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Lemons to lemonade feature #16: Dani Gurrie

Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Dani Gurrie is a mom entrepreneur who is taking the economy bull by the horns so to speak. Dani, owner and founder of Kidspot (Australia) established in 2005, and Tots2Tweens (USA) established in 2007, is still charging along at full speed. Tots2Tweens is a directory for parents encompassing everything from planning a birthday bash to summer camps to horse riding lessons to fun with the entire family. Kidspot is Australia's parent directory.

This mother of two sees this time of economic stress as a way to give her business a “leg up”. Most companies are pulling back on advertising and spending and she is using this downturn to negotiate better marketing rates in everything she does. The company's website is gaining ground and Dani feels confident that if she can push through this, they will be around for a long time. Here is her story...

How has this economy affected you, your business and your family?
The economy has made us think twice about any extra spending. I constantly ask myself, “Do we really need this?” I have also had yard sales to get rid of stuff. This has helped to bring in extra money and de-clutter at the same time.

In regards to the business, I find that some clients are cutting back, but our offering is such a great value and so affordable that businesses are still signing on. In addition, I make sure that we over-deliver on clients’ expectations. Right now, it’s imperative that we provide fantastic customer service and “extras.” For instance, we offer a guarantee that clients will earn their investment back from us, which removes much of the risk and allows clients to move forward.

We have also offered free marketing material distribution allowing clients to reinforce their online message. It wasn’t something that we originally started doing. I think that most clients understand that they still need to be out there – it’s just finding the place to do it that matters.

How are you making lemonade from lemons?
I am utilizing this slow economy to negotiate the absolute best prices on everything my business uses – from promotional items to media. I always ask if it’s their best price – and usually I get a better offer. I am always prepared to walk away and find some place else…there is always someone else out there who is willing to take a little bit less today to get our business. I am also planning a rather large radio campaign for January/February – typically very slow times after the retail boom of Christmas. I found this worked very well last year. Always ask if you can pay monthly, or break payments up to free up the cash in your account.

Any encouraging words you would like to offer mom entrepreneurs?
Keep up the great work. Our businesses are the backbone of this country and we are creating more jobs then large corporations! Keep your head up during this tough time and don’t get discouraged. Don’t be afraid to negotiate…you’ll be surprised at how much you can save. Find some great alternatives to get your message out there…we do exist!!

For more information, visit Tots2Tweens website or blog. You can also reach Dani directly by calling 866 957 8687 or email