We recently reached out to a mom featured in Mom, Incorporated: Jennifer Covello, owner and founder of Frittabello, a collection of baby gifts designed to inspire and create treasured family memories.
In the book, she talks about how having a business plan is key to having a business, though at first she thought she could do it “all in her head.”
“I think not having a plan impacted me most financially. I did not have a firm grasp on the numbers. My business plan helped me see that I really needed to tie my marketing and sales activities to clear revenue goals.”
Here’s more on Jennifer’s journey to being Mom, Incorporated:
Mom Incorporated: When did you start your business and what inspired you to do so?
Jennifer Covello: I started my business in January 2008 shortly after publishing my award-winning baby journal, My Life. My inspiration was to create a brand that would not only having inspiring, mom-created products, but that would emphasize the importance of family and recording memories.
Mom Incorporated: What were some of your initial challenges setting up your business, and how did you overcome them?
Jennifer: My initial challenge was deciding whether to self-publish my baby journal or seek out a publisher. After much contemplation and discussion with colleagues and experts, I chose to self-publish.
Mom Incorporated: How have you carved out time to work and what kind of hours do you keep?
Jennifer: Because my children are school-age, my work schedule revolves around the school or camp day. I do also put in time in the evenings and on weekends when needed, especially for events.
Mom Incorporated: How have you handled child care while running your business?
Jennifer: Since my children are school-age, there’s not a lot of need for child care unless I need to attend an event, in which case I either secure a babysitter or ask friends or neighbors to help out.
Mom Incorporated: Where is your home office? Describe your setup, favorite equipment, and if you run your business online, any favorite software or apps.
Jennifer: My home office is in my home. I use the desk that I had as a young girl and my laptop is my lifeline! My favorite software is Constant Contact, as it helps me communicate and promote my products as well as serve as a mini-blog.
Mom Incorporated: What are some ongoing challenges of running your business from home? How are you working to overcome them?
Jennifer: The biggest challenge is staying motivated and “fresh.” When you are a solopreneur, it can sometimes get lonely, and so I try to attend various networking events and give myself breaks now and then to stay motivated.
Mom Incorporated: What is your support network like — for your business and for you?
Jennifer: I belong to a wonderful network here in Fairfield County, Conn., for which I receive not only support but also sometimes business and leads. I also have friends and colleagues that serve as my cheerleaders.
Mom Incorporated: What do you do for yourself apart from your business and your family?
Jennifer: Not enough! I am a Type A personality and so it’s tough for me to take a breath and relax, but I am working toward increasing my “fun time” in 2012!
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?
Jennifer: My advice for starting any type of business, whether it’s at home or not, is to make sure you’ve done your homework! Research your offering, competition, finances until you feel confident that you can make a go of it. Whatever time line you have planned for success, be sure it’s realistic and that you have a backup just in case.
Mom Incorporated: How do you market your business and what seems to work really well for you in terms of marketing?
Jennifer: I market my business through social media, events, press, and via my newsletters. Additionally, I blog and/or write articles for various online publications. My attendance at networking events also helps to get the word out, but for the most part, it’s word-of-mouth from satisfied customers. I also conceived the idea of a baby expo in Fairfield County — Bumps, Babies & Beyond and am the primary sponsor. I regularly seek out PR/promo opportunities like a local TV show which featured not only my business in one segment, but also my just-launched baby journaling workshops, “Put Your Love on Paper.” Lastly I teach small business workshops, and that is an indirect means to promote my business.
You can learn more about Jennifer and her company, Frittabello, at www.frittabello.com.