Anyone can run a business during school hours but it comes down to being extremely productive in a small window of time.
That’s the view of Fontein Coaching founder Cassandra Hogan, who in two short years has surpassed the income that she made pre-children when she held a senior management position in an Auckland medical company.
The Pāpāmoa mum now earns six figures as a life coach and business consultant, helping other mums who want to run a successful enterprise in the hours their little people are away at school.
“Since Covid, there’s been a lot of mums who have started their own businesses and have been working on that work-life balance,” the 33-year-old says, sharing that she doesn’t work past 4pm.
“[Many] still want to have a career, and everything is so expensive these days, that a lot have to work.
“But it does also fall on the mum to organise their family. I think all women are amazing.”
Hogan took a stab at running a small business in 2018 after a year of maternity leave, seeing it as a chance to reinvent herself.
“I started when my baby was napping. I would do even just half an hour [of work] a day.
“Then obviously it built up as my son got older.”
Once she attracted a few clients, more work came through word-of-mouth, then it was up to her to keep the momentum going.
“Showing up on social media, going to events and networking.
“Now, I’m at a point where I’m turning work away, and I have a waiting list for coaching.”
Success has also been in the realisation that we all have the same 24 hours.
“Monitor how you spend your time,” she says.
“What do you do when you get up in the morning? Because a lot of us might sit on the couch and have a coffee for an hour while getting our kids ready.
“Have a look at the way you spend your time and whether you could potentially use that more effectively.”
Getting it done
Amber Kedian is another mum who instead of an eight-hour workday, has an average of five hours to get the job done.
After her husband Grant heads off to work early, marketing director Kedian, 36, does the school and kindy run, grabs a coffee from her local cafe, and gets stuck into working from home, stopping at 2.30pm when it’s time to down tools and pick the kids up.
She has been working for herself since her eldest child Maddy, was 4 months old, taking leave from her job at Hotmilk Lingerie as their sales and marketing manager for Australasia.
With their permission, she took on a few contracts while on maternity leave, but during that time got pregnant again, and decided to go out on her own.
She started Kedian Consulting in 2015 (rebranded to Sprout Marketing in 2017) and took on contractors as opposed to full-time employees so she didn’t have to pay them weekly.
She has to work hard and fast during the school day, but is able to pay herself between $600 and $800 a week.
“Last year my business turnover was about $80,000 which wasn’t too bad because I don’t have many overheads.
“You’ve got to have good herbal tea and you’ve got to have good coffee.”
After school, she’ll set her kids up with snacks and activities if she has urgent business.
“I have two screens set up in my office and everything is ready to run at any point in time, so I can quickly run in, and send some emails. Everything is also managed through Google Drive, so all my files can be managed from anywhere.
“I do take phone calls [outside school hours] but I don’t take any phone calls that I don’t know.”
She has a house cleaner, and her inlaws live 800m down the road and can be on-call.
During school holidays she organises a mix of holiday programmes, grandparent help, and girlfriends who also have small businesses “so we share the kids”.
Anne Pankhurst, Tauranga Chamber of Commerce events and sponsorship manager and co-ordinator of the chamber’s Business Women’s Network, says women – and some men – have been running businesses “from the kitchen table” for a long time, but it ramped up during Covid.
“[Then] certainly during school hours, and then long into the night when the kids have been fed, bathed and put to bed with the ubiquitous reading of the book.
“Working this way means that those women become even greater multi-taskers – the old talk on the phone, baby on the hip, and cook dinner routine.
“And they become very organised, often delegating tasks or finding businesses that work for their lifestyle at that point, with the ability to scale them up in due course when the kids grow and don’t need constant attention.”
Making it work
Kim Lockley says working for someone else after having her son Wolf wouldn’t have given her the same flexibility she has now as a business owner.
She has a portacom cabin on her front lawn where for the past four years, she’s run dog salon Beach Ready Grooms.
Making her business work during school hours has meant implementing rules.
“Every now and then there’ll be someone that I cannot accommodate,” she says, explaining that she’ll work one Saturday every eight weeks, but mostly has learnt to say “no”, whereas she previously “bent over backwards”.
“If they can’t fit in with me, it’s not going to work. You just have to be accepting of that and let it go.”
She works “very hard” in the time she has.
The 31-year-old started her enterprise with $10,000 and has already clocked a turnover of up to $55,000 a year since she began operations.
“Within the first year I made [the investment] back, and now the business just gives and gives. My overheads are very low from working from home.”
She does administration work at night while her son is asleep, and she’s taken on a contractor to help with dog washing, so she can fit in seven grooms between 8.45am and 2pm.
“I’m working hard, but I’m also working smart.
“It’s quite liberating being your own boss.
“I’ve taken to running my little business like a fish to water. I’m booked out three weeks in advance.”
Running a business in school hours gives her an income alongside her husband’s, but without the “mum guilt”, she says.
“I don’t feel guilty for working. I get to spend the afternoons with [my son] and hear about his day. I can go to sports in the afternoons, and he gets his mum.”
Her advice to other mums contemplating running a business is “go for it”.
“Whatever the worst is, you can come back from that, but the best thing that could happen, and most likely will, is that you could have a really flexible and stable income, and a lot more free time.”
What to consider when starting up a business
Anne Pankhurst says questions you should ask yourself are: “Why am I going into business? What does success look like for me? And, if I am successful, what am I prepared to relinquish?
“Be very fair to yourself and answer those questions honestly. You might be very surprised by the answer,” she says.
“I know a number of career women that have gone into business to accommodate having a family, sometimes at the expense of their career or the success of their business.
“There is plenty of time to achieve all that we want and need, and we don’t have to be superwoman to do that.”
Running a business is like running a family, she says.
“It has huge highs and lows, it requires attention, nurturing and loads of energy, but is enormously rewarding.
“It can give back, it can support you, and create futures. It’s exciting and well worth the effort.”
Source: Read Full Article