A Working Mum Adapts Her Space
Remote working often means fitting your home office into whatever space you have available, and we're always fascinated to learn what kind of places our iHubbub members work from.
So we were really interested to hear what changes Alice Ramcharran had to make to her home business when her baby boy arrived and needed somewhere to sleep!
Alice says, 'I’ve been in the Fitness Industry since 1999 – and 10 months ago I had a baby! I had an office in our box room at home where I used to carry out my admin work from, but when I discovered I was pregnant we knew we’d have to change that!
We only have 3 small bedrooms upstairs, and keeping my office in one of rooms would mean that turning our other spare room in to a nursery would mean we didn’t have anywhere for guests to stay (or should I say babysitters!) – so we decided to convert our garage in to my office and turn my office in to the nursery so that we still have a spare room for people to stay in!'
Growing Her Business
We asked Alice how she developed her home business, and what changes had to be made when she and her husband decided to have a baby.
'I started off working in the fitness industry by working in local gyms and teaching classes, and then 5 and a half years ago set up my own business, Pyramid Health and Fitness Ltd, offering various community based classes, one off fitness events and charity fitness events and social dos.
I got married in 2008 and my husband and I both knew we would like a family so we started trying for a baby immediately. After 6 months when nothing had happened, we started going for further investigations and were eventually told that although it wouldn’t be impossible for us to conceive naturally that because of our ages we would have a better chance of conceiving through IVF, so we decided to go down the IVF route.
In August 2011, after our 2nd IVF attempt, we were delighted to find out that I was pregnant. But it also dawned on me that I would have to start preparing to get my other baby – my business! – looked after while I was off!
I worked extra hard for 6 months making sure that plans were in place for while I was off so that everything could run smoothly, and created online products such as an online bootcamp and also filmed 2 workout DVD’s when I was 7 months pregnant so that people could still have contact with me when I was off.'
Adapting To Change
Alice continues, 'I went off on maternity leave 8 days before my due date (I actually went 12 days overdue so probably could have carried on a bit longer!) so had to hand over the reins to my business then, which up until then was one of the hardest things I’d had to do (not quite as hard as handing over the reins to my little baby to the child-minder for the first time, but a close second!)
From being totally hands on in the business to all of a sudden not being involved and having someone else teach classes that I’d been teaching for over 5 years was a really hard thing to do. I felt nervous that I may lose clients that I’d worked so hard to attract and keep, felt nervous that I would get complaints if cover staff weren’t teaching the way I teach, but also felt nervous that what if they preferred the cover staff to me?! What if I lost my passion for the business and didn’t actually want to go back to it? It’s a very hard thing to do when essentially you ARE the business and people are used to seeing you and your way of teaching at a class.
Running your own business means that you can’t completely switch off from it 100 per cent even if you are taking time out – I still had to keep in touch via emails and social media and also there were certain admin tasks that I had to carry on with. I think in a way this was good as I never had total time out so I think it made it easier to return to work without the dreaded fear that some mums have! Of course doing something I love also helps!'
Best Of Both Worlds
So how is it going now Alice? Have you settled into working life with a baby?
'By January, I was fully back in to the swing of things, and although it is hard hard work juggling a business with being a mum to a 10 month old, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I absolutely love being a mum and still can’t believe how lucky we have been, but I am also still passionate about my business too so I think I have the best of both worlds.'
Alice Ramcharran is a Jamie Oliver Food Ambassador for the Bucks region. She runs various fitness classes in the local area and has been running her home business for nearly 6 years.