by Christine Janssen,
Hoping to make your life as a mompreneur a little more manageable? Following is a list of resources that just might help:
• Mompreneurs Online: This site was created by Ellen Parlapiano and Pat Cobe, the inventors of the term “mompreneurs.” It is a mom’s one-stop work-at-home resource, providing just about everything mompreneurs need to know and have, including a networking community, relevant articles and suggested books, and even an online mall featuring products made exclusively by mompreneurs.
• Mommy Mastermind: Aimed at savvy stay-at-home and work-at-home moms with young children, founder Angelia Kane launched this site to help moms and mompreneurs alike manage their lives. In addition to a list of inexpensive or free family-friendly events, Mommy Mastermind offers valuable podcasts and other downloadable resources, such as articles and worksheets, to maximize your limited time.
• Big City Moms: A good resource for moms and moms-to-be living in urban areas. The site includes a nanny exchange as well as a list of events including luncheons, classes, and parenting seminars.
• The Organized Parent : Founded by Stephanie Vozza in 2003, this site provides tips and products to help keep multitasking moms organized. You can find everything from filing systems and storage solutions to event-specific survival kits.
• Center for Women’s Business Research : Want to sink your teeth into stats, trends, and characteristics about women entrepreneurs? Here’s a top-notch resource that lists most every women’s networking group under the sun, and research reports on topics such as accessing capital and managing a home-based business. Some reports are free; some must be ordered for a small fee. While some of the documents are a bit outdated, this site is still a great place to begin your research.
• The National Association of Women Business Owners : A few hundred dollars for an annual membership allows you to access thousands of women entrepreneurs around the country. Luncheons, roundtables, and events provide new avenues to build your network and your business.
• StartupNation : A robust resource created by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. In addition to offering lots of good ideas and strategies for entrepreneurs working from home, this site provides articles, podcasts, blogs, audio/video segments, and networking opportunities to help launch and build a new business.
• The MomBA: Although there are plenty of mompreneurs who do indeed have business degrees and the necessary management experience to successfully launch a new business, many do not. And the thought of tackling an MBA on top of motherhood and operating a business can be pretty daunting. (Meltdown anyone?) Acknowledging this challenging situation, the Small Business Division at Capital One and Victoria Pericon, founder of online resource www.savvymommy.com, have jointly created a list of tips on entrepreneurship to help guide mompreneurs who might not have a business background and don’t plan on pursuing an MBA. To earn what they dubbed a “MomBA,” they suggest educating yourself in the following five areas: innovation, finance, marketing, the Internet (particularly Web 2.0), and the art of multitasking. Thankfully women are experts at multitasking, so that leaves you with only four other principles to address.
Aside from researching a wide variety of financing options and drafting a business plan, one of the underlying themes of the MomBA is doing your homework. Do the necessary research to properly position yourself for success. For example, they suggested doing research to understand a) your competitors, b) the power of social networking, c) how to efficiently and effectively promote your product/service, and d) whether or not that idea of yours has legs.
Christine Janssen is a member of the New York City Incubator and the founder and president of denken Research & Consulting, a boutique consulting firm that provides end-to-end market research and writing services to small businesses.