After I had my first son in 2016 I felt like I had lost my identity, having spent a decade as an event manager in the corporate world I discovered like many other new mums I wasn’t able to go back to my job part-time and was stuck with what to do next, feeling like I had nothing to lose I spent my maternity leave setting up my first business an events company called ‘milknfizz’. “connecting like-minded mums through bespoke events & thoughtful experiences”
milknfizz offers a new kind of ‘social calendar’; a series of online events inspiring mums to help build and feel part of a community – set on banishing those feelings of isolation and loneliness that are often shared in motherhood.
milknfizz was a hit, there was a real need for women to come together and talk about things other than the kids and we had some great guests, but being self-employed was all new to me, I loved what I was doing but I didn’t realise how lonely it could be, I missed that interaction with colleagues and my routine of getting out the house every day to go to the office, so just 10 months later in November 2018, I launched my second business “milknbizz”, an award-winning community that supports mums in business by hosting weekly co-working sessions, monthly workshops & social events.
“I’m trying to fill a gap for people who are working on their own but still miss that interaction and connection with colleagues, a one-stop-shop they can go to for advice and support to enable them to grow their business.
3 months after the launch of milknbizz I fell pregnant with my second son so I was even more determined to make a success of things to enable me to continue doing what I loved, whilst working flexibly around the kids.
It’s not been easy, every day is a learning curve and I sometimes feel like I’m constantly juggling, but I’m really proud of what I have created and all the amazing people I’ve met along the way, having that network around you is vital.
Setting up a business is now easier then ever, we have social media and the technology on our phones to thank for that, but it’s not for the faint-hearted, it takes a lot of hard work, resilience and self-belief if you want to really make a success of it, having a great idea is one thing, putting it into action and everything else that comes after is the important bit.
Here are some of my top tips for anyone who is thinking of starting up on their own:
- What problem are you solving? First things first, how will your new product or service help people or make their lives that little bit easier? I love the phrase ‘Sell the sizzle and not the sausage’ it’s easy to get hung up on what we are trying to sell rather than why people should buy it.
- Do your research, who are your competitors – How many of us have had a brilliant idea at 3 am only to discover 50 others are already doing it, but don’t give up so easily, what can you do differently, what’s your USP…..? YOU ARE. People buy from people at the end of the day so make sure you stand out in your own unique way and your customers will come to you.
- Mums the word – As excited as you might be, try not to tell too many people, you can feel disheartened if someone doesn’t like your idea or tells you it won’t work and you could end up jacking it all in. Remember not everyone will “get it” and the people you are talking to might not be your target customers. When you are confident it feels right for YOU there are lots of ways you can do market research to test before it goes to market…. which brings me on to:
- Market research – Who are your ideal clients? this is one of the most important things to be sure on before you even begin marketing, you need to know everything about them, where they live, where they shop, what they like doing in their spare time, if you know who they are from the start then it will save you lots of time in the long run as you can really nail your messaging
- Social Media- I don’t know one business today that isn’t on social media and if they are not, it puts people off. Not only does it help you build an engaged community you can do all your own marketing for FREE. From your market research find out where your ideal clients hang out and start there, it’s too overwhelming and not realistic for a small business to be on all of the different platforms so my advice is to do one really well and then move on to the next. I LOVE Instagram and use it a lot for ‘behind the scenes and making connections but I know from my insights that lots of my referrals come from Facebook so I concentrate most of my marketing on there.
- Join a networking/co-working group – You need to get yourself out there (even if this seems scary to you) there are lots of different types of groups, so you just need to find what works for you, sometimes that means trying a few out before you find out what suits you, so you need to put in the effort. The more connections you can make and people you tell about your business the better.
- Find your tribe – As I mentioned earlier, not everyone will ‘get it’ or ‘get you’ so you need to surround yourself with people who do. Having a supportive network of like-minded people around you to cheerlead you on during the tough times, brainstorm ideas with or go out for a drink with (when all this is over) is vital! It’s what has kept me going and what I believe to be one of the most valuable things when working for yourself.
- Don’t wait for everything to be perfect – Being a perfectionist doesn’t always work, we can spend so much time on getting the tiniest detail just right we can often delay things, ‘Im just waiting until I’ve updated this page on my website’ or ‘I’m just waiting to finish my blog’ STOP without a team of people helping you and limited time sometimes you need to just get it out there, if your worried because you don’t yet have a website to direct people to, then start building your community on social media, so when you do launch you’ve got a load of people ready and waiting!
- Ask for help – Don’t be afraid to ask for help, we can’t all be superwomen, especially if you are also looking after the kids, Ask for help as and when you need it, maybe its that extra hour of childcare so you can make that meeting or asking your best mate who’s an accountant to help with your numbers
- 10. If you love what you do you will never work a day in your life Ok this saying is great but let’s clear up one thing, it takes lots of hard work, late nights and tears, it’s certainly not a walk in the park so you have really got to LOVE what you do, so if you are passionate about your business and how you help people then it makes all the hard work worth it.
Also don’t be afraid to ask for help, we can’t all be superwomen as much as we try, lean on that village around you for support as and when you might need it.
Due to Covvid-19 I’ve had to adapt both business’s and how I run things so I’ve re-launched a new virtual membership for both milknfizz & milknbizz: please see below for more info and how you can join this amazing community
Membership to the virtual office is now open
What is it? An online community helping you stay connected, supported, and inspired when working from home. Hosting virtual co-working, expert led workshops, brainstorming sessions and after-work drinks’
If you are a mum running your own business or thinking of starting one, why don’t you join our award-winning community supporting kick-ass women.
How much is it?
The membership is just £29 per month or £300 annually
• Private Facebook group
• Private milknbizz slack chanel
• Virtual Co-Working
• Monthly webinars from expert speakers
• Virtual coffee Break (connect with fellow co-workers)
• ‘Storm in a tea cup’ – online collaborative sessions
• Online tech surgery
• Member led webinars
• Ask the expert sessions
How do I join?
milknfizz members club
What is it? An online community connecting like-minded mums through bespoke events & experiences.
Motherhood can be such a lonely place at times, and with everything going on in the world at the moment it’s even more important to stay connected with other mums who ‘Get it’ to come together to hear from expert speakers on how to navigate this roller coaster ride of looking after little ones, whilst remembering who you were before kids, and not losing that sense of self just because you became a ‘mum’
From bump & baby brunch clubs, toddler take overs, live interviews with bloggers, influencers & authors “ask the expert sessions & virtual wine tasting, we’ve got it covered.
How much is it?
The membership is just £9.99 a month
What does it include?
• Private members Facebook group
• Monthly virtual events (Wednesday evenings at 8pm)
How can I join?
Social links and websites