Since 2005 I’ve been a Mom Entrepreneur and nothing prepared me for all the hard work it took to stay at home with my son while bringing home an income. Despite my background in sales and marketing; post-secondary education, and work experience in large corporations. “I have learned the most as an entrepreneur.” At times you might even be so stressed that you feel like throwing in the towel.
On an average day, I’m the website designer, the bookkeeper, the marketing guru, the receptionist, and my own assistant. And did I mention that I am my own assistant? If you don’t have the skill for a particular area then you have to hire someone. The reality is that many entrepreneurs do not feel they can justify the extra costs to hire help when they are first starting out on their new business venture.
So you have this amazing idea for a product or service. Fantastic! Have you done your research? How much does it cost you to produce your product or service? Is anyone else offering the same product or service and if so, how you are going to distinguish your product or service from theirs? If your idea is tied to one of your hobbies, can you successfully turn it into a business and step up your productivity? As Mom Entrepreneur don’t expect to work the typical 9am – 5pm. For me, it’s not uncommon to be up at 5am answering emails or completing a project before my son awakes up.
Discussing money is only fun if you’re making it. If you are continually spending money before you see any sales, it can feel quite discouraging. On average new businesses spend about $5,000 - $10,000 just getting starting. If you need inventory or rental space your initial startup investment can be much higher. Every business needs a well-established brand. Hiring a designer to create your company logo can cost in the $500 to $1000 range. It is not uncommon to take a business loan and not collect a salary for the first couple of years until such time your business is well established.
Building Your Brand
Remember the mantra: Promote, Promote, Promote. When running a business or launching a product, people need to see your company logo, brand or products from three to 27 times before they act upon it. If you want to brand your business, consider scheduling high-profile promotions in front of your customers as frequently as possible.
As a tradeshow producer, I have often heard business owners who at first, hesitated about investing in a tradeshow booth then realized very impressive, long-term results through the face-to-face contact with their customers.
You need to promote your product continually during the first two years in order to really reap the benefits in the years to come. You can develop consistent brand awareness by placing an advertisement in your local magazine; exhibiting in a tradeshow or creating a Facebook and Twitter advertising campaign for your business. Consider this comparison. Even the Superstore “No Name Brand” promotes its product line.
All too often I see new Mom Entrepreneurs give up too early in their business ventures. As a business owner you must be flexible enough to cope with trying out new ideas which don’t always work the first time. So you have to make adjustments and keep trying. Despite what might be happening in your day, if you able to keep up with the excitement, enthusiasm and support to push forward, you’re more likely to be successful as a Mom Entrepreneur for years to come.
Lara Leontowich is a proud Mom Entrepreneur and owner of Runners and Booties Fitness. She is also the producer of Bellies to Babies Celebration Tradeshow in Vancouver, BC. She resides in Coquitlam with her two sons three-months old and nine-years old.
Find out more on this topic and many others at www.missbehaviour.ca. Learn more about Julie Romanowski - Mom, Early Childhood Consultant & owner of Miss Behaviour: parenting coach & consultant service.
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