If you’ve recently had a baby, work is probably the last thing on your mind. And that’s not just because you’ve… y’know… just had a baby! Parenthood changes you fundamentally. They don’t say it changes “everything” for nothing. The struggle is real. Motherhood literally alters your brain chemistry and definitely realigns your perspective. Suddenly all the things about the world at work that used to worry and intimidate you now seem like no biggie at all.
The truth is motherhood can actually be incredibly empowering and make a woman realize just how strong she really is. It can make you realize that you deserve better than you’ve been getting from your job and career and maybe your talents and passion were wasted in that old job all along. As such, while there are many women who are happy to return to their old jobs and their old career, there are some who set their sights in a very different direction. You know who you are. It takes balls to forge a new way but many moms do just that.
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In the digital age, more and more women are realizing that they have the tools at their disposal to start their very own businesses, nurturing potentially thriving enterprises even as they nurture their little ones. Some of us become professional bloggers or copywriters, others use e-commerce to sell products that they make themselves. I love Etsy. Some moms become consultants while others become freelance illustrators. The sky’s the limit. We are moms hear us roar!
If you want to make your mark as a mompreneur, here are some things you’ll need…
Unfortunately, if you want to establish yourself in business (no matter what the nature of your business) a good idea just isn’t enough anymore. People start businesses based on good ideas all the time, but it doesn’t automatically guarantee success. In order to find success (and your audience), you’ll need to have a clearly defined Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
Your USP will be what makes you different from all the other businesses out there doing what you’re doing and builds value in the brand you’re trying to develop. Don’t worry if you don’t come up with your USP overnight. Take the time to carry out extensive market research and competitor analysis.
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Find the people who will buy your products or invest in your services. See what other businesses like yours are doing well and why customers are happy with them. Then try and identify things that they aren’t doing as well or gaps in the market that they’re currently failing to accommodate.
If you can find a way to do what other businesses are doing better, that’s your USP!
A strong presence on social media
Personality goes a long way in business. This was actually one of the first pieces of advice I was given when I started blogging as the mom of two toddlers. Embarrassingly enough, I had no idea what a “social media presence” was. In my defense, I had been pregnant and having babies for the previous 3 years. But I figured out quickly, people don’t like to buy from faceless, profit-hungry corporations. They like to buy from honest, genuine people who have decided to take their livelihoods and careers into their own hands. These people remind us that the dream works. And supporting them gives us a better form of capitalism.
If people like you, they’ll buy/read/engage with you. Let your personality shine on social media. Find out more about where your target audience spends their time online and approach them on the platforms they use most. Combine your professionalism and commitment to quality with the fact that you’re a real person and mom trying to take care of your target audience in ways that your competitors won’t or can’t.
Maintain an active presence on your social platforms. Engage. Don’t be the person only sharing links. Nobody likes that person. Talk to people about things other than your business. Like what they post. Retweet them. It’s a little thing that goes a long way towards building the kind of personal relationship which is invaluable for small businesses.
A strong brand identity
Your brand is what people say about your business when you’re not in the room. In order for your business to resonate, it needs a strong brand identity. Again, this is what will differentiate you from your competitors and help people to develop a personal relationship and trust you.
You may be reticent to incorporate your motherhood into your brand. I wasn’t. I embraced it. I know who I am. I know my education, my skills and strengths but I also fully embraced that motherhood was a big part of who I am now. Being a mom doesn’t take away from who you were as a career woman before, it adds skills to it. You should see my organization and multipurpose skills now.
You may want people to see you as a businesswoman first, and a mother second, but don’t underestimate the brand appeal of your motherhood. People like Moms. We’re relatable. Everyone has one. People see moms as nurturing, reliable, dependable and compassionate because… that’s exactly what we are.
The beauty of being an entrepreneur in the (nearly) 2020s is that digital technology has made the world your office. You can check your emails while changing diapers ( though I certainly would not recommend it) and take conference calls in Whole Foods ( been there done that). You can make ecommerce listings sitting in your favorite coffee shop or keep in touch with your social following while breastfeeding.
And while that’s incredible, it can also make you and your business more vulnerable. Businesses of all shapes and sizes have a target painted on their back and cybercriminals may try and target your business and its data if they see a vulnerability. That’s why it’s important to ensure that not only does your laptop have robust antivirus software but all of your devices use a mobile-ready VPN while on the go. Cybersecurity is an important consideration when starting up your own business.
The biggest challenge when juggling your duties as a CEO (because that’s what you are, honey!) with your duties as a mother is time management. Why are there not more hours in the day? As much as possible you need to compartmentalize your time between “entrepreneur mode” and “Mom mode”. This is way easier to do when you have a dedicated working space either in your own home or a rented office. I have a home office but I am loving the new shared spaces available in my town and it may be something I look to soon. Of course, there will be some bleed between the two but the very act of moving into different functional spaces will help you to better organize your thoughts.
A blog is an extremely important business tool. It is my business. Whatever the nature of your business, it can almost certainly be assisted by having a blog. Remember what we were saying before about the importance of personality? A blog can give your following insight into your personality, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It can also establish your knowledge, expertise and dedication to being the best there is at what you do. And that’s a big deal!
What’s more, your blog will also give you a boost in Search Engine Optimization and improve your visibility in search results.
Finally, the most important thing you can have as a Mompreneur is passion. Passion will propel you through those days where you’ve had 2 and a half hours’ sleep and it all seems a little too much. It’ll keep you going where others falter and keep building value in your brand that will set you on the path to success.
What is your tip for succeeding as a mompreneur?