Suzanne Browne’s Top Five Tips for Entrepreneurial Success: Believe & Be Brave

Suzanne Browne, co-founder of Irish baby products company,  Clevamama,™  shares her experience as a mompreneur and tips for those interested in starting their own business. 

Sisters, Martina Delaney and Suzanne Browne, founders of Clevamama.™

I never really set out to be an entrepreneur. Instead I set out to be successful. Success to me means understanding the value of things, not the price. The value of hard work, honesty, trustworthiness, courageousness, belief and boldness is priceless. So whether you are a stay at home mom or a business tycoon, you will only be a success if you work damn hard at it.

My top 5 tips for success are:

  1. You need a good idea and a reason for that good idea. When you have your idea you need to turn it into a plan. This plan will be the measure of your success and will become instrumental to your success. If you fail to prepare you should also prepare to fail. 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

She’s Mom, Incorporated: Dee Wanger, Ridekick International

For almost two decades, Dee Wanger has pursued her career mostly through entrepreneurial endeavors, using her home as a primary base. A mom raising two daughters, Dee founded her regional science museum (now – www.fcmod.org) while also working from home as a publication production professional.

After teaching elementary school while her daughters were in high school, Dee is now one of the founding members of Ridekick International, an innovative company that makes a motorized trailer that attaches to any bike and pushes the bicycle up to 19 mph for a distance of 10 miles. 

MomIncorporated: Tell us about Ridekick International and your role with the company.
DEE: We make motorized trailers that attach to and push bicycles up to 19 mph for distances of 10 – 30 miles.  It’s perfect for people who want to use bicycles for transportation and recreation (commuting, errand running, taking kids to activities) but aren’t strong enough, have physical limitations, or don’t want to arrive sweaty.  The Ridekick Child Trailer is our newest product that we’re excited to bring to the market.

I serve as “The Queen of Caulk” – filling in wherever there’s a need.  This can mean banking, marketing, office manager, sales, customer service, order fulfillment, purchasing, and janitorial staff.  My overarching role is as the culture development and assurance officer. Continue reading

Becoming an Unintentional Work-At-Home Mom

By Kathy Zucker

Kathy Zucker

Over the past six years, I have been a managing partner in three companies. In the past year, I have written two business plans and raised a million dollars in investor capital commitments. In the past 16 months, I established a beverage company’s online and social media presence, redesigning the look and wording of all its marketing materials. The result of those efforts? The company has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon.com, shot to No. 1 in nationwide sales in the Amazon grocery section, and is now being sold at the Ritz Carlton, at the hotel’s request. And I accomplished all this while working from home.

When I launched my marketing consulting business six years ago, I never expected any of this to happen. But the biggest surprise of all? The fact that I am home at all. I never, in a million years, intended to stay home when I became a parent. I thought I would be your typical Manhattan marketing director, taking 12 weeks of maternity leave before putting my child into day care or hiring a nanny.

Life has a way of moving in unexpected directions. I found parenting to be much harder and more gut-wrenching than I ever expected. You don’t truly know what sleep deprivation is like until you have parented a newborn; it’s like walking around drunk all the time. And I found that I couldn’t stand being away from my daughter. Watching her little face pull away from me in a car window is one of my most emotionally searing memories of early motherhood. Also, my husband’s career started ramping up; I had been the primary breadwinner until then, but I agreed to scale back so he could go for the big time. Two parents working 60-hour weeks — we would never see our kid.

Struggling to balance parenting with your career?

It is surprisingly easy to start working for yourself. The most basic level of being in business is a sole proprietorship. You come up with a business name, register it with the state you live in, and get a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). It can all be done online; it should take about an hour to establish your business. And the cost? Under $100.

Why do you need an EIN as a sole proprietor? Privacy is huge; do you want to give your Social Security number to every client? Having an EIN also enables you to partner with other people; I often put together marketing plans that involve multiple vendors (interns, a web developer, etc.) At the end of the year, I issue them 1099s since they are independent contractors; no tax liability for me.

Having an EIN makes you look legitimate. Many clients request my EIN before they will do business with me. It doesn’t change my income tax filing status; I file one set of personal returns and all my business activity goes on schedule C.

Useful links:

Kathy Zucker, serial entrepreneur and mother of two toddlers, writes about juggling career and family in an urban setting. See what Kathy is up to at her blog and on Twitter.

 This article originally appeared on Metromoms.net on Jan. 9, 2012.