I'm a mom who quit my job, sold my house, and invested every dollar I had into launching a company that's grown 2,000% in 5 years
- Rhian Allen is a mother of two who founded The Healthy Mommy when she struggled to find a holistic support system for women to help her get healthy after giving birth.
- Allen built the business from an app and weight-loss challenge into the world's most expansive health and weight loss community for moms, consisting of millions of followers around the globe.
- While her business plan seems simple, one key principle has enabled her to experience over 30-percent year-over-year growth since 2010: putting the customer first.
- Her best advice: Find a solution your market actually wants, then create it.
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So many people all over the world dream of quitting their jobs to follow their passion and run their own successful business, and I have the good fortune to say I've done just that. For most, it often remains nothing but a dream, but for me it really has become a reality.
When I started the business in 2010, I never imagined that I would have helped moms lose over 6 million pounds, and that I would be positively impacting so many moms and in turn, their families. I always wanted to do something worthwhile that helped others. t really was about doing something good - not making money.
I was inspired to create The Healthy Mommy while pregnant, when I struggled to find a holistic support system to help women get healthy after giving birth. So at six months pregnant, just before quitting my job, selling our house and investing every dollar I had, I set about researching the possibility of creating a safe and healthy moms-only community and program. Nine years on, we are the biggest 'moms only' healthy eating and weight loss program in the world.
How I did it
My plan wasn't complicated - it focused on what the customer needed and where I felt I could create a unique service, support and product offering - which was helping all moms achieve good health and body confidence after having children.
While it may have been a seemingly simple plan, it was far from easy; I actually decided to give up at one point and forget the whole thing, but that brief hiccup gave me the clarity I needed to be sure of what I wanted to deliver to the customer. I knew I could help other moms and discovered what I needed to start building.
That said, I believe this has been the key to my success:
I focused my business plan around the customer - which is that the customer is always number one. It has been and always will be my no. 1 concern and job to help and support moms.
I looked at what the customer wants, then created it for them, instead of dreaming something up and hoping people wanted it. Find a solution your market actually wants, then create it.
In retrospect, I believe it's crucial for aspiring entrepreneurs to decide on their objectives and understand the costs before 'jumping ship' from their jobs and to have a solid plan in place, as starting a business is costly and it can be a long time before you make any money.
Be sure to work out how much you are going to need to launch your idea, and tally up the rough costs for website set-up costs, stock, intellectual property costs, business admin set-up costs, any creative design and launch marketing costs.
Even once you have confirmed your objectives and costs have been established, I would urge people to only move on once that money has been earned. That way you can build your business in the background and do all the behind-the-scenes work (which can take months and months) while you still have a salary, which is obviously very helpful.
Although I have a high turnover, I invest all of the money back into the business each year instead of taking the money out. I work my butt off every single day and I never ever stop working, keeping the customer top-of-mind at every turn.
And while I pride myself on working hard, as a mom, I'm there for playdates. I'm there for as many school drop-offs and pick-ups during the week as I can, and ensure I have work/life balance for me and my family. I spend all my spare time with my family, and I never let them feel that my work takes over. We talk about my work if they are interested, and I'm always mindful that they never feel it's more important than them.
My systematic approach
My days are very full-on, with an early start at 5 a.m. every day without fail. I get an hour and a half of work in and half an hour of exercise before my kids and hubby are up and everyone needs feeding.
I usually get to the office after school drop-off and work like a speed demon with back-to-back meetings until I leave in the afternoon to spend time with my boys - and then I get back to work after they go to bed.
I'm so lucky to have a wonderful husband who is my best friend and business partner. I truly believe my success would not have been possible without the incredible community that offers constant support to me and all of our moms, and helps evolve the brand.
Beyond our app and 28-Day Weight Loss Challenges, we've been able to grow and evolve the business and its products to include the Healthy Mommy Smoothies, more than 40 books, supplements, kids' smoothies, exercise DVDs, active wear, bags, and bottles. We've created and grown the business into the world's most expansive health and weight loss community for moms, consisting of millions of followers around the globe. We've experienced over 30-percent year-over-year growth since inception and have grown 2,000% in the past five years alone.
Everything we do is from a grass-roots perspective - building our community and trust with a 'customer first' approach is how we run the business and it feels so good to know that we are positively impacting the health of so many moms every single day. I love that I'm able to create a positive work environment for so many people and have so many other moms be part of the business that has now become such a big part of so many moms' lives.
Rhian Allen is mother of two and founder of The Healthy Mommy.
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