I started The Healthy Mummy business 8 years ago and I have learned so much along the way.

The journey has been incredible and millions of mums use our products every day but I still have so much to do – especially as I now navigate international waters with our UK launch and our USA launch in 2019

I am also a BIG believer in learning from mistakes and not dwelling on them.

Mistakes make you better. Make you stronger and they make you more experienced.

Over the 8 years I have made lots of mistakes. And I own all of my mistakes.

No one is to blame for my mistakes. And all of them come from poor decisions on my behalf. But I am thankful for them as they made me better at what I do. And hopefully over the years I am making less and less of them.

I also like to think of it like making an omelette – you have to crack and egg or two to make an omelette and for every mistake I make – there are lots of other good decisions I have made!

Here are 8 mistakes I have made over the years

1) Using wrong suppliers. When I was starting off, I had no experience with suppliers. And although I was lucky with a few I used, I definitely made some mistakes with using wrong ones which cost me money and time – especially in the digital space.

My advice is to get actual recommendations from any supplier you are looking to use from people who have used them. And find out about the owners of the business and what type of business they run and their ethics as if you ever have disagreements with them – you want to be dealing with professional suppliers not ones which will cause you mass pain.

2) Trying to do it on your own for too long. For me, I loved being self sufficient and being across every part of the business. And although I had many staff working across different areas – I definitely did too much working ‘in the business’ rather than ‘on the business’ for longer than I needed to. And although this didn’t impact the growth of the business – it did impact my stress levels.

3) Finance & accounting. Finance was never my strong point and although I had a basic accountant on from year one, it wasn’t until a couple of years in that I invested in a full time accountant and book keeper which made a huge difference to the financial operations of the business which meant better cash flow, better forecasting and better margins.

4) 3rd party contractors. For the first few years I used a lot of 3rd party contractors to do work and it was probably around year 4 before we started the mass hiring of all of the full time staff.

And the biggest lesson I learned was if you are using 3rd party suppliers you musy ask to see their indemnity insurance. Because if they do negligent work for you which causes your business problems and loses money then the only financial recourse if they don’t have insurance is for you to sue them personally.

This is because your business insurance will not cover their mistakes as they are a 3rd party supplier so cannot be covered by your business insurance.

This happened to me and I had the choice to personally sue a 3rd party supplier (who didn’t have insurance) which I would never have done as it would have been awful for this person – so instead I wrote off the $150,000 mistake and the business wore the cost of the mistake that was made. This was a big lesson in using 3rd party contractors and I it was a big wake up call for me in this area.

5) Waiting to hire a senior team. I definitely waited too long to hire a senior management team. A senior management team are a big investment and as I have always operated the business on a positive cash flow and never used loans or went into debt, it was a big decision.

But making the decision and investment to invest in a solid and amazing senior management team has helped to drive the business forward, has helped to drive the international business forward and has allowed me to step away from the day to day running of the business and focus on the big picture.

6) Hiring wrong staff. I think it is inevitable that as part of growing pains of a business you will hire the wrong staff. Either the business isn’t right for the people, or the people aren’t right for the business. I have definitely been in that position and being in that position costs the business money and time.

One the biggest things I have learnt is it costs more to hire the wrong staff than it does to wait for the right staff. It is so important to bring on staff with the right mindset, the right energy and the right skill sets for where you want your business to go and it is always worth investing is finding the right staff and team for your business.

7) Not ordering enough stock. We launch a lot of new product at The Healthy Mummy and there have been many times where we have sold out of a new line at launch because we didn’t order enough. When there is consumer demand for a product – as a retailer – you always want to deliver on that demand – so it is always hard when you sell out and the restock time can be 8 weeks or more. So now we do a much better job of ordering more on launch and getting a second order in early so the customer isn’t left disappointed.

8. Not networking or talking to others. For 8 years I was head down bum up. I didn’t really go to anything or meet anyone outside of The Healthy Mummy – I was an island. I was 110% working in the business and that is all I lived and breathed other than my family. Whereas so many other people who owned business’ seemed to network and connect with eachother and this is something in hindsight that I wish I had done more of.

I am so excited that we are at 8 years of The Healthy Mummy and have achieved so much in that time.

And I am super excited about the future and what is still to come – and I can promise you that we have new category launches as well as so many new product lines coming out and I cannot wait for what the future holds!.

I also cannot wait for our second published book to be on shelves in early 2019 and for our first magazine to hit the shelves in mid 2019!

Follow me on instagram at @Rhianbusyallen