Monday Mumpreneur with Lisa Dunn

Every Monday we will feature a mumpreneur who’s ready and willing to open up their lives to us.  They will 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 going to be 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 our first ever featured mumpreneur.

Lisa was one of the first people I met when I came to live in 'the middle of nowhere' here in South West Scotland.

We met at Sports Day, she took me under her wing and we've been friends ever since.

Lisa is director of the Scottish Mumpreneurs Network(Dumfries & Galloway branch) she is also a wonderful cook, sings in church, speaks french beautifully and has a thing for handbags! .......

Name:  Lisa Dunn


Brief description:
My site is my shop window, where prospective clients can find out something about me, and about my services.  On my blog page I post ideas to help make things run more smoothly in business, hints and tips with issues that may be of interest, and sometimes just what is new in my business.

How many children do you have?
Three, all boys.  Alasdair (17), Angus (15) and Rory (7).

Where do you live?
Wigtown, Scotland.

PC or Mac?
PC, a netbook, and a Blackberry!

Tell us about your business:
With my passion for organisation, I offer online business support services to entrepreneurial mums who are growing their businesses, and so help them keep the balance between their work and family life.  I’m self-employed, so I can offer admin support that does not involve the crippling costs and red tape involved in employing someone.  I can work globally because everything is done online, and flexibly because I’m the boss!

What motivated you to become a mumpreneur?
About ten years ago we relocated to the country when my husband got a new job.  Facing up to the challenges of finding suitable work for my skills in an area of low population density (we are outnumbered by sheep), I was going quietly mad.  Some inspirational friends challenged me to change how I was thinking about work, and instead to start thinking about the lifestyle I wanted to have.  From there I could see more clearly how my skills fitted into that picture, and how to achieve the flexible, family focussed life I needed.  I started working online as a Virtual Assistant using my administrative and secretarial skills and experience, with clients instead of an employer.  At a swoop I became my own boss, able to be flexible around my family, my husband’s job and the difficulties of remote living.

What’s been your biggest challenge in business?
Learning to charge what I’m worth, and not being ashamed or apologetic about it.

How have you overcome it?
I’m a generous person, but I’m not running a charity.  I can’t afford to subsidise someone else’s business and no-one would expect me to.  I took a lesson from shopping and applied it to my business: there is a huge difference between price and value.  If you are offering high quality goods or services, people do not expect to pay bargain basement prices.  If someone in a pub offers you a Dior handbag for £30, it is obviously not the real thing, and probably not even worth the £30 being asked.  As women, we are often guilty of putting ourselves down and devaluing what we do.  What we need to realise is that charging what we are worth has an amazing effect: we attract better clients.  What is a better client?  One who cheerfully pays you what you are worth, keeps coming back, and tells their friends about you.  One of my colleagues put her prices up and within six weeks she had more work than she could handle, whilst at the same time parting company with some difficult clients who could not see the value of what they were getting.

What’s been your proudest business moment?
I feel proud every time I tell someone that I run my own business.

What’s your catchphrase or favourite quote?
Feel the fear and do it anyway.

What do you do to relax or nurture yourself?
I take a little Me Time every day, and either listen to something uplifting or maybe read something that is not work-related.  It is not self-indulgent to take a few minutes to clear your head, recharge your batteries and gain some perspective.  I am my business, so in looking after me, I am looking after my business.  There is no guilt in that.  It is logical self-preservation!

What was the last treat you bought for yourself?
French women are very good at looking after themselves.  I love the natural cosmetics produced by the French company Yves Rocher, based in Brittany, so I ordered some of their products just for me.

Favourite colour?
I love the colours of my logo: purple, pink and pale blue.

Favourite flowers?
Sweet peas, or freesia.  Beautiful colours delicately perfumed.

What one piece of advice would you like to give to a new mumpreneur?
I would highly recommend becoming part of a network, be it online or face to face.  You might consider a network of local business women, or an online forum such as mumsclub.  I am part of a lively online community of VAs, which means that if I don’t know how to do something, I have a huge pool of talent I can call on for help.  In addition, isolation can be a problem, so I recommend keeping in touch with people via social networks like Twitter and Facebook.  Remember you are not alone – there is a growing community of business mums out there, and if you have taken that step out in business, you are already part of it so all you have to do is make contact.

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.