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My Top 10 List of "Must Haves" for Moms in Business

Wednesday, July 1, 2009
A few months ago, I was invited to speak at the local MOMS club meeting. They had several members who owned businesses and they wanted me to talk about tips and techniques for managing the balancing act.

As many mom entrepreneurs might agree, the balancing act can be a tricky one. I do feel however that there are certain strategies and resources you can put in place to make it a bit easier on yourself.

Here is my Top 10 list (in no particular order), which I shared with the group:
  1. Passion - don't start a business unless you are passionate about it. It is not worth the hassle and heartache to become an entrepreneur, work at something you do not enjoy and then try to balance family on top of that.
  2. Plan - have a plan before starting your business. Otherwise, both time and money will be wasted. As mom entrepreneurs, we don't have a lot of time, and in this economy who has money? If you have time to write a full business plan great. However, this is unrealistic for most. According to Mike Michalowizc, the three-sheet strategy is just as effective. This strategy consists of a prosperity plan (the vision for your business), quarterly plan (the path of your business) and the daily metrics (health measurement of your business). You can learn all about this effective strategy by listening to the The 3 Sheet Strategy To Dramatic Business Growth (Especially in A Down Economy) Podcast.
  3. Cash Flow - you have to constantly be aware of what your cash is and is not doing for you. By keeping track of your payables and receivables and reviewing daily, you can make educated and informed decisions about the health of your business. To download a sample template, click here...>
  4. Business Consultant - I highly recommend hiring a consultant who is knowledgeable about business growth. I made some critical mistakes in my business and finally realized what I did wrong once I hired a business consultant. Unfortunately, I hired her after the mistakes were made. I was very fortunate that my business did not fold all together. Hiring a consultant is a necessary business expense and one that you will see a huge return on investment (ROI) for. I work with Gail Zona of Next Step Business and recommend her services.
  5. Get Connected Socially - it is critical to be connected socially. With the rate of people connecting online increasing exponentially, you are seriously hurting your business if you are not one of them. Networking online is not difficult or scary, but there is a process and a certain etiquette that must be followed in order to build online communities, relationships and ultimately transact business properly. You can learn how to do it the right way by listening to the How To Build Influence and Increase Your Profits Using Social Media Podcast with Scott Bradley of Networking Effectively.
  6. Professional Support - in addition to hiring a business consultant, you should also have other professionals on your team. This includes a lawyer, accountant, HR professional and investment advisor. When I submitted my business plan to the bank, this was required information. Ask for referrals from friends and colleagues, and conduct interviews to locate the professionals that believe in your business vision. I also recommend connecting with hundreds of savvy mom entrepreneurs for networking and support through our Online Support Group.
  7. Personal Support - as a mom entrepreneur, the personal support is just as important as the professional support. This may include a daycare provider, nanny, housekeeper, friend, family, etc. You cannot do it all yourself, but with help, you can manage. If you do not have friends or family nearby that can help out, then I recommend a service like Care4Hire, which can connect you with qualified help in your area.
  8. Keep Up With Trends - The Mom Entrepreneur has been successful in its business growth goals because the industry trends indicate huge opportunity in the mom entrepreneur market especially in the U.S., Canada and U.K. You must always be aware if the need for your products and/or services is growing or declining with your target market(s). Not having this information at your finger tips can be detrimental to the success of your business. Some simple indicators you can tap into include Google Alerts and Google Trends.
  9. Stay True to Yourself - remember that your health and well being is just as important as the health and well being of your family and business. If you do not take care of yourself, then how do you expect to grow a happy and successful family and business.
  10. Keep the Faith - do not give up on your entrepreneurial pursuits or get discouraged. Growing a business and balancing a family is supposed to be tough. If it was not tough, we would not be challenged and easily become bored. Remember everything happens for a reason. Sometimes you have to search long and hard to find the reason or you may never understand why it happened. Just keep your head up and continue moving forward!

Do you have additional tips or techniques for managing the mom entrepreneur balancing act? Please share!