I’m Jo Blood, 41 and I run a workplace consultancy company called Posture People with my husband. Posture People supplies ergonomic equipment and helps companies’ redesign their offices, and I’m a mum of two, an 8 year old girl (going on 13) and very energetic 4 year old boy, plus my third child and a time consuming 9 year old Company.
Whilst I was on maternity leave in 2005 we had the opportunity to buy out my husband’s business partners. I decided that rather than go back to the marketing agency I had been working at, that I would see if I could work alongside my husband without killing him, and see if we could grow the business and raise a young family.
Now several years down the line I do feel that I’ve achieved these goals, for example this summer I took 4 weeks off over the summer holidays. One of my least favourite things is that it was very hard work when the kids were young and I do feel I missed out on some of their baby years. But I decided that it was more important for me to make sure that I could get Posture People to the stage where I could meet them every day from school and we would be able to take the school holidays off.
Running your own business can be extremely tough, and growing has caused its own pains as now managing staff is almost a full time job on top of seeing customers. I don’t think you run your own company as the easy option, as it is all consuming, but I can truly say that I love my job, and I get to meet the most amazing people, who truly inspire me on a daily basis. I’ve also found it’s vital to make really good friends with other working mums, and there’s been many occasions when they’ve helped out when I’ve got a deadline to make.
Along the road there have been a few bumps, it’s been difficult to find the right staff, and hard sometimes to keep up with the pace of growth. The turning point for us, came when we started working with a business mentor who has really helped us to clarify our ideas and what areas to concentrate on.
I don’t think there is an easy answer to running a business when you’ve got a family, but flexibility and a really good support network are vital, and a sense of humour and a slow cooker – so you don’t have to cook in the evening on top of everything else.
Find out more about Jo’s business: www.posturepeople.co.uk