Your Name and Age: Iveta Tancheva, 34
Tell us about your family:
I am a first time mum of the 23 month old Yana and live with my husband in south west London
What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?
Before starting Mums Like You I worked for 10 years in the City and at the end of January 2009 was made redundant. I had always thought about setting up my own business, but never had the time to do it. When I lost my job I thought this was the perfect opportunity to make a fresh start and after a few months of researching the market came up with the idea of Mums Like You. The transition was not easy as I had to learn very quickly and had no one to rely on but myself, but it has been an amazing experience and I have never looked back.
When did you launch? In June 2009
How did you get started?
The idea was initially to create a dedicated networking site which enables mums to stay connected and find new friends. When I did research on what is already out there and what mums want, two things became clear quite quickly – that mums are keen to interact in multiple ways online and that word-of-mouth is an extremely important source of information for them. These findings were instrumental in extending the capabilities of Mums Like You to enable mothers to access valuable information quickly and efficiently and solve real-life problems online.
What research did you do before launching?
I ran an online survey with a group of mothers using a very good site: www.surveymonkey.com. I wanted to find out what mothers need from a community site, what features would they find most useful and I also tested the brand/logo concepts for the company
How have you funded the business?
So far I have funded it with my personal savings
How do you promote your business? What has worked best?
I have just started promoting the business and am planning to do it in several ways. I am active on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn and everywoman, where I have joined entrepreneurial forums and groups. I have also recently joined Twitter, which I think is a great medium to meet people and generate interest in your business. I am posting regular updates on relevant and interesting content on my site, plus I am looking to establish long term relationships with potential partners/advertisers. Finally I am planning to organize a launch party for Mums Like You in September 2009 for friends and business associates
What has worked well about your business?
It is very early days but we are seeing a lot of interest from new members. So far the feedback has been extremely positive, with users returning to the site and contributing regularly
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
How have you dealt with it? The biggest challenge has been and is to promote the site with the limited resources at my disposal. I think this is a challenge for a lot of small businesses and start-ups and that you need to be creative and very persistent to make it work.
How do you fit in work with the family?
It is much easier now than when I worked full time in the City. I have organized childcare for my daughter on a part-time basis and I set aside space in my home where I can focus and work. I find I am more productive when I know I have limited time to get things done and when it all depends on me. Also the fact I am not commuting any more helps a lot, as I now have a few extra hours a day
What advice would you give to someone else wanting to work in this area? Do you research, come up with a plan and be quick – the market is changing all the time and you need to be always one step ahead….
Your website link: www.mumslikeyou.com
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