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A Melbourne nurse turned ‘mumpreneur’ has franchised her business, making travelling with young children just that little bit easier.

Sharyn Fong started Anything Baby, a baby equipment hire company, in 2009 after experiencing difficulties when travelling with her son.

“I was a late mum and I came from a working background. I loved going to work and being busy, and although I found being a stay at home mum was fantastic, it didn’t really have much mental stimulation in those early years,” says Fong.

After researching different baby equipment hire companies, Fong decided to open her own, undeterred by her lack of business experience.

“I’ve always had an interest in business…it’s the way my brain works, I like that nature of writing things down and those obsessive traits that are good for people that run businesses. I’m very organised and methodical,” she says.

Fong believes the business model she has created suits a parent’s stay at home lifestyle perfectly.

“I spend a few hours a day delivering baby equipment, answering emails, and marketing the business. I get to spend the rest of the day with my family, including quality time with my son,” she says.

However, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing, with Fong highlighting social media as a difficulty.

“Being an older mum, I didn’t fully appreciate the world of social media and how important that actually was in growing an online business, that was a big learning curve for me,” she says.

“I had to learn how to market an online business to my customers. I knew who they were, but I didn’t quite know how to reach them.”

Four years down the track, Fong admits that she’s still not great with Facebook and Twitter, but the company continues to grow.

Although franchising wasn’t in her original plans for the business, Fong says inquiries about hiring equipment outside Melbourne made her realise she had to franchise in order to be competitive.

By this time next year, Fong hopes to see two or three more franchisees up and running, and isn’t looking back.

“The best part is that I’m a stay at home mum. I make my own decisions and I work my own hours.”

Gina Baldassarre

Gina Baldassarre

Gina is a journalist at Dynamic Business. She enjoys learning to ice skate and collecting sappy inspirational quotes.

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