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Mompreneurs: working mothers setting up small businesses..

Mompreneurs: working mothers setting up small businesses..

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Don't you just love the term mompreneur? We promise we haven't made this up - it stems of course, from the good old USA. I guess here in the UK we'd say Mumpreneurs instead, but that sounds a bit grumpy. Anyone got any alternative suggestions? Along with ‘seniorpreneurs', ‘third-age entrepreneurs' and no doubt many more options, it's a convenient way to qualify a specific audience. Without wishing to brand or typecast any female setting up in business, if you are a woman with children trying to set up a business here are a few tips to help you juggle the day job while you get your business off the ground:

  1. Setting boundaries. Many companies allow you to have other jobs or side businesses. Just be aware of and conscientious about the written (and unwritten) rules of launching on someone else's time and expense.
  2. Setting goals. Try to keep your business at the top of your goal list and avoid letting it become just an expensive hobby. Clearly identify what it will take to make this work - sales, cash flow - and why you're doing it. And don't forget to reward yourself for your accomplishments, be they large or small.
  3. Time management. Make the time, whether it's an hour after the children are in bed, or an hour before they get up, and set yourself some short-term goals that you can achieve and cross off your ‘to-list' regularly, so you feel you're achieving every day. 
  4. Market research. Don't be tempted to rush a product to market before it's ready just to make a quick sale after all, your day job should still be paying the bills.
  5. Prototype and get feedback. This could be as simple as gauging how long cakes made from your grandmother's secret recipe stay fresh on the plate.
  6. Network. More often than not, it really is who you know and not what you know. Groups like the local chamber of commerce, women's business networks, and volunteer organisations are excellent places to spread the word and practice your pitch.
  7. Timing your expenses. Like building a house, launching a business will take twice as long and cost twice as much as you think it will.
  8. Space management. As Virginia Woolf said, you will need a room of your own. Or at least a wardrobe, desk, etc, for your business. This is your space - keep it sacred and organised.
  9. Get family buy-in. You must get, and keep, the support of your family. Remember to take time for your family while you're launching. Find ways to keep replenishing the goodwill and focus on the positives.
  10. Don't give up! By working while you launch, you will work harder and longer than if you had no other commitment. The challenges of managing work, family, and launching will make you a better entrepreneur - perseverance and adaptability will be your middle names. And yes, the house won't be as clean, and homemade cakes will be a thing of the past. But you'll be well on your way to achieving your dreams.

Related posts: Biggest financing mistakes by first-time entrepreneurs, Focusing on women in business.

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  • Too many women who run small or home-based businesses get caught doing double duty. They're continually