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Looking to start a business in 2015? Chantal Danieli is a mum of 3 who began her Tea Amo Organic Specialty Healing Tea business at home.

Posted by on 19th Jan 2015

What are the nuts and bolts of starting a business when you are at home with the children and you have a dream?

  1. Start from the top and work backwards- be clear on your VISION for your business idea. For Tea Amo I knew instinctively the look, the feel, the taste, the experience I wanted for the overall brand, each blend and where I wanted it to be sold- online, at local markets and in boutique stores and restaurants and cafes. Write down all the nitty gritty details you need to make that vision into a reality and then work through those to achieve your vision…
  2. Research your market or competition/ products similar to yours but don’t get overwhelmed or consumed about what others are doing or this will stop you moving forward or doubt yourself. Remain clear on your point of difference and your vision…mine was a tea range that was designed to treat common health and wellbeing issues…that is what drives my product development and branding…everything I do or create stems from this root.
  3. Put your mind to it, stay positive and keep pushing yourself.
    I’d talked myself out of my business ideas for years. If you really want to get a business off the ground, decide what it is, make sure it is viable, then be really positive about it. My experience of having already helped my husband establish our cafe in The Rocks and creating our own Danieli coffee blend whilst working full time and having our first daughter gave me the push to just do it. I decided after having our twins and the stress and expense of going back to the corporate world, that if I was going to spend my valuable time earning an income and away from my children working, I wanted to do something I really enjoyed.
  4. Be Flexible with you time-remember you are doing this to have quality time with your kids, husband and produce a quality product/business that is your passion.
  5. Flip your schedule around- Starting a new business does take a lot of time, hard work and energy. I found it by carefully planning and structuring my time, writing a daily list and trying to achieve at least one thing off that list each day. Days mostly centered around my children, with small amounts of time spent on work so that evenings became the best time to get things done – there are no childcare costs and you’re only clock watching for bedtime.
  6. Grow with your business and be open to evolution… you may need to adapt your business to fulfil your clients/customers needs.
  7. Put plans for perfection aside. Waiting for the perfect moment, idea or time to start my own business stopped me achieving my ambition for years. Having children and doing a full-time job in part-time hours, I learnt that "good enough" really is just that. I also learnt how to do some extreme prioritizing. I still am a perfectionist at heart, which is useful for the business, but it doesn’t help when trying to set up. A business plan is useful to keep your focus, but you don’t need everything planned out to get your business started; flexibility is vital too.
  8. Stay Disciplined, Motivated and Self Driven…which should be easier to come by if you are passionate about what you are doing…despite the obstacles you may face…for example I was determined to keep my product produced in Australia and that it had to be Organic packaged in Biodegradable tea bags...even if it was more costly to me and harder to source than it would be to do overseas. But supporting Australian small businesses was important to me.
  9. Network as part of your lifestyle. The concept of "networking" had always given me the shivers in my professional life, with majority of my work researching and behind a desk writing reports but I’ve realised that life is one big network without the name tag. Once you are doing something you love, it doesn’t feel like networking, it’s just chatting. Start talking about your business idea now, and you’ll gain valuable feedback. Be honest and be yourself and be confident- this is your passion your product. You never know where a casual conversation in the park or cafe might lead to
  10. Follow a work ethic.I grew up in a home where a work ethic was important and it is key for me to pass that on to our children. What better way than having them watch me work in the kitchen blending tea, packing the final product and seeing it together in our local grocery stores whilst still being there for them.

What challenges/struggles you have come across in juggling kids and the business?

  1. Take every day in your stride. Yes it can be tough to balance it all but if you have a passion and you follow it despite the difficulties you can achieve your goals one day at a time.
  2. Manage your time for example set up meetings or important phone calls when you know you are kid free so you can be fully focused.
  3. Use your skills from your background work experience even if unrelated to your benefit or build on relationships you have with others if they have a skill set you need to acquire or they can assist you with.
  4. Accept any negative comments as constructive criticism and turn it into a positive outcome.
  5. Set firm financial goals...which is an ongoing challenge… and don’t expect to make a profit straight away…it is about building a brand you believe in and asking others to believe in you …so you need to sell yourself and your product as one.
  6. Take advantage of support around either when it’s offered or if you are able to ask for it. Lots of us try to do it all and, although we may just be able to manage, i have learnt the hard way why do it all yourself? I asked my husband and parents to help look after the kids when i really needed it. I also started asking friends for help in their areas of expertise in exchange for a dinner and eventually boxes of Tea Amo blends, or skills-swaps or payment for bigger asks. I learnt to delegate smaller tasks…even some that my 6 year old loves to do like cut labels for me, stick medal stickers on my packaging and even assemble flat packed boxes for me. I turned date night babysitting into a resource of getting tea packed into boxes. When you kids are aware of what you are doing and you explain it to them and involve them…they are more accepting of you having to spend time at home working instead of always playing with them.
  7. Have no fear…this is the greatest obstacle to everything in life…push yourself beyond what you think your limits are…you are already doing one of the hardest jobs in the world…raising children…so don’t underestimate yourself.
  8. Energy can be harder to come by ... remember you are your own boss no one is looking or judging you any more so also factor in snippets of time out for yourself, I would do this by seeing friends or family or spending a night out with my husband.