by Siobhan O’Neill
Being a mum is wonderful. But it’s also hard work, and sometimes it’s a lonely, bewildering place as well. And that experience can be twice as overwhelming if you’re running your own business from home around your kids.
Recently I received a press release that claimed, “Over 60% of new businesses are started from home, and most of them are being created by mothers who want to stay with their children.” So us mums are clearly made of stern stuff. We want the best of both worlds; to be career women paying our way, and to offer the best start to our kids spending as much time at home with mum as possible.
But wanting the best of both worlds doesn’t make for an easy life. While we may get those endearing comments about being ‘ladies of leisure’, the reality is we’re probably still answering emails and doing our accounts at midnight having spent the day doing school runs, washing, playgroup and dinner.
When you do catch time to work – while the kids are at nursery or asleep – running a business single-handed is daunting and frequently isolating. None of the usual office banter, no one at your side to ask if you run up against a problem, and no one to delegate to when you’re snowed under. Where are your accounts or IT departments?
So without these things you need to build yourself a network of people who can fulfil all or some of these roles. Of course, that’s why we appreciate places like Motivating Mum to support us. But many networks are more about mentoring, forging contacts or finding more business, and less about the social side of work that can also be invaluable. Grown-up conversations and all that.
For this we have social media – Facebook, Twitter, forums, blogs and hyperlocal websites – but did you know these sites can also help you get your business ahead? More and more businesses are reaching customers and fresh contacts via social media, and you should harness the power of social media for your business too. Wh