Monday Mumpreneur with Jo Goodson

Every Monday we feature a mumpreneur who’s ready and willing to open up their lives and their business to us.

They share with us their motivation, their challenges and their proudest moments in business and they also tell us how they take time to nurture themselves.

If you’re looking for inspiration, then our featured business mums show you what’s possible.  Our message is “If we can do it ~ then so can you!”

I meet lots of mumpreneurs with wonderful ideas for businesses and I'm always impressed with new and innovative ways of doing things.   So, I can't wait for you to meet this week's featured business mum who's identified a need and built a whole thriving community around it ~ I know you're going to be impressed too.

Your name:  Jo Goodson

Your website:

Brief description: is an online private members club where trusted, liked-minded people can make the most of their investment in a second home in a safe, secure and innovative way. It overcomes the concerns that make so many second homeowners reluctant to risk renting-out their property; the fear of it being damaged, or the hassle of having to chase or negotiate payment.

As the saying goes, any friend of yours is a friend of ours and this is how AFOO’s membership works. Membership is limited to homeowners, their invited friends and family only, plus very special guests of Any Friend of Ours. It’s free to join and as a member you can rent out your property and/or rent other members’ properties across the network, discover new locations worldwide and experience the wealth of being part of this online community. It’s also an opportunity to make new friends, discuss places of interest and find out information on holiday destinations you had never heard of!

Tell me about your children:  I have one son named Jake, who is 9

Where do you live? London

PC or Mac?  PC. My son uses a Mac for school so I dabble but I am much more at home on a PC.

Tell us about your business

I have a beautiful holiday home, but found that we didn’t get to stay there as often as I thought we would. It costs a lot of money to keep it and that is difficult to justify in the current economic climate. Family and close friends have stayed there on occasion, but I don’t want to charge them. However, there is no way I’d want a stranger staying there – it’s very much our home. What I want is a way to rent to people I can trust, people who will take care of my home; people who are not direct friends but possibly recommended by other second homeowners who are likely to have the same concerns that I do. I believe AFOO does this and I welcome people to come and experience what AFOO has to offer.

What motivated you to become a mumpreneur?

I was co-founder of a business which we exited 3 months after Jake was born so was really an entrepreneur before I became a Mum. I then took some time out and did a variety of roles which gave me the flexibility to be with Jake when he was very small. When he reached 8 I decided it was time to really do something for myself again. I had had the idea for Any Friend of Ours for some time but felt it was the right time to really give it a go.

What's been your biggest challenge in business?

On a personal level, keeping motivated when things don’t quite go the way you had hoped. On a business level, introducing multi-currency purchasing – it was quite a challenge to get our heads around it but we are getting there.

How have you overcome it?

I am lucky to have two equity partners in the business who are great sounding boards and always have great advice.

What's been your proudest business moment?

Our piece in the Sunday Times this weekend. The amazing response validated the business for me and so was really important.

What's your catchphrase or favourite quote?  "Never give up!"

What do you do to relax or nurture yourself?  I play tennis whenever I can and I do yoga.

What was the last treat you bought for yourself? A new tennis racket!

Favourite colour:  Purple

What one piece of advice would you like to give to a new mumpreneur?

The most important tip I would give to any other entrepreneur is to get help with their finances from the outset if they are not financially savvy. Sound financial management is vital at all times, not just when cash is tight.

Fancy featuring as one of our amazing mumpreneurs? Drop me an email over on the contact page - and I’ll be in touch.   Or let me know in a comment below.  And remember to drop by every Monday to welcome our latest profiled mum.