So, you are wanting to take the plunge and start your own business. Do you have what it takes to be your own boss?
In today’s fast paced society, more and more mum’s are seeking freedom and flexibility because of the rising cost of childcare, mental burnout and the desire to live a more fulfilled life which means, I am helping many mums start their online business to transition from the traditional workforce and into their own business. Whether you are wanting to spend time with your children, gain flexibility or just want to escape the nine to five grind or hell, even become the breadwinner of the family (if you aren’t already!) women, like you, are excited and (scared) at the idea of being their own boss.
Many mum’s who come to me at Business Jump are feeling lost and overwhelmed with having to balance time with their family and working in a traditional role. I know the sinking feeling, all too well, when you drop your children off for another day of care and walk out of the gate feeling like crap and wishing their was a better way. The emotional strain is just as vicious as the financial when it comes to putting your children in care and the best way to fuel your mum guilt is to have to leave your babies and go to work or do before and after school care every day. This is one of the many reasons that the number of mothers leaving the workforce is currently on the rise, with women registering businesses at three times the rate of men.
Although a lot of us have all contemplated starting our own business at one time or another, there are many roadblocks that keep our ideas from becoming a reality and stacks of fear about whether we can really ‘make it’ as well. Many women view starting a business as a mysterious journey that is fraught with unknown obstacles and hardships that they feel they have no clue how to overcome. But the journey to financial independence does not have to be overly challenging, in fact it can be very exciting if you are prepared. At Business Jump, I help take the fear out of business for my clients because I know first hand what it is like to be on the edge of frustration but with no idea how to move forward. The fear is all too real and can be paralysing if you don’t have the simple tools to smash through the obstacles.
Below I have created a list of the most common fears and setbacks faced by women who want to start their own business, all of them, previous Business Jump clients also had but you can read by clicking here how they went in their search to move beyond their fears. I will provide you with practical advice and solutions that hopefully, will help you overcome these problems, helping you on your way to becoming a proud business owner.
I don’t think my idea is good enough to become a business:
You think you have an amazing idea, but you have casually bought it up a few times in your friend circle or maybe even to hubby, and they have not been impressed. This happens often and can be really damaging to our self-esteem, often causing us to bin our ideas without exploring them further. You must remember that your friends and family are only a very small percentage of the population and as far as consumers go, if they don’t have a need for the product you are selling, they are not going to be excited about it. Take, for example, the following scenario:
You have a great idea to start a business around vegan based dehydrated camping snacks. You are thrilled with your new venture and decide to get some feedback at a family BBQ. You are disappointed that nobody really seems impressed with your fabulous foodstuffs. Why not? They all go camping. Here’s where things went south. You raised the concept of vegan products at a traditionally meat-based function, to a family that as far as you know are all meat eaters… well except for Great Aunt Joan, but she hasn’t been camping in 30 years.
I want to give you a free bit of advice… Know your audience and do your research. I tell all my clients the same thing… make sure you are asking the right people, who get it. It is as simple as that to get some genuine feedback. Now here is where it gets deep. People will buy products that are in line with their beliefs and moral standing. They will buy products that support their social stance and are drawn to items that will make them feel psychologically ‘good’. So, if you are wanting feedback on your product, using the above scenario, try the following.
- Join camping, hiking and outdoor activity pages on social media.
- Ask for feedback in the form of a poll. For example; ‘if you had a choice to take vegan dehydrated food products camping and hiking instead of current market products, would you purchase them?’
- Research what products are currently on the market. You may find that there is something similar already available and you can investigate whether the product is successful or not.
- Visit markets, activities and functions where you feel your target market would be and start to network (it’s not as scary as it sounds and can be very rewarding).
There are many other ways that you can get great feedback on your business idea, I have chosen some of the most popular ones to share with you or pop over and check out my free info here on how to find the perfect business idea and monetise it.
Hack: If someone else is out there and successfully running a business with the same idea, this validates your idea can be successful. Don’t fall into the common myth that just because someone else is doing the same thing, you can’t do it. I teach all my clients super smart ways to get around this.
