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Juggling family life and a business? Here’s how to nail it

Muddy meets inspirational Warks mums Alice Stanek and Louise Hanson, whose meeting at the school gates was the start of a beautiful business

Running a business is no mean feat, but Alice and Lou make it look easy. Despite having four school-aged children, two homes, 3 dogs and a cat between them, they’ve juggled the creation and growth of Illuminate Retail. They’re small business consultants which help businesses with coaching support to grow sales.

And just like many Muddy readers, they’ve had to juggle their business alongside school drop offs, football clubs, rugby, dancing, netball, dog walks and running both homes  (and no, they’ve never forgotten to pick a child up!)

Not all of us find it that easy (hands up), or have a wing woman to help, so Muddy has asked these two dynamos to share their top tips on how have a successful business and a great home life (and to make you feel a bit better, yes, some days they do sit around working in PJs). Here goes…

  • First, streamline your business – know your perfect customer and speak to them – what is their problem/ how are they feeling and how do you solve it? Talk to them about their emotions to engage with them, not just preach about what you do.
  • Don’t be scared of a spreadsheet and numbers even if it’s not your bag. Having a target you can create a simple financial plan that’s simple to track and work towards.
  • Love a ‘to do’ list and write down everything you need to do on a daily or weekly basis. But that’s not all – the Illuminate way is to prioritise into tiers – Tier 1: the things that you must do that bring in the money! Tier 2: the jobs you can do after a coffee (or in PJs!) and aren’t time critical.
  • Work in pockets of time within your day using your list. Lou and Alice says juggling everything as a parent means the school days are short, so don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to fit too much in. This just leads to feeling like you are failing, when in fact whatever you are completing is a small win.
  • This is the bit we like best – celebrate every win, no matter how big or how small! Keep yourself motivated. So whether it is a glass of wine, a chocolate bar or a walk with friends, make sure you are scheduling in time to pat yourself on the back for moving forward however small that step may be. Double gin anyone? You’ve earned it!

A little about Illuminate Retail: Alice and Lou work to come up with a plan to get business platforms (products, digital, services and traditional – no holding this pair back!) where they want to be. They use coaching to improve confidence, clarity and control and consultancy to implement growth strategy. And if it’s a boost you need, they’re on the end of the phone for a reflect and refocus call and a free 30 minute consultation…, where’s my phone? 

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