OPINION

Having a baby may kick-start your business

Taking time off work or going part-time when you have young children has often been viewed as a career setback.

But savvy mums are using their "baby breaks" to launch new businesses.

According to the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, a record number of women in Australia - more than 715,300 - are now running small businesses.

The fact that 34.9 per cent of small businesses across the country are operated by women comes as no surprise to me.

Twenty years ago, it was nearly always men who came to my office to discuss business ideas, but that has definitely changed.

Women are becoming far more aware of opportunities in the market place and are coming up with great ideas for new business enterprises.

They're seeing their "baby breaks" as a window of opportunity to try something new and see what it can become.

One of my clients, who previously worked in the corporate world, started hosting cooking classes from her kitchen when her youngest daughter was one.

She juggled the cooking business with corporate work for years.

Ten years later she owns a successful culinary school, she runs regular cooking tours to Morocco and Italy and has published two cookbooks.

For her, becoming a mother was a transforming experience in more ways than one - it allowed her to really look at the bigger picture because she had the time and space to consider what actually drove her and what she wanted to pursue long term.

Women are discovering that their careers are not set in stone.

They can change their minds and be their own bosses.

My advice to other women - and indeed men - wanting to achieve business success is to start slowly and keep your day job.

A cautious approach allows you to build up your business idea without pressure and financial stress.

A lot of people have great business ideas, but it's not a business until you have actually made a sale.

Once you have made a few sales you can then focus on growing your business.

I would encourage more women to do just as many of my clients have done and start a side gig they can eventually turn into a business.

If your business is based on your talents and passion, you will be successful.

Dr Steve Enticott is the Senior Partner and founder of CIA Tax, a licensed financial advisor specialising in tax-effective investment and an author.