The Busy Mother’s Roadmap to Starting a Successful Business

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Packing lunches. Doing laundry. And dishes. So many dishes. How can one family create this many dirty dishes? Such are the thoughts of most parents. This lifestyle leaves little in the way of entrepreneurial opportunity. How can you start a business when you’ve already started to see sleep as a luxury?

While running a business as a parent isn’t easy, it is certainly possible. In this article, we take a look at a few key considerations that will help you get started. 

Start Small

More than 90% of businesses fail at scaling successfully. Here’s what usually happens. You start a business. You find that it is going better than expected. You try to build it up. It crumbles like a house of cards. Why? You didn’t adequately account for all of the variables that come into play when a business starts to grow. 

To be successful, you don’t just need to bring in money. You have to generate a positive cash flow. In other words, make more money than you are spending. The bigger your company gets, the harder that becomes. 

You hire new employees but lack the skills to manage them. You acquire new equipment or infrastructure but growth slows. Worse yet, you had several clients producing most of your income. Two of them bow out. Now, you have all of this overhead, but you lack the income to support it. 

It’s almost always best to grow slowly. Strong businesses require 5-10 years to develop. That doesn’t mean you won’t make any money until that point. It does mean you need to take things one step at a time. 

Avoid Fixed Costs

One of the biggest mistakes new business owners get themselves into is acquiring large recurring payments. Some of these are unavoidable. For example, payroll, or material costs. Other expenses may be more optional than you previously realized. Do you really need an office, or can your work be done remotely?

Do you need a full-time salaried staff, or can you make do with freelancers? Do you need a large inventory or can you take advantage of on-demand fulfillment to eliminate overhead altogether? The lower you can keep your recurring debt, the more flexibility you will ultimately have. 

Know Your Demographic

Every business has an ideal customer. Someone who will spend the maximum amount of money, recommend you to their friends and get your logo tattooed on their right arm. Maybe not that last one, but hey— you never know. 

When you are consistently targeting and doing business with your ideal customer it allows you to maximize the efficiency of your work. Instead of chasing down five mediocre leads, you can devote your time and energy to one great one. 

You’ll probably have assumptions about who your ideal customer is. However, the best way to find out for sure is to tap into the data. Do some research. Who is engaging the most with your social media copy? Take consumer surveys. Learn about who your customers are and what makes them tick. The more you know, the easier it will be to make the most out of your marketing and sales efforts. 

Keep in mind that maintaining a customer-centric attitude is the new normal when it comes to most business pursuits. Because companies now have access to such an incredible amount of data they can deliver a highly personalized experience to their audience. 

If you can’t do the same, your customers will most likely move on to a brand that can. 

Understand Finance

One of the tricky things about owning your own business is that all of the core responsibilities fall on your shoulders. Sales, marketing, inventory, and yes—finance. Until your business is strong enough to start bringing more people in—and as we just said, that can take a while—you’ll have to do it all yourself. 

You don’t need a degree in finance to be successful. You do need enough to keep yourself both financially solvent and legally compliant with revenue recognition and tax law. 

You can hire an accountant to review your books. It will usually cost a few hundred dollars minimum but it is a necessary investment if you aren’t willing to put the legwork in yourself. 

Alternatively, you can pursue a certificate in finance. This will help improve your understanding of the topic and empower you to make more informed decisions about the health of your company. 

Lean on Your Social Support

Busy moms have it hard enough without trying to run their own business. If you are going to do this successfully, you need to be all in. That means leaning on your social support system. Friends, family members,  a life partner. Anyone willing to pitch in around the house or help with the kids. Well—not literally anyone, but you get the point. 

The more help and support you can get the more gas in the tank you will have to be the best mother/business owner/person you can be. 

Remember: It’s ok to go easier on yourself as well. Letting dishes soak in the sink overnight isn’t the worst thing in the world. 

Consider Finding a Mentor

The concept of mentorship may sound a little antiquated, or even silly, but it can have a positive influence on your life. It helps enormously to have someone you can lean on when times get hard. A person who has been in your position before and knows what it is like. 

Mentors—particularly those with a business experience similar to your own—will be able to guide you. They will also simply be well-positioned to lend a sympathetic ear when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. 

Conclusion

Business ownership isn’t easy, but it also doesn’t have to be as hard as you might assume. There’s a phrase people like to throw around a lot these days, to the point that it has become something of a cliché. Limiting beliefs. Thoughts that keep you from reaching your full potential. 

Cliché or not, this bit of common wisdom does have its relevance. You can hold yourself back just by assuming the wrong things about yourself. 

Here’s the truth: You can run a business and be an awesome mom. It will take more than believing in yourself to make that happen, but confidence is a great start. Make a business plan, run the numbers, and follow the steps provided in this article to build a business that will make you proud.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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23 days ago

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