Thanks to life coach and successful mum in business Grace Marshall for this fab guest post

The face of motherhood is changing. I think there was a time when the labels were either ‘working mum’ or ‘stay at home mum’. Now there are those who work full time, part time, ‘work at home mums’, employed, self-employed, flexi-time, job share, freelance, contractors and entrepreneurs.

And so is the face of business. Traditionally a business owner might be expected to be suited and booted, working from an office or a shop premises, employing staff, seeing clients 9-5 and working behind the scenes 5-9.

Let’s face it, none of us really want to add to the demands of parenthood by remortgaging the house to fund a business venture. Or spending every waking hour away from the family. And being at the beck and call of other people. We get enough of that from our kids thank you.

But today’s technology and social trends are pushing back the boundaries and offering much more choice, and making it increasingly attractive for women to combine motherhood with entrepreneurialism.

Of course it’s not easy. But mums are used to hard work and actually pretty brilliant at being responsive and resourceful.                                                      

Today you can

  • run a business from home without the overheads of a shop or office
  • cherry pick who you work with and serve customers worldwide without having to travel or relocate
  • define your own working hours, whether it’s in the evening when the kids are in bed and your brain becomes entirely your own again, when you’ve been woken up at 5am or simply to fit in between the school run.
  • take time off and still get paid on holidays, sick days, sports days and spontaneous picnic days
  • market your services without a huge advertising budget

On that last note, here are 10 tips for marketing your business on a shoestring budget:

  1. Define your niche and target market – rather than diluting your message and budget by being all things to all people
  2. Write articles and submit them to article directories like
  3. Join or create an online forum relevant to your niche/target market and share your knowledge
  4. Promote your company, product, giveaway or special offer on your email signature
  5. Share your knowledge and build your credibility through blogs, interviews, podcasts or videos.
  6. Make it easy for people to share their email address with you to keep in touch and give an added incentive with a free report, set of tips, e-course or e-book.
  7. Interview an expert or be interviewed yourself and share your expertise
  8. Run a competition
  9. Conduct a survey
  10. Talk to people who serve the same people you do with services that complement yours. See how you can help each other, with swapping links, joint promotions and affiliate partnerships for example.

And a bonus tip

  1. You know all those business cards you’ve got lurking somewhere from other small business owners that you’ve met. Ring three of them and ask for more information about what they do so you can more easily refer business to them.  Ask if you can tell them more about your business.

If you’re a mum who wants to create a business that works for you without being swamped in the process, I’d love to see you on my upcoming teleseminar, where I’ll be sharing real life insights and practical tips, including How to take holidays, sick days, snow days and spontaneous picnic days whenever you need and want to. And why having children can accelerate rather than hinder your business. For more details of this free event visit

Grace Marshall is mum to two young children, and a life and business coach who loves to help other mums create their own definition of motherhood and business. Join her at


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 1. Look at your finances

What do you earn? (Write it down) What payments do you have that are essential and what can you lose? Be ruthless with the big and the small stuff. How much basic can you afford to live on? Can you manage not to work? Factor in the benefits you get or could get. Can you do it? Would part-time be better? Explore all your options maybe you just want a year off, maybe two years? What can you afford to do? You do need to start out by knowing exactly what is coming in and going out and reducing those non-essentials.

Just think though if you don’t work you want have childcare costs, work clothes, travel, lunches you wont need to keep so groomed and you definitely wont have so many birthday cards to buy or Christmas lunches to go on! You miss things less than you think you will. I now go 8-10 weekly on the hair colouring not 6 weekly no one can tell and I save nearly £150 a year! Once you know exactly how much income you need you can work you what you can afford to do in regard to returning to work.

2. Put your finances in order.

Consolidate loans; pay off those credit cards and get a good interest rate at your bank. Cut up those store cards. Being financially streamlined and healthy before you embark on this adventure of parenting is a smart move. Cut out as many standing orders as you can; subscriptions, charities (its only for a while), the chocolate eaters club (it exists!) and gym membership etc. But don’t stop your life or buildings insurance.  You need to safeguard your family.

