The Wild Ride of Entrepreneurship

Today’s guest post is by Kristin Golliher, CEO & Founder, WildRock Public Relations & Marketing,®  a boutique public relations and marketing firm specializing in giving businesses one-on-one attention to get the boost they need to outshine competition.

One of the biggest challenges for me was wanting to have a career, but not at the expense of my family. While in the corporate world, the constant balancing act of working and motherhood left me unsatisfied and feeling as if I had shortchanged someone along the way. Additionally, there was no sympathy for the, “I’ve been up all night” or “I need to pump…RIGHT NOW,” because lets face it, I was in an environment with mostly men. That said, I still loved my job. So, why on earth would I leave an amazing, well-paid executive career at a global, growing brand to venture out on my own? Continue reading

Who are you? Why Small Businesses Need Branding, Too!

A guest post by Cindi Schultz, CEO & Founder of two companies: Foothold Services, “Cleaning up content messes for clients worldwide since 2004,” and My Foothold, “Inspiration for women who want to take charge and improve their lives.”

 

NIKE. COKE. MAILCHIMP. FACEBOOK. TWITTER. SKYPE.
I don’t have to give you anything but the names of these brands – and you can picture them. You probably have a reaction to them too (warmth, cold, anger, desire). That’s because their brands are so well styled and maintained they don’t need an introduction. Their revenues prove it. Continue reading

They’re Mom, Incorporated: Suzanne Browne and Martina Delaney

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Mom, Incorporated had the opportunity to interview Suzanne Browne and Martina Delaney, the founders of Clevamama™, a mom-owned baby products company based out of Ireland that recently entered the American market. 

 

MomIncorporated: How did you get started with Clevamama™ and how has it evolved into the business it is today?

Suzanne: Established in 2003, in the midst of three very small babies, very little sleep and a conveyor belt of feeding and changing, we had what you might call a “light bulb” moment. That moment led to the creation of a small family run online baby website where we sold third party baby products from our own homes.

Although our online shop was successful, it wasn’t long before we began to realise just how lucrative the nursery industry was. People are always going to have babies and the nursery industry is one of few that actually thrives in a recession!

As Moms, our primary goal was to develop an honest brand with pure products that would make parents lives that bit easier, safer and healthier.  Hence the birth of Clevamama™ which coincided with the birth of my second baby!  Designed by Moms for Moms, Clevamama™ products are creative, practical and above all, affordable. With over 40 products in our range we are proud to say we are now an international brand of choice.  Continue reading

7 Smart Ways to Market Your Company

Here are some of our favorite tips for getting started with marketing your home-based business.

1. Spread the Word: Send an e-mail to your entire list of contacts, letting them know about your new business and offer a referral discount. (We use MailChimp.)

2. Be Social: Create a presence in popular social networks for your new company and invite your personal and professional contacts to connect with you there. (We’re on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest)

3. Go to Print: Develop printed collateral such as business cards, postcards, and fliers to promote your company. (Have you checked out TinyPrints?)

4. Network, Network, Network: Attend business networking events to distribute marketing materials and talk about your business with prospective customers who could also refer customers to you. (And don’t forget about getting a free account on LinkedIn!)

5. Get Listed: List your company in business directories, including Web-based ones. (Examples: Google Places for Business, LinkedIn Company Directory)

6. Get Published: Submit prewritten articles or blog posts with great tips and information based on your expertise. Try a trade or chamber newsletter or a blog that reaches your target market, or even your local newspaper. (Also publish online on sites like Squidoo and Gather.)

7. Youtube It! Create a fun, short video to demo your product or promote your services and upload it to YouTube. You can capture screenshots and your voice, easily making a screencast on Screenr.com or add audio to a slideshow on Slideshare.net or even use cute cartoon characters to “read” your script at Xtranormal.com.

