Tag Archives: small business

Little Chickie’s Top Five Baby Gift Ideas

              Are you looking for the perfect gift for a newborn or baby shower? It’s so tough to find that perfect baby gift, especially when you know that the new parents have been doing lots of new baby shopping!  

For some inspiration, here are our top 5 ideas for that perfect baby gift. They’re all from boutique brands, meaning they’ll be something unique, great quality and super gorgeous! At Little Chickie we believe that the perfect gift is something that not only looks great, is an essential item for any parent but also brings the baby joy!

Baby Hand & Footprint Keepsake

Nobody can resist squidgy baby feet, so why not send this fabulous, great value hand and footprint kit. It is easy to use and comes in a lovely tin and gift box, a gorgeous keepsake to remember just how cute and tiny their baby’s hands and feet were!  

Take a closer look here: https://www.littlechickie.co.uk/product/baby-hand-and-foot-print-kit-3046/

 

Play time!

Visual stimulation is so important for a baby and what better way to do this than with these super cute rattles. The high contrasting colours of Mr Tiger Stick Rattle and Sir Panda Ring Rattle are eye-catching and great for baby! They are by Nature Zoo of Denmark who have a whole range of beautifully hand crocheted items from rattles to mobiles. They are all made from supersoft bamboo fibres, free from nasty chemicals and very high quality.

Find Mr Tiger and more of his friends here: https://www.littlechickie.co.uk/product/mr-tiger-rattle-stick-3074/

 

Cute & Cosy Bathrobe

Bath time is such a precious time with a little one. Once the fun of bathtime is over it’s time to wrap up and have lots of snuggles and cuddles. A robe and slipper set is the perfect thing to do just that… We love this cosy hooded bathrobe with a cute bear design with matching bear slippers from British brand Nature’s Purest. It’s made from soft organic cotton so is kind to baby’s skin and comes in a lovely gift box making it the perfect unisex baby gift. Click here to take a look: https://www.littlechickie.co.uk/product/hug-me-bear-baby-bathrobe-and-slippers-gift-box-3134/

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Super Soft Baby Grow

You can never have enough baby grows and we love the brilliant range from Bob & Blossom.  They’re a great British brand with cool style, cute designs and slogans.This Sunshine Yellow Baby Grow has a gorgeous yellow bunting print running through it and comes in a matching gift pouch making it an adorable unisex gift for a new baby. https://www.littlechickie.co.uk/product/sunshine-yellow-baby-grow-with-matching-gift-pouch-3157/ 

 

The Must Have Baby Muslin

No mum can survive the first year without a good supply of muslin cloths. They don’t have to be boring either, many come in lots of fun and cute designs to make an ideal gift. Our favourite is Nature’s Purest Tiny Bunny and Muslin Gift Set. The gift box contains a super cute little bunny toy as well as a natural cotton muslin square, which is very gentle on the baby’s delicate skin. Alternatively, how about this fun, Cherry Swirl Muslin which looks good enough to eat! A great unique gift and affordable too. https://www.littlechickie.co.uk/product/gift-set-tiny-bunny-and-muslin-3045/

 

I hope we have provided you with some inspiration for the perfect baby gift. If you like the look of these items, have a look at www.littlechickie.co.uk for more gorgeous boutique gifts and clothes. Also, you can get 10% off of your first order by signing up to the newsletter on the website!

 

 

 

 

Five Tips for Planning a Business on Maternity Leave

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Lindsey Fish is the founder of Mums Enterprise Roadshow. The  idea was born from her own experiences of becoming a mum and launching her own corporate event management agency, Little Fish Event Management Ltd instead of returning as a Marketing Manager in the city after maternity leave. Here are her five top tips for planning a business while on your maternity leave:

  1. Numbers and ££ – look at all your options

This is all about how much money you need to make to survive, to pay your bills and I would suggested doing the maths for every scenario.  About 5-6 months into my maternity leave I started to do the maths.  How much money would it be to a) return to work b) return for 3 or 4 days c) get a local part-time job out of the city d) what about being self-employed?

After all my calculations were done it ended up looking like I would be working my socks off and it just wouldn’t be worth it.  I’d have to put Molly into childcare from 7-7 and after all other bills were paid I would be left with only £600 of my own from quite a nice salary, it would be even less if I could my days down to 4.  So that was when I seriously started looking into working for myself and I had my target which was to earn this £600 per month which was totally achievable.

