'Mompreneurs' are confident
With more than one million small business owners in Canada, there is a segment of mothers - "mompreneurs" - who are putting their stamp on the small business landscape.
A BMO Bank of Montreal survey shows that optimism reigns within the female demographic, with 74 per cent of female business owners optimistic about the economy, and three quarters (76 per cent) currently investing in their business. The data was released as part of the BMO Year of the Entrepreneur Series. The series will highlight the varied groups of entrepreneurs in Canada, beginning with the growing force of mompreneurs.
The growing mompreneur trend is one that is offering many entrepreneurial mothers the balance needed to raise a family without putting a successful business career on hold.
In fact, Statistics Canada estimates that women account for 80 per cent of new business owners, and a large percentage of these women are moms. Industry figures show 70 per cent of mompreneurs are under the age of 40, while one in ten are in the 40-49 age bracket. Mompreneurs aged 50 years and older are the second largest demographic and account for 20 per cent of the segment, increasing at a rate of four per cent per year.
Cathy Pin, Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal, notes that the transition from life at the office to running your own business can be a difficult one, and that prospective mompreneurs should carefully examine the pros and cons of running their own business before getting started to ensure long-term success.
"An important factor for any successful small business owner, and mompreneurs in particular, is finding that work-life balance," said Cathy Pin, Vice-President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "For those who find that balance working from home, BMO recently launched Online Banking for Business, which allows entrepreneurs to do everything from paying bills to foreign exchange from wherever the office may be."
Pin offers the following tips for mompreneurs-to-be:
• Do your homework - Leverage the wide array of resources and tools to
learn what you need to know to set up your business, including setting
up a business number, whether or not to incorporate the business and the
potential tax implications, including Harmonized Sales Tax.
• Weigh the lifestyle pros and cons - Think carefully about why you want
to start your own business. While being your own boss can offer some
flexibility compared to the corporate world, other sacrifices will need
to be made over the first few years, including longer hours and
potentially less cash flow, to ensure success.
• Put a plan in place - Stress-test your idea and research your
marketplace, including what the product and price point will be, who
your audience is and what your sales targets will need to be to cover
• Consult an expert - Speak to an accountant and a small business banker.
Many bankers specialize in small business and can provide insight into
setting up your business, market competition, personal and business
finances and how they may change over time.