Meg Murray Jones of Postpartum Plan on the best decisions she made in launching her online resource
Describe your business in a few words?
Postpartum Plan is an online resource for new parents from 35 weeks pregnant to 6 weeks postpartum. It brings together a support team of experts that all new parents should have access to; women’s health physio, yoga and breath-work instructor, nutritionist, postpartum doula, GP and more. We also include weekly live sessions with our support team and special guest experts to provide ongoing support to parents when they need it most.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
My reflexology business inspired me to launch Postpartum Plan. Through my reflexology practice I have helped women through stress, trauma and imbalance. But I found the time when women needed support the most was postpartum yet this was the time that clients stopped having treatments because all their energy and love went to their baby. I was then called in 6 months postpartum to treat a host of issues including burn out, PTSD, insomnia and some more serious emotional and physical issues. This is what has led me to launch Postpartum Plan, to help women mentally and physically once they’ve given birth. Then, lockdown really forced me create and launch Postpartum Plan in only 5 months. I could not stop thinking about all those new parents giving birth in lockdown with no support network, no visitors, no midwife home visits. It made me really think about how it takes a village to support a mother and these lockdown parents needed Postpartum Plan more than anything.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I have a varied background but I truly believe my bizarre career path has led me to Postpartum Plan!
I worked as a management consultant win my 20s which gave me business and management training. Then in content production at MTV and other production houses where I learnt to produce and create video and podcast content. Then I became a reflexologist in 2011 which taught me about the impact of stress on the body and inspired me to heal and help women, especially new mothers. All these paths and practices really have helped in creating Postpartum Plan.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I don’t think I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur but I have been coming up with ideas for businesses since I was 21 so it must have been in me somewhere! I also think that passionate entrepreneurs find themselves there because of a love of what they do instead of wanting to be entrepreneur in the first place.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
The first thing I did was get a business coach and it was the best decision that I made. She supported me through all aspects of company creation and gave me the confidence to pursue my passion of helping postpartum women. Marketing was quite organic, and an accident! I created the Instagram page months before launch to save the name @postpartumplan and then one of the support team posted about her involvement before I was ready to market it! However, this was a blessing in disguise as the pre-launch Instagram marketing really built anticipation and also helped me better understand the audience through that interaction.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
I worked in a broadcasting agency in my 20’s. An agency called one day and asked about getting their client on TV. Long story short it was an undercover journalist trying to get me to say that we could get his client on TV without going through the proper procedures. I was young and keen to get the business so I didn’t do my own due diligence on the journalist so when he contacted my boss for comment I wanted the ground to swallow me up. However, my boss then went through all my correspondence with this journalist and saw that I had always spoken fairly and correctly and never lied about what we could do. This meant he actually respected me more. So my learning was to always be true to myself and my values; no one can blame you for being yourself.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
I had severe PTSD after the birth of my son so I am most proud of my acknowledgement of, and recovery from, that because it ultimately led me to my next accomplishment which is the creation of Postpartum Plan to help other mothers with their own emotional and physical recovery postpartum.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
‘Tell me something you wish I had asked about’. You don’t know what will bring the best out in someone so give them the opportunity to share it.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Part of the reason I set up Postpartum Plan was that I was genuinely terrified for all those new parents out there who had no one around them to support them. It really does take a village to raise a child and these lockdown parents didn’t have their village, visits from midwives or their 6 week check. So Postpartum Plan was born as a ‘virtual village’ for all these parents to feel like a team of experts in their home when they need it most.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
I have so many ideas for Postpartum Plan. Currently in the pipeline I am launching Postpartum Plus which is a back-end membership for women who finish Postpartum Plan but want to continue their recovery with us. You maintain access to the weekly lives, community Facebook page, newsletter PLUS new content from the movement and nutrition pillars.
I am also planning on doing more in the corporate space. We already offer Postpartum Plan corporate for businesses to gift Postpartum Plan to their employees. I want to build on this and make Postpartum Plan part of all corporate maternity and paternity packages.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
That my pace of life was very different from my body’s pace of life. When the world shut down in 2020 I also slowed down and my body thanked me for it. I am now more aware of my body’s need for space and slowness so make sure that I carve out time for that.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
That selling the business is much harder than creating the business! I know that new parents need Postpartum Plan but getting them to believe it AND part with their money takes time and effort.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
My husband is amazing at guiding me to switch off, put the phone down and relax. And children asking you to play Top Trumps or pretend to be a unicorn will always ground you!
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Yes I do believe in it and think it is crucial. However, it is all about what works for you. This is what works for me:
Understanding where I am in my cycle so when I am most productive or reflective.
Blue light blocking glasses from 3pm onwards to prevent blue light exposure from screens.
Days when my phone stays upstairs or off and I don’t go on social media.
Sleep sleep sleep!
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
1. I use the Pomodoro technique – I set a timer for 20 minutes and focus on one task for that time (no phone, no email). Then I take a short break before another Pomodoro. As a self-employed mother with a million things to do it has transformed my productivity!
2. I really focus on my nutrition. I don’t eat heavy meals at lunch and I eat foods that help me to focus and feel good.
3. I really try to limit screen time after 8pm and everything is off at 9pm. This helps me to switch off, connect with my husband and sleep. Sleep is everything when it comes to productivity!
What does being an Entreprenista League member mean to you?
It takes a village to raise a child but it also takes a village to raise a business and I love being part of a community that celebrates women. I am also excited to say that I have recently launched an International arm of Postpartum Plan so people from all over the world can sign up, so I am excited to share that with the Entreprenista community!