I’d like to become a mumpreneur after I become a mother. Do you have any advice on when a good time to launch my business would be?
The best time to start your business may be sooner than you think. A 2010 survey by BT Business, found that 15% of the 1300 UK mums surveyed had started their own business while on maternity leave. The survey also found that another 10% were planning on becoming a mumpreneur. These mothers realised that being on maternity leave can be an ideal time to start a business. Here are five reasons why:
You have the time to launch your business Launching a business requires time. Maternity leaves provides you with a fixed period where you will be spending a considerable amount of time at home. Sure you will need to take care of your little one the majority of the time, but once you’ve achieved some kind of daily routine you might find you have time to work on projects while your baby is sleeping. Take advantage of this precious time to slowly develop and launch a business idea.
Flexibility around returning to work Starting a business while on maternity leave may put you in a position to request flexible work hours when it is time to return to the workplace. The income generated from your new business means you might be able to work less days for someone else or even become a full-time mumpreneur.
No need to replace your income The period of maternity leave is unique in that the work you’re doing on your mumpreneur business isn’t taking you away from doing your ‘day job’. If you have financially planned for an extended period of maternity leave you can start your business without the pressure of lost income that would otherwise occur.
Emotional wellbeing Going on maternity leave and stopping work can be a huge change for some mothers. Some really feel the loss of purpose, identity and independence they received from working. Having a focus other than your baby and having a different type of stimulation can be healthy. It can also give you a sense of purpose and direction beyond your role as a mother.
Idea generation Many a Mumpreneur has been inspired by their experiences of pregnancy and motherhood to develop their business ideas. While on maternity leave you might see a gap in the market for maternity, baby or children’s goods. The examples of successful Mumpreneur businesses that were started out of a need identified while on maternity leave are many. Carmelina Nappy Bags and Farrah Fair are great examples. In my case, watching friends return to 9-5 corporate roles and struggle with the difficulties of inflexible working conditions, made me question whether there was a better way. This lead to me creating a coaching business to assist mums returning to work or setting up a mumpreneur business.
Start soon but not too soon! The early months with your baby can be very challenging with serious sleep deprivation and sometimes recovery from the labour. I recommend that mums focus initially on physically recovering, getting sleep when they can and bonding with their child.
However, once you start to come out of the fog of the newborn stage, this is the perfect time to start taking small steps to visioning and launching your dream business. You will never have this time again where it is just you and one baby and many women can’t afford to take as much time off with subsequent children.
Even better, if you are pregnant and know you would like to create a flexible work from home business then now is the perfect time to start planning for it!
As the saying goes ‘a year from now you will wish you had started today!’.
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