do you run your own business / work for yourself? Mind me being nosy?

(42 Posts)
howdoesitwork Tue 02-Nov-10 21:59:56

I have seen people say on a couple of threads that they started a business when they had children so they could work around them. I would love to hear what sort of things those people do, how it works, what sort of money they earn, etc.

Also very interested to hear from people like Avon sellers, etc. Are these the sort of thing where you pick up a few quid here and there, or can they be more substantial?

Does anyone have a business, or work for an existing company, selling to businesses rather than to private individuals?

Obviously the more prurient personal financial detail the better (I don't care if you name change, obviously)

thank you in advance for tolerating my nosiness!

OP’s posts: |
Talkinpeace Tue 02-Nov-10 22:06:12

I resigned from a job the week before I realised I was pregnant.
Started temping and got my midwife to alter my due date so that I would get maternity pay.
DD was later than even the amended date
I carried on my homers and then added to them
never got round to going back to work
that was in 1998

yourlocalbookkeeper Wed 03-Nov-10 13:45:04

lol Talkingpeace.

@howdoesitwork, i studied IT and accounting at uni so it was relatively easy for me to decide what to do. besides the above, i also do a lot of research work for companies so my days can be as busy (or not) as i dictate. obviously self employed accountants can turnover in excess of 50k pa just working from an attic room at home....

are you asking because you doing a research into the subject or are you at crossroads?

Helenagrace Wed 03-Nov-10 16:04:29

I work from home running several companies. One is a communications company which specialises in getting teams within companies to work with each other better and helps companies identify what attributes they need when they recruit new people to teams. I also do some life coaching and career coaching.

All my staff and associates work from home - many of them part time, mostly school hours. Even my PA is a virtual PA and works from home. We offer discounts for work done in term time so our clients tend to go for those times. One of my objectives was to prove that part time workers could be just as creative and productive as full time office based people.

Another company I run offers organisational services to households and businesses - decluttering, streamlining household routines, setting up admin systems for people starting businesses etc.

I'm also about to set up a third company to manufacture two products that I have designed and can see a gap in the market for.

I've harnessed natural abilities that I have and turned them into businesses.

All are run from home and my (very well used) BlackBerry.

samels001 Wed 03-Nov-10 17:08:07

hi hditw, last year I did exactly what many others did, I left a "part" time job in the City to set up my own business to be there when my son started school. I sell Usborne Childrens Books - you are paid commission (at least 24%) on what you sell and out of that you pay your expenses - petrol, stall fees, P&P etc. I work when I want to so Jan and Feb were quiet which was great as my son was on 1/2 days and we had all that snow! I am busy now in the run up to Christmas. I am building a team and you can earn on their sales (if you sell in the same month - to stop you going off to Bermuda!). I've taken the business in all sorts of directions so am now working with schools (very interesting culture!), organise events charity or otherwise and still have time to go for coffee! I wouldn't want to pay the mortgage on what I earn - it is too patchy. But if you do it full time you probably can do fairly well with the various incentive programmes. As with all businesses it takes time and effort to build it up and get your name out there.

Tee2072 Thu 04-Nov-10 17:12:35

After I had my baby I knew I didn't want to go back to my job as a Personal Assistant. So I launched my own company, finally using my Graphic Arts qualification, this past June.

I now have my old company as my main client and have just signed another client.

I don't make a fortune, but I work when I want to work, ignore it when I want to, spend loads of time with my nearly 17 month old son and add enough to our household finances to make a difference.

As my son starts going to nursery/school more (he currently goes to daycare 1.5 days a week) I will start marketing and promoting and adding clients.

My goal is to have a 40 hour a week business (or more!) by the time he starts full time school.

KathrynP Fri 05-Nov-10 14:17:34

I'm an Avon rep and its definitely worth doing. I found it took me a bit of time to get started as I was new to the area and didn't know anyone. It is perfect when you've got a young family as you are your own boss so work whenever fits in with you. You earn 20 to 25% commission on your orders, get great discounts on demo products and if you want to put a bit more time in and make more money you can become a sales leader and develop your own team. I'm a sales leader and hoping to be earning enough to give up work within the next year. if you would like more information just ask.

goldenpeach Tue 09-Nov-10 21:41:08

Some stories of homeworking here orking-blog-carnival-results.html

dottydots Wed 10-Nov-10 00:17:47

I set up Chocolate World earlier this year so that I could work around my family. It is a party plan business but I am the head office so to speak. I love it, I work longer hours than I would if I worked for someone else but I am available for my children and husband. I would recommend working for yourself. You can make big money in party plan but most people don't. It depends on how you work and what you want to do. I fully expect some people who sell chocolates to make more than me, but the more sales they bring in the better my business will do. I also fully expect some people to earn very little, and some to earn a good part time or full time wage.


Lin06 Mon 15-Nov-10 16:52:56

I've just started doing a little marketing consultancy on top of part time work. It's really interesting to hear about what others have done, and succeeded at.

