Why we started Little Scholars Playground & tips to start your own business

Estimated reading time: 6 mins

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Welcome to the home of Little Scholars Playground! We’re a children’s book publisher and early years hub. We create diverse children’s books and learning resources.

It started in 2020 lockdown…

We were having a casual conversation about how difficult it is to find wide-ranging books for young children with main character representation of black people specifically. As people of action, we quickly determined that between us, we possessed the skillset to begin to chip-away at this problem. Fast-forward and Little Scholars Playground was born in February 2021. With a single mission to create engaging, diverse children’s literature and learning resources. We create everything ourselves, Denhue is the author of all of our books and Natalie is the illustrator.

Our business has grown RAPIDLY, so we thought we’d share some tips on how you can start your own business and side hustle. More and more people are becoming self-employed or finding a side-hustle to nurture their talents and of course to bring in more income, which can be seen particularly amongst women. The number of freelance mothers has grown by 79 percent since 2008*. Research shows it allows mums to pursue their career while being able to spend quality time with their families.

So, you want to pursue self-employment or have a side-hustle but how?

  1. Find the right hustle for you
  • Think about what you’re good at and nurture your talents. Ask yourself what are your skill sets, think about the things you’re good at and what people tell you you’re good at.
  • Think about what problem you’re trying to solve. The most successful businesses start with trying to solve a problem. For example, we struggled to find books, which featured a Black protagonist
  • Consider if there’s a true need for the business and is your idea realistic?

2. What’s your business mission, objectives and goals

  • Think about what your business mission is/ your businesses purpose. Always refer back to it in whatever you do. This helps to create consistency in your brand and allows you to always think of the why in what you do
  • Ensure your goals are attainable and realistic. Setting out clear goals and objectives will help you to not only start your business but take your business to the next level.

3. Get your finances in order

Start to think about your budget and how much you would need to invest in your business, think about ALL of the costs. If finances are low, think about creating a Kickstarter or do some Crowdfunding. They can be good ways to generate some money to get your business started.

4. Running the business

Starting a business or side hustle will mean some early morning and late nights, especially if you’re a working mum. But blocking out some time to focus on the business is important. Schedule at least an hour or two per week to focus solely on your new business.

5. Establish your target market

In order to get customers, you need to first establish who your target market is, who is likely to buy your product or service? Knowing who your target market is, allows you to market to the right people.

6. Have a support system

  • Having people to talk to about all the struggles and trials of setting up a business is important. They can help keep you going if it starts to feel overwhelming. But not only that you can also bounce ideas off them
  • Networking is also a great way to build a support system. There are many networking events for boss women out there.

7. Taking the leap to becoming a BOSS

When business starts to take off, you may be in a position to take your side hustle to the next level and leave your place of work. It’s always a gamble as employment is steady income to pay them bills! We recommend having at least 6 months’ worth of savings, just so you have a buffer to fall back on if you have a slow month or two.

So, you’re thinking about starting that side hustle or business, go for it! Now’s the time. We have seen a shift in consumers wanting to support small businesses. Good Luck! If you know someone who wants to start a business or have a side-hustle do send them this blog.


Little Scholars Playground

*Research from IPSE

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About the author

Natalie is the co-founder and illustrator at Little Scholars Playground. She is passionate about literacy, learning, illustrating, black women in STEM and Montessori.

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