Starting and building a company is not for the faint of heart. But the abundance of success stories out there support the notion that mothers are often incredible mothers of invention.
“Moms are great at starting businesses, because all day long we are discovering unmet needs in the market that can be fulfilled with new products,” says Nicole Feliciano, founder of the seven-figure lifestyle platform, Momtrends, and author of the recently published Mom Boss: Balancing Entrepreneurship, Kids and Success. Feliciano is interviewed in this episode.
If you want to launch and build a business, Feliciano says you should:
- Have a plan. While working at her lucrative, but unfulfilling technology job, mom of six Ayo Ogun-McCants dreamed of owning her own Afro-vegan haircare line. For years she’d drag her kids to the local bookstore where they’d sit on the floor, munching on the cafe’s fare, while Ogun-McCants researched manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and retail, giving herself a low-cost MBA. She sketched out a roadmap for building her beauty empire, which today is Soultanicals.
- Stay nimble. Your passion for your business can be your downfall if you are so in love with an idea of your planned success story that you do not heed warning signs that you need to try a different path.
- Test first, then grow gradually. One of the big mistakes first-time (and serial!) small business owners make is to toss all their proverbial eggs into a single basket, invest in product, real estate, and marketing, and go for broke. One of the beautiful things about our digital age is that technology often allows for easy, low-cost ways of testing the marketplace. Ogun-McCants, of Gilbert, Ariz., offered free samples to friends and family, considered their feedback, tweaked her formulas and packaging, and tested again.
- Dream big, but start small. In other words: Don’t quit your day job — yet!
- Be realistic about child care. Moms are often motivated to leave a traditional workplace and launch their own company in part to spend more time with their families. That may not be as easy as you think, especially in those early, grueling months of a startup. In your family budget, consider child care expenses for at least part-time.
- Build the right network. You need moral support while you weather the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, and you also need advice and mentoring from people familiar with your endeavor. Seek out trade organizations for your industry, Facebook groups full of positive professional moms, and attend conferences and join masterminds of like-minded people.
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