David Saul, managing director for serviced office provider Business Environment looks at the resources available to mums looking to take on the challenge of becoming a ‘mumpreneur’
As more and more women realise they can be both full time mum and businesswoman, the word ‘mumpreneur’ is quickly finding itself part of business vernacular.Making the decision to set up a business from home in order to be with your children is a very brave and admirable one. Becoming a mumpreneur is so much more than just business; it’s a lifestyle choice and it’s one that marries both family life with working life – which is why it’s important that those choosing to take on this challenge are aware of all the resources out there, available to them.
For me, one of the main reasons mumpreneurs have been able to flourish recently is technology. Advances in mobile and remote technologies mean it is now possible to set up camp and get to work pretty much anywhere. For mumpreneurs this is of course home, which makes things slightly more simple, but there are even products out there geared specifically towards the home worker.
One thing that can be difficult to attain when running a business from the family hub is a professional air, particularly if your postal address is in the middle of Timbuktu. Thankfully, there are now resources available to help the remote worker overcome this.
A virtual office can work wonders for the home worker that wishes to maintain a professional demeanour to clients. Having a prestigious business address, trained call handler and the option of a physical office should one be required, sounds like a huge, costly commitment, but this needn’t be the case. There are packages available that allow customers to sign up for as little as a three-month period, with a view to extending should the service be required for longer. These packages can also be tailored to the businesses’ needs. Call handlers don’t have to be included if not required, nor does a postal address; these services are all about working around the specific needs of the home worker.
Technology aside, another really important resource that should be optimised by mumpreneurs, if available, is emotional support. Being able to admit that balancing a home-run business and raising a family at the same time is tough is just part of the battle. Asking for support if it’s needed, or even just accepting support if it’s offered, is a sign the battle is close to being won.
It’s vitally important that the work of today’s mumpreneurs is being fully acknowledged and appreciated for what it is – a very skilled but challenging vocation. Technology is constantly evolving and new ideas are being developed all the time – including websites geared specifically towards mumpreneurs – to help mums flourish in their chosen business, but this can never take the place of having a great support network.
Having the understanding of family members and friends can work wonders on those days when you really need some peace and quiet to get on, or have to leave the kids behind to meet clients. Unfortunately there is yet to be a technology developed to clone parents, but I’m sure someone’s working on it.