Switch your mortgage, insurance, phone, gas etc. to the lowest possible provider. Do your research on this NOW and make that move you will not have time to sort these things out when little dude has arrived.


3. Save up

Saving up (however little the amount) is very effective. If you can save in advance for the time you will have off with your baby I promise you its money put away that you will be so grateful for. Start as soon as you can…it is the best investment you will ever make. Ask to speak to a couple of financial advisors at a local bank so you get a great deal- make sure you can release the money when you need to though. Ask at birthdays and Christmas as soon as you conceive (or even start planning) for cash and sock it away. You will NEVER, EVER, EVER regret this.

4. Share your plans

Tell your family and friends what you are planning to do and that consequently you will be financially limited over the next few years. It is better to prepare them (so they don’t think you are tight) and so they may be more considerate regarding any gifts they may give to you. Tell them this with pride and as a matter of fact (don’t ask for or expect approval.) Don’t be embarrassed about being financially constrained either – you are prioritising your child over your career and they will see far more of your baby as a result.

5. Savings 

If you have any savings be really smart. Quite what are you saving for? Your baby is your best ever rainy day reason. There may never ever be anything worth spending your savings on more worthwhile than time off with your children. You have from ages 5-18 to get them a nest egg for university, buy them a car, and help them with their first house/wedding/child. But you only have till they are 5 before they start to build a world away from you. Enjoy them whilst you can. Don’t save so one day they get rich when you pop your clogs. It could all have gone on nursing homes by then.

Good luck!


Celebrate ‘Mother’s Day Eve’ and Win 1 of 3 Motherhood DVDs – out on DVD 8th March

To promote the release of MOTHERHOOD, starring Uma Thurman and Minnie Driver – ASDA, MUMS.NET and METRODOME DISTRIBUTION have launched a special new date in the calendar – ‘MOTHER’S DAY EVE’ – which will fall on the Saturday night 13th March before Mothering Sunday, 14th March 2010.  If you go on the movies website you can download some free pampering voucers  and a manifesto to give your partner demanding your rights on  Mothers Day Eve, whether you have girls night in or a night on the town!

About the film

New comedy ‘MOTHERHOOD’ follows Uma Thurman as mother and wife racing against the clock to prepare for her daughter’s sixth birthday party in the face of chaos.From writer/director Katherine Dieckmann, the acclaimed filmmaker of DIGGERS and A GOOD BABY, comes MOTHERHOOD, starring Uma Thurman, Anthony Edwards and Minnie Driver. Shot entirely on location in New York’s West Village, this bittersweet comedy distils the dilemmas of the maternal state (marriage, work, self, and not necessarily in that order) into the trials and tribulations of one pivotal day. MOTHERHOOD forms a genre of one – no other movie has dedicated itself in quite this way to probing exactly what it takes to be a mother, with both wry humour and an acute sense of authenticity.

Eliza Welch (Thurman) is a former fiction writer-turned-mom-blogger with her own site, “The Bjorn Identity.” Putting her deeper creative ambitions on hold to raise her two children, Eliza lives and works in two rent-stabilized apartments in a walk-up tenement building smack in the middle of an otherwise upscale Greenwich Village. Eliza’s good-natured but absent-minded husband (Edwards) seems tuned out to his wife’s conflicts, not to mention basic domestic reality, while her best friend Sheila (Minnie Driver) understands this – and Eliza — all too well.

MOTHERHOOD is a hymn to the joys and sorrows of raising children, and the necessity of not losing yourself in the process.


How to win the DVD

I have 3 dvds up for grabs so please just leave a comment about what you would do on your ideal Mothers Day Eve. You will then be put into the draw and I will use a random number generator to pick 2 winners on Sunday night. Good luck everyone!