Finding a balance between running your business and being a new mum

Finding a balance between running your business and being a new mum

My husband and I run multiple ecommerce businesses, and as such, have everything from “mature” sites to brand new online stores that we’ve launched quite recently. It’s been quite a journey for us over the years, but last year we also decided that maybe it was time to throw a baby into the mix!

Of course, we had some idea that our life would change completely, everyone knows that right? But when our baby boy was born in May 2015, I really didn’t understand just how completely and utterly dependent he is on us. Much like our younger businesses really.

Fortunately, we spent the nine months of pregnancy relatively wisely. In hindsight, there was always more we could have done, but we spent much of that time focused more on developing systems and building our team than “chasing the next big thing”. This meant training people to do our customer support, shipping, web development, and marketing, so that we would be able to spend our limited time steering the ship, instead of rowing the boat.

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What I wish I knew when I started my business

What I wish I knew when I started my business

Have you ever wished your present self could have one of ‘those’ conversations where you pass on valuable knowledge to your younger self? I have several times now, and yet that conversation is yet to happen!!

If your present self can’t have one of those conversations either, I’d best help you both out and let’s have it now.

In the several businesses I have launched over the years, here are some of the business tips I wish I had known or been guided towards.

Business Tip 1: Know and Understand Your ‘Why’

What’s your purpose for starting this business instead of going to work for someone else? Perhaps it’s for family reasons, or you are like me and aren’t a very good employee.

Getting very specific about your ‘why’ will help when things don’t go your way. You may have had a bad experience with a client or lost a contract.

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Tips for Maximizing SEO on a Small Business Budget

Tips for Maximizing SEO on a Small Business Budget

Small businesses are becoming more visible these days as consumers actively search for them online. There are more opportunities than ever for small businesses to impact the local community and make a positive change in the economy. However, in order to take advantage of these opportunities, small businesses will need to step up their marketing game. Competition, especially in the digital marketing space, is now fiercer than ever.

While most businesses know they can benefit from an SEO company’s services, their marketing budgets may not be big enough to enable them to purchase an all-inclusive package with all the bells and whistles. Instead of giving up, these companies should do some groundwork to ensure they get the most out of their existing SEO campaigns.

Research your competitors

Small business owners often don’t have a very clear idea of who their direct competitors are. They also tend to be unfamiliar with the wants and needs of their target audience, and clueless as to what’s “trending” in their industries. In addition, business owners often develop tunnel vision and a single-minded focus on sales. This can be fatal in the online space.

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7 Legal Essentials for Business Online: Part 5 – Website Terms and Conditions

If you’ve been following this series of articles you’ll be aware that terms and conditions have been mentioned a couple of times in different contexts, and there is good reason for that. Creating an online business allows you to interact with people all over the world. You no longer have the relative security of watching someone walk through the front door of your store and being able to make a judgment about how you want to behave with them, and how you might expect them to behave.

In an online environment the space is open and accessible 24/7 and you don’t necessarily get to check out your customers before they go to buy. The beauty of being online is that you get to set your own rules, within the context of the laws you chose to apply to your website.  How does this work in practice?

If your business is here in Australia you don’t really want to get involved in a dispute somewhere the other side of the world. You particularly don’t want to get dragged into a court proceeding that is in America, where ridiculous damages claims appear to be the norm. As an aside, did you know that New South Wales is the second most litigious state in the World, behind California?

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Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners

Timemanagement2

Time is money, as they say in business circles. How you spend your time in order to be as productive as possible will determine, in part at least, how successful your business is going to be. If your business is mismanaged, on the other hand, you run the risk of failing entirely.

That’s how important time management is. After all, how can you expect to manage a bigger business when you cannot even handle the rigors of overseeing a small-sized enterprise? In any case, here are some excellent tips that you can use in managing your time with your business properly.

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Emergency Tips for Mumpreneurs

It would be hard to find anyone better at multitasking than someone who is both a businesswoman and mother. As many of us appreciate, working from home can be stressful at the best of times and adding children to that equation can make things very hectic! The last thing you need when you’re in this situation is getting caught short in an emergency and that’s why knowledge of first aid can be a great tool for any mother working from home. A little bit of know-how and preparation can save you a lot of time and worry in the long run.