What cool ways are you marketing your company?

excerpted from the book Mom, Incorporated

She’s Mom Incorporated! Scarlet Paolicchi, Moms Wear Your Tees Social Media Marketing

Scarlet Paolicchi of Moms Wear Your Tees Social Media Marketing is among the women featured in Mom, Incorporated. We caught up with this mother of two — ages 4 and 6 — for an interview recently. She’s giving away one Moms Wear Your Tees Business Directory listing. The listing includes a tweet about your business and with your business link via @mwytsocialmedia. ($25 value). To enter, you have three options:

  1. Follow our Facebook Moms Wear Your Tees-Small Biz Tips.
  2. Tweet about the giveaway with @mwytsocialmedia
  3. Let Scarlet know your favorite article from http://momswearyourtees.com

Scarlet Paolicchi

Mom Incorporated: When did you start your business and what inspired you to do so?
Scarlet Paolicchi: I started Moms Wear Your Tees Social Media Marketing in January of 2010, and I did it because I wanted to be able to do something I enjoyed doing that had enough flexibility to work around my family schedule and to help supplement our household income.

Mom Incorporated: What were some of your initial challenges setting up your business and how did you overcome them?
Scarlet: Luckily for me I was able to set the website myself with no problem,  but the challenge is then letting people know you exist and getting them to visit your website and then converting them to customers. I overcame this through social media. The only advertising I have done for my business is through social media, and all of my growth is organic. I have a lot of repeat customers and I have had excellent referrals, so this helps get my website out there and visited as well.

Mom Incorporated: How have you carved out time to work and what kind of hours do you keep?
Scarlet: I try to get my work out of the way before noon and then be free to devote my time to my son and daughter, but it doesn’t always work out that way!

Mom Incorporated: How have you handled child care while running your business?
Scarlet: Because I work from home, I don’t have to use child care. I am able to get my son busy with a project or just let him free play, and it is OK if I need to get up and help him with something or get him busy with something else.

Mom Incorporated: Where is your home office? Describe your setup, favorite equipment and, if you run your business online, any favorite software or apps.
Scarlet: My couch! I work from my couch with my MacBook and I blog, tweet, and facebook all day on and off.

Mom Incorporated: What are some ongoing challenges of running your business from home? How are you working to overcome them?
Scarlet: The biggest challenge for me is getting my name out there. I just keep plugging away at sharing my website social media marketing services and free business resources through different social media venues.

Mom Incorporated: What is your support network like — for your business and for you?
Scarlet: I have a wonderful husband and kiddos that support me and I have also met a lot of really great entrepreneurs online, and I enjoy networking with them as well.

Mom Incorporated: What do you do for yourself apart from your business and your family?
Scarlet: I like to get out in nature. I love to go canoeing, walking and hiking.

Mom Incorporated: What advice would you give other women about starting a home-based business in general? Any specific advice about starting a business like yours?
Scarlet: I think that getting up the courage to start something new is always tough, but I think if you can find someone else who is doing it successfully, it can give you the confidence to say, “I can do that, too.” You have got to believe in yourself AND work hard consistently, and you can achieve your goals. (Having goals is important.)

Specific advice for any business is to pick your URL with care and make sure you have your keywords in it to make your search engine optimization that much easier. I learned from my mistake and chose a more suitable URL for my blog- Family Focus Blog. http://familyfocusblog.com

Mom Incorporated: How do you market your business and what seems to work really well for you in terms of marketing?
Scarlet: All of my marketing is through social media. My biggest producers are Twitter and Facebook, but I have several other networks that I engage with as well. I have some articles on my website that share great tips on how to use Twitter and Facebook to market your business effectively. I have 22, 700+ twitter followers @familyfocusblog and 7,700+ twitter followers at @MWYTsocialmedia, and I get a lot of traffic to my sites from Twitter.

Mom Incorporated: Anything else you would like to share?
There are several free business resources on Moms Wear Your Tees Social Media Marketing including articles on business management tips , marketing tips, and a great business resource award that I offer.