New South Wales
We all love the ideas and tips we find on North Shore Mums, but did you ever think about who makes it work behind the scenes? Our tireless publisher and founder Rachel Chappell has now been nominated for her efforts in the AusMumpreneur Awards 2016 and shares her award-entry answers for us. If you want to give something small back to the website that gives us so much, take a moment to vote for Rach!
Tell us about yourself & your business
I’m a mum to three girls (aged 6, 4 and 1), live on Sydney’s North Shore – and run the hugely popular North Shore Mums website. The website has been going for almost three years, and shows strong growth every year – now attracting up to 55,000 unique visitors every month. The website aims to provide all the information a parent might want – trusted local businesses (Directory), lots of local event listings (What’s On), family-friendly jobs (Job Board) as well as inspiring articles. We also have a very active Facebook community with over 18,000 members, which is used for advice, recommendations and support.
What inspired you to start your business?
Purely selfish reasons… as a mum with a toddler and baby, I wanted local recommendations of services to use and things to do, but had no local friends to ask. I launched the Facebook group, and the quick growth indicated a real need for a more structured resource for local mums.
What do you love about being a mumpreneur?
It’s very empowering to know you have created something from scratch – that you’ve identified a gap in the market and turned it into a successful business. I also love the flexibility of working the hours that suit me around activities, classes, play-dates and appointments for my children.
What has been your greatest challenge & how have you addressed this?
North Shore Mums is a powerful vehicle, and I receive countless requests from businesses and individuals with varied requests, and I always want to be able to help whomever I can. However, in the last year, I have learnt that I simply cannot do it all and about the importance of valuing my own time and learning to say ‘no’ to opportunities that don’t fit with the business. I am a people pleaser and would love to make everyone happy, but I also need to value my own time and ensure I have enough of ‘me’ left to give to the people I care about the most – my family.
What have been your major achievements in the past 12 months?
After almost three years of using the original website template that I created from scratch, I decided to reinvest back into the business by hiring a professional web developer (Heidi Good from Woofbyte, another local NSM) to create a slicker, better functioning and professional looking website. It’s been a lot of work, but I’m absolutely delighted with the end result. It’s the next big step to continue the growth of North Shore Mums as a business.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a mumpreneur?
Before you get started, you really need to identify whether there is a gap in the market for the product or service you’re looking to sell, and then put together a comprehensive business plan to work out whether it can be a profitable business. It really helps if you’re passionate about what you do, as you’ll be intrinsically motivated to succeed and you won’t actually feel like you’re working!
Why do you believe you should win the Rising Star AusMumpreneur award?
The NSM website provides local mums with the support, information and inspiration they need to navigate their way through the parenting journey, and has fundamentally transformed the way mums connect with other local mums. It also provides local businesses with a cost-effective advertising platform for reaching local mums – I know many local mumpreneurs who have launched successful businesses purely through their advertising and involvement with North Shore Mums. Finally, it’s a profitable business that helps to provide my family with an enjoyable lifestyle, whilst also provide an income to other mums wanting a family-friendly role.
Why do you believe you should win the Customer Service Award?
My focus is always on getting the best outcomes for our advertising clients. I have a background in marketing (rather than advertising sales) – so when clients come to me with questions about what advertising would best suit their business and their objectives, I am very happy to listen to their needs and come up with a package that will deliver them results – even if this doesn’t provide the highest revenue for the business! I want everyone to have a positive experience with North Shore Mums, and am focussed on making that happen.