Posted: Thu 24th Jan 2013
Running a creative business from home while maintaining aÂ happy family is a fine balancing act; doing soÂ without running yourself into the ground is even more amazing, says Polly Dugdale, owner of Cukooky and co-founder of the Handmade Horizons Marketing eCourse****. Here, Polly (pictured below) explains how mums who make can strike the right balance.
MUMS - I salute you! Â In my line of work, I meet inspirational mums who run fantastic businesses while keeping their wonderful families shipshape.Â It's not simply good luck - it's down to hard work, determination and avoidance of some common mistakes a mum in business can make. Here are the most common ones I see - and some tips to help you avoid them:
1. Trying to do it all
Running a business without any family commitments is challenging enough. Remembering to get dressed can seem a struggle at times, let alone having the responsibility of getting a child fed at the right time of day and given the attention they seek. So why on earth would you try to do everything on your own? Without any help? ARE YOU BONKERS? Get help where possible. Embrace the magic of play-dates or a willing granny who wants to spoil your 'little treasure' rotten; meanwhile, you have an extra afternoon to yourself. Do not turn down support where it is offered. Likewise, if there is an area of business you are unsure about, seek advice. There is no way you should know it all, so don't put that kind of pressure on yourself!
2. Getting distracted
This one is not exclusive to mums; we all have our vices. My own is the dreaded Facebook - one moment I'm posting something work-related on the Handmade Horizons page, and the next thing I know 30 minutes have flown by and I'm watching videos on how to crochet a beard beanie (or something equally fabulous). As a mum, your available work time is even more precious, so you need to be strict with yourself. Make a note of what your distractions are and find ways to avoid them. This means, turning off your email alerts when updating your website or setting an alarm to go off once you have spent 15 minutes on your Facebook marketing.
3. Spending time on the wrong things
A similar mistake to make is focusing on the wrong tasks - getting stuck on the 'little' jobs that you think you can tick off quickly. They always take longer than they should, and the 'big' (translation: important) jobs keep getting shelved. This is incredibly frustrating as there is a constant niggling that it still needs to be done.Â Worse, though, is that your business will simply not grow if you do not get those important jobs done. Sorry, but it's true. When deciding on your list of things to do each day, think 'What's going to make the biggestÂ difference to my business?' Those are the things you want to start your day with. Keep the 'little' things until later.
4. Pricing too low
This is a massive issue and something I encounter all the time from mums enrolled on the Handmade Horizons Marketing eCourse. They think the reason they aren't making sales is because their prices are too high. No, I tell you. No. NO! In countless cases, these students follow our advice, overcome their fear of being too 'salesy' in their marketing messaging and increase their prices. In turn, they have seen an immediate increase in the number of sales they generate - and all parties are happy! Sellers are making more money for their lovely products and customers are happy to be buying something that is 'worth the money', rather than 'cheap'. So there we have it - four of the most common mistakes made by mums running their creative businesses from home. Are you making any of them? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Get Polly's free marketing ebook for mums who make
For more marketing advice and training from Polly and Handmade Horizons, you can download a free copy of Marketing for Mums Who Make: 5 Steps to a Successful Business You Love. You can also check out our own range of books for home and handmade businesses in the Enterprise Nation shop. Photo Credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Compfight cc