Do you have a business idea that you want to start now that your baby is here? Perhaps you view your new business venture as a way to stay at home or to add more freedom or flexibility to your life when compared to return to a regular nine-to-five job. Perhaps you have always longed to start a business but didn’t have the time or motivation until you entered maternity leave. Or, perhaps as a mom you found an unmet need in the marketplace and have created an innovative solution to meet that need. I’m sure you have great reasons to start your business. Afterall, Moms rock at making a positive change in the world! But, then you look at your new levels of responsibility and your new daily capacity for personal and business growth you may start to wonder how starting a new business can fit into your life.
Here are a few tips on how to make it happen:
Be okay with having a small business to start:
One of the most frequent places that people get stuck is when their business ideas far exceed their current capacity and resources. This can quickly cause overwhelm and cause a great business idea to land in the pile of non-realized dreams. The key to starting small is being realistic and honest with yourself where the gap is between what you can do right now from a capacity and resource standpoint and what you want ideally for your business. Then, based on your current resources and capacity you plan out what work you can accomplish towards your grander vision. Be okay with starting small. If you are creative there is always a way to start today and build your business into something larger over time. The key is to get started at the scale that makes sense for you right now.
Be realistic about when you can expect profits in your business:
Most businesses are not profitable from the get-go. The truth is it takes time to build a website, product offerings, and do the market research and marketing needed before your first sales start to come in. Oftentimes entrepreneurship is romanticized as the easiest gate to freedom from a corporate job but to turn a profit that can actually fully supplement your current salary may take longer than it seems. Plan on the first year (or more) of your business being a transitionary year where you will need to bridge your income to help finance the start of your venture and to pay the bills while your business works towards building enough traction to sustain you.
Build low overhead into the beginning of your business plan:
Keep a tight ship when it comes to expenses in your new business. This will help you to make boundaries choices about expenditures and get you to the point of sustainable profitability faster. For businesses just starting out, many of the resources should be focused on getting your product or service to market so that you can start to recoup your losses and start making money as soon as possible.
Talk to people:
Talk to as many people as possible about your new business idea, and your ideas for product offerings and try to get into the head of your ideal customer avatar (ICA). This step will help you to get closer to what people want to buy faster. You’ll understand their challenges and be able to create solutions that fit their needs which will lead to being able to talk their language when creating your sales copy and will lead to easier sales because the products you offer fit their need so well you have to do less work to convince a potential customer to buy from you.
Grow at your capacity:
As a new mom, your capacity has just taken a huge overhaul. Along the same lines as being okay with being small to start comes the concept of building a business you are available for. If you only have a half an hour per week then start with that. If you can work more, wonderful. But do what you can to fit your business into your schedule where you can. The point is to get started making money so that you can build capacity in other ways such as hiring a team of contractors to help extend your capacity or by increasing the amount of time you are able to work in your business by hiring a housekeeper or mother’s helper to help around the house or with your children. Challenge yourself to get started when and how you can and you will surprise yourself at the creative ways you may come up with to spend more time in your business.
All of these tips share one common theme and that is to get started.
Having a baby may mean that there are competing needs for your time and resources but starting a business also means having more long-term control over how you spend your time. The unique thing about starting a business with a baby is that you can design your business around being a parent. Remember to start from where you are and allow momentum and scale to build over time. So, what are you waiting for?