Your name: Stacey Simpson
Name of company: Stacey Jane’s Nappy Cakes
Number of employees? Just Me
The elevator pitch: describe your business in 25 words or less
I create unique nappy cakes and baby gifts that make a fantastic alternative to fresh flowers for a newborn, baby shower or a work colleague’s maternity farewell.
What inspired you to start your own business?
My 2nd Son just turned 1 and I was looking for a flexible opportunity to be able to stay at home and care for my 2 boys (my 1st Son was 2 ½ at the time) and help contribute to the family income.
Why did you decide to be a Mumpreneur/WAHM?
The flexibility to be able to work my own hours and be able to stay at home with the kids and not have them in full time childcare. It was also as a challenge for me, I have never been one to sit and do nothing.
What do you enjoy most about working for yourself and/or working from home?
I love the fact that I can attend my 2 sons pre-school and school activities. A couple of weeks ago I had my eldest son’s first school swimming excursion and I was so pleased to be a parent helper for the week at his lessons and see him learning to swim at the same time. I am also able to attend my sons school assemblies every 3 weeks.
What, if anything, do you miss about office life?
At this point I think the only thing I miss is the adult conversation with work colleagues and not knowing all the songs to the ACB for kid’s shows. Giggle and Hoot seems to be a favourite in the house!!
How much time do you spend on your business?
Over a week I would probably spend between 40-50 hours on the business. This is more than I spent in a full time job before having children!!
It is not just about assembling and dispatching orders (like I thought it would be when I started). There is website maintenance, SEO, new product design, marketing, social media up keep, accounts and a myriad of other things that seem to pop up.
How do you achieve a work/life balance working from home and/or running your own business?
Number 1 – A very supportive husband! He works full time and does some long hours then comes home to help with the kids bed routine and the domestic jobs around the house.
I also try to stipulate my main working hours in the office. For the most part I try to work the mornings (9.30am to 12.30pm) and evenings (7pm to when I am done, normally around midnight). This leaves me a couple hours in the afternoon to run errands, grocery shopping, fit in a load or 2 of washing or do something fun with my pre-schooler on the days he is home with me. This doesn’t always work and I adjust depending on what orders I have for the day and when they require delivery. There are some days I work from the time I drop the kids at school to the time I pick them up at 3pm, then after dinner, homework, shower and the goodnight book, I start again at 7pm and work through to 2-3am in the morning in order to fulfil the customer orders for the day.
I also try and pre-plan my week. On Sunday I sit down and have a calendar of the week’s events and appointments. I work out our entire week’s worth of meals and plan a shopping list. I also plan my week of work. There is nothing worse at the end of a day sitting there thinking what did I actually achieve on the business today??? I managed to surf the web for 3 hours……..opps!! In order to focus I found having a spreadsheet for the week where I allocate what and when I post my social media, news letter articles, blog posts etc. I don’t have to think about it, I just look at the list and do it. Yes I admit there is some procrastination involved but I am not sitting at a blank screen for 60mins wondering what the next blog topic is going to be.
What challenges/issues do you face running your own business?
The main challenge is there is only one of me, so if I don’t do it no one will. Rain, hail or shine (sick or tired), some things (like assembling and dispatching orders) just have to get done. Another challenge is balancing family outings with working on the weekends to either fulfil orders for dispatch on Monday or purely to catch up from the busy week prior.
What tips/advice would you give to mums out there wishing to start their own business?
Be organised and prioritise. I love spreadsheets. (Just ask my husband & former work mates!). It keeps my mind clearer and allows me to fit in more tasks in a short timeframe.
It is a lot of hard work, try to allocate “working time” (hard to do sometimes I know!!) and stop when it reaches that time. As much as you want to “just finish this one last thing” before I stop for the afternoon, you just have to stop.
Where is your favourite place to go with your baby or toddler?
Lately it has been the local library or a vacant playground. It’s quiet and it’s just the two of us. I get to focus on what he wants for a couple of hours and ‘partially’ switch off from the business. Thank goodness for smart phones these days, you can work on the run, I will still answer email enquiries, phone calls and take orders during this time but my main focus is on my son.
What advice would you give your ‘toddler’ self?
Play and have fun, enjoy making new friends, love life and cuddle mummy as much as you can.