From Mom to Mompreneur in 5 Steps
From Mom to Mompreneur in 5 Steps
Can wiping goop from your child's face again really prepare you to become a successful mompreneur? Yes! Just ask Danielle Stangler, founder and CEO of NeatCheeks, “the first-ever naturally flavored face wipes for kids."
“Mompreneur" is a term that mothers have forced into the English language by becoming such a force in the business world. The National Association of Women Business Owners estimates that women own more than 9.4 million businesses in the United States, employing nearly 7.9 million people, and earning $1.5 trillion (yes, with a “tr") in revenue as of 2015.
None of this is particularly surprising, is it? After all, managing a home and running a business have a lot in common. Both require strong organizational and leadership skills, determination, creativity, and flexibility. Add all that to a winning idea, and you're on your way to follow in the footsteps of women like Stangler.
What else does it take to become a mompreneur? Read on.1. You Better Think
Brainstorm about your business idea whenever you can safely let your mind wander. Get those wheels turning while you're nursing your newborn or waiting to pick up your preschooler.
Think about something that could make your own life easier, more fun, or more productive—in general, better—and you'll be on to something that could help others, too.
And of course, there's an app for that. Several, in fact. Mind-mapping and brainstorming apps and online tools can help you see your ideas take shape visually and also allow you to store and connect inspirational images, maps, and more. Get it all down and organized.2. Look It Up
Once you have your idea in place, it's time to do some research. Make sure your idea or product is different from—and better than—what's out there and that it fills a gap in the marketplace.
Use your family and friends as your focus group and then widen your audience as your business plan starts to take shape. For a broader perspective, try the Google Keyword Tool, Google Trends, popular Twitter hashtags, and the Amazon bestseller list in your niche.
As your idea becomes more concrete, check out the competition's products, websites, press coverage, and distribution and manufacturing sources. If your idea involves developing a new product, start creating your prototype.3. Money, Money, Money, Mon-ay
The first place to look for cash is, of course, in your own bank account—and retirement account, home equity, savings, line of credit, etc. No one is going to be more invested in your idea emotionally than you are, and potential investors will like that you believe in your idea enough to drop some dough, too.
You can also go the traditional route of securing investors, especially those who would benefit from your successful product. Suppliers, distributors, and even future customers might be interested in helping get this thing off the ground.
Then there's the phenomenon that is crowdfunding, which has opened up the world to aspiring entrepreneurs. Sites like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, RocketHub, FundAnything, and Peerbackers are among the most popular.
You'll need a name and logo and, as soon as you have those, to the Trademark Office you go. Also, if you have invented a product, it's patent time.
As you set up the business itself, find out your state's laws on things like acquiring a DBA (“doing business as") and business license and permits, as well as getting set up for taxes. You may also consider registering your business as a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation, which would protect your personal assets from any potential lawsuits against your enterprise.
For valuable advice, stop into your local Small Business Development Center, talk to a small business lawyer, and/or check out online resources to walk you through the legalities of getting your business set up.5. Build Your Brand and Sell, Sell, Sell!
With your name, logo, and product/idea in place, you're ready to start building your brand and earning some sales. Tap into your amazing creativity once again to spread the word about your business.
There are countless inexpensive ways to market your product, as well as books and other resources to help get you started. Some of the most common marketing strategies for entrepreneurs include the following:
- Promotional videos
- Blog tours
- Social media campaigns
- Sponsored posts on social media
- Networking events
- Trade shows
- Sponsoring a local event/charity
- Press releases
But don't worry if your path isn't looking exactly like what's described above. There are a hundred different ways to launch a business and no correct order for getting things done—these tips are just some of the ways to get started as a mompreneur.
But one principle is universal: You need to take that first step.
Once you get things moving, you may be amazed at how quickly you can build mom-entum.