  1. Write thoughts on paper

An idea has to start somewhere and the first thing to do is to get it from being a thought or an idea and put it onto paper.  This could be in whatever form you want.  A diary, a blog, just a scrap bit of paper with notes.  Whatever it takes to get your idea somewhere safe, to where the idea can be curated and nurtured.

You may have one idea or you may have 50.  Put them down in a way you can clearly identify each one, clearly understand the train of thought so that it gives you something to work with.  Nobody else has to read this, you can swear, scribble, include stick-men or anything else which just gets the idea out of your head.  This is the time to write down your business ideas no matter how silly or daft to anybody else you’d think they are, so no holding back.

All of a sudden it all becomes more viable, you get a feeing that it could actually amount to something.

  1. Write your business plan

So now you are ready to seriously think about your business plans.  It’s time write up your business ideas again but this time in a much more structured way and other people may see this one.  There are lots of places you can find Business Plan templates from, Virgin Start-up have a lot of helpful resources including business plan templates.

Writing a business plan makes you think, it includes every step for you to actually create a viable business and it will form the basis of everything which happens next.  Take it seriously and complete every step.  Even the steps which you dislike.

As I am a marketer I actually also completed a Marketing Audit and Marketing Plan first as for me that helped create the vision of my business and I was comfortable with writing those plans and doing that research.  I then moved onto my business plan which was something I hadn’t done before so was less confident about.

Remember business plans are working documents and will change and be adapted as you go, so don’t worry if there are gaps to begin with.

A really important part of this step is figuring out how much money you need to actually start the business and how long you need before you need to start to make money to carry on.  I started Little Fish with only two months maternity salary so everything was done on shoestring.  I only spent around £300 in my website and my brother is a graphic designer designer who did my logo and brand colours for me (before Lucy became my business partner).  I only had two months after launching to secure a client else I may have had to consider looking for a ‘real job’.  Thank fully I landed my first client job in that 2 months….phew!

  1. Research

So there will be an element of research in your business plan but I wanted to put this as a separate point as it relates specifically to market research.  Testing your idea and your audience, and this really is crunch time.  Is there really an audience or any customers for you and your idea?

I emailed local small to medium companies in Hertfordshire the link to my anonymous survey.  (which I did via Surveymonkey).  It was only short and asked various questions with the last one being ‘Would you consider hiring an event management company like the one I am planning to launch for you own event needs?’ I had a 30% yes and 70% no from only a handful of respondents.  But to me 30% yes’ was enough to take the plunge.

For you this could be asking public in the streets, do the online survey, make a few calls.  I really would always, always test your idea in some shape or form (friends and family don’t count)  because without having an inkling or any feedback from your target audience, which you would have identified in your business plans, then you won’t know if you really have a viable business idea.

  1. Go for it

If you have the answers you need and are confident there is a market and space for you in it.  You have done the planning, you know what it is going to cost you to get going. Then go for it.  Don’t hesitate, don’t sit on the idea for weeks on end.  Make a decision and go for it – start putting the wheels in motion.   My to-do list after I had made my decision looked like this:

  1. Decide on a company name
  2. Write up my brand mission, vision and personality
  3. Brief my brother on my brand so he could create the logo and brand colours
  4. Start to write up a web wireframe and write the content for each page
  5. Start to write ‘content’ for my website which I would use to promote the website (help, tips and blogs)
  6. Set up a target sales list of the companies I wanted to target to sell too
  7. Start to compile a press list of target press I would send my launch press release too
  8. Create a sales presentation so I have something to take to meeting or send potential clients

It goes on…but you get the idea.  To me this is and was all really fun stuff and it took me only a matter of 1-2 months to get it all done.

So there you have it

I launched Little Fish Event Management on 2nd June 2014.  I started planning the Mums Enterprise Roadshows in March 2015 and I went through all of these steps before launching either of my ideas.

I am by no means a business expert but I think it always helps to share how others have done it and I hope sharing my way may help you in some small way if you are currently thinking about what to do after your maternity leave comes to an end.

