Not many mumpreneurs have 20 years of experience in business. Karen Sherr has been running Musical Minis since the birth of her son, Matthew, now 20. Here are her top tips which will help whether you are a new mum in business or have been running your own enterprise for some time.
· Research the market and competition.
· Start small, let the business grow as and when you can cope with expansion.
· Have a clear idea what you want out of the business e.g. money, how much?
· Try to separate work from home. If your business is based at home (as all the Musical Minis administration is) have a 2nd phone line fitted.
· Have backup. If your child is ill what will happen to your business e.g. in Musical Minis will you have to send away the children or can you phone someone to run the class.
· Know your limitations. For example if you have problems with accounts get someone to help you.
· Set time aside to be a Mum. After school play with your child or help with homework etc. I, whenever possible, took and collected my children from school. On the 25 minute journey, I had time to hear about their day and my time was just focused on the children.
· If there are not enough hours in the day to do everything, do the bits you like (with both work and home life) and get help with the bits you don’t. E.g. get a cleaner, shop online.
· Work out the balance between work and home that you want. Get help with either work or home life, if the business grows too big for you to manage both roles then work, home and you, will all suffer.
· Set time aside to deal with administration, household tasks etc. If you keep putting it off the task will become huge (e.g., hours of paperwork, loads of ironing). Regular manageable chunks of mundane but important tasks will help things flow smoothly.
· Set time aside for yourself. Running a business and having a family gives you no free time – there is always something you should be doing. It is important, whenever possible, to give yourself time to relax – maybe meet a friend for lunch, go shopping for yourself.