Mumpreneur Profile: Hannah of Scotmum

Name of Business: Scotmum

Your Name and Age: Hannah Young, 28

Tell us about your family: Married to Neil, daughter called Poppy (18 months). We live in Edinburgh.
 
What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how is it making the transition?
 
I had been a History teacher in a large independent school in Edinburgh. The difficult thing for me was actually having the courage of my convictions to think that I could step out of my comfort zone of a well paid job, pension, paid holidays and maternity leave, especially during a recession. I felt that if I didn’t make a change then I would always be stuck doing what I had always done.
 
When did you launch?
 
May 2009
 
How did you get started? 
 
I researched my idea for about 8 months. I worked on my business idea every evening and at weekends. I never begrudged this time as I knew that in the ong run it would enable me to achieve a better work/life balance.
 
What research did you do before launching?
 
I researched similar women’s forums and the issues that women read about in magazines. I started writing some of my own articles as I thought that I could produce a print magazine. Luckily, once I had researched the advertising market for local magazines, I realised that there was little money to be made from this. Instead I used the articles and research I had carried out to produce a website for mums.
 
How have you funded the business?
 
Savings and our current account to an extent. I have now set up a business account so will be more official.
 
How do you promote your business? What has worked best?
 
I have carried out a really focused PR campaign:

* I have sponsored a parenting page in Scotland’s leading glossy magazine (No.1 Magazine).
* Press releases sent out to Scottish TV and radio stations.
* Responded to media requests that has resulted in 200 being writen about me and my business in Mother and Baby.
* Sent out a poster and covering letter to every Scottish library and community centre.
* I have a large vinyl sign on my garden wall (I live on a busy road on a busy commuter route into town)
* Car magnets
* Business cards
*Exchanged links with other websites
* Posted regularly on forums
* I have told everyone I know!
 
What has worked well about your business?
 
The support I can offer mums in terms of letting off steam, asking for help and support for anything from breastfeeding to where to find the best handbag.
 
What has been your biggest challenge so far? How have you dealt with it?
 
Website design. I tried to build my own website using a template which was disastrous. I had to admit defeat after many tears of frustration and get in Arkite Design who have been brilliant with a website novice like me.
 
How do you fit in work with the family?
 
I can access the website throughout the day to moderate the forum. I do not need to sit down for 12 hours a day looking at the screen. I can write my articles and do research for the site when Poppy is in bed or at with her grandparents. I may buy a Blackberry, however so I can access the site at all times.
 
What advice would you give to someone else wanting to work in this area?
 
I  would say that if they are really serious then get a professional in to design your site. Advertisers will not touch you if yor site looks amateurish. 

Your website link:  www.scotmum.com

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