A blog for startups and small businesses

Covering topics on how to start and grow a business, and develop yourself as an entrepreneur.
get focused, tame your frenzy, image of a fox

Tame Your Frenzy, Regain Your Focus

By Natalie Robinson | August 19, 2019

This blog post is derived from an excellent article by Paul Hammerness, MD, and Margaret Moore in the Harvard Business Review, called Train Your Brain to Focus. At the time, I was doing research on how to regain focus. The concept shared below helped to address a root cause of the lack of focus I […]

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computer and notebook representing brand development

The importance of customer discovery for brand development

By Natalie Robinson | June 23, 2019

‘Brand’ is the perception of your company held by people external to it. It is created by all the touch points between your company and the outside world. This includes what people see, hear, feel, and in some cases smell (I’m thinking about Miss Higgins Cookies here). When you are starting a company, it is […]

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Women Business Owner Being Highly Productive

Principles for Hyper Productivity

By Natalie Robinson | April 27, 2019

This is a short and sweet post on principles for improving productivity. I am writing this post at a time when I have removed all distraction and minimised all other tasks that take time out of my day – travel time, cooking, life admin etc. My calendar is clear. So I have no excuse for […]

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Lady at computer screen applying for NZ Start up business grant

Have you considered applying for a Grant to launch and grow your business?

By Natalie Robinson | April 26, 2019

Money is available if you know where to find it, and you know how to pitch for it. Some people are good at looking for it, and getting it, and some people are not. I am someone who is not particularly good at it when it comes to my own business. I like to just […]

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Convertible Notes for Startups, two people in discussion

Convertible Notes for Startups

By Natalie Robinson | April 16, 2019

Convertible notes are becoming increasingly common as an instrument for startups to raise their first round of investment. The primary advantage of a convertible note over equity financing is that it doesn’t require the company to be valued at the time of issue, avoiding what can be a long and expensive process. Find out how […]

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Two women discussing business and referring to a laptop screen

The Science Behind Developing an Idea

By Natalie Robinson | April 12, 2019

Not sure about you, but at school, I liked science class. But I didn’t like English. Science had a degree of… exactness to it. You go through a process and figure something out, with a high degree of certainty. English was much more wishy-washy and opinion based. When I was taught about the concept of […]

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Two people shaking hands after a business transaction

What to consider when raising investment capital

By Natalie Robinson | April 9, 2019

You don’t have to raise money to build a successful business. There are plenty of examples of big companies who haven’t, Hotjar being one of my favourites. But capital does help. So does having the backing of intelligent people who can give you good advice when it’s needed, and keep you accountable to achieve what […]

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One women talking to another to get feedback on idea as part of customer discovery process

Customer discovery, a secret ingredient to startup success

By Natalie Robinson | March 19, 2019

Customer discovery is a process that involves talking with the people who are your customers or could be your potential customers. When you’re beginning the process of starting a business, the aim of customer discovery is to find out the truths about: The problems people have, which you could potentially solve. This will help you […]

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Graedon Parker from Organic Mechanic and Natalie Robinson from Mum's Garage speaking at an Entrepreneurs Unleashed event

How to make the right people care about your idea

By Natalie Robinson | March 16, 2019

To be successful in business you need to become good at influencing people. This means communicating your intentions in a way that people feel compelled to take the action you want, which might be buying your product, changing their behaviour, joining your team, or just giving you the time of day to hear out your idea. […]

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Two young people having a discussion

AIESEC Offer Affordable Recruitment for Startups

By Natalie Robinson | September 20, 2018

AIESEC is a the largest youth-led organisation in the world, providing leadership development through global internships.

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People from Mum's Garage startup community speaking to each other

Never feel alone again with our online community membership

By Natalie Robinson | September 4, 2018

We’re excited to launch our online community membership, to make it easy for you to get access to resources, support and connections to help grow your business, all the time.

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Organised workspace designed for maximising productivity

Building Your Daily Routine

By Natalie Robinson | September 3, 2018

The small habits and routines that you perform consistently add up to have a material impact on your life. Here are some suggestions for building an effective daily routine. We’ve broken it down into a night time ritual, morning ritual and how to organise your day. Night time ritual A productive day starts begins with […]

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Hiker walking along boardwalk in New Zealand scenery

A Vision for Transforming New Zealand

By Natalie Robinson | August 20, 2018

In this post, Taranaki-based entrepreneur, Adnan Belushi, shares his views on how New Zealand can better position itself as a global leader in innovation.         Article by Adnan Belushi, co-founder of Johnson Corner

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Paper boats in a line with one red one out in front

Taking responsibility for your idea

By Natalie Robinson | August 2, 2018

At Mum’s Garage, we help people turn their ideas into businesses. We’ve spent a lot of time understanding the catalysts for turning someone with “just an idea”, into someone whose properly executing on the idea.  

