Catching the Eye of a Dragon

Article by: Amanda Pipe 26, Mother of two young boys, Wife to one Kiwi

and Owner of Crèche on Location – Childcare for Events.

                       

I am not sure if I would call myself a Mumpreneur as most Mumpreneurs I know already had children before setting up their business, and was therefor set up and designed to work around the family. I set up Creche on Location 2 years before my eldest was born, so my motivation for starting the company might be a little different.

Creche on Location was established in 2008 after the nursery I had been working at was due to close and staff redeployed, but the idea was first conceived 3 years earlier. Whilst doing my childcare training, a couple who were getting married asked if some of the staff could look after the children during their reception. During the day it was clear that had any issues arised, there was no insurance and no one to take responsibility. My then future husband said I should set up a mobile creche as a business. I still wanted to get more experence and qualifications, but from that point I would say I started working for myself.

Top Tip 1. Always work for yourself, regardless of employment status.  I did every course offered and worked with as many people as possible. The experiences gained made it possible for me to turn down redeployment in Dec of 2007 and (after working out how to launch) start the company in March of 2008.

Stumbbling points like naming , were resloved by hiring a Marketing Company. Although it cost a lot at the time is has proven time and time to have been money well spent. We were going to be called “The Wedding Crechers”,a play on the title of a film around at the time. If we had used it, we would have been limiting our clientel and been dated quickly. Top Tip 2. Pick your business name carefully.

When my first child was born, I had to adapt quickly. It forced me to grow the business, to take on more staff. Quality is key and it did not seem very professional to take my own child with me, when I was charging for staff on a 1:3 ratio (as advised by Ofsted).

When pregnant with my second my stomach muscles separated and with a toddler running around my normal networking became impossible, so I turned to Social Media, in particular Twitter. Once I got a feel for tweeting I came across @TheoPaphitis, Businessman of Dragons Den fame. Every Sunday he did a Re-Tweet of 6 business that caught his eye using the #SBS hash tag. After a couple of months of trying and a month from due date, I got a coverted Re-Tweet.

Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with congratulatory tweets and new followers within seconds of the dragon re-tweeting my tweet of:

It was incredible. I couldn’t believe the impact that his support had produced in just a few short minutes, it truly was amazing!

In February, it was apparent that I had not been the only #SBS winner pestering for a “Tweet Up”, as we received notice of an inaugural Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday Event. That was last Friday in Birmingham, where we were overwhelmed and impressed by the shear amount of support he was giving us, photos, badges and an amazing website to use as we will. The Third and final tip comes from “Mr P” When asked about being lucky “It’s funny, the harder I worked the ‘luckier’ I got.”   This also summed up his approach to picking #SBS winners “I look for interaction, persistence and if you’ve done the basics, like having a website.”

 

Since meeting Mr P, I find myself with more drive and confidence in what I do. Of course I am still a Mum first so, I am writing this on my laptop, foot bouncing my now 10 week old, 21 month old sitting next to me after waking from his nap. I’ll have to do the invoicing once they have gone to bed, maybe I am a Mumpreneur.

 

 

www.crecheonlocation.co.uk

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/crecheonlocation

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CrecheOn

 

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