Lastly…

If I could turn back the clock I would have certainly spoke to an accountant before setting up my business.  I wish I had set up as a limited company right away, I setup in my first year as a Sole Trader which meant all the revenue I generated didn’t belong to my business.  I have since set up as a limited company but it feels like that first year effort has been lost as Little Fish didn’t own that turnover.  I am glad I did start on the VAT flat rate scheme from the get go.  These are both things an accountant could have helped me with.  Our event partner is My Accountant Friend but of course there are many out there.

The Mums Enterprise Roadshow is an event offering ambitious mums services, advice and opportunities whether you are wanting to re-train or refresh your skills, find more flexible work, start or grow an existing business.

Each event will be host to over 30 exhibiting companies at each, all of whom will be offering advice, services, work or business opportunities. There will be a selection of short 30 minute workshops for you to choose to attend along with live case studies and a Q&A panel from successful women who have been there and done it.  Earlybird tickets are £35 plus booking fee and are on sale now.  Tickets includes all your refreshments, buffet working lunch, access all areas, a comprehensive showguide and an awesome goody bag.

When & Where?

*Thursday, 9 June 2016 
Moorpark Mansion,
Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
*Saturday, 18 June 2016
Paradise Wildlife park
Broxbourne, Hertfordshire

Attendance fee: Introductory offer of £35.00 per person plus booking fee.
All day refreshments, lunch, access all areas and goody bag

Purchase tickets, here: http://www.mumsenterprise.events/tickets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HERTFORDSHIRE MUM RECEIVES SMALL BUSINESS GOVERNMENT BACKING

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Jenny, mum to three young children, has been living in Hertfordshire for around two years now. As most mums out there will know, life with children is hectic. The school run, pack lunches, dance clubs, football practice, homework and housework. It’s non-stop. Whilst none of us would change it for the world it’s nice if you can carve out a little piece of your life that is for you And that is what Jenny has done.

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Most people would look for a part-time job, something to simply get them out of the house for a few hours, but not Jenny. She took the brave decision to launch her own company ALEXI London – a new British Jewellery brand that celebrates the essence of femininity.

In a previous life she spent over 7 years traveling the Far East, Australia, the Balearics, Spain, Italy, USA and the Caribbean. Travelling has always been one of her passions and one that she was keen to fully explore before settling down to have children. Not only was it a lot of fun, but it has also helped her to develop ALEXI. Each country has had its impact on both the ethos of the company and the collections themselves.

ALEXI is based in a beautiful converted barn in Gaddesdon Row. After the various school and nursery drop-offs are complete, Jenny drives to the ALEXI office where for the rest of her day she can leave the baby wipes and snack packs to one side and, instead, deliberate over her Spring/Summer collection or over the next trade show to exhibit; and let’s face it enjoy a hot cup of tea!

Jenny is a firm believer in creating a good work life balance. She also knows first-hand that it can be difficult for women to be both a mother and have a career. That’s why she made the decision to offer flexible working to her employees. Pop by her office at 930 AM and it’s a hive of activity, pop by after 330 and you’re likely to find that half her team are out doing the school run.

So how is business going? 18 months in and business is going great. Sales are strong, the diary is booked up and Jenny was thrilled that ALEXI was selected for GrowthAccelerator – a government-backed service offering strategic support to businesses with the potential to improve and grow. Jenny believes in ALEXI but it was great to hear that the government scheme did too!

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OFFER: Free postage and packaging for Mumsnet

Jenny is a huge fan of Mumsnet and wants to thank them for the opportunity to tell mums in Hertfordshire about her new business. As a thank you to Mumsnet she would like to offer their followers free postage and packaging on any orders they place throughout March, when they quote “ForMum” at the online checkout at www.alexiaccessories.com before the end of March 2015.

Affordable glamour

There’s a world of glamour and fashion out there that women often want to be a part of, but find difficult within the constraints of juggling the pressures of everyday family life. Prices are honest and affordable and the range can be easily shopped through www.alexiaccessories.com So no need to battle the shops with children in tow. Jenny has everything she needs to take to take ALEXI to the next level. A fabulous brand, great products and strategic support through the GrowthAccelerator Scheme. But don’t take our word for it browse the latest collections for yourself.

Thank you Mumsnet for letting Jenny share her story.

To follow Jenny’s story:

www. facebook.com/AlexiAccessories and Twitter @alexijewellery

For more information please contact Jenny, Director and Founder of Alexi Accessories Ltd. on sales@alexiaccessories.com

For Marketing and PR queries please contact Clare Sidebottom clare@alexiaccessories.com