For many Australian families, it’s challenging or downright impossible to live on a single income. Even when the primary income earner (lets – rightly or wrongly – call him “husband”) earns a decent wage.
With the rising cost of housing, groceries, utilities and general life, many families have no choice but for the mother to return to work after maternity leave.
This then means childcare is another bill to add to the pile.
Unless you’re fortunate enough to have family or friends to take care of your children for free, childcare is a necessary evil of working parents. And with most childcare costing in excess of $100 per day, it raises the question if it really is worth the mother returning to work.
On International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating all women! Stay-at-home, work-at-home, employed or otherwise. However today, I’ve written a more personal but still marketing-focussed article about the “rise of the Mumpreneur.” Why they start, what they’re doing and how they can grow.
Rise of the Mumpreneur
Mumpreneurs are working mums, with a twist. They’re fed up with working all day just to pay someone else to mind their child. They’re done with inflexible working hours, being frowned at for leaving the office to pick up the kids, and for missing the days spent with their darling children who grow up all too fast.
They’re swapping it for working early mornings, late nights and working during nap times.
These women are the Mumpreneurs.
A new breed of Australian mothers who are choosing to be work-at-home-mums (WAHM’s) in the form of starting their own business.
Who are Mumpreneurs?
A breed of women trying to forge their own way forward whilst juggling kids and a busy home life. These women aren’t necessarily doing anything “better” or “worse”, they’re just trying to find a solution which works for them.
The types of businesses owned by Mumpreneurs range from handmade goods through to financial services. However, some of the more common industries include:
- Children’s clothing, toys and home decor
- Home decor
- Bath and beauty products
- Virtual Assistants
- Online retailers
- Interior designers
- Business coaches
- Women’s clothing and accessories
- Graphic and web design
Top tips for Mumpreneurs (from a mum and marketer)
As a marketing consultant and working mother, I’ve listed a few tips to help Mumpreneurs build their businesses (and keep their sanity).
1. Build your email list and use it
I might sound like a broken record, but email lists are by and far the best tool for online businesses. Collect those email addresses and send out regular communication.
If you want to read more about why we love email marketing, check out this post.
2. Leverage the power of outsourcing online
- Not good at balancing your books? Use a bookkeeper.
- Need someone to man the phones during office hours? Hire a virtual receptionist.
- Can’t keep up with your social media marketing? Get a social campaign in place.
- Website look like crap? Hire a digital marketer.
In the beginning, it can be very difficult to justify the expense of outsourcing. And before you know you have a proper market for your business you probably should only take baby steps to make sure you don’t put yourself under more financial stress.
However, the beauty of the online economy is the availability of collaboration. Gone are the days where you would need to actually hire a full time staff member to delegate tasks to. You can now work with anyone in Australia (even the world) to lighten your workload. You’ll find is that the time you free-up trying to stumble through a task you know nothing about can be better used to grow your business.
3. Measure your marketing efforts
Whilst there will always be a place for traditional marketing (print ads, billboards, TV, radio etc.), it’s quite out of reach for many Mumpreneur budgets.
The good news? Digital marketing is cheaper, more effective and measurable. What digital marketing channels should you be using?
- Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc.) – particularly paid promotions
- Google My Business (show up on local listings and get reviews)
- Search Engine Optimisation (even just the bare minimum)
- Blogging (including guest blogging on complementary sites)
- Email marketing
The best thing about all of these is that you can track and measure their effectiveness. If something isn’t working – ditch it. If another platform is outperforming – invest in it more. Digital marketing isn’t “set-and-forget”; it requires constant evaluation and tweaking to ensure you’re maximising your budget and efforts.
4. Avoid working during “awake” time
I’ve attempted this many times and failed almost every one of those times. When the children are awake, it’s very difficult to focus on getting a task done and keeping the kids happy. It either ends up in sloppy work or a frustrated baby and mother.
Bear in mind, some Mumpreneur businesses (eg. handmade-based) might allow for “collaboration” where your little one can “help” you create the products, but for anything which requires concentration, leave it to nap time.
Another tactic is to get up early. I know, you’re probably already sleep deprived, and during times of crisis, it probably is best to get some extra sleep. But, if you’re anything like us, my son wakes at around 5:00am before needing some resettling and instead of crawling back to bed, I like to get up and catch up on some to-do’s. Even if that’s only getting through some overnight emails, I feel much more centred and ahead of the game.
5. Don’t discount Childcare
If you can afford it, having even just one full day to work can make a huge difference. It will either allow you to focus on building your business, or it means you can work less on the days your child is at home.
6. Find a support community
Some (most) days are hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it. You need to ensure you have a community of women who understand what you’re going through. Again, the internet is a magical thing. Facebook groups (like my personal favourite Mums With Hustle) are great to get things off your chest, ask for another perspective, seeking advice and sharing successes.
At Birdcage Marketing we work with so many amazing women dedicated to building their businesses. Whether they’re trail-blazing business owners or inspiring leaders, we love sharing each and every journey.