My whole life I have been surrounded by entrepreneurial people. My parents each own their own businesses, my eldest sister works in one and my other sister runs her own. Whilst at my mum’s today for Sunday lunch, I decided to do an impromptu interview with my sister Kerry, on what inspired her to set up her day care centre.
Here is the interview – enjoy!
What is your business and how long have you been running it for?
I run a nursery called Sunflowers Child Care, which I started eleven years ago after the birth of my daughter.
Why did you choose to start Sunflowers Childcare?
It was supposed to be a temporary source of income until I felt ready to go back to my first job. However, I knew I wanted more children so when I thought about it more seriously, it seemed logical to make it into a proper business with a steady income. It would’ve been pointless to return to work, only to go off on maternity leave again if I fell pregnant.
Did you always want to be your own boss?
Yes! I’ve always been a very independent person with an entrepreneurial streak, but I never really had the motivation to start something before I had children. However, when Amy was born I really struggled with my desire to be with her full time, but also to have my own financial independence. Although we could’ve survived on my husband’s wage, I’ve always earned my own money and didn’t want to forfeit my independence. Becoming my own boss gave me the freedom to be a mum, and also a business owner.
What is the hardest part of being your own boss?
Not having the stable, consistent income that working for someone else gives you. There are certain outgoings every month that do not change and the staff all need paid, before I even begin to think about paying myself. If a parent gives me notice to leave, then I have one month to fill that child’s space to keep my income level the same. It can also be hard sometimes to be the leader, in that the buck stops with me, and I have to keep the whole show going. As I am in a service based industry, managing customer expectations can also sometimes be challenging.
What is best part of running your own company?
The freedom it affords me to manage my own time. I get to go to the gym most days, pick my kids up from school and ensure that dinner is on the table every night. I can also choose to increase my income at any time by just working a little harder, or taking on more children. The upsides far outweigh the down.
What advice would you give another mother wanting to start her own business?
Make sure that you thoroughly research your market and gather as much information as possible before you make a decision. As well as that, make sure your chosen career will actually serve your needs. Be clear on what you want. If your goal is to still spend time with your family, then it is best to keep that in mind, so that the very thing you are working for, doesn’t become compromised by needing to work all the time.