Very few business owners operate in a vacuum. We understand the pull that family life and other vital commitments have on running a business. And we know for sure it's entirely possible to be a good parent and an entrepreneur. If you've ever doubted the power of family to deliver business motivation, think again. Your family could be one of your greatest assets.
New Yell Business Survey says parenthood is good for business
Did you know that being a parent can actually be good for business? A Yell Business survey quizzing 1500 small business owners revealed 79% of parents consider their business either 'very successful' or 'quite successful', compared to just 67% of non-parents.
Alexis Kingsbury is the founder of the Parentpreneur Accelerator. He says parenthood changes your personal definition of what success looks like, cutting things down to a sensible size and rejecting the idea of a massive million pound business behemoth in favour of simpler goals. Namely a 'good' income, financial freedom and the chance to spend time with your family. A better work-life balance, if you like.
Better still, the widening of your social circle when you become a parent also has a beneficial effect, with a host of new, like-minded contacts who are also parents. A wider and more interesting social circle means you might find you're suddenly in a place where valuable contacts can be made, new mentors and collaborators identified.
Mumsnet says parenthood crystallises business ambitions
Mumsnet boss Justine Roberts agrees, saying women's business ambitions tend to 'crystallise' when they have children. Apparently the network's users frequently discuss setting up their own businesses and the ins and outs of doing so, exploring everything from strategy to finance.
If you're a stay-at-home parent who misses the hustle and bustle of life as an employee, you're not alone. Broadcaster and parent Faye Dicker's digital hub was created to support mothers in business with monthly meet-ups and 'netwalks', where the children – in pushchairs or on scooters – join in. Guest speakers at play cafes complete the picture, with craft activities to distract the kids. Not having to think about childcare makes all the difference, and great business connections are built as a result.
Bloomsbury Beginnings CIC
Ann Nkune is founder of the Bloomsbury Beginnings CIC, which helps parents work flexibly, essential since few entrepreneur networks provide space to discuss the challenges of running a business while parenting. Since 2013, 80 people have been through the Bloomsbury Beginnings' Parent-Cubator, which provides social media, financial management, branding and business plan workshops and sessions where individuals can talk through the challenges of being a parent entrepreneur.
Six 'til eight in the evening tends to be bedtime, and morning networking is impossible when there are kids to get ready for school. Bloomsbury provide Pilates classes for managing stress and even offer an on-site crèche, essential in a world where the majority of business networking opportunities are held in places - and at times - most parents find impossible.
Parent-friendly business support
Parents genuinely appreciate the support provided by other people in the same boat, those who understand the challenges of growing a business as a parent. When regular networking events can only take you so far, a parent-focused sounding board makes a big difference.
As we know through experience, tapping in to the know-how of people who've been there before and walked in the same shoes as you, is powerful stuff. That's the kind of support we provide.
To find out more contact The Sussex Business Bureau Team on 01273 447111