Posted on October 15, 2011

Mumpreneur Feature – Katie

Mum in Business

Katie from Little Big Sports in on the blog today to tell you all about herself and her business! She is also offering all of my readers a 10% discount code on her website when you quote “TML” at the checkout – this will expire 31st December 2011 xxx

Who are you?

My name is Katie Malkinson. I am a mum of 2 wonderful but energetic children; Amelie, my 3 year old and my 5 year old, Max.  
What do you do?
I set up and now run an internet business selling sports equipment for children under 12 years of age.  Everything we sell is specially designed for kids and is appropriate for different ages and abilities. Using the right equipment is so important for children as it means they gain maximum enjoyment from sport and they can develop the skills of the game without without wielding a cricket bat they can’t lift or trying to reach a tennis ball that bounces over their heads. This is so important in encouraging an active lifestyle

When did you establish your business?
The idea for the business began to develop in spring 2010. A few months of hard work followed and www.littlebigsports.co.uk went live in August 2010.


What made you start your own business?
My sports mad son was the inspiration behind Little Big Sports. The light bulb moment was when my Mum bought him a cricket bat and he could hardly lift it, let alone hit a ball. It stopped his cricket enthusiasm in its tracks. It struck me that it was difficult to find age specific sports equipment and little advice was given on age suitability by online retailers particularly when the Mum was the purchaser. After plenty of research it was clear there was a gap in the market so this coupled with the fact I have always wanted to run my business was the reason www.littlebigsports.co.uk was born
What do you love about working for yourself?
It has given me a great balance in life. I genuinely have never worked so hard as I really believe in the business plus it is so satisfying seeing your efforts being rewarded but I am able to do it on my terms so I am very involved in my children’s lives.
Is there anything you do not like about working for yourself?
My impatience. I have so many idea’s and with relatively limited time and investment it is not possible to implement them all as quickly as I would like. Saying that, taking it slower has enabled me to grow in line with customer demand and focus investment on those areas.  For example I am about to add snowboats and insulated wellies to my product range as it became clear when listening to customers that their was a role for products that encouraged kids to be active. Keeping kids warm and therefore happy when playing outside in the winter was key to this.
To be honest I would change very little of the journey to date, although I would have embraced social media earlier as it has been wonderful from a support and networking point of view as well as generating sales!
Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?
To be honest I would change very little of the journey to date, although I would have embraced social media earlier as it has been wonderful from a support and networking point of view as well as generating sales!

 
What advice would you give to a Mum considering starting her own business?

Research your market and write a business plan to ensure it is viable plus it will focus the mind. Initially keep investment to a minimum so you can ensure the idea is big enough before you have blown thousands of pounds. 



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