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Women working on computer

Get started with blog writing

By Natalie Robinson | June 24, 2018

Blog content is a great way to share your story with the world, and to add value to your target market.  “Blog posts are still the #1 asset for engaging with your audience and generating warm leads for your business.” – Neil Patel Getting into the swing of creating content is something many people struggle […]

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Chistine Jensen Fityou Founder

Meet Christine Jensen, Founder of FitYou and Ideas You Can Execute Alumni

By Natalie Robinson | June 3, 2018

Christine Jensen launched Fityou during our  Ideas You Can Execute Programme in 2017. Find out more about her story from idea to launch, and some of her learnings and challenges along the way. Q: What were you doing before you started the ‘Ideas You Can Execute’ programme? A: I was working part-time at a Creative […]

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Eight indications that you should get support to start your own business

By Natalie Robinson | June 3, 2018

Here are eight indications that you should consider a career and lifestyle change, by pursuing the ideas you’ve been thinking about. We’ve also shared some of the problems that might be stopping you from getting started, and how our Ideas You Can Execute programme can help. You’ve had ideas and ambitions to start a business […]

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Women scrolling on phone

Is Facebook Dead for Businesses?

By Natalie Robinson | May 11, 2018

The author of this article, Carl Thompson, is the co-founder of Contento. Previously co-founder and CMO of TradeGecko, founder of Momentum Marketing and a few other companies in between.  Over the past five years, content marketing has exploded thanks to easy promotion channels like Twitter and Facebook. Businesses could quickly knock out 500ish words, publish it on their […]

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How to use social proof to your advantage in business

By Natalie Robinson | May 6, 2018

One of the hard things about starting a company is that you’re new to the world and no one knows or trusts you yet. Your target customers haven’t had enough engagement with your product and business to think about you as a solution to their problems, and they don’t have proof that you’ll deliver what […]

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Crowd of people at Entrepreneurs Unleashed Startup event

We’re niching our Ideas You Can Execute programme, here’s why

By Natalie Robinson | May 6, 2018

Part of the core value we provide at Mum’s Garage is a community, helping like-minded people connect with one another, to support each other along the business development journey.

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Brook Roberts and Sonya Williams, Co-Founders of Sharesies, speaking at Entrepreneurs Unleased event

Sharing stories about starting and growing startups

By Natalie Robinson | April 13, 2018

Through our own journey of starting a business, and helping others, we know that there are a lot of stories about what success looks like that are deeply ingrained in startup and business culture. Who can start a company, what needs to be done in order to be successful, what the definition of success is, […]

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founder looking overwhelmed with lots of people handing him thing

Founder Stories: Carl Thompson, stopping everything to find my next move

By Natalie Robinson | March 26, 2018

  The author of this article, Carl Thompson, is the current co-founder of Contento. Previously co-founder and CMO of TradeGecko, founder of Momentum Marketing and a few other companies in between. I’m a yes person. To my detriment and I’ve only recently realised saying yes to everything can actually be damaging to my goals. I got […]

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hubspot partnership

By Natalie Robinson | March 19, 2018

HubSpot For Startups Partnership Mum’s Garage is excited to announce the launch of its partnership with HubSpot for Startups. In our continued effort to provide founders with the essential tools for their success, we are now able to offer HubSpot’s Marketing and Sales software at a 90% scholarship for the first year — an average savings of $17,000!  HubSpot is the […]

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women working on her computer to start a business

Why everyone innately wants to start their own business, and how to get there

By Natalie Robinson | March 15, 2018

I think everyone wants to start their own business. Why? It satisfies the highest levels of human motivation. Enter Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the only thing I remember from my Management 101 class. If you’re not familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, it’s a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five-tier model of human needs, […]

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Two men working at laptops and drinking coffee

Be mindful of who you take business advice from

By Natalie Robinson | March 15, 2018

One of the hard things about getting started in business is the number of decisions that have to be made, what to call the company, when to quit your job, how to build or source your product, whether it’s an idea worth spending time on. There is a high degree of uncertainty and personal responsibility […]

