One of the most frequent questions we get asked a lot from budding mumpreneurs is “I have a business idea but I don’t know how or where to start?”
To help you get on your way to living your dream as a mumpreneur, we have gathered some of the best mumpreneurs in the country to share with you their top tips on how to start a business. These mumpreneurs started humbly just you and through passion, hard work and perseverance, they have created award winning businesses and are essential in driving the Australian small business economy.
Tips for starting a business :-
Jodie Blight, Hello Table
- Do a lot of research and ask even more questions, you’ll be amazed at how helpful people are and how happy they are to share their knowledge and provide advice. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call exactly who you want to speak to. No matter how famous or how busy, they may be happy to chat. And if they say no, you’ve lost nothing.
- Don’t give up – you’ll have bad days and bad weeks but don’t lose sight of your dream for the business. Sometimes it is best to take a break for a few days and come back to it with fresh eyes. And ask for help when you need it! Women are not good at that but there is a huge network out there to tap into, all you need to do is ask.
- Nike said it best – Just do it. It can be demanding, gruelling and exhausting but that is what makes the end result so much sweeter. And don’t just do it for yourself, do it for your children. By taking the leap, you will learn so much more than you ever expected. You will look back on your journey one day with no regrets and be so proud that you gave it a go.
After years working as a Company Director in the Finance industry, starting a family and moving half way around the world, Jodie Blight discovered her passion – creating healthy, easy and delicious family meals. “A fist pump from the kids is as good as a Michelin star in my books.” And despite never having actually used an APP before, she developed a world first, award winning APP to make life easier for the home cook. Just scan the recipes to create a comprehensive shopping list on your phone with all the ingredients sorted by supermarket section. Too easy!
To learn more about Hello Table, please visit www.hellotable.com.au
Emma Lovell, FlyBabee
- Understand that you cannot do everything. Look at what you are capable of doing and outsource the rest so that you can focus on your business.
- To be a successful entrepreneur you need a lot of patience, focus, tenacity and a huge amount of belief in yourself.
- End every day with a written to do list for the following day.
Emma’s light bulb moment was the outcome of flying and using an in flight bassinet with a very distracted and overtired baby. She used masking tape and a sheet to try and create an in flight canopy for her baby. Emma also grew frustrated when the blanket covering her daughter’s pram would fly off, fall off or get pulled off. Fly Babee is the solution to trying to get a tired baby to sleep on a plane or when out and about with one’s pram.
Emma appeared on Shark Tank and courageously won over investor Janine Allis from Boost Juice.
Emma hopes that Fly Babee ensures that outings and travel with a baby or toddler enhance peace for your family. She knows first hand that a sleeping baby is a happy baby and that when a baby sleeps, parents are relaxed and happy too!
Emma has also recently created a Facebook page called Mumsomnia, which connects and supports mothers with young children. The Facebook page aims to connect like-minded mothers online with the goal of taking the conversation offline in order to create meaningful friendships.
To learn more about FlyBabee, please visit http://flybabee.com.au/
Kristy Chong, Modibodi™
- Think big from Day 1 – when you think big, you act big, and this thinking helps with ensuring you deliver a quality product and quality brand from the outset
- Invest in marketing, but invest small – marketing is not an exact science and what works for one brand may not necessarily work for another. So don’t spend your entire marketing budget on a magazine advertisement, instead look to spend small amounts across multiple tools/channels, within a few weeks you can start to see what does/doesn’t work
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable – at times you will feel out of control, uncertain, isolated and all consumed by your business, so only do it if you are prepared to really push yourself out of your comfort zone and think you are someone who can be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
Kristy lives in Sydney, but grew up in country NSW. She has always had a love of sport and it was after the birth of her second child, while she was out running one day, that she had her ‘aha’ moment. Irritated with her under performing underpants, she began to question whether underwear was as good as it could be. After speaking to friends and family it seemed women were either putting up with failing underwear, or using disposable liners to stay dry and fresh. She knew instantly she wanted to create a beautiful and functional line of underwear that would empower women!
2013, saw Kristy and her husband, world-leading cardiac researcher Dr James Chong, together with their children return to Australia to officially launch Modibodi™ via an e-commerce model. Since its inception, Modibodi™ sales and brand awareness continues to grow at an exponential rate through strategic business planning, manufacturing development, product offering, marketing and public relations. Clientele from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States of America and United Kingdom have embraced this Aussie brand.
To learn more about Modibodi™, please visit http://www.modibodi.com.au/
Kelly McDonald, Garden Babies Fairy Art
- Whatever your idea is, write it down!
- Put it out there any way you can. Find out where your customers hang out, ie internet, coffeee shops, kinder, and deliver your stuff there.
- Don’t let anyone tell you you cant do this! It may be hard, but you can.
Kelly McDonald is a married mother of 2, who runs her illustrative art studio from her kids playroom. She provides families with a magical photographic session where the imagination is let loose, and the end product is simply enchanting. Award winning, unique art unlike anything you have seen before. Kelly’s studio is located in Frankston South, Victoria.
To learn more about Garden Babies Fairy Art, please visit www.facebook.com/gardenbabiesfairyart
Lisa Munro, Happy Tummies
- Get some really good advice about your website before you start! I wasted a lot of money by not knowing enough and I wish I had asked more questions before I employed a developer.
- If I was staring again, I would employ a professional to help with my marketing plan from the start.
- Understand the importance of ongoing education with a business. Read as many business books as you can, attend as many events as you can and book into courses, not only to learn to run a better business but to make friends that can support you and understand what you’re going through!