First up, it’s important to be up to speed with relevant contact numbers to call in an emergency. If you’re at home and hurt yourself, but the injury isn’t serious enough to classify as an ambulance emergency, it’s a good idea to contact Healthdirect. This number will get you in touch with nurses who are on call 24/7 and can assist with any concerns or inquiries. Healthdirect can be reached on 1800 022 222.

It’s also very smart to teach your children emergency contact information. Often in a first aid emergency, children can be a mother’s best chance of getting help. So, make sure your children know how to recite their home address, phone number and dial 000 – even a toddler can use the phone! It’s a great idea to leave this information within easy reach near the phone, on the fridge or even on the back of the toilet door. By preparing your kids with this information, you can save valuable time in an emergency.

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7 Legal Essentials for Business Online: Part 3 – Online comments

For some reason a lot of people say things on social media and blog posts that they would never say in a letter to the editor in the traditional newspaper format. It’s an interesting phenomenon and one that will no doubt fuel all sorts of legal disputes for years to come.  With the fast pace of online interactions you might forget that your comments remain accessible online indefinitely for those who want to look, and if legal proceedings are involved, someone will be looking!

Did you hear the one about the woman in Western Australia who posted some unflattering comments about her ex-husband on Facebook? The comments were posted in December 2012 and taken down in January 2013. In the meantime a bunch of mutual acquaintances, including the man’s brother, saw the post. Court proceedings were filed and it wasn’t heard by a judge until 2015. Don’t assume that because you’ve forgotten about it, everyone else has too! The Judge decided in favour of the ex-husband and the woman was ordered to pay $12,500 in compensation as well as legal costs.

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7 Time Management Tips for Small Business

1. Know when you are Productive vs Unproductive?

How can you be sure when you are productive or unproductive? It’s easy to identify when you are personally productive.  It feels good.  Things run smoothly, you are responsive, motivated, pumped.  You have brain power, a clear mind and you know exactly what to do and when to do it.  However, indicators that you are lacking in productivity are not always obvious.  Stress is the most obvious but it can also be things like absent-mindedness, procrastination or distractions, email that dominates your time, being behind schedule or increased conflicts.

A productive team has little conflict, is motivated and works cohesively to a common goal.  Round pegs are definitely in round holes with the team working very much with their strengths and solving the weaknesses.  Most importantly a team will have simple and clear systems of operation.  Additionally they are lead, not managed, which means they are more autonomous rather than foot soldiers.  Where, by contrast, an unproductive team will have dominant personalities that rule or dictate.  Conflicts are common, communications are weak and resource is constantly wasted.

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MummaToo

I never envisioned being a mother.  I had dedicated 7 years of my life to creating a successful business and didn’t think I had room for being a mother and a businesswoman because of the demand on my time for both of them.

The business I own is not a very baby friendly business, even though it is run from home.  It is a dog boarding facility so it isn’t a place a baby can crawl around safely and because it is like a dog park, in that dogs run around with other dogs, the concentration level whilst at work has to be 100% – Suffice to say, for me, having both world of career woman and mother was not in my mind’s grasp.

And as I write this, I am staring at my beautiful almost 7 month old son and have found out I am also 12 weeks pregnant with the second one.   How did this happen?  Well, the stories are true … if you find the right person, things change and things sure did change.  Not only will I have two babies under 2 by November this year, I also have two stepchildren, which are my partners.  Going from zero children to four within the space of 3 years!

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Law and Disorder – 4 Business Tips From a Successful Lawyer-Mum

I started my legal practice when my son was six months old. That was nearly two years ago. The time between then and now has been a roller coaster of excitement, stress, joy, fear, exhilaration, frustration and absolute fulfilment. Whilst every day continues to hold new lessons for me, here’s what I have to share so far with those who are thinking about, or trying to, combine parenthood with running a business.

1. Be a proud parent

Setting up a new business with a breast-fed baby in tow meant that I didn’t really have a choice but to include my son in the planning process. This meant bringing him along to meetings with the likes of accountants, software providers and web designers. One such meeting was with four men, none of whom batted an eyelid when I chose to breast feed my son partway through.

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