I wouldn’t know how to start a business:
You have spent the last few months procrastinating because you don’t know where to start. That’s okay, in fact it is a key reason why a lot of people (not just mums) don’t move forward with their business. But it doesn’t have to be your undoing. Here is another freebie bit of advice… that horrible feeling of not being smart enough or savvy enough to start a business is just a smokescreen you create to sabotage yourself.
You are capable. You are remarkable. You and your family are worth it. I used to feel the same way. I would stare at all these amazing business women rocking life and wonder where I was going wrong. But over the years I have learnt that information is power. These women all had to start somewhere and had to learn from someone.
There is a huge amount of valuable information just a click away on the internet, however there is also some bad information, so don’t run with the first flashy looking blog that you read. My best tip here is to learn from someone who is ten steps ahead of you. Do some stalking online, find someone that is doing what you want to do and then see how you can do it too. Also, remember, business is just a skill. Like going to TAFE and learning accounting, so find somewhere you can learn about business, that might be Google or working with someone like me, who can show you the ropes faster.
Hack: Instead of saying to yourself ‘I don’t know how to do this’ flip it and say to yourself ‘I will find a way to figure this out’ For example, did we know how to be a mother before we had kids? Not me. But, I figured it out as I went. Same with business, you figure it out as you go.
I can’t do this on my own:
You could probably start an amazing business alone, but everyone needs somebody for support. It may be the fact that you have a partner or family member who watches your kids while you work on your business for a couple of hours or it may be something as simple as having a business buddy to vent to. Having a business buddy or a group of like-minded ladies at your back is a sure-fire way to keep you motivated and to provide you with some advice regarding those sticky business questions that often arise out of nowhere which is specifically why I created the online support group for Business Jump clients, the really beautiful thing is they have made business besties with like-minded women and they all support each other. Being part of a group of people who are in the same boat as you, will help you to stay on the path to create something remarkable in your business. People say it takes a village to raise a child. Think of your business as another child that you need to nurture. Find your village and the journey will be a lot easier. This is another great reason to check out my other (free) Facebook group, Remarkable Business Mums which is a beautiful community of over 14,000 members all starting or growing their business. This is a space where no question is ever silly and judging is a strict ‘no no’. We are there to support and empower each other to have the courage grow our businesses.
Business coaches are another source of advice and support and this is why we offer a one to one consulting part of our package to help you craft your business, help you make those big decisions and move through those fears with someone, instead of doing it alone.
Hack: Seek out people to help you, support you or cheer you on.
I don’t have the time to work on my business:
Between the demands of your family, current job or other commitments that you have, it can be hard to find the time to be present in your new business. Therefore, many women have what you call a ‘side hustle’. A lot of successful businesses start off this way, with the aim to make some extra money or to build up slowly without having to invest too much time. Many hairdressers or beauticians will tell you that they started seeing clients in their homes. Women who own multiple stores or franchises will have often started selling on eBay from their garage. Check out my Facebook group, Remarkable Business Mums to see just how many women are currently building their side hustle to become their main income stream. As with any activity, you only get out what you put in, however there are some instances during the day when you can sneak in some productive business building time. Here are some suggestions:
- When the kids are sleeping – the washing can wait when the kids are having that midday nap. Use this couple of hours to complete one task that you have been putting off. Also take an hour after they go to bed at night to work on your business. The urge to fill the dishwasher or to fold clothes is strong, trust us, we know! But these are activities you can do when the kids are awake and don’t require a lot of concentration. Save the down time to build your empire.
- When they are eating – if your little ones are old enough to feed themselves, but are still in a highchair, then pull the highchair next to you and you can monitor them while you work.
- During play time – take your laptop into your kids play area and sit with them while they play. You can supervise and interact while complete some basic tasks.
- At weekly sports – When your kids are older, no doubt they will attend a weekly sports or outdoor activity. If you are stuck in the car during training or sitting in the kitchen waiting with the other mums during class, whip out your laptop and take advantage of the fact that someone else is supervising your child for an hour. You can still watch what is going on and can smash out some work at the same time.
