Sara Keli

  • Week Twenty One!

    My background is in HR and I worked in financial services for around seven years in various roles.  Moving into Kid Magazine was a bit of a shift.  Kid Magazine was originally a blog, and it was up for sale on Gumtree, in 2011.  My husband, who was then my fiancé, saw it for sale and we discussed it as an opportunity.  We both thought it was a low risk investment to try something different, and I really enjoyed writing.  At the time it was a fashion and beauty blog for mums and kids and I ran it as a blog for a while.  At the time when I bought the blog I was still working and I don’t think I really understood where it would go.  We didn’t have a family then and I didn’t really understand the benefits of what I was doing and of having my own business until my daughter arrived.  I was excited by it, but I didn’t really understand the full extent of the opportunity. But I’d always wanted to be my own boss and run my business.  



    We got married about six months after I bought the blog and I was working full time, so I didn’t do much with it at that stage.  I met with the owner when I took over the business and she told me about her vision for Kid Magazine and what she wanted it to be and for some reason I got stuck with what she wanted.  I had all these ideas but felt they weren’t what Kid Magazine was all about.  I redesigned the blog but it took me a while to finally realise that Kid Magazine was whatever I wanted it to be.  It was a real turning point, and I gave myself permission to be the owner.

    My husband suggested to me that as it was called Kid Magazine, rather than just keeping it as a blog I could launch it as an online magazine. He is a marketer and he has some graphic design experience, so he helped me with the design and I focused on the content.  We did that together as a team for around 12 months, with him gradually handing over the design to me.  When our daughter was born a year later, I took maternity leave and also took a redundancy package, and began running the magazine on my own.  


    Olivia is now one, and she was a very easy baby.  She slept well and wasn't too fussy.  We obviously had our challenging periods but she’s a dream and has made it really easy for me to keep working and running my business.  Life has definitely changed though.  If I stay up working until 2am like I did before Olivia was born, there’s now a good chance I could be woken up at 2.30am, so it’s changed the way I work and shifted my priorities a lot.  She’s my number one priority so if she needs me the business has to come second and we have to shuffle things around.  It might mean that the following day I have to work my butt off, but on the day she needs me I have to be there for her.  After all that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing – so I can be there for her.  But I now realise that I need to work to feel human.  So it’s also for me.  I really love what I'm doing.  Even if it’s an hour a day I need to work.  I love using my brain and thinking, and there’s only some much Wiggles you can watch! Olivia now goes to day care one day per week and the rest of the time she is with me or being spoilt at her grandparents. I work around her sleep time  and often go to my parents if I need to do some work during the day. Or I get her to sleep in the pram and sit in a cafe and do some work.  Whatever gets me through!

    Kid Magazine is now a bi-monthly digital magazine and blog.  I do six regular issues  a year and two special issues, ‘Back To School’ and ‘Mother’s Day’, and then I blog daily Monday to Friday.  It’s for mums who love style, pretty things and looking after themselves and their families. It’s a free magazine for anyone to read, and it became a money making enterprise through advertising.  I recently took on two sales people because I only have so many hours in a day.  It was a choice between doing sales and doing really well at that or taking care of the content, which is the avenue that I want to go down.  It’s definitely on the way to being successful financially, but I wish I had made the jump earlier.  I wasn’t doing the advertising side justice, and was just waiting for people to knock on my door – but that’s not how business works.  You have to go out there knocking on doors to let people know who you are and that there are opportunities for sale.  

    At the moment Kid Magazine is in a really great place.  I am happy with how it’s working and I’ve got into a really good pattern.  I’m not a complete mess by the time each issue comes out, I just get it done and each issue gets better and better.  I really want to concentrate on getting more interesting and relevant content.   Hopefully in the next few months I’ll be able to bring on an editorial assistant so I can grow the content, and so it’s not just me blogging Monday to Friday.  We need variety.  The blog get 7,000 unique visitors per month and the magazine is published on issue.com which has a broader reach and it gets an average of 120,000 views per issue. It feels kind of bizarre to be reaching so many people.  Occasionally I’ll comment on post on Facebook and people will say they love Kid Magazine and it makes me feel so good.  Sometimes I feel like I’m  writing for myself and I wonder if anyone’s actually reading my content, but lately on Facebook I’ve been getting really good feedback from people.  And I see the same people commenting on my posts and I feel so happy that they want to keep coming back and reading what I’m writing.  It feels really great that what I’m putting out there is valued by people.



    The best thing about having my own business is the flexibility.  I can take my laptop to my parents and work from their house, or I can get up at 6am and get things done.  If I’m at the park I can take a phone call.  I can have a day off if I want to.  If we go on holidays for two weeks I can still run my business, and it’s my call as to what direction Kid Magazine takes.  It is my future, and whilst I may personally have little relevance for Kid Magazine in 10 years time when Olivia is older, I definitely want to grow it as a business.  To other mums who have a business dream, just do it.  Not every business needs a large capital outlay to get started, you can start a blog for $400 or $500 to register business names and domain names, so just start.  You don’t have to have a large following.  Launch before you’re ready, just do it.

     
     

    Sara began her business dream with a small budget and a sensible business plan.  Business Mamas can help you build your very own business dream too.

    Copy: Melanie Quirk      Photography: SomedaySomehowStudios 

    To find out how you can get get your business started and become the next Business Mama head to  www.businessmamas.com.au