Hello!! Im Susie – also known as the Wikimama, mum to Jacob (4) and Matilda (2) and wife to Rob! We living in Stony Stratford with our two needy dogs! I’m the Founder of wikiplacesforkids.com, lover of “disco drinks”, and notorious oversharer, a heart on sleeve type, I can say the alphabet backwards thanks to my Granny and I have a motorbike licence!!
Tell us about WIKI Places For Kids and what gave you the idea to start?
Wiki places for kids is a TripAdvisor for parents looking for awesome things to do with the kids and family. All the entries on the site are totally parent recommended and UK wide. It is the one stop shop for parents looking for pre- verified and vouched for suggestions – a short cut to great days out for the time poor among us. Quality suggestions over endless results.
I was on maternity leave with Matilda searching for things to do and wading through the vast amount of resources online, I felt overwhelmed by the volume and underwhelmed by the quality of what I was finding and felt I was hopping from site to site to find ideas. It occurred to me that parents needed a TripAdvisor style resource, something with genuine parents reviews, but that also gave you the best on offer without forcing you to wade through endless search results and do the hard work yourself. My experience in digital marketing over the last 15 years told me I should really give it a go and create something myself. I hope it will become the go to site for people across the UK when looking for things to do where ever they visit.
Describe your typical day?
My typical day depends on what day it actually is. At the moment while I build my business I’m still supporting the family with a paid job. So my typical day involves getting up early with the kids, foraging for school clothes and bits of breakfast before we all have to tumble out the door to school or nursery. I then balance the day ahead with meetings and the usual day job stuff while squeezing in some WIKI tasks. I rush home to collect the kids around 6, we do the usual shizzle of the tea,bath and bed routine. Rob and I inhale something or other and then we both crack on with our work. I’ll be writing blogs, maintaining the site, coming up with social posts or sorting client admin for Wiki! Im not sure what he does! 😂
Life’s non stop at the moment and extremely full on, but the site grows in popularity and reach weekly and I know all the hard work for WIKI is going to pay off in the long run. It’s our future!
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job has to be that I can do my WikiMama venue reviews at places that my family and kids love. We get to be together and enjoy these incredible days out, while I work!
In addition to that I think it’s amazing to be able to do the thing you love daily. We aren’t quite there yet but I love my site and what it offers to parents. I believe in it and can’t wait to be able to run my own day pushing the site further forward.
What would you say the most important thing is in running a business? What has been the greatest lesson you have learnt?
I have learnt so many things in the last year while running my business. I guess the biggest thing though is how strong I am and how capable I am of managing a LOT of moving parts and pressure to take this forward. But don’t get me wrong I have stumbled a lot, lost my confidence, been burnt and disappointed many times. I’ve still got so much to learn. I have to build myself up weekly as it’s tough – so much harder than I expected. But I think the most important thing I have learnt more recently is that sometimes you MUST put your own physical and mental health first.
At one point I was working tirelessly, not giving myself any breaks and give myself an extremely hard time for small things basically completely sweating the small stuff. I’ve learnt that if I don’t post every day that’s okay, that moving forward is still forward and that I need to have more confidence in me than anyone else will ever have.
As the ultimate Mummy Juggler, how do you find a balance between running a successful business, and raising a family?
Balance? Oh crikey I really wish I had found that balance, I don’t think I’ve nailed it. I try really hard to get off my phone when I’m with the kids, I try to focus on them even during the daily routines- But every day I can bet you I slip up a little bit. I do try to keep the weekends free of work however I’m really lucky in that family days out are great content for me and can sometimes also be paid work. In all honesty it’s going to be a serious juggle until I build the site up to the point that I can run it 100% of the time, however even then there will be a constant internal battle that I’m not being enough in all areas. I think it’s how I’m wired!
What are your top five tips for starting a successful business?
– Don’t sweat the small stuff – the numbers will come
– Make a long term plan and write down your goals
– Pick off three things you can do from the huge to do list each day/week
– Back yourself and never stop believing you are awesome
– Surround yourself with amazing people who build you up and teach you new things all the time
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m probably a few chapters into about five books at the moment, sadly reading is just not something I make time for. One thing that jumps to mind though is Life Changing Magic Of Not Giving A Fuck by Sarah Knight. (I’ve always cared too much what people think) Sarah is so clever and funny and the book really resonates with me. With that and both the Hurrah for Gin books on the go I’ve probably got my hands full.
After work, how do you find time to relax?
In terms of relaxation I love a good chat with a girlfriend and a bottle of Prosecco, my friends are so important to me and this time is so precious. I also absolutely love watching trashy TV with the Hub and Britain’s got talent and progs like that are my absolute favourite. I’m a proper softy and it’s not unheard of for me to be blubbing away at someone belting out an old classic full voice! Rob thinks I’m a loser. Haha!!
As the owner of WPFK, what is your very favourite place to take the kids?
The place Ive loved visiting the most so far has to be Bewilderwood in Norfolk. It is somewhere that requires a dry day but it is absolutely epic and such good value for money. It’s essentially an adventure park full of incredible treehouses all linked by awesome slides, rope bridges and wooden structures. I went with our NCT group while on holiday last year. We all had such a brilliant day and would have stayed longer if only it hadn’t Pee’d it down!! I love them so much I really want to work with them!