When I’m staring down too many writing deadlines and I’m super-stressed, it’s easy-peasy for me to start day-dreaming about what it would be like to ditch the rat race and turn my hobby – knitting my world-famous Monster Scarfs™ – into a bonafide business.
I know I’m not really ready for that yet. I also know I don’t have an entrepreneurial bone in my body.
Still, I’d like to think that I can eventually get there. “There” being a patch in my life when I ready to take the business plunge.
Until then, I’ll be using a new book – The Elegant Entrepreneur:A Female Founder’s Guide to Starting & Growing Your First Company – as my motivator. It crossed my desk a few weeks ago, along with a helpful set of launch tips for you business-minded mamas, and I’m really liking it.
It was written by Danielle Tate, who had a genius-y idea – to streamline the loathsome process of switching your last name to hubby’s after you get hitched – and ran with it. She created the website MissNowMrs.com, it took off, and the rest is very recent history.
Danielle is very smart and very determined, and she handed these tips over to me on a silver platter. So I, no dummy, will in turn share them with you now:
Six Things Moms Need to Do Before Starting A Business
By Danielle Tate
Many moms are often sitting on a goldmine. A great business idea is there, but turning that idea into a reality can be greeted with uncertainty and hesitation. People often have daily passing thoughts of inventions that would make life better, ideas to make a difficult task easier, or a dream from youth that has not yet been realized.
In my opinion, the greatest multi-taskers and organizers are moms and they are often the people with the best ideas. So If you are ready to take your idea to the next level and start a business, be aware that it is a tough journey but one that is well worth the ride. Entrepreneurship offers great satisfaction and a great work/life balance, often affording the ability to continue to be physically present with your kids while building the business you always dreamed of.
Here are a few tips moms need to consider before starting a business:
1. Fine-Tune Your Idea– Having an innovative idea doesn’t always mean that you should build a company to support it. You must think about how many people your product / idea will be giving a solution to. Does it create high levels of satisfaction or demand? Is your idea business-worthy? The Innovation Gauntlet offered in “Elegant Entrepreneur” helps to guide readers through the process of evaluating their idea. The idea needs to be strong enough financially to support you and your family, your cofounders, and a growing team while it competes for attention and sales in a global marketplace.
2. Seek Out Guidance– Ask advisors, mentors, and experts to answer your burning business questions. Not asking questions can be fatal for your startup. In reality, launching a business involves more questions than answers. No matter how many years of experience you have in business, marketing, or a particular industry, that time investment does not give you all the answers needed to create a successful enterprise. Being afraid to ask the hard questions will cripple you and inhibit your company’s growth.
3. Get Unbiased Feedback– Through market research and customer feedback the amount of information you will gather is nothing less than staggering. Family and friends love to voice their opinions and have them matter. Take these veritable gems and treat them as such. Categorize your findings and use them to fine tune your solution and how you present and price it. Consider all feedback, especially the negative. If you are unable to fix your idea to overcome negative feedback, it is time to let it go.
4. Develop a Plausible Business Plan– Every business model has pros and cons, so pick the one that best suits your needs (or complete all of them). Your plan is your foundation and it is important that it is well thought-out and strong. Your business will most likely change and as it does, so too should your business plan. It is helpful to maintain older versions for reference, but never try to run your business from an older plan.
5. Consider Your Past– Whatever your working past might be, you can and should draw on your prior learning and skills to build your startup. Remember, the company in which you were formerly employed was once a small idea too. Use previous job training and experience to benefit your startup.
6. Time Your Leap– Understand your market and time your launch to coincide favorably with its demand. Do not quit your day job right away; ideas and entrepreneurs need money to grow. Explore the ramifications a startup may have on your relationships. Take an honest look at your life and circumstances and evaluate. Starting a business is a big commitment and will take up much of your time, consider the impact on your family and lifestyle. If you have a good idea and the opportunity merits your time and dedication, it is well worth the risk of starting up!