If you want to get an up close and personal view of what business flexibility looks like, speak to the mums and dads out there who are running their own business while looking after the day-to-day business of family life too.
Business analysts often talk about the big trends of disruption, flexibility and innovation that are transforming how we all do business, but it’s at the coalface of small business excellence that we can really see theory turned into practice.
I was lucky enough to speak to some of these small business owners as part of the AusMumpreneur Awards and in a Facebook chat conducted by AusMumpreneur.
These business people revealed they are looking for better ways to get the job done both in work and family life. They are trying to run a successful business while also having a fulfilling family life. Whether it’s using smart apps for better business productivity or using a virtual office to upscale, small business owners are pushing the boundaries in forging new ways to work.
An eventful idea
We’ve all heard those wonderful stories about a successful business that began as a crazy dream hatched in someone’s spare room. And while the garage, kitchen table or spare bedroom is still a great place to start out, there comes a time when a business will need some of those extra facilities big business takes for granted.
Not every business requires a fully kitted out, whizz-bang meeting or conference room. It can make a lot more sense to just hire such a room for one-off occasions than to make the capital investment outlay of leasing an office. The options are there now for small businesses to access big business facilities for the time they need them and at a fraction of the cost. Again, it’s about keeping things flexible.
Mumpreneurs can get plenty of their work done from home, but there are times when the noise and distraction of family life needs to be set aside for a few hours. Attitudes to work/life balance are certainly changing, however, holding an event or meeting with clients are two examples of when renting temporary office space makes sense.
In addition to renting a meeting room for one-off engagements, it’s certainly well worth investigating the merits of a virtual office. This is an easy and affordable way to give a home-based business a big business address, as well as some of the corporate services utilised by big businesses, including virtual admin assistants and receptionists.
Co-working is for more than just Silicon Valley
One of the biggest trends in the world of startups is the co-working space. While many people associate co-working spaces with Silicon Valley tech firms, the reality is that a good co-working space offers the amenities of a full-service office to all sorts of small businesses, often at a fraction of the price.
Another big benefit of co-working is that it can put small business owners in touch with other business people. Working for one or two days from a co-working space alongside other people may be just the sort of change in environment a mumpreneur needs to keep things fresh or to bounce ideas around with others.
From a commercial point of view, a co-working space has small upfront costs and it’s also a great way to network and build your business.
It’s a wonderful time to be a small business person, as many of the outstanding entrepreneurs at the AusMumpreneur Awards demonstrated. It was really inspiring to hear the stories these women told about how they started and the wonderful places they are taking their businesses.
Area Director & Marketing Director at Regus Australia
Over an 18 year career, Leonie has held a range of senior roles in General Management and Sales, Marketing and Strategy and Human Resources across a range of B2B organisations in Australia and Asia Pacific. She has two sons –aged 9 and 11 and understands the challenges faced by working Mums – juggling her own fast paced work with a balanced home life by being extremely organised as well as relying on a strong support network of family to help.
In her role as Area Director and Marketing Director at Regus Australia Leonie manages the growth and profitability of a cluster of Regus centres across the Sydney Metro area and Marketing for Regus in Australia and New Zealand.