Name: Anne Baker
Family members: Charlie (husband), Jack (6), Harry (4) & Daniel (3)
Previous career: Regional Retail Manager.
Name & description of your business:
“Reflexology by Anne Baker”. I am a traditional reflexologist providing reflexology for all the family, as well as specialist maternity reflexology.
What gave you the inspiration to start your own business:
To be honest it was the idea that I could be one of those “have it all mums”. I saw having my own business as the best way to accomplish this. I could still earn my own money – which I had been doing since I was 16, whilst still getting the advantages that a stay at home mum could provide for their children. My husband also runs his own business so I had someone on hand to be a mentor as well.
How did you go from having an idea to getting the business up and running:
I’d planned ahead and gained all of my reflexology qualifications before having children by going to college in the evenings and at weekends. After having my first son, I was very lucky that we could afford for me to stay at home. This allowed me to slowly spread the word about my business without the pressure of needing to earn money immediately.
My friends and family were my first clients and slowly word spread. I put a lot of effort into networking as in this industry most business comes through referrals and recommendations. I work from home for people I already know and my friend Taeona Hutton lets me work from her premises at Chesham Osteopathic Clinc. I also treat clients in their own homes.
How do you juggle running a business and family life:
This is the biggest challenge! I do TRY to be very organised and I am forever writing lists to keep on top of my to do list. I never wanted my family life to suffer because of my business – one of my main reasons for being self-employed is to be able to be around for my boys. As a result, I work during the mornings when all my boys are now in school or pre-school, and I work evenings after putting them to bed when my husband is home. It is tough when I go through phases of working every evening and don’t get to spend any time with my husband. This is usually the case during the school holidays when I have no childcare. We just make a real effort to go regularly on “date night”.
What’s the best & worst thing about having your own business?
I am my own boss, so don’t have to answer to anyone else and I like the feeling of control. I guess the worst thing is not having a guaranteed income each month. Depending on your overheads and hours worked the amount you earn each month can vary hugely. This is especially true in the early days.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
I am actually in the very early stages of opening my own “Wellbeing Centre” with a friend of mine. So in 5 years time I would like that to be fully operational and profitable, and possibly be looking for opportunities to expand or open another centre in a different area.
What one piece of advice would you give to other mothers hoping to start up their own business?
Be your own advert – don’t feel embarrassed about selling yourself and telling everyone you meet about what you do. One of the things I look to do is help spread the word about any mums’ new business. A lot of people have helped me along the way by doing this and I believe what goes around comes around. If we all support each other we all reap the benefits.
Website address: www.reflexologybyannebaker.co.uk 07929 355 215