How to start a business in just 15 hours a week – My top tips to find the time

You have a great idea for a business, you want to be working, but also want to be a Mum that can spend quality time your children.  Is it possible to set up a business in the short child-free hours available?  Starting a business when you’re a stay-at-home mum is hard, but not impossible!  I started my business on just 15 hours a week!  Here’s how I found the time.

When I started Brilliant Together I was a stay-at-home mum, having left my Corporate job 18 months earlier.  Being at home all the time meant that I was responsible for all the chores in the house and all the childcare and now I had to fit in starting a business as well.

So how did I do it?  I had to carve out some time in my week. My oldest had just started school and my youngest was at nursery, allowing for drop off and pick up times, this gave me just 15 hours a week to concentrate on my business plus juggle everything else.

It is hard trying to set something up from scratch with such short amount of time available to you.  But, it’s not impossible – so here are my top tips for guilt free effective working, without compromising mummy time!

Get rid of the time-consuming house hold jobs

save time, get a cleaner

Can you get rid of time consuming jobs?

  • Get a cleaner!  I still have to tidy the house (every day!) but I freed up a valuable 4 hours a week by getting someone else to do the cleaning
  • Do the washing overnight, hang it out first thing in the morning while the kids are eating their breakfast and only iron what you have to!
  • Get the kids to help you with the chores. No, it’s not child labour!  My two girls love helping me, it takes twice as long, but we get the jobs done and we spend some quality time together as well.

Be realistic

  • Set yourself realistic goals, don’t try to do too much.  Tasks will take longer than you expect them too.  If you put too much on your plate you will get disheartened quickly.
  • Focus on what you’re good at. There are loads of things to do when you’re setting up a business, so prioritise the stuff that you’re good at and outsource the rest.

Get Help

  • Get help where and when you can:  With all the things you need to do with setting up a business, there will be some things that you’re not good at. Trying to do these yourself will take you longer than it should, provide you with loads of stress and demoralise you quickly. Outsource it, I know with limited cash-flow this feels crazy, but if you focus on what you do best, you will get your business up and running and delivering you revenue quicker.
  • Prioritise; with limited cash-flow you need to focus on the areas that have to be up and running first, anything that can wait should, at least until you have some income coming in.
  • Use trustworthy suppliers; don’t waste your valuable time or money on people that don’t come with a recommendation.  If you need help finding the right supplier ask us; we have a network of brilliant people that we can connect you to, from accountants to web-designers, all are parents and understand the juggle of family and work life.  So if you need help with anything, let us know and we will find you the right person to help


  • When do you do your best business thinking?  I am very good at solving a problem when I’m hanging out the washing, walking the dog or in the shower!  So if you have a problem to solve, it might be useful to mull over while you do something else!
  • Use every spare moment! There a lots of pockets of time that you can use to do a quick bit of work.  When your children are having downtime (ie watching CBeebies or happily playing on their own), or when you’re waiting to pick them up from school.  Use this time to research stuff on your phone, it’s amazing what you can do in a 5 minute google search.

    colouring time

    When your children are happy playing, you can grab some quick research time

Buy some extra time!

  • A school or nursery day is incredibly short so try to buy some extra time; can your partner do the school run sometimes, or is it possible for another mum to occasionally do the pickup for you?  My husband does the school run two days a week; this gives me a very precious extra 2 hours at my desk!
  • Use some evening time – but not every evening: Once the children have gone to bed it can be tempting to jump back on the computer and this is a useful spot of extra child free time.  But remember its very important to have down time too, so don’t work too close to bedtime and don’t do it every night.

Make some time for yourself:

  • Give yourself some time between ‘being at work’ and ‘being a mum’ – My biggest hurdle was switching between work and being a mum.  I was working right up to the wire and then rushing to do the school run.  I found that I was really grumpy and short with the kids because my head was still working.  I now finish work half an hour before I see the children to help with the transition between being at work and focusing on them; it really helps create more stress-free time.
  • Grab a night out with your other half or with friends occasionally too.  Its really important to unwind and to take off both your mummy hat and your work one, only flipping between the two can make you lose sight of who you are.

Shake off the guilt: You are a mum and a role model.

  • Spending quality time with your children is important, make time for them and be with them.
  • But that doesn’t mean that you need to focus on them 100% of the time.  It is important for children to learn how to play independently.  If you focus on them all the time, when do they learn that they can entertain themselves?
  • Remember you are a role model to your children and seeing that you work is not a bad thing. Your children will be proud that they have a strong independent Mum.  Its just about getting the balance right.

Shake off the Mummy Guilt

You are a Mum and a Role Model. Shake off the Mummy Guilt

You can do it!

You want to make this change and build a business you love so that you can have a better quality of life and it will be worth it.  Remember:

  • Stop doing things you don’t have to do (like housework)
  • Be realistic with what you can achieve and outsource where you can
  • Multi-task where you can
  • Make some time for yourself
  • Shake off the Mummy Guilt

We’re here to help

Do you need help with setting up your business? If you need support and guidance then give us a shout.  Brilliant Together is a small business consultant that provides expert business advice and support to businesses looking to launch or grow.  We specialise in Business Development and Marketing strategy, see our services and have a network of experts in a wide range of areas from Accountancy to Web-design and everything in between!  So what-ever you need, we can connect you to someone who can help. See some of our Brilliant People.

If you want to know how I can help you build your business dreams into a successful reality, get in touch.

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