Seven Steps to Building a Business Around the School Run
There is a lot to be said about being an entrepreneur and working around school hours. It does take some planning, and if you are clear on your income goals, and your available time to meet those goals, you can make it happen.
I’ve been working with predominantly female entrepreneurs who are mothers for the past five years, and including being a mamma myself, I thought I’d share what I have both done, seen, and learned during this time. If generating ideas on what to do is a challenge for you, you might want to start with this post on 22 ways to generate income around school hours…
Step 1: Work out your idea
Businesses can start and grow from being a hobby, or they can start out of necessity – like the loss of a job or source of income in the family. For me, it was wanting flexibility to be there for the kids AND creating a source of income for the family.
If you are starting from scratch, and are facing trying to work out what the heck life looks like, a great place to start is to work out your most viable idea.
Now this is where a coach is great – good coaches will help you get clarity and create an actionable plan. I get that a coach is not always affordable or accessible when you are starting out.
You can certainly join the POSSE and test out ideas there for free. Or, if you are not ready for the POSSE, you can grab the free ideas assessment workbook to help you brainstorm what you might want to do, and how to assess it… which brings me to the next point…
Step 2: Assess your idea
Doing the brainstorming is great fun. You want to make sure that whatever you come up with fits with your available time, and your income and expense goals (an income goal is not always necessary, but you should have a clear idea as to why you want to put things into action)
The overnight millionaire stories are rarely overnight- generally they have been working at their business for a long time, so remember – all businesses start as an idea, and all successful businesses allow themselves to evolve (or they die)
You can grab your free idea assessment workbook by clicking here
Step 3: Test your idea
This is where things start to get fun…I firmly believe that you should sell it before you make it.
There are some free ways that you can test your idea. One is to ask questions around the problem that your product or service solves in online communities to see what the response is, and if you are onto something. Another is to do some small low cost Facebook ads to see what the response is.
Things to test include
- response to the problem/pain points your customer has
- response to the look and feel of your brand
- response to the free items of value you have created
- who is watching your videos, or downloading your product catalogues (you can create these for free)
Step 4: Plan your time
If you are now at the launching stage, and settled on your idea, it is time to map out how you will spend your time on your biz.
Be sure to include the following:
- Administration tasks
- Marketing & creating your brand
- Finances & Bookkeeping
- Face to face client time
- Product Development
- Wellbeing (because being a burnt out ladypreneur is no fun for anyone)
- Holidays – yes – you need to take a break!! (I don’t do face to face work during the school hols)
- Getting any systems in place
- Working out if you need to outsource anything
There is a weekly planner included in the idea workbook you can access by clicking here – and it’s completely editable.
Step 5: Get your mind set sorted
OK – real talk. It is a fact that all entrepreneurs will go through fears, self doubt and freak outs – whether they have been I business one year, or five years. The fact is, there is no such thing as job security. Global markets shift and change at such a rate due to consumer interests or technology that once “secure” companies go through restructures and poof! Your job disappears.
Remind yourself that this is a learning experience, and remember to celebrate your wins.
Step 6: Get your brand on
OK, now you are putting yourself out there, it is really important to be authentic. Listen out for words that people use to describe you when they experience your brand. For example, most of my really close friends describe me as a dag (Australian term of endearment, I know), smart, funny, dag (again) and nerd. So if I hear these terms pop up when I am testing sales funnels or bots, then I know I am on the right track.
If you want to see an example of the brand as a bot in action, click here.
Step 7: Ask for your value in the sale
One of the biggest things I see with female entrepreneurs is this ability to either not ask for the sale (out of fear of rejection) or completely undervalue their product or service. N
ot only do you need to look at the cost of your product and what you are selling it for, but you also need to look at whether you are factoring in your time, knowledge and experience. I talk more about that in my courses, mumpreneur and artpreneur
Home truth – if you aren’t asking for sales, your business is a hobby, and potentially a missed opportunity
BONUS STEP 8 – LEVERAGE YOUR LEARNINGS
It’s ok to fail and learn in business (just be comfortable with your level of investment – time, energy and money). If it is working, great – see how you can expand to create a new product, or find a similar group of customers somewhere else. If it is not working, use the feedback from your customers to create something they really want.
The key is to be ok with change.
I’d love to hear if you are developing an idea – why leave a comment not pop over to the POSSE and do some research or see who is in there who might be able to help.