Archive for the ‘Mumpreneurs’ Category

A woman’s guide to surviving the recession

March 3, 2009

I love strong women – I think we rule the world, but in a gentle, unassuming way.

One of my favourite quotes is by Eleanor Roosevelt: “A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”

So today I found a blog post by another strong woman – and I wanted to share it with you.  Penny Power is one of the founders of a business networking website which I’m a member of and this blog post of hers shows the hard work, tenacity and resourcefulness that goes into being a women in business.  I hope you enjoy it, I did!


You’re already a Supermummy – here’s how to be a ‘Mumpreneur’ too!…

March 1, 2009

I love getting parcels in the post, and this week I got one containing a brand new book which launches this month!

This book is aimed at mums who have just started or are thinking of starting a business, as it has lots of tips and information for coming up with a business idea and promoting this new venture. One thing I always look for as a business mum, is advice from people who ‘walk the talk’. I’m quite choosy about who I listen to just because I want to know that if you are telling me a way to do something, that you understand what it is like to be in my shoes, and this book doesn’t disappoint on that score. The writer, Mel McGee obviously writes from experience, knowing the little barriers that many mums put up to stop themselves from achieving great things, and Mel shows you how to remove them. There are some really powerful messages in the book around stopping limiting beliefs, something I’ve had to deal with in my past as a Mumpreneur and I know many Mumpreneur friends have too.

The book starts by building the reader’s confidence that they can start a business and the chapters are sprinkled with ‘Supertips’ to help you along the way. One message that rings out loud and clear from the book is that nothing is achieved without ACTION! And I fully agree – ideas are great but it is putting them into action that makes the money.

Even if you don’t have a business idea but are thinking that you’d like to start a business, then this book gives you some useful exercises to get started and help you create your money making idea

I really liked the tip about trying out your sales message on your kids or your mum. If they can understand the benefits of your business, you’ve cracked it! This is a great way to check that you are delivering the right message to your potential clients and getting to the point quickly and coherently. I worked in marketing for more than a decade before starting up my business as a Virtual Assistant and have never heard it said quite so succinctly before!

All in all, a very practical book loaded with advice. If you are looking for both a guide-book on starting a business and a cheerleader to encourage you along the way, this book is it!

It’s available from Amazon – check it out:

Five stars:

Mumpreneurs – Prepare for World Domination!

February 21, 2009

Thought that might get your attention! Well perhaps not quite world domination but I do believe that us working mums are ideally positioned to build our businesses and actually gain something positive from the economic crisis we find ourselves in.

Something positive to say in amongst the doom and gloom and the “Don’t panic Mr Manwering!” type attitude the media can’t seem to get enough of? Well actually yes and it makes a nice change doesn’t it?! I’m no authority on the economy and I certainly don’t wish to position myself as an expert on surviving the credit crunch (although, as a marketing consultant, I can certainly help companies develop marketing strategies to raise their game and differentiate from their competitors) but when I look around and talk to colleagues, contacts and friends it seems to me that the people booming while others flounder are the freelancers and small work-at-home businesses.

I am a freelance marketing consultant and work-at-home-mum and the work that I do often requires me to use other freelancers to deliver client projects. I use specialists for particular types of work that require skills that I don’t have or I don’t have the time to do myself including graphic designers, web developers, PR specialists, telemarketers, photographers, administrators etc. I use freelancers because it’s a cost effective way of doing things, it allows me to use the people who will be particularly suited to the client and the project and I know that they will deliver and not de-value my own brand because I have worked with them many times before and trust them to do a good job. These are the people whose businesses are booming!

In a climate where companies are laying off staff and even going under, all the freelancers that I work with have never been so busy and that is exactly what is happening in my own business. This made me wonder why and the conclusion I have come to is that it’s down to the flexibility and affordability that a freelancer brings to organisations of all sizes.

People who run a business from home, and that includes us WAHMs, are equally as qualified, experienced and resourceful as larger companies offering the same products and services but we have an enormously powerful bargaining tool at our disposal and that is the cost saving that we can pass on to our clients. We don’t have expensive offices, big staff bills or fleets of company cars to maintain and this can make a huge difference to the fees we charge and at the end of the day, the service we provide is just as good as any of our more sizeable competitors.

I personally think we also offer extra flexibility and a more personal service. Because we are always the central point of contact and we work on every client project personally we know the client and the project inside out and we build a relationship with them. We’re also prepared to go the extra mile if we need to because it’s OUR business and we want to make sure the job is done well. We’re not working for a monthly salary or as part of a corporate machine, we reap the benefits that we sow and we see direct results from our actions. Yes, we may take time out of our day to put another load in the washing machine or pick our children up from school but we will no doubt make that time up and more by doing a couple of hours in the evening or over the weekend or even at the baby’s nap time because we’re dedicated to what we do.

Clients see this and they keep coming back. Even companies who would have never used the services of a freelancer before are seeking us out because they know they need still to market their company, access admin services, control their finances, manage their HR function etc and they may not have the internal skills to do that. We represent the best solution for their needs at a cost that is affordable and that, my fellow mumpreneurs and freelancers, is why we are about to take over the world!

Sarah Ainslie runs Sarah Ainslie Marketing, offering creative marketing solutions to UK businesses.