I started my business four years ago when my youngest was still a baby. As a novice momtrepeneur, I was so excited about my ideas and hopeful for business. However, over the past four years, I have made many mistakes, learned many new things, and had my share of heartaches along the way. I would like to share this with any of you moms starting a business, not to scare you, but to give you a bit of ammunition before you start your new career path.
First of all, have a clear idea what you want to do and try to keep it specific. Don’t try too many things at once. You may end up suffering from burnout or may have trouble marketing it all. Try to keep to one specific area of interest. I am not saying you can never branch out, but you want to establish a good presence and customer base before branching out into other areas.
Second, not everyone will be as excited as you are about your business. For me, I was a stay at home mom before I started Bear Haven Boutique. Then I went to being a work at home mom then a full-fledged businesswoman. For a while, I had a hard time fitting in with friends. I wasn’t a stay at home mom, and I wasn’t a work outside the home mom. I was something different. Some of your friends and family may not be as supportive because they are afraid of what will happen if you fail, especially with the economy not being the best right now. If that happens, try not to let it bother you. Make sure you have your plans written and follow them. Don’t use your savings to start a business or put a large investment in something unless you absolutely know you will get it back somehow.
Third, be prepared for cattiness. For some reason, women with similar businesses can sometimes be catty to each other. I have had a few instances of this. In the past, I have had issues with another mom-owned business who sells similar products to mine. My website, concepts, and even products are different from hers, but I guess she somehow feels threatened. I even try to keep my blog content different just to prove that I am not trying to step on her turf. For the most part, I try to network with other similar businesses. We mom-owned businesses need to stick together, not tear each other apart.
Finally, be prepared to do a LOT of work. Even if you have the most supportive husband, family, and friends in the world, you will still be loaded down with work. I think it is the whole idea of working in the home. Not everyone quite understands it. So you may end up having all the duties you had as a Stay at Home Mom plus all the duties of your new business. When it comes to your business, what you put into it is what you get out of it. So if you want to succeed, you need to put a lot into it. For me, it is still a struggle. I love my husband, and he supports me. He knows I work hard at this, but sometimes I still do not get all the help I need because I think he still sees me as a Stay at Home Mom. Also, your children may not be completely on board with your work. You have to find a good balance between work and your children. It is not always easy, and I still struggle with it.
Owning my own business is a dream come true for me, and I encourage everyone to follow your dreams. However, I also want you to know that it is not always a piece of cake, and you need to be prepared for what may come your way.
If any of my readers are Mom-Owned Business Owners, I would love to hear about your experiences.