Six tips for starting a business – by an online business mum

Fancy yourself as an entrepreneur? Or already own your own home business and looking for advice? Read six tips for starting a successful business from an online business mum.

With the increasing costs of childcare, and a desire to create a life that works around their family, more and more mums today are starting their own business. But with the demands of a family to contend with, many struggle to get their new enterprise off the ground.

If you’re toying with the idea of starting a business (or have already made progress on getting one off the ground), online entrepreneur Dorne McLoughlin shares her top six tips for making it a success.

Six tips for starting a business

Here are my six tips for starting a business.

1) Get a support network

It’s not always easy finding the time and energy to start and run a business as a mum – so getting the support of your partner and family is essential. Their support helps to create a safety net around you that allows you to give your business 110%.

If your partner does not like or agree with what you are doing, they may resent the time you spend away from them working on it, and even make life harder for you by refusing to look after the children when you have an urgent weekend deadline.

So make sure you’re clear about what you want to achieve – why you’re starting this business and how you’ll all benefit when it’s successful. You may even suggest ways your partner and even children can get involved to make them feel more a part of it.

2) Have a WHY

Write down all the reasons why you want to start a business of your own. Seeing your reasons written down in black and white on paper makes them more real. You may want to pin the paper somewhere you can see it to remind you why you’re doing this, and to push you on through tougher periods.

3) Set realistic goals

Setting yourself goals to work towards in your business is an absolute must – whether it’s in the form of a formal business plan, or just self-set SMART goals you’re aiming to achieve.

Once you’ve identified your goals, chunk them down into achievable steps, to help you work confidently towards them. (I personally set myself 90 day goals, as the mind is unable to comprehend anything tangible beyond this timeframe.)

4) Form a mastermind group

Not everybody will share the same vision and passion for your business that you do, and some people may even be negative about what you want to achieve. So it’s important to find a group of people who do ‘get’ what you want to achieve and are on hand to offer support, encouragement and advice.

This can take the form of a mastermind group – simply a group of fellow entrepreneurs who meet regularly (online or face-to-face) to share progress and problems, brainstorm solutions and offer accountability through goal-setting.

I mastermind every other Monday with other online entrepreneurs and we share experiences of what’s working and what’s not. This is so important and very easy to do these days with Skype and Google Hangouts.

5) Take time out

The time you take OFF working on your business is just as important (and productive) as the time you spend working on it. Building a business is hard work, and can drain you of energy and enthusiasm. Taking time away from you work to give your mind a rest and do other things helps you stay fresh and can even give you a new perspective on old problems.

On weekends I now delete the Facebook App from my iPhone and re-install it back on a Monday. Facebook is one of the tools that I use to promote and build my business, but I also know that me tuning out for two days over the weekend is not going to damage my business and therefore it allows me to focus 100% on my family.

I am sure I am not the only one that gets distracted by a ping and a little red icon – curiosity will always get the better of us!

6) Enjoy it!

If you don’t love the business you’re in, then it will never work. You have to remember the reasons WHY you are building a business, and if your work is not in sync with your ‘why’ and you don’t enjoy what you are doing, then you’ll probably end up feeling fatigued, overwhelmed, resentful and stressed – all of which will impact on your personal happiness, relationship and your family.

I can honestly say that I love my business like it is one of my own children – and this is how you need to look at it. You have to love it with all your heart. This way your goal of building a business for money will always become a secondary factor.

Building a business out of passion and the love you have for it will allow you to be more creative and in turn will repay you the income and lifestyle you deserve.

What are your six top tips?

Do you agree with Dorne’s tips? Or do you have any you’d like to share with us? We’re always looking for brilliant advice and personal experiences to share with our readers. So if you have words of wisdom to contribute, please get in touch!

You can learn more about Dorne and her business on her website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.