Hack: Is it that you don’t have the time, or is it that you are placing other things over starting a business? A business takes sacrifice, making smart choices and staying true to our end goal, but at the same time, if we are dedicated to making a change and starting a business we can also start with just 10 minutes a day, which over a month equals about 4 hours. 4 hours is better than nothing, right? Life will ebb and flow and as it does, more pockets of time will open up but at least you are moving towards your goal.
It will cost me too much money and I will lose all that money if it fails:
They say money doesn’t buy happiness, but we all know you need it to buy absolutely everything else. Lack of money is a key factor in people deciding to move forward with any project. It is not just mums that face this dilemma daily, but every person on this earth. People use money as a deciding factor on where to holiday, what car to buy, what to buy at the grocery store and many other life decisions.
Big businesses have finance teams who specialise in monitoring their budgets and spending to ensure that they remain viable, so it’s no wonder that as a future small business owner, you have reservations. Starting a business doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. At Business Jump, we only work with business models where you do not need to invest a huge amount of money into them and this is because I firmly believe if you do have additional cash upfront, it should be spent on the growth areas of your business like marketing and advertising or learning and education for you. I also have lots of of free DIY advice and info, like over here.
It is often worth saving your pennies and enlisting the help of a company that can do all the above for you, simply because when you choose right, you are going to shortcut a lot of the DIY blood, sweat an tears. I suggest you only work with someone that feels right to you and can see your dream just the way you do. At Business Jump, I know your struggles and actively work my client’s businesses as if they are my own. Failing is a part of life, however you don’t have to fail at business if you are prepared and have a helping hand from someone who knows the ropes. Reaching out and asking for help is not a sign of weakness but is a testament to the drive and determination that you have to succeed and in face, outsourcing is the essence of working smarter, not harder which is our philosophy.
Hack: Put this one into perspective, if you invest a few thousand into starting your business then yes, that is a lot of money. But, say it goes on to be a massive success and you profit $10,000 or $20,000 or $100,000. Is that original investment still too much? Or does it seem small now in comparison? Business is about the long game.
I’m too scared to leave the security of my job to work on a business:
We have all been here. I know I have. This is the number one dilemma faced by mums who want to start their own businesses. The security provided by a full or part time job that pays every week can stop you in your tracks when it comes to making the jump from job to business. A myriad of thoughts will roll through your head like a freight train… ‘what if I fail, where will the money come from’, ‘What will I do if I don’t get any sales’, ‘My job is safe, it pays the bills’.
Let’s be realistic for a minute, just because your current job seems safe, doesn’t mean that it is. Every employee is replaceable and expendable. Businesses are now outsourcing overseas to save money, automating roles to lower staff costs and changing processes so one person does more in their roles. Women with children are a liability as they (god forbid) use their sick, annual and carer’s leave more often than other employees. Making the move to be your own boss will give you the flexibility to have this time without being marginalised or treated differently, as some women find themselves in the traditional workplace.
I mentioned earlier that some women have a side hustle that they slowly build up to take over their current employment. This is a safe and secure option to see if business is right for you. You can put in what you can afford, both time and money wise and slowly create a sustainable business that you can confidently call your main source of income. There is only one person who can make the decision to leave their ‘job’ for a business and that is you. Some women don’t have that choice, having been made redundant or face personal and family situations that restrict them from holding a traditional working role. They are forced to act out of desperation to get a steady income. Working under this much pressure isn’t going to help you build a remarkable business. You need to start now while you can take the time to build carefully. At Business Jump, I guide my clients through start up and on to building a sustainable business model.
Hack: Understand with starting a business comes uncertainty but within it also comes freedom. Employment brings security, but it doesn’t offer freedom.
I hope this has given you some insight in to the ways you can work around your fears and reservations of starting a business. Before I go, I want to give you just one more bit of wisdom. Check out one my blog: How to start an amazingly rewarding wahm business. Remember, find your village and they will help you make the jump.