Running around doing the school and/or nursery run can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for many mums…
When you work and have to catch a certain train, or do early morning meetings, or face a hefty fine from your childcare provider if you are a millisecond late (again!) to pick up your little one, all the military precision juggling can take its toll.
And for many mums who choose to go back to work after their maternity leave, this amount of stress is a common reason they decide to resign.
Who wants to be the one who is always in a rush, never having time for themselves, and always snapping at people because you’re so tired, anyway? Let’s not even get onto the point about employers who have no regard for flexible working and go to great lengths to be inflexible.
One way out of this type of rut for many mums is to set up a business. You only need to look at our Real mums to see that many are making a real success of their business, enjoying it, and getting back some control of their lives.
But we’re not all brave enough, or in a financial situation, to quit the rat race and set up a business. And not all of us want the full-time hours, even if it means being the boss. But there is another way: why not set up a part-time business?
Yes, it is possible, and many business models like public relations, virtual assistants and teaching enable you to decide what hours you operate your business.
Where do you start?
- Do your research before you start – find out if there is a need for the service you want to provide, see who your competitors are and see how you can improve on the service they provide.
- Set up a separate workspace, preferably in its own room, that’s used for business only. This will help make the transition from home to work a bit easier and will focus your mind during the day. It might be worth getting a second phone line installed so that your family (kids in particular) don’t pick up your business calls.
- Should you tell your boss? If you’re still working for an employer while you test the market, make sure your contract does not have any restrictions on the business you are setting up. If your contract does not stipulate this, and you are unsure whether to tell your boss, you?ll need to think about what the implications are. For instance, will he or she turn it on you when you don’t meet targets at work and assume that it’s because you are using work time to do your business? Weigh up the pros and cons.
- Experts advise that you have at least six months’ worth of income saved up as a back-up before you leave your job – that’s why starting the business part-time is a good idea, because you will be able to build it up gradually, and resign when you can see that the business can meet your needs.