Are you fed up with a workplace culture that doesn’t allow you enough time to spend with your children? Are you tired of paying almost as much for childcare as you earn from your job? Have you researched part-time work options, only to find that there really aren’t any viable part-time jobs available to you? Or do you worry that perhaps you’ll be made redundant during your maternity leave from work? These are just a few of the reasons that compel women to become “mumpreneurs” – work-at-home mums who have home-based businesses.
A home-based business can provide a mum with a way to earn income while also meeting the needs of her children. Such businesses empower mums to do work that is satisfying and challenging, while also allowing for lifestyle flexibility.
Perhaps you’re interested in the possibility of starting a home-based business, but you aren’t sure how to go about it. That’s a common situation amongst my readers, so I thought I’d share an introduction to entrepreneurship for mums. I hope you will find it helpful.
Most small businesses do not succeed in the long term. A high percentage of them end in failure because nobody wants or needs the products and services they offer.
You can increase your likelihood of business success if you start by identifying a troublesome problem. Then you figure out how to efficiently solve that problem for your potential customers. It’s ideal if the problem already has a sizable audience that’s desperate for a solution.
The problem doesn’t have to be a new or unique one. For example, you’re already painfully aware that a lack of affordable childcare is a problem for many mums. A home-based daycare business could be a workable business idea – because it can help other mums to meet real-life, ongoing, everyday childcare needs.
Once you have identified a problem and your solution to it, you have to figure out how you will alert your potential customers to your solution. Will you advertise? Use social media? Create a website or blog?
You definitely want to avoid becoming one of those failed business statistics so often discussed in entrepreneurs’ circles. It’s helpful to be proactive about talking to your potential customers so you can get their feedback on your plans and ideas. This could save you bunches of wasted development time.
You might be surprised about what you learn from seeking feedback. Perhaps you’ll discover a better business idea than the one you originally planned to execute.
Keep in mind that it’s important to get feedback from people who are outside your inner circle of friends and family – because it would be all too easy for your friends and family to be overly agreeable in delivering messages they think you want to hear. You need to hear the blunt, honest truth about your business ideas from your intended target market before you invest heavily in bringing them to life.
Once you’ve thought of a problem to solve, considered a workable solution and solicited feedback on it, it’s time to decide if your idea is worth developing.
It is? Fantastic! In that case, it’s time to have a go at launching the business.
Can you do it?
Of course you can!
But maybe there’s something holding you back from actually launching your business – even though you have a workable idea and you really want to do it. Maybe you’re hesitant to actually get started.
What’s holding you back? Is it fear? Is it lack of confidence?
Perhaps it’s a niggling worry that you don’t have the right credentials or experience to succeed in business. These sorts of fears can hold women back in all areas of career success, but they are particularly tough issues that female entrepreneurs face.
According to Forbes, the owners of women-owned, home-based businesses are typically well educated, married mums in their 30s or 40s. In Australia, 42 percent of female business ownershold a diploma or degree.
Education is definitely helpful for a successful business outcome, but it isn’t mandatory. Are you aware that Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates both dropped out of Harvard before founding the businesses that made them famous?
There’s only one correct conclusion you can draw from that little tidbit: A uni degree isn’t the most essential facet of business success.
So what are the essential factors?
They’re as follows:
None of these ideals are easy to achieve, but here’s the thing. Women often suffer from a confidence gap — and that gap can hold us back from succeeding in business. Formal education is one of the easiest and most workable solutions for bridging the confidence gap.
There are several reasons for this. One is that an education brings essential knowledge and expertise along with it. Another is that education also instantly confers a professional network that is highly beneficial for business success. For example, if your business idea is one that requires a global network of suppliers, employees or customers, a global MBA can help you to establish that. See this page for more information about the benefits of a global MBA:
Confidence can be elusive, but it is arguably one of the most important factors necessary for success in business. Whether you acquire it through education, through personal experience or by some other means, it is something you’ll want to think about as you decide whether entrepreneurship is the right path for you.
So there you have it: In a nutshell, that’s entrepreneurship for mums who aspire to have home-based businesses. If you’re longing to stay home with your children, but you can’t sacrifice the income you earn from working, mumpreneurship is definitely a solution worth exploring.