Mum: do you want to run your own business?

 Over half of new mums would like to run their own business, and the number of mumpreneurs is growing daily. If you want to start your own home business, here are some pointers from Antonia Chitty, author of Family Friendly Working, to get you going:

Get a great business idea.  If you’re not sure where to start, sign up for the Ideas and Inspirations E-course at Family Friendly Working.
List your priorities such as earning money, or finding work that lets you stay home with your children. Think about the hours you can devote to working. Be realistic if you plan to work around the kids, as children may not understand “mummy’s working”.

Research the market for your business. Will people buy your product or service? Is it unique enough to be appealing?

Pop into a local Enterprise Agency for advice. The Inland Revenue can also send an advisor to your house. Go to The Mumpreneur Guide for a new free start up e-course to help you get your business going.

Prepare a business plan. Set out aims and objectives, and the steps to take to achieve your goals.

Work out how you will promote and market your business. Visit www.prbasics.co.uk for for a free promotion plan and lots of PR ideas and resources.

Running your own business isn’t always easy. There are plenty of pitfalls to avoid. Here are hints on how to steer clear:

Register as self employed. You have about 3 months to let the Inland Revenue know you have started a business, or could end up with a £100 fine.

Keep good records. It is easier to note down every item of expenditure from the start than to have to deal with a pile of receipts when your tax return is due in. You can claim many of your business costs against tax too.

Make the most of every customer. From day one, start a customer database so you can send them offers. It is easier to get existing customers to buy again than to find new ones.

Watch out for your work-life balance. Business can easily take over. Have a finish time each day, put your work away, and make some time to relax.

Antonia Chitty writes parenting and business books. She combines writing with running ACPR, specialising in helping small business owners improve their PR skills.  

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