Starting a business is always an exciting endeavor. It is also a scary one, especially if you’re a mum of three young boys and with one more on the way!
Managing a business at home, I’m sure, is many people’s dream. The thought of working in your comfort zone and with the kitchen nearby sounds like heaven on earth. However, having been a “mumpreneur” for over eight years now, I can tell you that it isn’t all peaches and roses.
As much as it feels great to not have to change into work attire each day or constantly report to a supervisor, working at home can still present you with many other stresses – being a mum is one. So, to help other fellow mumpreneurs out there to better manage both their business and balance family needs, I wanted to share 8 mistakes that are commonly made by mumpreneurs – half of which come from personal experience!
1. Working while your children sleep
This mistake is a very, very common one. Although it may seem logical and sounds like the perfect plan to execute, doing all of your work while your children are fast asleep is not always a good idea.
This is because you can easily overwork yourself. Giving attention to your kids is already a tough task to do. A lot of the time you’re too occupied to realize that you’re already burning yourself out. Then, by the time your little munchkins have hit the hay, you may find yourself falling asleep on your office desk. So, this practice will only lead to your work piling up the following day.
2. Sending invoices at the last minute
When you have lots of kids – for me, three is certainly a crowd; you want to be financially secure. Particularly when you’re just starting out your new home business. Payments will become a lifeline to making sure that everything in your home runs smoothly.
As you get used to running the business while managing your kids, you might be tempted to leave the sending of invoices to the last minute. For obvious reasons, you don’t want to do this. Otherwise, you will not only delay your payments coming in, but also your bills.
3. Coming off as too desperate with your services
As a business owner, confidence plays a huge role in winning the trust of your customers. If they see that you are confident in what you do such as the services you offer, then they will more likely believe in you. Understandably, building your clientele can pose many worries, even doubts. But if your actions come across as though you are trying too hard to get your customer’s attention, then this might turn them off.
4. Never giving yourself a day off
Just because you now have your own business and can work at your own leisure, this doesn’t mean that you can’t schedule a day off. A common thought that most mumpreneurs have is that working at home means you can have a break anytime. Although this is true, you will find that you’ll still be thinking about work during those breaks. On the other hand, having a regular or set day off can help you to maintain your mental and emotional wellbeing by putting aside a day from fully thinking about work.
5. Doing everything yourself
Eventually, your business will grow. Sooner or later you will need an extra pair of hands to help you manage your growing customers. But having help even at the early stages of your business endeavour is not a bad thing. Especially when you also have children to deal with.
Right now, I have a little one on the way, so doing everything by myself is extra stress that will have a negative effect on both me and the baby. So, you should avoid doing everything by yourself if you have reliable help available, which can include hiring a baby sitter or nanny.
6. Asking for too much advice
As I’ve mentioned, asking for help is always a good thing. But one sort of help that you should keep in mind is to not ask too many people for their advice. If you’re just starting out your business plan, for example, then receiving multiple pieces of advice might end up confusing you on what course of action to take. Therefore, be selective with who to ask advice from and exactly what to ask so that you can maintain a clear view of your business goals.
7. Focusing too much on business development
Having had my own business for many years, I completely understand the excitement of putting your dreams or visions into action. Seeing the fruits of your labours and imaginations coming true is extremely exciting and sometimes surreal.
However, some mumpreneurs get too caught up in what’s called the “Field of Dreams”. This pretty much means that you are too busy thinking about what your business looks like in the future. It’s good to have a vision of where you see your business in five or ten years’ time. But if you get too caught up in the thought, then you may miss out on important present opportunities.
8. Running faster than you have strength for
The last common mistake that I want to mention is running faster than you are capable of. Going overboard or beyond your control always leads to unfortunate results. Being a mother of three young boys and nurturing another to come, I realized that patience really is a virtue, and this applies to being a business owner too. So, make sure that you move at your own pace and avoid overreaching. Otherwise, working too much can lead to many emotional and physical imbalances such as restless sleep and even burnout.
Having my own business has done many wonders for me and my family. Despite the many stresses my little rascals have given me in my business life, I don’t regret them one bit. Being aware of these 8 mistakes that mumpreneurs often make will certainly help you avoid doing the same thing. After all, being in business is supposed to be fun, not a huge bag of stress right?