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Published - 28th March 2016 on the Motivating Mums website

Have you financially backed yourself before starting your Mumpreneur journey?

Congratulations! You have taken the plunge to start your own business. You have finally decided to take action on the life you know you want to live. You are also a super committed mother who loves your family more than anything in the world. You’re no longer in your early 20’s with an endless resource of time and energy. You have a baby/kids to take care of, a household to manage and time you need to find for yourself. You also know that the time where you could financially risk it all is no longer because there are bills to pay and mouths to feed. It goes without saying that if you’re a mumpreneur building a business that you need to financially back yourself before taking that journey.

When I started Budgeting123, I knew that if I was going to be able to sleep at night and still be a good mum that I’d need to have my finances taken care of. At the very least, I needed to know that if I didn’t make any sales in the first year of starting my business that we could still pay for the roof over our heads, put food on the table and pay the bills.

The foray into entrepreneurship as a parent is a transition. You’re no longer single, and living on a double income (DINK). This stage of life, taking serious risks, such as quitting your job can have serious consequences if things don’t go well. Unless you have the luxury of 12 + months salary already saved then the risk to starting your business need to be reduced by taking care of the day to day finances. Most mums start their business coming off a stint of maternity leave. Which means that you’re most likely accustomed to a drop in household income.

From successful mumpreneur mentors I’ve been fortunate to have and accomplished business women I’ve met, the advice is very consistent. A business usually takes 3-5 years to achieve sustainable revenue. Any money made in the first 1-3 years is a bonus. This trusted advice sets the reality for what it really takes to make a business profitable. Particularly when you add to that the challenge of also raising a family then you need to be realistic with the time it may actually take.

Whilst you’re in the hype of business activity, wouldn’t it be comforting to know that you can keep your life going without the added financial stress?

Here’s a few strategies that you can take advantage of to assist you with getting financially ready:

1. Eligible Government Benefits

Now it may be embarrassing to admit and no one needs to know, but it’s useful to find out whether you’re eligible for some government assistance. Your work on your business, even if churning no revenue, is still work. I don’t know what profile of payment you’ll get but you can simply call Centrelink and ask. Yes, it may take a 40 minute hold time and hours to fill in a tedious form, but having some source of “incoming” on a fortnightly basis will provide some relief and it’s better than nothing.

2. Find A Part-Time Job

When you’re getting off the ground with your business, consider getting a Part-Time role which can provide you with part-time income whilst you work on your business. I know that this takes time away from you working on your business, and it may take longer to get things done, but I have worked with some entrepreneurs so driven and attached to making a sale (so that they have income) that the anxiety of it grips them. Think about what will alleviate the financial stress and allow you the freedom to also focus on your business.

3. Savings

The fastest way to finding more money now is to review your immediate expenses and see what you can trim, do without, cancel, or just not buy. Yes, you can generate more income, win tattslotto or get an inheritance – but what’s within your control – right now – is your (household) spending. Because if push comes to shove, can you rely on your funds to last you for 3 months? 6 months? Or 2 weeks? And even if you think you need to get back into the workforce, finding a job may take months. So, set aside a structured savings plan and start putting money away regularly.

The transition into the groove of entrepreneurship may take a few lifestyle adjustments and facilitating this with the least stress as possible is ideal. Understand what you need to “live on” and use that as your benchmark to plan your spending and savings. Making sure that your basics are taken care of will give you a real peace of mind so that you’ll be able to work on growing your mumpreneurship with clarity, and success will be far more likely.