As a single mum in business I have been networking for a number of years, and I love what networking with like-minded women does for your spirit, and your business, when most of the week you are working hard, normally alone.
In the early days I did not have the confidence and I definitely suffered with ‘imposter syndrome’, I felt like little me was just playing pretend with real women in real business! I do not recall what made me attend my first meeting but I have never looked back. You very quickly realise that you are all human and that you are not an imposter! There are two really good reasons to network, one is the isolation that comes with being self-employed and the other is raising awareness of your business. It is true that when people get to know each other they are more likely to use your services, buy your product, and recommend you to their own network, whether that network is friends, family or business.
So why the Single Mums Business Network?
It’s all about networking with women in business who may be walking, or have walked a similar path, and not being ashamed to ask questions if you are struggling with making sense of working tax credits and how to break free. Talks will be tailored to issues that single mums face when trying to achieve financil independence without having to leave their child all week.
Am I in business?
I used to think that being in business meant you wore prada heals and had 20 employees – it’s not! You are self-employed, you need to fill out accounts & tax returns and you need to be office manager & PR guru in order to survive! I have met some brilliant women in business (and men) over the years who are accountants, book-keepers, dog walkers, craft makers, wellbeing practitioners, solicitors, lawyers, chiropractors, hairdressers, chefs, cake makers, life coaches, interior designers, virtual assistants, web designers, I mean the possibilities are endless! It does not matter what you do. You are trying to sell something and you need to manage that business, and so networking is for you!
The crunch came for me quite recently when I attended a mums business networking group, it was a franchise of sorts and I was horrified, I will not go into detail but it made me realise that mums deserve better. Networking is about being seen and heard and for all of the attendees to be aware of who you are and what you do. It is not like walking into a bar and trying to make conversation with a couple of people in the room, without any follow-up from the networking leader.
Equally I attended an event where, whilst the event was lovely the talk was all about splitting the marital assets, a great talk, but not good value for my time or money, and it occurred to me that I had sat quietly through dozens of irrelevant talks and that I wished I could find a networking group that was more relevant to my status, and so the SMBN was born. I have held a couple of networking events over the years but I have never had the passion to drive it through. Whereas the SMBN is my passion.
This SMBN networking is not my income it is my passion. My income is by business, my law, my freelance BDM, but the SMBN is to ensure that relevant networking is out there to help you grow your income, and enjoy being a single-mum without feeling like you may well feel now.
Why £60 membership? £60 can be hard to find as a SMiB, and so you can pay this 12 x £5, it is a membership fee to ensure that the SMBN develops a health presence and that your business is promoted for you – week in week out, year after year – helping you grow with a network of support. I know that with £60 you can run one campaign to a small audience or put a small ad in a local rag. You need more exposure than this. Investing in SMBN membership will be a great investment and once our members page is visible every time somebody visits the SMBN, they will see your business too.
Meetings are £10 to cover food & drink (or £15 visiting non-members) but you will not be subject to upselling beyond that. You will not be asked to pay for advertising, or post on social media or buy a course or product, the only things that may be for sale in the future are conference tickets in september and awards tickets in 2020, but these will not be excessive.
You can join on the main website www.singlemumsbusinessnetwork.co.uk or sign-up to the newsletter, but whatever you do – know that you have a support network ready and waiting.