5 Lessons for the First 5 Years as “Mom Entrepreneur”

The infograph in this post was brought to you by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the BDC. For additional smallbiz tips and advice, visit bdc.ca or follow BDC on Facebook and Twitter.

Being keen and optimistic about changing the world when launching a new business, while also being a mom, is admirable. Running that business while raising kids is truly super-heroic (it really is). But success can come at the price of sanity (truly) unless you practice extreme patience and consistent strategies that work.

Happy Small Business Week #SBW2013!

I want you to be in business 5 years from now. You are a part of an economic evolution of women owned businesses with increasingly loud positive voices helping grow the Canadian economy.  See the latest Business Development Bank of Canada infographic below. These are exciting times!

To be in business 5 years from now, I hope you might learn from those mom entrepreneurs who have come before you (like me) because the challenges are exponentially greater than the “regular” entrepreneur. (And the successes and rewards all the sweeter!).  Entering my 6th year owning my small business, and my 20th year as a marketer, I have a few opinions on how to create a thriving business as a mom!

How to Be Here 5 Years From Now:

  1. Have Sticktoitivity –  Success in business has ups and downs. The best opportunities to grow come from failing first then learning and applying what works, repeatedly. The extra challenge as a mom entrepreneur is that growth is always slower than expected – we have children after all that require our attention even if we schedule our lives otherwise. You must have sticktoitivity above all else – a passionate desire to NEVER QUIT.  (And p.s. this means you can’t strive to be perfect – strive to imperfectly get stuff done!)
  2. Be a Role Model… Always – Continue as you start, with your passions and values as your guiding light. The ability you have to make a big dent in the world with your talents inspires those around you, inspires your children, and it informs your customers in such a positive way it becomes core to your exceptional brand.
  3. Keep the Sales Model Simple – Big dreams do not have to be created by filling your bucket with every idea you imagine! In fact, choosing a single business focus with a very simple but exceedingly compelling message will set you up for expansion sooner than you can imagine. Turn of the BSO (bright shiny object) Syndrome and create one killer sales model first, and grow from there.
  4. Invest in Expertise – You are an expert in what you do. You are not an expert in copywriting, marketing, brand development, graphic design, sales or other business roles. Creating a professional visual identity is your first order of business – if you DIY your image, you have made your first mistake. Get it done professionally and then after that invest in either educating yourself or hiring experts for your business skillset.
  5. Build the Foundation for a Community – Shift your mindset from customers to community. Over time you want an exceedingly enthusiastic community of fans, followers, customers and champions. Long-term growth relies on building a brand that is understood, liked and trusted by a vast group of people. In a world of social media, where opinions are widely shared, building your business into a community of people who appreciate what you do, and talk on your behalf in a positive way, is your best strategy for growth that builds a lifelong business.

Great Resources for Small Business Week, and Every Day!

In a sea of “small business weeks” I’m recognizing Business Development Bank of Canada’s #SBW2013 as the official small business week. I have used their resources and suggest you do as well.

The infographic shown below has telltale indicators of growth. It is clear your role is meaningful in our country, however it is also clear we, as women, have more work to do to get on the grid!

Peak at the “Map Your Future Growth” section! I hope to continue to grow with women like you and continue to prove our impact in the entrepreneurial workforce, and at home. These are tough jobs. So glad we’re up to it! Right? 😉

(I’m off to dream about what I can export! Kidding – no BSO Syndrome here)

Small business is big in Canada

The Business Development Bank of Canada is the only bank exclusively dedicated to entrepreneurs. From over 100 offices across the country, BDC helps more than 28,000 small and medium-sized businesses reach their full potential by providing financing, subordinate financing, venture capital and consulting

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