Friday, September 17, 2010

Feature Friday featuring Helen Lindop from Business Plus Baby

Welcome to our hugely popular Feature Friday - today we're chatting to Helen Lindop who runs the blog Business Plus Baby.

Hi Helen, thanks for chatting with us today - can you tell us more about you and your enterprise?
Hi, I’m Helen Lindop. I have a blog which helps mums of babies and toddlers start businesses. This week my book was published – it’s called ‘Start a Family Friendly Business – 23 brilliant business ideas for mums (and how to tell which is right for you)’ and I wrote it with Antonia Chitty of

Also, I have just launched a web content and copywriting business,
 Where did the idea of running this as a business come from?
One day in September 2008, I took my four-month-old daughter to visit a nursery. I was going back to work four or five days per week the following January and had to sort out her childcare. As I left the nursery, I discovered that I simply couldn't leave my baby anywhere full-time. It wasn’t the nursery that was the problem, it was me. 

I hadn't a clue what to do next. I'd had a permanent job for a while, but before that I'd been freelance for six years. I thought that being self-employed might be the only option open to me but, as a new mum, I had no idea how it might work. What type of work could I do? Was it even possible to run a business around a small child?

I started to research some business ideas. I tried a party plan, but selling another company’s products just didn’t grab me. I worked my way through lots of other business ideas but none of them really fitted me or my family. Then I found out (to my surprise) I was expecting our second baby – due just fifteen months after the first.

The goalposts had moved again - with two babies I would need a business that was very flexible indeed! I started blogging because I wanted to connect with other mums in business and I thought all my research might help someone else.

I noticed my blog was gathering some readers so I kept going and it turned into a little business of its own. Through blogging, I connected with Antonia Chitty and we started to work on our book together. Now I’m going to use my blog to help promote the book and I have plans to write more resources to help mums start businesses.

Blogging has taught me about online copywriting and I find it really fascinating. I noticed that many small businesses are struggling with their web content. For example:
  • They find their website text isn’t getting readers to do what they want them to do, eg sign up to their mailing list, buy, or pick up the phone.
  • Blogging is a great way to get noticed by search engines, but it’s time consuming and businesses often don’t know what to write about.
  • Offering a free e-book to potential clients demonstrates their expertise and, if it’s good, clients will want to read it and keep it. That’s much better than advertising, which is often ignored! But writing a good e-book isn’t as easy as it looks and takes a long time to get it right.
I used to write a lot in my previous job as an IT trainer, so I’ve combined the copywriting with my previous experience plus my blogging knowledge to create my new business.

What do you love most about your business?
I love the flexibility to work around my family and the way I get to connect with so many inspiring business women.

What would you like to change?
Earning an income online takes a lot of time and patience. Doing anything when you have small children around takes three times as long as it would without! So there have been times when I’ve been very frustrated by my slow progress.

What is your aim for the next year?
To ease my children into pre-school so I have more time to develop my blog and copywriting business. And to keep learning and improving.

Where do you ultimately see yourself?
It’s so hard to say when you have small children. When they are born it turns your life upside down and I’m still getting used to it. Then you just think you’ve got the hang of it and everything changes!

If I can run a business that I enjoy, that earns me a decent income and that allows me to spend lots of time with my family then I’ll be happy.

What are your Top 5 tips for new Business Women?
Tip 1. Research, research, research – it’s so easy to skip over this but it’s essential.
Tip 2. Do the maths – many people don’t work out all their costs properly and then end up losing money instead of making it.
Tip 3. Pick something that you love – it’s hard work and if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing you won’t stick at it.
Tip 4. Tweak that ‘something that you love’ so that you’re offering a product or service that people REALLY want. Don’t be a starving artist - It’s so much easier to sell something if people actually want it!
Tip 5. Test your business idea by running it in the evenings. When you’ve got some momentum and you’ve proven it works you can give up the day job.

How can people contact you Helen?
I can be contacted via my website at or on, on Facebook at or Tweet me at

Thanks so much for chatting with us today Helen - the organic growth of your business because of your family committments is really fascinating and I imagine a lot of our readers will be able to identify with you regarding running and business with small childen in tow! We look forward to seeing your book in print - make sure to drop back and tell us when and where it's available. 
Remember, if you'd like to chat with Helen or any of our Feature Friday businesswomen, please check into our forum at


  1. Awesome story and its shows that we can achieve balance by doing something that is right for both our businesses and families. Great tips too x

  2. Thank you! My book release date has been delayed a little but you can pre-order it at Amazon -