Top 5 tips on setting up an online business during your maternity leave

There are loads of women who decide to set up a business from home whilst on maternity leave. I know this because I spend a lot of time talking to them on social media and trying to persuade them to let me feature their beautiful products on Wonder of Kin...

And thanks to my persistence, and their generosity, I am lucky enough to work everyday with a group of fabulous makers, suppliers and dream-chasers who have set up as independent brands, under their own steam, and with their own very particular grand plans in mind.

But what does it really take to set up on your own when you're balancing your big ideas with your tiny new person?

1. Time.

Don't underestimate the amount of time that actually getting a new business going will take but equally, don't be put off from getting stuck into lots of delicious plotting and planning.

Although life as a new mum is a time of significant change in terms of your routines and daily life cycles, there is certainly a lot of sitting down time (throughout the nights and days!) which (once you've tired of all the Netflix opportunities) can prove conducive to business planning. Make sure you keep a device on hand for seeking out inspiration and doing lots of good old market research and a notebook nearby to jot down your ideas as you go. 

2. Support.

I know there are a lot of superstar mums operating singlehandedly out there and doing an awesome job of it. But us mere mortals need a LOT of support if we're going to get a business off the ground in between baby massage class and the 12th nappy change of the morning... So do yourself (and your future business empire) a favour and lean on the people around you.

Call in all the favours you can and don't be afraid to rely on others to help you out. It's not always easy to let people in but if you want to make this idea of yours fly, you're gonna need someone else to unstack your dishwasher every once in a while. Daddy daycare? Yes. Grandparent daycare? Defo. Best friend daycare? Sure.

3. Cash ( but probably not as much as you think)

You won't need much at the planning stage (and if you're anything like me, this accounts for the first 8 months of the process), but when you get to the next bit, where you want to buy a domain name and your very own fertile patch of web-estate, then you will definitely need a few quid.

A domain name might be anywhere from 99p upward but the ones I have bought have cost me about £25 for two years ownership. I have always bought the .com and .co.uk versions so that I can scoop people up whichever one they type into Google. My webspace cost me about £20 a month for the first few months of basic ownership and it will build from here depending on what extra services you need to call in to grow. Make a plan for what you are going to spend and stick to it. If you can call in another favour from your neighbours-brother-in-laws-nephew-the-graphic-design-student to design your logo then do it! Things can always change and develop further down the line when the cash is rolling in.

4. Confidence.

If you don't believe in yourself then no-one else will and it's as simple as that.

Don't feel like you have to put yourself out there in shouty capitals from the outset; you can start low and slow and build your confidence from the ground up, or you can go in large and act big to win favour. Whatever works for you. But whether you're starting with a smidgen or a mountain, you're going to need some confidence to get you started.

If you don't have any yet then start talking to your nearest and dearest about your ideas - let a few people into your headspace and, believe me, you'll be amazed at how much enthusiasm you'll meet and there's nothing quite like the faith of others to help you find your inner fist pump. 

5. Love.

Love the one you're with and love the thing you do. Since the one you're with probably spends most of the day gazing at you adoringly, just counting down the minutes to the next milky cuddle, you've pretty much just got the second one to nail.

Most of the women that I meet have set up there own thing because of Love in one form or another. Whether they love their craft or their product so much that they want to share it with the world, or they love their sofa so much they want to spend everyday on it (I am the second one), they are seizing the opportunity to build a life (and an income) around something that really moves them. After all, if you are going to sacrifice some of your precious maternity moments to trying to build another new thing, then it's helpful to know that even if it turns out that it doesn't have legs, it always had heart.

Tags: Top Tips

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