Profile of a Business Mum: Helen Lindop

 

  1.        What’s  your name?

Helen Lindop

2.       How old are your Kids?

Two years old and three years old.

3.       Where do you work?  Home/office?

Home, at a desk in the lounge.

4.       Tell me about your business?

I started my blog businessplusbaby.com in summer 2009. I’d researched lots of business ideas that could fit around a family, but none of them were quite right for my family.

I’d spent many months doing the research because the information I needed wasn’t easy to find – it was scattered all over the internet and at that time there was only one book for mums wanting to start a business (there are now lots!)  I put what I’d found on Business Plus Baby because I thought it might help someone else.

Through Business Plus Baby I met Antonia Chitty, experienced author and founder Family Friendly Working. By coincidence we’d both been planning to write a book full of business ideas for mums. We decided it would be great to write it together and our book Start a Family Friendly Business: 23 Brilliant Business Ideas for Mums was published in September 2010. Then I started to work on my e-course, Earn What You Deserve as a Mumpreneur which launched in May this year. After that I published the Kindle e-book Business Blogging for Beginners.

All that blogging, writing and online promotion got me interested in online marketing and digital publishing. I also fell in love with the Kindle, not just the device but also the fact that anyone can now publish a book and sell it on Amazon.  No pitching to publishers, no self-publishing nightmares and it’s free to do it. You don’t even need a Kindle because you can download the software onto your computer (again, for free!)

I could see how publishing a book opens doors for a small business, so I wrote the e-book, Kindle Marketing: Grow your business by writing a Kindle e-book.

You could also use Kindle Marketing to create and promote a book from your blog, of course!

5.       What childcare support do you have?

My three year old started pre-school in September and my two year old is in nursery one morning a week. So most of the time I’m still working around nap times and in the evenings. I’ll be able to do more as both my children get to pre-school, then school.

6.       What inspired you to start your own business?

I didn’t want to go back to my full-time job after my first baby was born, plus my job didn’t suit part-time hours and involved travelling. I’d been self-employed for a few years before, so I knew that could be an option, but I didn’t know which businesses worked with a young family. That’s where Business Plus Baby began.

These days, Business Plus Baby’s readers have kids of all ages (even beyond 18!) and I tend to write about growing a business as a parent, rather than starting one up. There are lots of resources on the web for start-ups, but it’s a different story when you get to the next stage and realise just how much you’ve got to learn and do.

7.       When did you start your business?

I started Business Plus Baby in July 2009, a month before my son was born. At that time my daughter was 14 months old, so I was pretty busy!

8.       Any start up fees?

Just web hosting, a domain name and insurance, things like that.

9.       What are your aims for your business?

My personal aim is to build a flexible, long-term business that allows me to spend time with my family, earn good money and do interesting work that I enjoy. Through Business Plus Baby I hope to help other parents do the same.

I also want to help small businesses take full advantage of internet marketing, that’s something I want to get into next year.

10.   Have you got 3 tips for any mum thinking of starting a business on a budget?

a) Don’t worry if you haven’t got a dazzlingly brilliant and original business idea. You don’t need one! The things that will make you succeed were others fail are the seemingly mundane ones – doing thorough market research, staying in control of your finances (especially making sure you charge enough to cover your expenses as well as paying yourself) and having a business plan and a marketing plan.

b) On the other hand, don’t just so what everyone else is doing. There are TONS of cupcake makers and online baby gift stores out there, for example, so it’s really hard to stand out. Your business idea may not be totally unique, but be creative about how you do it, add your own twist and really listen to what your audience wants but can’t find at the moment.

c) Do what you enjoy or you won’t last very long! But make sure that you tailor what you enjoy so that you’re selling something that people actually want to buy. Just as important, make sure they want to buy it at a price that will pay you a decent wage. I see so many talented mums struggling to make minimum wage, it’s such a shame. For example, you may love making jewellery but struggle to make enough money from selling the jewellery you make.  Instead, you could teach jewellery workshops or create an online store where other mums can sell their jewellery.

11.   Do you have a blog /facebook page/ twitter account?  Do these help promote your business?

Yes, here they are!

  • ·         Twitter: @HelenLindop and @BizPlusBaby
  • ·         Facebook: facebook.com/businessplusbaby, facebook.com/businessbloggingforbeginners
  • ·         Blog: Businessplusbaby.com
  • ·         LinkedIn: Helen Lindop

Blogs, Facebook and Twitter are a major part of how I promote my business, but my mailing list, networking by email, working with my affiliates and Skype/phone calls are really important too. (Don’t overlook LinkedIn, either!) 

To download Helen’s free e-book Running a business around a family: 9 Steps to success and sign up for her newsletter Business Plus Baby Weekly, just pop your email address in the box on this page.

Thank you Helen!

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