recommended because that way you’re really getting your business out there. The Twitter hour is perfect for parent entrepreneurs because they don’t necessarily have all day to spend on Twitter, checking feeds and interacting with people. Sometimes a short and concentrated burst of socialisation is better than an extended duration. What you will come to find is that people do respond well to the Twitter hour, which allows you to reap the benefits of connecting with potential customers and clients.
Let’s face it: The Internet and connectivity, as well as social platforms, have completely revolutionized customer service. Decades ago, stopping by a physical store or making a phone call were the only ways that customers could reach you. Now, they can email, call, visit, and they can video chat.
There are a lot of things that are advantageous for companies interested in pursuing video chat. First of all, it distinguishes your company from the crowd you stand out and are willing to give people the chance to connect with you on a very human and very personal level. It offers value and community.
There are a number of different ways to think about video chat for customer service. One is to screen share particularly helpful if you’re trying to understand an issue, such as a computer problem, that’s going on. What else should you consider? This graphic explains it.
Author Bio: Kaylee White
Ghergich & Co.