Monday Mumpreneur with Karen Skidmore
Every Monday we feature a mumpreneur who’s ready and willing to open up their lives to us. They share with us their motivation, challenges and proudest moments in business and they also tell us how they take time to nurture themselves. It’s lovely to have them here at Mums Got A Business and we hope you enjoy connecting with them too.
I'm delighted to introduce you to a lady I met soon after I came online in 2007 and it was lovely to find a mum who had left the corporate world to spend quality time with her children. She certainly walks her talk. I also love her catch phrase ~ it's something I've had to learn the hard way.
Name: Karen Skidmore
Your website: www.CanDoCanBe.com
Practical, no-nonsense marketing advice for small business owners specialising in web tech stuff such as blogs, email newsletters and social media. Making the complicated simple!
How many children do you have?
Daughter aged 11 and son aged 9
Where do you live?
On the Surrey/Hampshire borders in the UK
PC or Mac?
Both! Plus my iPhone. Couldn't be without it.
Tell us about your business
I work with self-employed professionals and service based businesses who struggle to find enough clients. I show them how to "set and forget" their marketing and make easier for their clients to buy from them so they attract the right clients constantly and consistently throughout the year.
Some of my clients work on a 1-2-1 basis with me but many subscribe to my Web Tech Club which gives marketing advice for technophobic business owners. www.WebTechClub.com
What motivated you to become a mumpreneur?
To create a flexible career around my children. Once my daughter started school, I left my corporate 3 day a week job so that I could work during term times and be around at home during the school holidays. I think I look forward to the school holidays more than my two children, especially as I have been able to create a 12 month a year business whilst working just 9 months.
What’s been your biggest challenge in business?
Listening to my target audience and creating products and programmes that they want - not what I think they need.
How have you overcome it?
Not beating myself up when I make mistakes and learning from them so I can be better the next time round. Fortunately my 11 years in corporate sales gave me a pretty thick skin and as you get older, I think it's easier to shrug off stuff that goes wrong.
And there's nothing quite like having to go pick up the kids from school and work out year 6 maths homework to put it all in to perspective 🙂
What’s been your proudest business moment?
There's been quite a few really. I was pretty chuffed to find myself working closely with Surrey University in 2005 and 2006 where I was given funding to run my own business enterprise programmes specifically for women. More than 300 women came on my courses over those two years, and it really helped raise my profile in the local business community.
I also set up a women's networking group at the same time and was running four events every month for about three years. Hard work but very rewarding.
And then I was pleased that I was able to shake off the "women-only" tag when I stopped running the networking events and focus my marketing on helping specific businesses and, in more recent years, with their web tech marketing. I suppose I have proved you can evolve and develop your business focus depending on what is wanted in the market place. Listen to your audience!
What’s your catchphrase or favourite quote?
Completion not perfection
What do you do to relax or nurture yourself?
Switching off the weekends is a must for me. I could work 7 days a week if I let myself so it's great to log-off and take on my second business - the family taxi service!
I love to read. And yes, paper books. Despite my tech geek image, I do love good old fashioned books. Have become a regular at our local library.
What was the last treat you bought for yourself?
My MacBook Pro. I am a huge Apple fan - love my iPhone - so I had been yearning for a mac to have all to myself. No children are allowed near it! It's mine, all mine.
Favourite colour: Purple
Favourite flowers: Depends on the season, but I always love having white lilies in the house.
What one piece of advice would you like to give to a new mumpreneurs?
Remember why you started up in business. When you get faced with making tough decisions or have a crap week, then remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. I only ever wanted to run a part-time business and as different people have pushed me this way and that, tempting me with propositions I have been able to say "thanks but no thanks". It's why I like to work with local businesses and stay out of London as much as possible ;o) Can't stand the commute - not after 11 years of corporate.
Fancy featuring as one of our amazing mums? Drop me an email over on the contact page and I’ll be in touch. And remember to drop by every Monday to welcome our latest profiled mum.