Mumpreneur Profile: Diane of Babatopia

Name of Business:

Your Name and Age: Diane Laidlaw , 30

Tell us about your family. I am a single mother to 11 month old Ethan. We currently live in East London right next to the Olympic Field

What did you do before coming up with your business idea.

I was working for Newham Council for about 6 years

When did you launch?

March 2011

How did you get started?

I had an idea for an invention for a new baby bottle steriliser. While doing research I found a plethora of work at home mums and dads creating wonderful products for children. I thought that maybe if I can gather all these products and have them selling in a one stop shop it might inspire other people to create. I had no experience in this field. I just had the idea and wanted to create that opportunity.

What research did you do before launching?

Google is my best friend. I clicked on every link I could find and went far into page 40+ on Google searches to find great and unknown products. I registered to rss feeds, mailing lists and magazines to keep up to date on new items.

How have you funded the business?

I am a frugal business owner. I spent less than £100 setting up the business, website and logo. I am a strong believer in doing things myself so I seek ways in which I can do it. Your limitation is based on your imagination.

How do you promote your business? What has worked best?

Social Media is the best form of promotion for me currently. I am still very fresh in the business and because I do everything myself things like PR, marketing, product sourcing and basic day to day maintenance needs to be assigned times so I can concentrate on each section fully.

What has worked well about your business?

My attitude I think is what works wells for my business. If I listened to what people had told me from the beginning then I probably wouldn’t have started. I believe if you want something you should get it. Yes at times you can feel that you want to give up but this business has spurred other ideas for me as well which I hope to implement as another stream of income.

What has been your biggest challenge so far? How have you dealt with it?

Sourcing and securing quality direct dispatch agreements with manufactures and designers was one of my biggest challenges.. I knew I didn’t have money to hold or buy any stock so I searched for drop shipping agreements with suppliers first and foremost with the ability to buy wholesale down the line.

How do you fit in work with the family?

I know it sounds bad but as a WAHM you can get carried away so I schedule time, twice a week for us to go playgroup or take a walk in the park otherwise we would be hermits.

What advice would you give to someone else wanting to work in this area?

Don’t let your lack of experience, knowledge, money, time or any other self-inflicting doubt shadow your idea. Go for it and research, plan, implement and keep repeating until you get the desired outcome.

If you have a flexible working business opportunity, please explain briefly what you offer and how people find out more.

Currently I am working on a new website called Kick Think. This website is all about my experience of making something from nothing and how other people can do the same with the right tools.

Your website link.

If you can offer a discount or special promotion for Family Friendly Working readers, please write it here:

I would like to give a 15% discount to all of your readers to use on Babatopia

Discount Code is FFW11 and can be used throughout the whole of the year.

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