L-R Amanda and Jody.
Jody Leggett and Amanda Viner are the women behind ‘Bargain Buys for Busy Mums’ (bb4bm for short), the community of over 300,000 parents that all share the same goal: to save money by finding and sharing the best deals around from food and fashion to arts and crafts, beauty and beyond, you want to find a bargain then head to their site!
Back in October 2013, Jody set up a Facebook group, just for local mums to post the odd ‘mum’ related bargain that they could find. Within months the group had members flooding in and it was quickly realised that this was a much needed concept.
Amanda then joined forces and the rest is history, but the key day to day motivation has never changed – to have a positive impact on the lives of others by saving them money.
This is continually reinforced when we receive the countless testimonials from our members.
Nothing is better.
Describe a typical day for you?
A typical day starts at around 5AM with Dylan, my 5 year old son shouting, ‘I need the toilet’ or, ‘is it morning yet?’
These cries then wake up son number 2, Jacob who is just under 2.
We attempt to have cuddles in bed before breakfast, but there never seems to be enough room with Dad having to be used as a cushion to his annoyance.
The iPad generally comes out at this point and the working day has effectively started by researching some of the day’s best bargains on offer!
Once the boys are shipped off to school/the childminder and the husband is packed off safely to work, i’s time to crack open the laptop for the real work – going through emails and checking in on the team, taking top priority.
We are very lucky that our dedicated team are happy with running the general day to day activities, so me and Jody can get on with working on our next big priority/project for the business..
I would definitely say BB4BM is not a typical 9-5 job, but I guess that is also its appeal… My involvement with it all did start purely due to my passion of hunting out a bargain.
It didn’t matter what it was, I had to find the cheapest place to get it! I then found it just as rewarding finding things for friends and family to help them out.
It’s funny saying that bargain hunting is actually a passion of mine but hey-ho, I guess we are all different!
As with any online venture, I accept there are risks (along with hard work and stress of course), so I also have another job – I work part-time as a dental nurse and a radiographer at a local community hospital.
This has its own set of challenges as its focus is on treating children with learning difficulties and from difficult backgrounds, but even on these days, I find myself spending my breaks and lunchtimes catching up with BB4BM – it can be hectic.
When all the boys are home with me, it’s back to family time – well, that is what we call getting the kids to have their dinner, do some ‘learning’, get through a few tantrums while brushing their teeth and then getting them down to sleep.
Generally they sleep and it’s then back to work, with it not being uncommon for me to be working into the early hours of the morning to hit an important deadline – strangely these are deadlines that I have set myself!
As with most families, no day is ever the same in our house – there is always something that has to be done and luckily my husband and I generally work well as a team, somehow (just about) managing to keep the house as a happy family environment without the kids knowing how much we run around in the evenings trying to get everything organised for the next day!
A typical day starts in the Leggett house at about 6.30am, normally being woken by either Lottie my 2.5 year old or our golden retriever Buster asking to go out.
It’s straight on my phone to check on everything BB4BM and a touch of early morning bargain finding before I get up.
This is normally followed by the 45 minute panic run of getting the three of us dressed, fed, watered, packed up for work or nursery and out of the door.
I currently work full time for an e-commerce company as a Customer Experience Manager and most of the time manage to sit down at my desk by about 8am.
I manage a Customer Experience team of 10 and am lucky enough to really love my job and the team I work with.
My 30 minutes lunch, when I manage to take it, is spent checking on BB4BM, answering emails, checking our community is happy and of course bargain hunting!
I normally finish work between 5pm and 6pm when I drop my Customer Experience Manager hat off and put on my BB4BM one, as I leave the office door.
In between cooking dinner, walking the dog and spending time with my husband and Lottie, I find myself juggling getting the Daily Bargain Alert out, BB4BM emails, checking in with our wonderful admin team and as always, bargain hunting.
Once Lottie is in bed, hopefully by 7pm, I go into full BB4BM mode and pile through the long list of actions Amanda and I have. This carries on until I fall asleep, sometimes with my phone in hand! Whoops!
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
I find this question really difficult to answer! Growing the business – our community over the past few years- that has to be up there on the list, but thinking about it, I can honestly say that I am very proud of everything that I have achieved in life so far… I have an amazing and supportive family, a 12 year relationship with my husband – along with 2 young children that I like to think look up to me as their hero! (If that is the case I imagine it will probably change soon!)
