A poll by WorkingMums has found that 54% of women are seriously looking into setting up their own business to get the flexibility they need and to act as a safety net if they are made redundant.
Over half of working mums are seriously looking into setting up their own businesses, according to a poll by WorkingMums.co.uk.
The poll of 649 people shows the extent to which working mums are looking to self-employment as the way to get round the problems of balancing work and family life. Some 54% said they were investigating self-employment opportunities. Around 33% had thought about working for themselves, but were not seriously looking into it. Only 8% said they had not considered the idea.
The poll shows the difficulties women face with finding work which allows them the flexibility they need to balance all their commitments, since most of the family commitments still seem to fall on their shoulders for a variety of reasons, including the lack of positive role models for men to seek more flexible work. Many polled mentioned the school holidays and lack of effective systems for covering children’s sickness as particular problems.
It also shows that experienced women workers are prepared to vote with their feet if they can’t get the flexibility they need, meaning companies could lose out on talented staff.
Several of those polled said they felt the workplace was becoming more cut throat due to the recession. Others were setting up businesses on the side of their employed work as a way of building up some security if their job is made redundant. One commented: “I am currently building up my own business on the side of having a permanent full-time job in the industry of my dreams. However, although management denies this, staff are being laid off, seemingly for some lame reason. I am careful but given this insecurity, I would like to go whilst I can still get a good reference and before it’s my turn to be asked to leave – and to focus more on building up my business! But everyone is telling me not to leave the security of a permanent job! Should I listen to my heart and just go or should I stick around, try to do both and hope for the best?”
Others, however, spoke of the practicalities and hard work involved in setting up your own business. One enthusiastic businesswoman warned “it’s not as great as it sounds on the surface”. She continued: “You do need to be proactive in making sure your business remains viable, the hours aren’t as “good” – I can be up til 3 or 4 am tweaking things – there is no room to be ill, you can’t just ring up and take a day off, you need to somehow have a takeover person if business requires or ensure there are plans in place should you need a day off. You need to be firm with yourself and make sure you set strict rules or it never works.”
WorkingMums has just set up its new FranchiseZone which allows women to buy into an existing franchise so they get the benefits of running their own business, but in a less risky set-up since the franchise is already an established business.
Dionne White, Sales Director of WorkingMums.co.uk, says: “In the current economic climate, many parents will be looking at new ways of working, whether it is as a franchisee or working flexibly around children. WorkingMums is keen to encourage innovative approaches to working life which work for both employees and business.”