May Business Mum’s Blog Carnival

Today’s post is a bit different from my usual fundraising advice and tips.  As well as fundraising, I’m also interested in setting up and running a business – it’s what I’ve done after all and it’s good to hear about the experiences of others who’ve done the same – as well as picking up a few tips about what’s worked (or hasn’t) from others who’ve ‘been there and done that’ before me.  And so I’m delighted to be hosting my first Business Mum’s Blog Carnival here on Activate Fundraising!

The Carnival itself has been running for a while now, thanks to Helen Lindop and in this month’s carnival she shares some of her top tips regarding running an online business, in which she reflects on the first two years in business: what’s she’s learned and what she wishes she’d known from the start!  I’m sure we can all share some of those sentiments regardless of what type of business we run.

Of course, many of us started their own businesses either because we wanted to make a change (as in my case) or because change was thrust upon us.  Either way, change is inevitable, and Tracey-Jane Hughes discusses why change is a good thing.  Following on from that theme, in the first of two posts from Antonia Chitty, she deals with the issue that causes many women – and men too – to decide to set up their own business in the first place.  Having children.  And in her post asks whether there has to be a choice between career or children.

And, speaking of change, Sarah Paylor (Tunbridge Wells Mum) interviews boutique owner, Paula Fry, where change was the driver in setting up her business, Love Is Boutique.  Paula also has some good tips on anyone thinking of or in the early stages of setting up a business (and a few restaurant recommendations if you live in Tunbridge Wells too!)

Starting your own business – and what inspired that decision – is a theme running through a number of these blogs.  Hardly surprising – it is a Business Mums Blog Carnival after all.  In her post, Becky Goddard-Hill asks what sparked off your business?  And shares with us how a childhood ambition to become a writer has finally come true.

If you are hoping to start your own business, perhaps you’re looking for inspiration or are unsure of where your skills and experience lie.  Joanne Dewberry of Charlie Moos gives some good advice – including the pros and cons – of what to consider if party planning is an option that you’re considering.

I watched an item on the Wright Stuff recently (I was working too, honest!) about the time that mum’s spend on the internet – 92 minutes per day on average apparently.  I thought that this was quite low and I suspect that people perhaps often answer surveys according to what they think they should be doing rather than what they are doing.  And that’s a sentiment shared by Speech & Language Therapist, Libby Hill, in her blog about parents using television as a babysitter.

And, if you are using tv to keep the kids occupied while you cram in as much as possible – be that working, organising activities for the family, housework or even having 5 minutes to yourself to enjoy a cup of tea – then perhaps you should read Erica Douglas’s blog about Life Planning and Living Purposefully, in which she encourages you to set goals and plan how you’re going to achieve them one step at a time.  Erica also has some useful advice on how to build a successful blog that gets lots of traffic and that the search engines love – there’s also a handy link to a post on How to Make Paint too!

The successful blogging theme continues with Erica’s business partner, Antonia Chitty sharing her expert advice on business blogging – with ideas about what you could write about in your posts and how to use your skills and experience to write a blog that people will visit, read and keep coming back to for advice.

Blogging and social media has changed the way that we all operate – as individuals and businesses – and my post offers advice to charities about how to harness social media in their fundraising.  But, even if you don’t blog for charity, the advice is applicable to anyone who wants to use social media to promote themselves – be that advertising their business or fundraising for a good cause.

If all this talk of business has exhausted you, perhaps you might want to turn your attention to planning your house – with some tips from interior designer, Emmanuelle Lemoine.  And Donna Pinnell rounds off the carnival with a tale from an email she received recently – showing that we can’t all be perfect but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be appreciated.  I only wish my family were as forgiving of my occasional culinary mishaps!

I hope you enjoy reading and commenting on the posts  in May’s Carnival as much as I’ve enjoyed hosting it.  The next Carnival is being published on 17th June and if you’ve been inspired to enter a post – or even to host a future Carnival yourself – you can get details on Helen Lindop’s Business Plus Baby website.

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