Starting a business is a challenge for everyone, but perhaps it is most challenging for mothers who have to balance their growing business with their growing families. Despite those challenges, mompreneurs can improve their odds of succeeding by following several simple steps.
Julie Shifman, a motivational speaker, coach and author of "Act Three: Create the life you want after your first career and full-time motherhood," (Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2012) offers the following tips for moms looking to start their own business.
Invent a new product. Necessity is the mother of invention and most new product ideas spring from someone’s observation of an unmet need. To see what ideas you can come up with, as you go throughout your day constantly ask yourself, 'what is it I wish that I had to make my life better'. Take notes on your phone of these ideas so you won’t forget them. Nothing is too small to consider.
Offer a service that you wish someone would offer you. Lots of busy people are willing to pay others to do what they previously had done themselves. What service can you provide to your friends and neighbors?
Consider what special talents you might have. All of us have some things that we are uniquely good at. When thinking of talents don’t restrict your thinking to the obvious ones like 'I am a good singer.' Unleash your imagination and if you struggle to think what these talents might be, enlist a friend to brainstorm with you. Then think about how you might create a business around this talent.
Think about a cause you really care about. Filomena Laforgia became passionate about educating others on how to deal with autism because she was going through the struggle with her own child. She wondered how she could best help this cause and with her marketing background came up with the concept of selling items on the web where proceeds would go to help autism research. From that passion she created Filanthropists.com, a website devoted to selling products to benefit a variety of excellent causes from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless to Ovarian Cancer Research. What cause do you really care about and how can you create a business around it?
Copy someone else’s good idea. Have you ever come across an idea and thought 'wow, I wish I had thought of that.' Well, just because you didn’t think of it first, doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Copying another successful business idea is a great way to get started because you know it can work successfully. As long as the market is big enough for another company and as long as you don’t copy any proprietary information (think particular recipe or special packaging) then there is no reason you can’t do the same thing. There is a reason that McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s all exist, all doing the same thing. A good idea that works for one can work for others. What great idea have you seen that you could copy?