How did others get around the childcare issue? At the mo, I'm finding nursery doesn't always have space for extra days for DS so need to fit work around childcare.

daisysue2 Tue 16-Nov-10 00:22:22

I was a television producer working really long hours. I went back when DD was 2 and hated it. Left for work before she was up and back when she was in bed. Needed some money so bought an old house and was going to do it up and sell it. Decided to knock it down instead and built massive new house on it. Built three houses and now have another business that came out of the need of a specific product for the building. So I now import and sell those products.

covkimbo Tue 16-Nov-10 11:40:11

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dextermillierose Tue 16-Nov-10 14:14:37

I am a clinical psychologist, but i have found that i have had to return to work each time i've had my three children, and i miss them terribly. until i decided about a month ago that there had to be another way. I'm in the process of trying to develop a baby product that i've had in my head for about two years now, but never had the self-belief to run with it. having read a few books written by mum's i decided that i just had to believe in myself and my product. i'm still doing the day job as it pays the bills, but i can't wait to be able to give it up and help families in a different way. i have already had ideas about setting up some community projects if the profits are good.

whether its developing a product or service, i think it's true - we are not very good at just telling ourselves that we can do it!

Frazzledmumwithsmudgedmascara Thu 18-Nov-10 14:56:19

covkimbo, how does Wikaniko work? Do you have to sell it at parties?

2madboys Sat 20-Nov-10 20:51:49

I am an Independent Phoenix Trader - selling cards, giftwrap and stationery. It's loads of fun. Started about this time last year and have doing it in a very low key way alongside the day job, but have found that even with that, this last few months have really taken off. Lots of people who put more hours into it than me have increased their business a lot more quickly. Start up fee is only £45 and includes everything you need to get started. Profit margin on selling is about 30%, with extra bonus if you place certain levels of order in a month. If you recruit people who join you can also make commission on their business. Can't quite believe that I make money by going to nice people's houses, meeting their nice friends, drinking wine, eating cake and chatting! grin My website is hp if you fancy a further look.

RhiB Mon 22-Nov-10 17:14:08

I set up an ironing service back in July after having my second daughter. Didnt want to do the whole dropping to nursery, getting x to pick her up on x day, getting x to pick up my other daughter from school etc. etc. so decided to do this.

Its not the most glamorous career by any means but I make a little to pay a few bills and hopefully it will continue to grow!

I've got a few other ideas of stuff I can do from home but we'll see what they come to!

I love working for myself and being with my little ones all day (although my oldest just started full time school). If it was something you were considering I'd definately give it a go.

Mouseybrown Mon 22-Nov-10 17:24:10

I'm a freelance sustainable construction consultant, I didn't intend to be freelance but my employer folded when I was very pregnant. DS is five months and I work when he naps, no idea if I'll still be able to work when he becomes more mobile! I don't earn vast amounts, but am keeping my hand in for my eventual return to work.

covkimbo Thu 25-Nov-10 14:03:35

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angelicauk Sat 11-Dec-10 00:52:09

I am an independent Oriflame Consultant and sell a range of natural Swedish Cosmetics and accessories.

Its free to join and you get your first 10 catalogues free so you can get started straight away.

Commission ranges from 23% upwards depending on the amount of sales you have.

If you would like to find out more or are interested in joining please have a look at

or email me at


BrandyButterPie Sat 11-Dec-10 00:58:42

I can second Usborne My paycheque (so not including the 24% I make on the day from my own sales) this month was £525, which isn't bad for a part time job, especially given that I had been out of work for a while before starting six months ago :D

In fact, I have used my Usborne success to help me get a full time job as well, so it has done me good long term

Hoping to keep Usborne on as a sideline for a while now- just focusing on my team, who are very good (I would say that, lol)

clareh71 Thu 30-Dec-10 19:04:21

Hi I worked in insurance found Avon when my second was three months old - she had allergys, heartburn and reflux so didnt think fair for mil to have two under three to look after. She grew out of her problems but had baby number 3 who has more allergies, excema and asthma so found going out in the winter a night mare as always having chest problems.And a lot of customers out when hubby at home at weekends. Started doing Wikaniko as she could not use alot of the normal potions and now sell Avon and Wikaniko to friends/school mums etc and dropped most of my round.
Have now started making my own jewellery, which do when hubby and kids in bed (hubby goes to bed early as up at 4pm)
Have now started to run childrens jewellery parties which means kids in doors have daddy time and not being dragged round the streets
So far it its doing well.

tinytalker Fri 31-Dec-10 11:56:31

After my 2nd DD was born I left Primary School teaching and started teaching baby signing classes under a TinyTalk franchise. I have been running my classes for over 7yrs and in the meantime had another baby. It has been great because I could take my babies to class with me and run them around school/nursery sessions.
I also set up my own little company selling allergy related products (epipen pouches, asthma inhaler pouches, allergy alert stickers/badges etc.) through my own website, as my eldest has multiple allergies and asthma.

BeckyBendyLegs Mon 03-Jan-11 17:10:47

So many interesting jobs! I work freelance as an editorial project manager. I mostly work for Oxford University Press publishing academic books online - it's regular work and pays pretty well, allowing me to be at home for my children even though they sometimes think the laptop is an extension of me! I can't imagine having to go out to work and worry about childcare.

sausagerolemodel Thu 06-Jan-11 11:48:54

Daisysue - I'd love to ask a few questions about your housebuilding experiences - can I email you?

CaptainTortue Fri 14-Jan-11 18:00:26

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