27/03/2014

By Keith Angus, Growth Coach at GrowthAccelerator

As shadow childcare minister Lucy Powell says that mothers working part-time are often more productive than other employees, mumpreneurs working with GrowthAccelerator have extolled the virtues of employing other mums.

Mumpreneur Cara Sayer runs SnoozeShade, the sun and sleep aid for prams, car seats and cots. Despite the products being sold worldwide in stores such as Tesco and John Lewis, she is the only employee and relies on the skills of a team of mum freelancers to keep the business’ cogs turning.

“Using freelancers allows me to manage peaks and troughs in the business” she explains. “My network of mums means I have access to some very talented women with a wide array of skills that I normally couldn’t afford – they work from home and I don’t mind when they do the work as long as it’s done. They support me with important functions including bookkeeping, distributor relations and social media. Businesses should definitely be more aware of the skills that mums can bring to their teams and embrace more flexible working arrangements.”

Navina Bartlett, who runs ready meal manufacturing business Coconut Chilli, agrees. She employs two working mums to help with cloud-based business admin and is a big advocate of doing so. “Technology means that people can work from anywhere and all the mums I employ have a wealth of experience. I can brief them and trust them to get on with it, freeing me up to focus on growing a high growth business and making it as successful as possible.”

Employing a flexible workforce is a great strategy for smaller growing businesses to plug skills gaps as and when necessary. Mums are often an untapped pool of talent and many of these companies can really benefit from taking advantage of their skills. As these businesses have shown, mums can provide ideal support to free up the business owner to spend more time working on, not in, the company which is vital for enabling business growth.