Tell us a little about your business?
The inspiration for starting my own business Corporate Mums, came from juggling the ever changing demands of three energetic children with a busy schedule and asking myself ‘there must be an easier way’! And so, whilst attending to late night feeds, I began designing a stylish range of time and effort saving planners & organisers for busy parents like myself. With the fantastic support of the Bizness Babes program, I launched Corporate Mums online in March 2010.
Why did you want to run your own business?
The desire to have the best of both worlds! I wanted a balance between ‘being there and not missing the important stuff’ for my children and being able to continue working and learning about small business. Working from home gives me the flexibility to do both. I spend less time commuting, it’s inexpensive, and I am only 5 minutes away if one of my children falls ill at school.
What have been the challenges?
There have been lots of challenges along the way! Initially, finding out what was required and how to set up a small business was challenging. Researching local government and business websites was critical but very time consuming. I was really excited to learn about the Bizness Babes program and the support they offered business mums like myself.
Other challenges have included, finding enough time each week to achieve what I want to with the business. With two children under 5 at home 3 days a week and a grade one daughter, there are days which I dedicate to working, and days which I dedicate to childrens activities. I have to prioritise carefully and work a couple of late nights to keep on top of things. I’ve learnt to be patient and accept what I can achieve at the current time, and know that in a couple of years, when all children are at school, I will have more time to make the business a success. I call the current years, the foundation years!
Where would you like to see your business go in the next year?
I would love to sell enough products to cover all business expenses including my wages. I am aware it usually takes at least 3 years to become profitable, and so am focussing my efforts on brand awareness and developing networks with other online and retail businesses.
The next five years?
I would love to own a profitable business, and have the Corporate Mums brand established in numerous interstate retail outlets. I am conscious of listening to my customers needs, and so hopefully the range of products will have expanded. Being conscious of technology users, I will also consider developing an application for iphone users.
What have you achieved since finishing the BiB course?
I was cheeky and used the BiB graduation to launch my business online! Over the last 5 months, I have been setting up the legal and wholesale aspects of the business. I’ve sought affordable promotional opportunities where possible and started talking with a few major retailers. I’ve enjoyed a few online sales, but recognise that I need to promote the range further to achieve this year’s sales targets. I’ve also been invited to guest speak at a couple of events which has given me more confidence in selling my brand.
What advice has helped you most?
Simply ‘Don’t lose sight of the end goal’! Running a small business is hard work. It takes discipline, high levels of motivation and the ability to believe in yourself. It’s critical to keep informed of who your competitors are, and find out what your customers really want. I take the approach that I must achieve at least one small task in the business each day. That way, I’m always moving forward.
What advice do you have to others setting up their own businesses?
Apply online to be accepted onto the Bizness Babes program! It is an incredible resource and offers fantastic support to those who want to make their business a dream a reality!