Nathalie Brown dipped into her Buddha money box to start up her business, Easy Peasy Kids. However, family commitments have caused a catch-22 situation when it comes to earning a wage from the business. Here’s her story...
What were you doing when you decided to create your own business?
I was a stay at home mum, working for Maroondah council as a family day carer, having a break from teaching. I was helping families with behavioural issues and kept being recommended to other families and Easy Peasy Kids was then founded.
What inspired you to start the business?
I felt there was an overload of parenting do’s and don’ts and families needing help with their children’s diagnosis. Eg “What do we do now?”
When did you officially start it?
Officially December 2010
What was your start-up cost?
My start up cost was about $500 to print some business cards and my husband helped with a basic website. I then had some head shots done for about $300.
How did you acquire the money and what did you use it for?
The money came from my Buddha money box, where I put in my loose change.
What was the biggest obstacle?
Time management. As in caring for mum, my kids and hubby and running the business.
How did you rise above the tough days? Those days when people said no, things fell through or someone said they didn’t ``get it’’.
There are always tough days. I just go with it and know it will eventually pass.
How long did it take for your business to become profitable?
This is a very grey area for me, although I earn money it goes directly on mum’s care. If I’m not home her care costs are quite high. It’s a catch-22 for me.
What do you love most about being your own boss?
I love that I can arrange home consultations and school visits when my children are at school. I can phone and Skype consult in the evening once kids and mum are in bed.
What is the downside?
Being your own boss your passion for your work can be consuming and overwhelming.
How have you been using social media to grow your business?
Yes, I am a prolific user of Facebook, Twitter and I blog too. On Facebook I share new quotes and simple tips.
How have you been using public relations to grow your business? What strategies have you used?
I used Mum PR to get an article in the press and bar from that I really just write and consult.
Who are your entrepreneurial role models? What's so inspiring about them?
I love Alli from Motivating Mum who has a passion for helping mums in business. Alli is full of wise words and always has a smile.
How have you acquired the skills and knowledge you have to make your business successful?
I have had help from Alli at Motivating Mum on setting up Twitter and booked two mentors through her, which were fantastic. A Blog Boost Report and consultation with Nicole Avery from Planning with Kids. Darren Rowse from Pro Blogger has also answered my never-ending questions. Kellie from Mum PR has assisted with the press. I attend blogging conferences most recently Digital Parents.
What's the best piece of business advice you ever received?
The customer is always right
What is your favourite product/service that you offer?
I love home consultations where I spend one-to-one time with the parents and their children. Although saying that I love working at school too with bigger groups of children.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
It’s not easy to run your own business; you have to have a burning passion for what you do. The first year is all about setting up, making contacts and your biggest learning curve ever. There is a lesson in every day when you run your own business.
When did your business finally become profitable?