Mums are entering business at a rapid rate as they look for greater flexibility, a solution to childcare issues and more meaningful work. Mums are highly skilled, educated and resourceful yet the success of women in business is not reflective of this.
Today I want to highlight 5 things mums in business can do to position themselves for greater business success.
1. Grow Your Confidence
I’ve coaching more than 40 mums in business over the past twelve months and I am greatly concerned with the “confidence gap” I am seeing between men and woman. This seems far more prevalent in mum led businesses where women have taken a career break after the birth of a child. During the enormous transition into motherhood mums are traversing a very different landscape which can result in a drop-in confidence. I have witnessed this time and time again with the business women I coach. Mums in business need to focus on getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s where the real growth happens, and with this, greater confidence. I will be looking to assist mums in business grow their confidence with my upcoming Confidence mini challenge for the AusMumpreneur community which starts soon and I encourage you to register. I will have a total of six tasks which can be implemented over thirty days to really boost your confidence in business.
2. Find Finance to Grow
Over the past five years there has been a significant increase in opportunities for women in business to seek investment and/or bank assistance yet many mums are still reluctant. Last year at an International Women’s Day event at Rampersand, a Melbourne based VC fund, I heard from their Investment Manager, Eloise Watson, who shared that there was a real lack of pitches being received from women. When she does receive a pitch deck from a woman she always gives it high attention. I believe this is because generally speaking, women are more risk averse than men. Mothers caring for children are mitigating risk with their young children all day long. They are innately trained to reduce the risk and ‘stay safe’. If you require finance to assist your growth then look to explore funding opportunities via organisations such as Scale Investors and Springboard Enterprises or consider speaking to your bank.
3. Find a Mentor
Everyone needs support, particularly in their first few years of business. There is a growing number of women-only programs and communities which assist female business owners (just like AusMumpreneur) where you can experience peer to peer mentoring. Alternatively seek a business coach or mentor to assist you overcome key business challenges and create strategies to grow your business. Having independent counsel can be very helpful with making big calls in your business.
4. Plan Family Commitments
In the past year, I have coached more than forty women business owners. These were all mums with the majority being the primary carer of their children. They have an enormous workload and are incredibly stretched. They are, without exception, incredibly passionate about their business but are struggling to drive growth in their business. They do not always have the money to afford fulltime care for their children, and many look to juggle the demands of parenthood and business until the business has grown enough to afford childcare. It can be a recipe for disappointment and sets up many mothers for business failure. If this sounds like you then it’s time to sit down and speak with your partner. How can they take on more home responsibilities to assist you? Is outsourcing some home duties or administrative work an opportunity? Can the in-laws or your parents provide you and your partner with regular childcare to assist you devote more time to your business? Can you work from a co-working space which offers childcare like Hub Bub? Can you rejig your days so you can work for an hour or so before the kids get up? Revisit and explore your options.
5. Think Big
I have observed that many women are happy to be the behind the scenes, working their butts off, acting as the engine room of the business. They are often not front and centre representing their business. I frequently observe women-led business owners think small. There seems to be a reluctance to share their true vision as it might make them appear arrogant or thinking they are particularly important so it is not being communicated to their target audience. Instead look to create a big vision for you and your business. As a tip, if you are not feeling a bit embarrassed or overwhelmed by the enormity of your vision, then it isn’t big enough. Once you’ve got a big vision you need to start owning it and communicating it to all around you including your ideal clients and customers.
Mums in business face many challenges in achieving success in business. I am committed to helping more women, particularly mothers, achieve greater business success and these tips are designed to start you thinking about positioning yourself for bigger business outcomes.
About our Ausmumpreneur Expert :
Katrina McCarter is the Founder of Marketing to Mums. She specialises in helping businesses sell more to the world’s most powerful consumer, mums. Katrina is a mum of three and a best-selling author, international speaker, coach and consultant. She has won awards for Best Social Media, Best Customer Service and Best Boss and has featured on Today Tonight, Channel 7, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.