Is it possible to build a profitable business and still have plenty of time leftover for your kids?
In a word, yes!
It is possible but it takes dedication, hard work, and a savvy strategy.
If you are a Mum starting a business part-time, then you don’t have 40, 50, 60 hours a week to dedicate to your business, so you need to be super smart with your time and money.
You also need to cut the crap on your to-do list and focus on the key tasks that are going to make a difference to your results.
Sticking to this every day is not always easy and can really test how committed we are to our business purpose!
Working hard, but not seeing the results
In the early days of your business, you may feel as if you are working your butt off for very little in the way of results.
This is where self-belief, persistence and (let’s face it) dogged determination can really come in handy.
However, there are a few common traps we see Mums falling into again and again that could be holding you back from getting there faster. If you can avoid these, it’s really going to help.
Please take action on these (don’t just read them!).
Step One: Narrow Your Niche
The #1 mistake we see from Mums starting a business is to try and offer something for everyone instead of getting narrow and specific about who they can help and how.
It may seem logical that if you spread the net really wide with your marketing and try to attract lots of different kinds of people, it will be easier and you’ll make money faster. It is not so!
The narrower you go with your niche and the more specific you get with your marketing messages, the faster and easier it will be to attract leads and clients. Fullstop.
Here’s how it works:
- When you are specific and narrow about who your ideal client is, you can get to know them much better.
- You are therefore better equipped to make an offer specifically designed to meet their needs
- When your ideal client discovers you, your messaging is going to speak specifically to them. They will know you are exactly the right person to solve their challenge
- The narrower you go with your niche and/or ideal type of client, the more you will stand out in the market (and the better you will differentiate yourself from your competitors).
The great thing about narrowing your niche is that it makes your marketing so much simpler.
Your ideal client will start to feel like you are speaking directly to them.
In fact, when you get really good at it they’re going to start wondering how you got inside their head to read their minds (in a useful way, not a spooky one!)
Underwear and Your Niche
Ordinarily, these two things wouldn’t appear in a sentence together. But underwear can actually tell us a lot about the importance of narrowing your niche.
Picture this: You are down to your last pair of underwear in the drawer, so you head to the shops for some new ones. At the shop, there are lots of different types of underwear – sportswear, men’s jockeys, kid’s underwear, sexy lingerie and a ‘one-size-fits-all’ pair that claims to fit anyone.
Out of all of these choices, which are you most likely to buy?
You are going to buy the pair that is most suited to your specific need.
It’s highly unlikely that you are going to buy the ‘one-size-fits-all’ undies right? In fact, there is probably no such thing (because no one would buy it!)
You are going to buy the underwear that meets your specific need in the moment, could be sporty undies, could be comfy undies, could be a g-string to wear under your new dress.
Whatever it is, we’re willing to bet it won’t be the underwear that claims to be designed for any purpose!
The point we are making here is that your clients have the same mentality when it comes to deciding where to spend their money.
The more targeted and specific your message is, the more likely you are to convince them that you are the person to meet their needs. You understand their pains and you are the one person who can solve their problem.
On the flip-side, if you are offering them a one-size-fits-all kind of message, they are going to be much less likely to take the leap and invest their precious money in you and your product.
Step Two: Effective Marketing Strategies
When you are starting out, you may not see yourself as a sales person or marketer. In fact, you may have had no real concept of how important marketing was going to be to your business in the beginning .
So when the clients are not magically appearing like you thought they would, you panic!
Overwhelm sets in. This often results in chaotic, ineffective marketing with no strategy.
There is a better way (and it’s more enjoyable too).
Priority One: Build Your Audience
If you don’t have an audience, then you have no one to sell to. It’s as simple as that.
Often your lack of sales has nothing to do with your product or service (or you for that matter!) but everything to do with the fact that you are not getting your offer in front of enough people.
So where do you find the ideal audience for your product or service?
Email vs. Facebook… Email Wins!
An email list is going to be crucial to the long-term success of your business.
Facebook followers are great, but relying on Facebook (or other social media) to reach your audience is risky.
Facebook is constantly changing its algorithms and your followers are not guaranteed to see all of your content. Also, if Facebook changes their rules, or something happens to it, you could lose access to your entire audience.
So yes, Facebook and other social media platforms are important but you really need to focus your energy on converting your social media followers to email subscribers.
Your email list is where the magic happens and where you build a relationship with your subscribers. And you know that your email will reach each and every one of their inboxes.
If you don’t have a solid community of followers on your email list, you are going to struggle to make real money no matter how much time you put into your business.
