By the time I was 20 years old I had two young kids; a new-born and one in kindergarten age. So there was no way I could have continued what I was doing before, which was being a model and broadcaster, as that would have required me to work at inconvenient hours throughout the week and travel.
Take away: Fancy jobs don’t work well with family live!
So I decided to take part in a six week ‘Start-Up’ training course, which was offered by the local jobcentre in the town I lived in, in Germany. The course offered a broad overview in terms of how to start a business, how to legally employ people, how to complete an income tax sheet and so on.
I decided to set up a business which would allow me to take my kids to work, without disturbing anyone. I also considered what I am able to do and for what type of business I would not necessarily need further training courses. After an initial market research, I realised that the town I lived in lacked a selection of baby and toddler groups, after-school clubs and programs. So I decided to get into this sector and further ‘niched’ it down to teaching English in small group settings.
I inquired what qualifications are a minimum to start a teaching business and completed several courses, which included Paediatric Fist Aid, Leading a Child and Parent Group and a Cambridge University Fist Certificate in English.
Take away: Training is very important!
Then I wrote up a basic business plan and outlined what I want to offer, at what price and so on. As I did not want to take up a start-up loan, I planned my business while taking my savings into account only. I also created lesson plans, which I would use for my classes.
The ‘Little People’s Training & Education Center’ was born.
Take away: Creating a business plan is key, to map out the direction of any venture!
Next I searched for available, affordable and suitable premises and found one in walking distance to where we lived in a small alley, just behind the high street. This was very important, as I wanted to be able to fit my work around the kids and be near my home, in case they were sick for instance and wouldn’t be able to accompany me at work.
I made a list and bought furniture and learning materials, which sounds easier as it actually was, because I had to buy almost all of the English picture and reading books in the Netherlands , as there were very few available in Germany at that time.
The ground floor building with two rooms, office, small kitchenette and restroom was empty when I took it and within a week or so I was able to renovate it with the help of family members and my dear friends and placed chairs and tables, books, toys and everything else in it.
Take away: Finding a suitable business setup and property is an important factor for a Mumpreneur!
Before the grand-opening I designed my branding. My cousin made a large metal sign for me as a present. I stack decals on all windows and printed t-shirts, baby bibs, flyers and other marketing materials, which were all part of my initial branding strategy.
Take away: Branding helps potential customers and clients to recognise a business, as it aids to differentiate them.
Lastly, I invited the local press to write about my new venture to create as much as free publicity as possible. This really helped me create awareness, to sign up my first full classes and even let to nurseries calling in to book sessions for whole groups of kids.
Take away: Local media outlets usually love to write about people who start a new business.
Are you thinking of starting or growing a successful business?
Check out my ‘Start-Ups on a Shoestring Budget’ online training course!
All the Best & Speak to you tomorrow,
P.S.: I will tell you why and how I eventually sold the business in another post. So stay tuned! 😉