Monday, 16 November 2009


Working as a life coach and business mentor for the last three years, I have come across many challenges and issues mums face in trying to run their own business; time management, dealing with guilt etc. However, one of the major obstacles mums seem to come up against time and again is that they have difficulty selling their product or service. They aren't 'sales people'.
Ask any businessmum to describe her business and it's benefits and they could probably explain to you in glowing and passionate terms what they do and why they do it. Ask them to sell you their business and they clam up. Why? Although I've asked for the same thing simply using different wording, many people assume that use of the word sell implies pushiness or forcing a product or service onto someone that isn't interested. For example, when you think of a salesperson, how do you picture them? A bored girl in a shop, a car salesman? Or something different?
It makes sense that when starting out with an opinion of sales like this, it is always going to be difficult to sell yourself or your business. So, why not challenge those long-held beliefs? Think about all the people who have to sell in their line of work and how many of them actually fall into this category. Can a different picture of a salesperson be developed?
Alternately, why not classify the action of selling as something other than sales. For example, informing or enthusing (choose a word that suits you and your personality). If the burden is simply to inform a possible client about a product rather then sell , does this lift the pressure? Is the process approached with a lighter heart?
The second thing a lot of mums assume about selling is that it implies concluding with a sale, often by 'coaxing' or 'pressuring' a client into it. It doesn't need to be this way. If you truly understand your market and what they want and can present a product or service in such a way that it appeals, sales will be created simply by making people aware of what is on offer. Assuming the demand is there, of course.
Some other great ways to combat the no sale are:
1. Look for instances in your business life when you have successfully created a situation for clients to come to you. Refer to these positive examples when thinking about sales.
2. Visualise sales situations where you are informative and passionate and you get sales without pushing.
3. Remind yourself why your product is great and why people would want to buy it.
4. Be prepared that some people won't be interested in buying and this is not a reflection on you.
5. Ask for feedback on why they didn't buy i.e. price, timing, not needed. With this feedback you'll then be able to reposition the product better to appeal to future buyers.

Selling needn't be stressful or pressured. Approached positively, it can simply be a celebration of what you do and who you are and, in the end, aren't people more likely to buy from someone enthusiastic about their business than someone trying to force it down their throat?


I hosted my last lunch of the year today, the Businessmums' Networking Lunch. This one featured yet another amazing and inspiring mumpreneur, Lara Goodbody, MD of Yogabugs.

It never ceases to amaze me just how motivating it can be listening to a mum, even when she works in a field that I personally have no experience with. She outlined her story, how Yogabugs has grown from an idea to an international company over the last six years and educated us with her personal do's and don'ts.

What I am taking away personally is:

1. It is hard work being a franchisor and it takes a lot of time, energy and money.
2. You need to be brutal and be prepared to make the hard decisions to protect your business. This includes letting go of franchisees when they aren't working out - no matter how lovely they are.
3. You can't let an investors interest in your business go to your head. You still need to maintain your own vision of your company and future and don't compromise it for anything.
4. Don't just go with the first investment opportunity that comes along, wait until the right one comes along for you.
5. As a Mum, be prepared to be breast feeding and typing on your computer with the other hand. If you want to be a success you may not have the luxury of taking maternity leave from your business.
6. Turning down finance on Dragon's Den can sometimes be a good thing. Lara did this and the resulting coverage was better than taking on the offers.
7. Being available to speak at events and answering questions is a great way of securing your success and having a whole lot of mums think you're fab!

There was also plenty of inspiration and information from my attendees:

Christina Waite of Fat Free Mama ( not only helps mums lose weight and stay in shape but also offers busy mums recipes and shopping lists which I think is ingenious!

Emma Hammett of First Aid for Life ( is achieving her business dreams whilst maintaining her integrity and beliefs.

Stephanie Hughes of Pilates Formation ( proved to me how important it can be to have a website - she gets most of her business from her site - and she built it herself!

All in all a great day - and it inspired me to get home and get working on my own business!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


I had to cancel an event today, a little one, but a cancellation nonetheless. It's disappointing, especially when you're on a roll for a while and then you get a result that is a complete turn-around. It's like a slap in the face. I'm sure all us Businessmums' experience it; when you run an ad you had success with before and get nothing from it, when you have disappointing sales results over Christmas and the one before was kick ass. How do I keep going on? Why don't I chuck it in and return to waitressing (not high-paying, granted, but certainly less stress)? I guess it's because this makes me happy and I really could't think of anything else I would rather be doing. It's also because:

1. I have developed my business goals and beliefs and know that money is not my top priority in running this business, but helping mums is.
2. I have great touchstones in my life, some of my mumpreneurs in particular, who I can go to for a boost.
3. I understand my market and know that mums aren't always going to be available for events, it's the nature of being a mum.
4. I feel in my gut that although I have my setbacks, my services are needed and I will do well.
5. I am happy to take risks and feel that in the long run, it's worth the chance.