K.I.S.S – Keep It Simple Sweetheart
Now that you know your priority is to grow your email list, it’s time to develop a simple strategy to get it done.
We highly recommend that you put your efforts into one thing that you can do really well. Choose the method that will build your list the fastest and get it out there. Tweak it as you go so that you get the best results out of it.
Start by choosing a marketing method that suits your style. Maybe its guest posting, filming short videos with tips for your target market, guest interviews, hosting a podcast, or facilitating a Facebook group. Whatever you choose, it has to be authentic for you.
Once you have selected your marketing method, focus all of your time on that one technique until you hit your initial income or list building goal. Once you hit your goal, then you can set a new target or introduce a new method.
And make sure you choose a method that is authentic and enjoyable for you – the marketing work will not only get easier, but you’ll attract clients much more easily too.
Eventually, you will have built an engaged group of followers on your email list who believe in what you offer and want to buy from you. It’s a time investment to get it all set up initially, but it will be 100% worth it down the track!
Step Three: Respect The Value of Your Product
Have you ever thought, ‘if I charge less, I’ll attract more clients and therefore earn more money?’ This logic is flawed.
When you charge less, it can demonstrate that you have a lack of confidence in yourself.
Many Mums fall prey to this belief in the beginning. It’s that “I’m not good enough” or“my talent or skill isn’t worthy enough” belief that can lead you to think that no one will ever pay good money for what you offer.
This belief can also stem from being so good at what you do that you don’t realise you are under-valuing how difficult it can be for other people (and what they will be prepared to pay for you to do it for them!)
Charge what you are worth.
When setting your pricing, you really need to reflect the value of your products, services, and skills.
Once you send a message via your pricing that you believe you are worth it, then your clients will be saying it too.
In fact, take this opportunity right now to go over your pricing and think about where you might need to increase it!
Step Four: Choose a Business Model You Can Leverage and Scale.
Traditional consultancy or service-based businesses are often set up around a time-for-money business model. You set an hourly rate and charge it out to your clients. Simple right?
Hmmm, not quite as simple when you think it through.
If you are a Mum working part-time, you will eventually hit what we call an ‘income ceiling’ i.e. there simply won’t be enough hours in your work day to hit your desired income target.
When this happens, you’ll discover you will either need to hike up your hourly rate substantially (not always a viable option) OR you’ll have to work much longer hours to even come close to your income goal.
On top of this, running a business is more than simply delivering your product or service to your client. There is a whole list of other tasks that have to be done (like admin and marketing, for example).
These tasks can really eat into the time you have available to charge to clients, as you have probably discovered already!
Time to work smarter, not harder.
It’s time to work smarter not harder in your business. This means moving away from a time-for- money mindset and towards a more leveraged business model.
There are many ways you can do this (too many to discuss here) but in short, we’re talking digital products or services, membership sites, affiliate income etc etc…the list goes on.
The key is to educate yourself about the options and choose ONE new, highly leveraged and scalable income stream to add to your business.
If you are just starting out and you don’t have a product or service offer yet, then even better. You can make your first product or service highly leveraged and scalable right from the start!
We dive deeper into business models and examples of highly leveraged income stream ideas in our Business School for Mums.
We also have a couple of really great podcast interviews that dig deeper into this topic which you can find at these links:
Step Five: Let Go of Your Inner Wonder Woman
Most Mums start their business on a shoe-string. There is no money to pay anyone, so you perform all of the tasks yourself. Blogging, accounts, scheduling, social media… the list goes on.
However, you will really see the benefits when you invest in help from others. You don’t have to do this alone.
Invest In Yourself
It’s great to outsource some of those time-consuming tasks to a VA or a copywriter, but you also need to invest in your own professional development.
There’s a lot of free business advice on the internet that you can learn from, but the amount of time it takes to learn this way can be paralyzing. Plus it’s simply not the same as getting advice specific to you and your business.
Investing in mentoring, coaching or the right training course alongside building a team will accelerate your success massively.
As soon as you seek the right advice, you will start to generate more income. The more income you are generating, the more tasks you can outsource. This frees you up to work on parts of the business that you love and good at, therefore generating more income.
It’s a cycle that you will be very excited to find yourself in, so start planning for it now!
Which of these 5 steps will have the biggest impact on your results?
Which of these 5 steps we’ve covered is going to have the biggest impact if you apply it TODAY?
We challenge you to choose one step and put it into action now. Share it in the comments too and we’ll share our advice, free of charge!