I was three years in to building my event-planning business, Event Society, when I found out I was pregnant. I’d started the business in 2012 after my husband and I sold our house to clear debts and raise capital.
The business had been going pretty well, but it wasn’t prepared for a major disruption to come along. When my son Archer was born in 2015, the business started to suffer.
I was living invoice to invoice. Though I’d been getting plenty of work before Archer was born, I hadn’t put processes in place to make sure the business could survive while also juggling being a new mother.
It’s a conundrum that a lot of small-business owners face – the demands on your time when becoming a new parent – and there’s always a risk that trying to run your business simultaneously will become too hard.
As things started to get dire, I realised we risked losing our business altogether if I didn’t take immediate action. I hired a business coach – Jamie Cunningham from SalesUp! – to help me through the tough period.
That turned out to be invaluable as my business coach was able to see the bigger picture, which made all the difference.
I was so passionate about what I was doing and that had been keeping my business afloat – but it was all-consuming and I really had no education about how to run a business before I started my own, let alone how to do so while also raising a baby.
These are some of the changes we made and what I would recommend to anyone else in the same position:
Think bigger: Revenue from corporate clients has increased by 500 per cent in the last twelve months.
Employ people who share your values: I now employ two full-time staff, two part-time staff and a range of casuals.
Develop a marketing plan: My network of contacts has grown immensely and the business has been consistently moving to producing bigger and more expansive events.
Make plans and set goals: Setting a profit-first budget and planning ahead has set Event Society up so that it can continue to thrive, even in the lean times.
Allow yourself to follow your passion: My new processes have allowed me the capability to do pro bono charity work and charity events.
I always knew I had the passion, drive and common sense to make my business successful, but I just didn’t have the education to back it up.
My business is running brilliantly now – and we’re more prepared for the unexpected now than we ever have been before.
In the end, having my son – and hiring a business coach – was the best thing that could have happened to me and my business.