Name of Business:
Mum-run events company which focusing on events for family and is committed to supporting Mum/family run businesses
Your Name and Age: Nicki Cawood 27
Tell us about your family:
I’m happily married to a very supportive husband, Roy and we have a wonderful (and mischievous!) son, Kieran (3yrs). We live in North Yorkshire.
Mumsworld Events is not just my “baby” but also that of my friend and colleague Steph Walker, Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Steph & I both run successful Usborne businesses and have large teams and last summer we sat down with lots of coffee (and cake) and decided that we really wanted something else to kick the grey matter back into action after having children. Steph was a solicitor before starting a home based business and I worked in management in the Health & Social care field. Mumsworld Events was born from this conversation as it was something we had always been interested in and we could use our not-quite forgotten professional training and skills again while still maintaining the family flexible lives we were committed to building.
When did you launch?
July 29th 2008 so we have not long turned one (naturally there was more cake!).
How did you get started?
We were both used to attending events regularly, large ones, small ones etc so had a very clear idea of what we wanted to achieve. From then it was setting a plan of where we wanted to be in a year and setting milestones to help us get there.
What research did you do before launching?
Online, talking to people, drawing on our own experiences of attending events as visitors and very much so as exhibitors, we researched geographically to decide where we thought it best to focus our events on…..
How have you funded the business? Ourselves. Fortunately, initially our costs were fairly low but we didn’t want sponsors involved etc until we had run a few events and were certain we could ensure any sponsors got what they paid for!
How do you promote your business? What has worked best?
We’ve promoted ourselves far and wide and on many different levels! We’ve done free advertising i.e. word of mouth, social networking including Facebook & Twitter, various mum-focused and business websites, in newspapers, Families magazine, Smalltalk magazines etc, newspapers, fliers, postcards in soft play centres, health centres, at child focused classes….. posters, lots of on the ground advertising -all the usual stuff and more!
What has worked best? Its been two-fold, the social networking side has really raised our profile, making us more known and letting people know what we are about, and making fantastic contacts – the on the ground advertising, fliers, leaflets, posters, banners, articles in papers etc is what gets bums on seats as it were, that’s what we’ve found has got people through the door.
What has worked well about your business?
Our partnership, Steph and I bounce off each other in all the right ways, we both think very alike but will challenge each other to look at different options. We both have different interests/skills too -for example Steph has fantastic on the ground contacts, a fab ability to distribute advertising at an amazing rate, is our legal brain and more, I (being the more shall we say vocal (gobby?) partner) love the online side, the social networking, the emailing / taking to exhibitors etc. We both do everything but are comfortable in the roles we’ve fallen into.
What has been your biggest challenge so far? How have you dealt with it?
I don’t think there is one I could single out – we have had lots of ups and downs along the way so far and doubtless we’ll face more in the future but it’s our focus on where we want to be and the support of our families that always get us through them.
How do you fit in work with the family?
That’s the best bit -we both work from home so can work whenever we want, Quick phone meetings at 8am before school drop off, in the afternoon during naps, at 10pm when the footy is on if we want. Today was a typical example – three kids between us, a soft play centre, a diary, pad, coffee and cakes (cakes for us naturally). A morning out when it was too wet to do anything else, the kids had a ball and we caught up and ticked a lot off our to-do lists!
What advice would you give to someone else wanting to work in this area?
Have someone who you can bounce off – it is so important. We are both very fortunate to have supportive families but knowing I can pick up the phone and go “Arghhhh!” and thrash out a problem with Steph makes like a lot easier and talking things through with someone else who understands your focus and where you want to go, can really help clarify things.
Your website link: www.mumsworldevents.co.uk