Women have been juggling the demands of homelife while crafting and creating on the side for centuries. Being a ‘mumpreneur’ isn’t new. It’s just got a new name, a whole lot more potential, and several celebrity role models, including Hollywood star Jessica Alba. Think you’ve got what it takes? Then read on…
Small business is the backbone of the Australian economy and most small businesses are run by women – many of them mums. There’s a lot going for it: home-based; flexible hours; better returns than a part-time job; the chance to be creative and self-sufficient; best of all, you’re the boss. It also has some challenges – unpredictable markets; hard work; startup capital; a steep learning curve; and having to fit it all in with raising kids.
So how do you know if you’ve got what it takes? Above all, a mumpreneur needs to be entrepreneurial. She needs to relish the challenge and excitement of creating something new and being the boss. She also needs to be tough, resilient, determined and willing to take some big risks. Think Meryl Streep’s ‘Miranda Priestly’ in The Devil Wears Prada, except 100 times more personable. Most of all, mumpreneurs need a good idea and a head for business. But don’t panic – that last trait can be acquired.
If you think you might have what it takes to be the next big thing in the mummy economy, consider the following:
1. Do your homework
A great idea is only great if there aren’t a hundred other people already doing it. Put on your investigative hat and scope out your competition; find out how similar businesses operate; talk to other mumpreneurs; make sure there is a demand for your product.
2. Fail to plan, plan to fail
If you don’t know how to plan a business then take a TAFE course or get a couple of good books on the subject. We don’t mean to rain on your parade, but stats show that 90 per cent of small businesses fail, mostly because they fail to plan.
3. Rally the troops, build a support network
Trying to do business without good support is like trying to win the Melbourne Cup without a horse. Does your family support you? Who’s going to pick up the kids when you’re in an unavoidable business meeting? Have you considered a working alliance with other mums?
4. Dream big and don’t take no for an answer
If you want to be a successful mumpreneur you’re going to need a dream, one that gets you out of bed in the dark and offers a future that is worth fighting for.
Are you a mumpreneur? Then tell us about yourself on the Optus Facebook page. We would love to share your story!