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Maternity leave - why not use it to plan a new business?

23rd August 2017

Maternity leave – why not use it to plan a new business?

If you’re coming up to your maternity leave, you’re already anticipating changes in your life. It doesn’t matter whether this is your first child, or a new sibling – the way you run and balance your life will be going through a new phase.

That’s why an increasing number of women – and often in collaboration with their partners – are choosing to use their maternity leave to start their own business. Is it a good idea?

Making the most of maternity leave

Most employers offer a generous maternity leave package, and paternity leave has also increased, meaning that this is a time when not only can you bond with your new addition, but start to make plans about your future.

A growing number of people want working lives with greater flexibility, allowing them to work when they want to, and to pursue ideas that they haven’t had the freedom to follow before. It makes sense then, to use some of your maternity time to see if your business idea is viable.

Our advice is always to research and plan, rather than go headlong into a new venture. Success is always more likely if you have thought things through. Our top tips are:

  • Refine your idea – whatever it is, do some research into whether you can turn your idea into a business. Read about other people who are doing something similar. Look at potential competitors and even do some research in your area to see if there’s a market there.
  • Think about start-up costs – if you want to run an online business, you’ll need to invest in a good-quality e-commerce website. You’ll also need the stock to fulfil orders and a secure payment system that protects you and your customers. For other businesses, considerations might include stock, marketing costs, vehicle costs, office premises and more.
  • Draft a business plan – this doesn’t have to be a huge, complex documents. It just needs to answer the basic questions about who is running your business, what their expertise is, what sort of products and services you’ll offer and at what price, what market is available to you and what level of turnover you’re aiming for.
  • Think about employment – if you’re considering returning to work after your maternity leave, you might want to think about returning part-time, so that you have a regular income whilst you’re starting up your business. Make sure that you make any decisions about this within the timeframes set by your employer.

To find out more about starting a new business, or planning your business and personal finances through a period of change, contact Wise & Co today.



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