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We’re launching our ‘Building a Viable Business’ programme

By Natalie Robinson | March 11, 2018

We’re excited to announce that our programme, ‘Building a Viable Business’, is open for its first intake, which will start in the first week of April 2018. This programme is the second stage in the Startup Series and designed for founders who have validated their idea and are committed to building a high growth, high […]

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Man sitting in markets playing a drum

Finding the rhythm

By Natalie Robinson | October 30, 2017

Most things people do are guided by a rhythm. How we structure our days, spend our time, when we breathe, when we sleep, how we feel, our habits and routines, the list goes on. Businesses have rhythms too. These are regular activities that once perfected create a consistent output for a period of time. For example, […]

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Time to move from exploration to execution

By Natalie Robinson | October 30, 2017

This post is to remind you of the importance of moving forward towards creating a viable business model, so you don’t run out of steam before you build something financially sustainable. I’m conscious that a lot of our blog content is focused on helping people understand what they are creating in the early stages of […]

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Women entrepreneur working at computer

If you want to be successful in business, start practicing

By Natalie Robinson | October 23, 2017

No matter what you’re working on, learning and practice are essential for getting good. It requires practice to become a good founder, like anything else in life.

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Defining your secret sauce, the thing that makes you uniquely valuable

By Natalie Robinson | October 19, 2017

For every business, there is a core value proposition that sits at the heart of everything the business does. This value proposition drives the product, the brand, the culture, the strategy and everything in between. As a business, if you’re weak on your value proposition, everything else will be weak. You need to know what […]

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Know what you’re great at, or never feel good enough.

By Natalie Robinson | October 19, 2017

You can’t be great at everything.

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The truth about transitioning from job to self-employment

By Natalie Robinson | October 19, 2017

Society screws with aspiring entrepreneurs Most people don’t start out with the skillset and mindset required to build a successful business.

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Top 7 tips for starting a business outside of your day job

By Natalie Robinson | September 25, 2017

So you have a business idea and you want to kick it off, but you’re still working? We’ve put together 7 tips for starting a business when you’re still busy with work.

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Don’t let lack of productivity get you down!

By Natalie Robinson | August 28, 2017

Grappling with productivity? Don’t worry. We’ve pulled together some articles we think will help.

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Computer screen showing lines of code

Why it’s a good idea to learn to code

By Natalie Robinson | August 15, 2017

This article is designed to help you understand the importance of learning at least some basic code. Consider the two ‘realities’ where we spend most of our time; the physical reality (offline), and the digital reality (online).

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Market Validation, What it is and How to Get Started

By Natalie Robinson | August 8, 2017

Market Validation is the science behind an idea to business development. It requires a disciplined approach to identifying and validating assumptions, to find the answers that are as close to the truth as possible

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Hand drawn brain, portraying an analytical left brain and a creative right brain.

How to come up with good ideas

By Natalie Robinson | July 7, 2017

When you understand how new ideas are formed, you can improve your ability to come up with better ones. This article covers how ideas work, what gets them flowing and 10 tips to help you improve the process. Your Brain and Ideas The left-hand side of your brain is the analytical side, where logic and […]

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Founder Chats: Kathryn George from KG Design Consultancy

By Natalie Robinson | July 6, 2017

We recently chatted with founder Kathryn George, who has just gone through our latest CO.STARTERS cohort with her new company KG Design Consultancy.

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Wellington ICT Graduates at the pitch night which concluded the 12 week entrepreneurial programme they participated in.

Working with Wellington ICT School to build an Entrepreneurial Programme

By Natalie Robinson | July 3, 2017

Over the last 12 weeks we’ve been busy delivering an entrepreneurial program for the Wellington ICT Graduate School, as part of their Software Development and Professional Business Analysis Masters Program. They’ve just written a great Medium post announcing the founders who went through the program, and their products.

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Interview with Ankit Sehgal, founder of the NZ Tech Startup Ecosystem group

We Sat Down With Ankit, Founder of NZ Tech Startup Ecosystem Facebook Group

By Natalie Robinson | May 26, 2017

It’s no secret that the NZ Tech Startup Ecosystem Facebook Group is the go-to place for Kiwi startups. We chatted with the founder, Ankit.

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Ready to take the next steps with your idea?

Check out our Ideas you Can Execute Programme, designed to help people validate ideas and learn key concepts to get started in business