I would say funding myself through University and gaining a 2:1 degree. I was lucky enough to attend Harper Adams University and studied Agri Food Marketing with Business Studies. It was a 4 year hard slog and missing a first class degree by 2 points was a little gutting, but I had some of the best and most treasured times of my life there.
Harper Adams gave me a great grounding in life and in business.
What’s in your handbag?
Mobile phone, purse, a pack of instant coffee, loose change and lip gloss. Then it’s the staples that are needed with 2 young children – a calpol sachet, baby wipes, lots of snacks (never go out the house without those, otherwise I know as soon as I get out the door there will be the cries of, ‘Mum, I’m hungry’!
It may be quicker to tell you what’s not! The most important thing is by far my phone, it’s my daytime contact to the world of bargains and BB4BM.
My heart sinks on the odd day when I’ve left it plugged in at home after rushing out of the door. Less important things would be lip balm, hair band, some sweets (probably covered in fluff), my purse, door keys and a random selection of small toys.
What are your ambitions in life?
I think my biggest ambition has to be to teach my children that you have to work hard in life and nothing is ever given to you! I obviously want my boys to know the difference between right and wrong and have respect for others – I accept they have a long journey ahead and they won’t be saints though.
My personal ambition would be to ultimately work with my partner Jody and create a business that our children can take over one day that will give them the chance to fulfil all their dreams and ambitions.
In the short term, creating a happy work/home- life balance would be good…. as separating the two when you work from home can be difficult. Oh and finally – I want to see the world… doesn’t everyone?!
To be as happy as I can possibly be and to live every day to the max. Having spent a year living in Australia, I developed a fear of flying. Having recently completed a ‘Flying with Confidence’ course, I managed to fly to Ibiza and back. My next ambition is to go back to ‘Oz’ and see all my friends over there.
On a personal note, to create as many opportunities for my daughter and step daughter and to help them to strive to get everything they need in life.
What advice would you give your pre-baby self, that you now know?
My biggest regret with my first child was not enjoying and remembering the precious moments because I was too worried about what other people’s babies were doing and if mine was developing properly.
I also wished people had been honest regarding parenthood – as much as I love being a mum, I wasn’t prepared for how stressful and draining it could be!
Don’t moan you are tired to people that have children…….. You really have no clue what TIRED is!
My child doesn’t have to be the best at everything, I want them to learn it’s more important to have fun than to win every time.
Don’t feel pressured to do anything. It’s your baby, raise it how you want. Ignore those that tell you, ‘my baby slept through the night from week 3’, they’re probably fibbing. It took 2 years to get Lottie to sleep through!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In 5 years times I would like to be working on the business full time and maybe have convinced my husband for a 3rd child – along with having some more time for me! Although maybe those last two don’t go together very well and thus this is more of a dream instead of a vision?!
In five years time…..hmmmmm I’m not sure, I don’t know what I’ll be doing next week yet!
Career-wise I’d like to still be managing a team of highly motivated, engaged and brilliant people – as that is my absolute passion and I love doing it every day.
I don’t see any more children on the horizon but maybe another golden retriever or two.
What advice would you give a budding online business owner?
Firstly, to always grab every opportunity you can (within reason!). You don’t know what is next around the corner, so just go for it… Although that leads to my next point…
Don’t think things will just come to you, you have to work hard to get anywhere. I am not lucky in any which way – I have worked hard to stay in the position I am in, still working a ‘normal’ day job and then spending an additional x number of hours a week on the ‘passion’ that is the online business.
Thirdly, I would definitely recommend working with a friend as a business partner – we get to enjoy the ups together and support each other during the difficult times.
My final bit of advice would be to not spend too much time worrying what other people are trying to do – as if you are doing well, there will always be someone trying to pull you down or just copy you – so ignore them and always listen to your gut instinct as it is there for a reason.
Find a niche, find something you genuinely think there is a need for and run with it. When I told my husband I was going to set up a little bargain finding and sharing group on Facebook, he laughed at me.
I remind him of this most weeks and laugh AT HIM!
You also can’t get far without passion for what you/the business will do. Without it, even if it does have some success, the continued challenges that you face will feel very hard to overcome. Enjoy the day to day journey.
Finally, happiness is…
Creating your own contented world filled with the friends and family you choose to be around.
Happiness has to be about creating memories with the people you love, having unforgettable experiences… I’m going to be a little controversial as I’m a firm believer that you DO need money to get those great experiences in life and make things run smoothly – there’s a strong link between money and happiness!
Bargain hunting with no distractions! It’s like gold dust in my house