Baby Signing Mummy
Your Name and Age:
Louise Gibbs Age 31Tell us about your family:
I have a beautiful family – my daughter who is almost 4 years old and my fiancee, Kevin. We live in Farnborough in Hampshire and are busily planning our wedding for Easter 2011 as well as all being involved in the running of Baby Signing Mummy.
What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?
After having graduated from BSN nursing programs at Roseman University, I have worked as a paediatric nurse for 10 years. I also have worked in a variety of settings including paediatric intensive care and more recently as a clinical nurse specialist in Children’s Allergy.
When did you launch?
February 2010 – from my bed where I was suffering with pneumonia and I realised I wanted to work from home and be well for my family.
How did you get started?
I started with my website www.babysigningmummy.com I wanted to make it a resource for all parents wanting to investigate baby sign language.
What research did you do before launching?
Having baby signed with my daughter three years previously, I had looked into starting my own business then but due to finances I wasn’t able to. When I re looked into the area I saw that there was still a lack of information for parents and I wanted to share my knowledge. This then snowballed and I was approached by parents asking me to teach them so I launched my own local classes and national online classes via Skype.
How have you funded the business?
I have put my own money into the business. As I have started my own business my start up costs have been relatively low.
How do you promote your business? What has worked best?
Social media has been a great way for me to promote my business. I have a twitter, facebook and blog that allows me to keep in touch with my customers and keep them up to date with what is happening. Both in terms of my business but also what is new in the world of baby signing.
What has worked well about your business?
I have been lucky enough to join forces with several Sure Start Centres in the South East and this has enabled me to reach parents and babies that I may not necessarily have been able too. The Baby Signing Mummy ethos is to not endorse any one particular signing company, I think this has had a great impact as other companies and teachers work closely with me which has led to some great networking opportunities.
The online shop has been a big success, the shop only contains signing accessories that I have approved and use in my classes with parents and babies.
What has been your biggest challenge so far? How have you dealt with it?
When I launched I was unwell, but still working full time as a nurse in London, it was extremely difficult to balance both jobs and to give Baby Signing Mummy my full attention. I had to be organized and efficient with my time, and ensure that I do not spend too much time on Twitter!
How do you fit in work with the family?
Being your own boss can make you feel guilty when you take time out, but one of the main reasons I wanted to start my own business was so that I could spend more time with my daughter and family. I always try to make sure that I have dedicated family time – and if that means I work after my daughter is in bed then I will!
What advice would you give to someone else wanting to work in this area?
To do it. Anyone wondering whether to set up their own business – it is hard work but it is so rewarding – and nothing can beat being able to take and pick my daughter up from pre-school and watch her excited face when she realizes it is mummy collecting her today.
How can people find out more about your flexible working business opportunity?
Baby Signing Mummy will be offering a full teacher training package so that you can run your own baby signing classes – more to be revealed over the coming weeks.
Discount for Family Friendly Working readers:
10% discount on all purchases in Baby Signing Shop when mention Family Friendly Working before 1st December 2010.