Thursday, May 6, 2010

What Kind of Business is for You?

So you’re ready to take the plunge into entrepreneurial waters. What do you do next?

Mom entrepreneurs run all kinds of businesses – from boutiques to book stores. We’ve met mom entrepreneurs who invented products such as bibs, barrettes and baby food. Some mom entrepreneurs start online stores, online newsletters or online communities. The list goes on and on, so how do you decide what business is for you?

While the possibilities are endless, there are ways to determine what business is right for YOU and you alone. In order to figure this out, start by asking yourself the following three questions:

  1. Can I convert my existing career into a new business? Many mom entrepreneurs draw on their past professional experience to launch themselves into entrepreneurship. Mom entrepreneur Debbi Arnold is one example. Debbi worked in marketing at several companies before striking out on her own. Today she runs her own marketing consultancy and balances work with motherhood. You’ve been putting your skills to good use for somebody else. Perhaps there is a way to parlay your knowledge into your own business.

  2. Can I join an existing company? There are lots of ways to have your own “business within a business” and many of these are great options for moms. There are direct sales companies like Discovery Toys, companies that offer licensing programs like WeeHands, and franchising opportunities with a company like SupperWorks. Each of these choices involve different commitments, but joining an existing company can let you experience entrepreneurship without the legwork.

  3. Should I start from scratch? You might already have a great idea for a business. Maybe you want to invent the next Bumbo or Bugaboo. But what if you desperately want to work for yourself but you just don’t know what to do? Don’t worry, we know lots of women just like you, and in the coming months we’ll tackle this very issue: how to get to your big idea. You may not know it today, but don’t’ be surprised if your "aha!" moment is just around the corner.
Whether you’ve got a new business idea or not, start thinking about how you’re going to put your skills to use in your new venture. No matter what you’ll be doing, look at this like your favourite pair of shoes - it’s got to be a great fit.

A final word: The mom entrepreneur companies we’ve mentioned above all appear in our upcoming book (HarperCollins, February 2011). Watch out for their stories. We can’t wait to share them with you.

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