Lisa Munro is the owner and manager of Happy Tummies, an online store helping super mums raise kids with allergies. Lisa has had a genuine interest in allergy free cooking and wholefoods since her son then 5, was diagnosed with eosinophilic eosophagitis in 2011. Lisa’s son was placed on a strict elimination diet which required the avoidance of gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, rice, all seafood, sesame and beef. He is also at risk of anaphylaxis to a few of these foods.
Lisa writes a weekly blog which features allergy free recipes as well as information on allergy free and gluten free living.
To learn more about Happy Tummies, please visit https://happytummies.com.au/
Casey Bryden, Sunbella
- Fill a gap in the market. Make sure you’re offering something that people want to buy, not just something that you want to sell. We were very proud of our first range of full size Sunbella’s, which had a handle that screwed into the sand for hands free shade at the beach. The feedback though, was that our market doesn’t spend long periods of time at the beach and it was more important to our customers that the product was small and convenient. Our new ranges are between 6 and 18 inches shorter than our original product and far outsell the original range.
- Find your tribe. Hunt out a network of people that are on a similar path as you. They might be mumpreneurs, creatives, start-ups; there are many established networks that you can join and their companionship on your journey that will be invaluable. I’ve found that many of my questions can be answered and issues can be solved within my network, plus I’ve been able to help others and I now have a great group of likeminded friends to celebrate our successes with. We can learn so much by travelling together rather than forging a path ourselves.
- Invest in yourself – or outsource. Identify your weakness and either get the training you need, or outsource that area and focus on your strengths. I’ve recently completed free masterclass training in social media advertising and during our peak season I outsource lots of home duties so I can focus on the business.
Casey Bryden has two children (5 & 2 years) and co-runs emerging sun-safe label Sunbella with her mum, Jillian. Their sun parasols are unique world-wide, offering UPF50+ protection in the form of a fashionable, sleek and modern iteration of the old parasol. Sunbella sells online and though retailers, they customise for large corporate clients and also offer hire packages for weddings. Sunbella won the 2015 AusMumpreneur Business Excellence, the 2015 Stirling Micro-Business Award and, most recently, a Sunbella parasol was gifted to The Duchess of Cornwall by the State of Western Australia.
To learn more about Sunbella, please visit www.sunbella.com.au
Sam Spunner, Sinchies
- Take your time, by getting everything right in the beginning will set you up for fast growth later
- Listen to what the customer wants and innovate where needed.
- Never give up! Success is not something that happens immediately you need to give yourself time to make the right contacts, ask the right questions and ensure your products and services are in demand before you start. By going slowly and getting everything right in the beginning, you set yourself up for growth later.
Sam Spunner is a mum to one and the Owner and Founder of Sinchies Reusable pouches. After caring for a little girl with dairy allergies who desperately wanted to have a squeeze pouch like the other kids in her family daycare, Sam set out to create a reusable pouch on the market that parents could buy and fill with their homemade goodness. Now four years on Sinchies Reusable pouches are shipped globally, providing easy to use, easy to clean, convenient and affordable reusable food pouches, sandwich bags, wrap bags and snack bags to kids and adults alike.
To learn more about Sinchies, please visit http://www.sinchies.com/
Heather Rowland, Kippins
- Do your research. Know your customer, your competitors and your market well before beginning.
- Have a business plan. Know where you want your business to be in 6 months, 1 year and 5 years. This can change but it gives you direction and clarity.
- Have professionals develop your brand. Even small businesses should start from a strong visual and emotional platform. Decide who your brand is and what it stands for and then develop your products and services based on that foundation.
Kippins founder, Heather Rowland spent a very successful decade as a brand specialist in the advertising industry, working with the likes of McDonald’s, Tiger Beer and Jacob’s Creek in both creative and strategic roles. While pregnant with her first son in 2012, she identified a gap in the market for a modern organic cotton comfort toy, and set about creating a range of fun, high contrast designs made to stimulate a new baby’s eyesight – Kippins.
Inspired by nature, storybooks and a wild imagination, the Kippins achieved sell out status and are now a cult item among the mama set. After less than two years, Kippins are available in more than 200 retailers in 18 countries.
Heather was the 2015 St George Banking Group Emerging AusMumpreneur of the Year. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology, a Masters of Communication (Adv) and is a graduate of the News Limited AWARD School.
To learn more about Kippins, please visit http://kippins.com/
Analee Matthews, OH! Magazine
- Get cashed up. You can definitely succeed in a new business without having heaps of money in your pocket to begin with; but it will make things a lot easier and potentially less stressful if you can do so with a few extra zeros in your bank balance.
- Ensure your business offering is providing a new solution to someone’s problem. It may sound simplistic, but your business will probably thrive a lot quicker if you are offering something new and innovative, rather than just another version of something that’s already out there.
- Be your own best advocate. Sometimes, as women, we tend to downplay our accomplishments and our offerings. But in business you need to do the opposite. After all, how will anyone know about your offering if you don’t tell them about it? And there’s no one who can explain your business better than you – no one! When you’re a Mumpreneur it’s time to get loud and be heard.
Analee Matthews is the publisher and editor of Oh! Magazine, Australia and NZ’s only monthly, online publication that health clubs can use as their own in-house magazine for members. They can customise the magazine so it includes their own branding and content, or they can distribute it without customising, for FREE!
Analee was a runner-up for the 2015 St George Banking Group Ausmumpreneur Digital Innovation Award.
To learn more about OH! Magazine, please visit http://www.ohmagazine.com.au/
If you are thinking about starting your own business and would like support check out the Women’s Business School Incubator Program