Sites such as eBay and Amazon, to name only a couple, have for years been at the center of home entrepreneurship in the retail industry. A close friend of mine, who already makes an absolute fortune doing promotions for nightclubs, was so intrigued by the notion of Internet enterprise, went into a secondary business bulk-buying items such as DVDs and other goods. Read more
You spoke. We listened. The Founding Kit has been rearranged, revamped and relaunched!
We've reworked our business startup kits for aspiring entrepreneurs and we think you'll like what you see. Have a great idea but don't know who to turn to for website development or social media setup? Have a fledgling business that you want to take to the next level but don't know the right publicist, accountant or lawyer to help? Not sure where to find an accountability partner? We do.
We've worked hard and vetted thoroughly to find the most incredible service providers on the planet. (In fact, co-founder Jill Salzman has used every single one of them to build her businesses.) We've gotten incredible deals on the first year of services from each of them so that negotiating great rates is one less thing for you to worry about. And if you check out The Founding Kit or the Kit & Caboodle and find that they're a bit too comprehensive for your needs, you can head to our Custom Kit to pick and choose exactly what suits your needs.
We hope to help aspiring founders over the hurdle of the painful startup phase. We've heard the call from thousands of entrepreneurs over the years and we've been there one too many times ourselves. See what Forbes, Crain's, Doejo, NBC Chicago, and the Upstart Business Journal have to say about it. Then head over to FoundingKit.com and check it out for yourself!
"Are you ready to be entertained? Meet Jill Salzman- sassy CEO of Founding Moms. A graduate of Brown University and law school after that, she ditched bankruptcy law to begin her entrepreneurial journey with two successful companies; Paperwork Media LLC and the Bumble Brand LLC. Her third venture, Founding Moms is focused on connecting mom entrepreneurs around the globe. Jill brings great advice to this Q&A with lots of humor. Enjoy!
If you had to give a piece of advice to a girlfriend that was thinking about starting her own small business, what would that be?
I’d ask her to sell me on her idea. Then I’d tell her to go out and find friends, family and strangers and pitch her product or service to them. My first piece of advice for anyone is to figure out whether there’s a market for what they’re selling. Too many people spend far too much time planning, thinking, planning, waiting, wondering if it’s the right time, creating a laundry list of worries, and then planning some more. I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs spend upwards of 2 years prepping their product launch only to find out, post-launch, that no one is interested in buying it. I’m very much a dive-in-first-and-then-plan kinda gal, and since it’s worked for me three times, I’m confident it’s going to work for someone else, too.
What small business resources can you not live without?
Mine, which opened its doors two years ago, started out very small. I opened my dance, fitness, and parenting studio as a one-woman shop. I did all the administrative work. I taught all the classes. I offered all the services. When I started thinking about transitioning from a contractor-about-town to a brick-and-mortar shop, my friend and business guru suggested I work up a business plan even though I wasn’t seeking any financing. She thought that the exercise of looking at all the aspects of my business from the perspective of a potential lender would be helpful to me at the outset and along the way. Part of that business plan required projections – how many classes, how many students, how much revenue. I hadn’t had to think about these things in a forecasting mode before.
Sharing the results with her and another mentor of mine seemed to indicate a strong growth pattern. The idea took hold. When I was looking for the perfect location for my business – no small task – I did so with the idea of expansion in mind. Nothing needed right away, of course, but for “someday.”
"I'd just published Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs in January. In it, I write about how any entrepreneur can rent a mailbox at The UPS Store and set themself up with an official-looking business address. Once I dove into marketing mode, I thought I'd reach out to UPS and ask if they’d sell the book in their 4,700 stores around the country.
But they said no.
Then, magic happened. A woman who read my book tweeted publicly: "I just learned that you can get a UPS mailbox for your business from @foundingmom's book! Who knew?"
Read the full article at NBC Chicago here. Or just cut to the chase and watch the commercial here:
I’m a single mom of three passionately creating my business, so I am keenly aware of the effects of stress in my daily life. When summer rolls around and our routine changes dramatically, I must find ways to keep myself balanced and grounded. Marketing my business isn’t one of my favorite activities (and maybe this is more about my time management skills than a true dislike for marketing!). During the summer months when my children are home and our schedule is less structured it’s very easy for me to ignore promoting my business altogether. But marketing consistency is critical. Taking a three-month break during the summer months isn’t helpful while building a business. Read more
"Did you know that newsletters are far more effective at driving business to your company's website than social media? For you "I-Don't-Have-Time"-ers and you "Why-Bother"-ites, maybe you should rethink your marketing efforts and create a promotional email. Only please make it less annoying, less spam-like and less cringe-inducing than everyone else's newsletters.
1. Content matters. Don't get lazy and turn your newsletter into an aggregator of other people's newsletters. Come up with short, to-the-point information, stats or opportunities. Make sure that you have relevant, concise information about your industry that's interesting. Without the interesting part, you've lost me..." Read the full article at NBC Chicago here.
Guest Post by Laila McCloud :: As a single mom, I often find myself stretched for time, energy and money. However, it has made me more resourceful and creative when it comes to exploring business opportunities that will not interfere with being a mom. I’m a firm believer that single moms, in particular, should see entrepreneurship as a road to travel. I know there are many reasons why a single mom would say “When would I find the time?" or “Who’s going to watch my child while I work?” or “I don’t have the extra money to invest in a business.” These are all things that have crossed my mind. That’s when I reached out to other entrepreneurs to seek answers. Here are some tips that I’ve picked up along the way as s single mompreneur.
Start Small. Whatever your business idea, start small. I currently set aside two hours each day to work on my business ideas. When I first began, I did the two hours in one sitting. Now I spend one hour in the morning and one hour after my son is in bed. Whatever time you set aside, treat it like office hours and be consistent.
Show Me The Money. Whatever you are working on, you should have a tangible amount of money you are working towards. One of the primary motivators for many single mompreneurs is increasing income, so make sure your business is giving you the return you need.
Find Your Village. If you don’t have a co-parent, family or friends who can help with childcare, visit your local college. It's a great place to find affordable and qualified sitters. Contact the education department and post a flyer in search of a student who can watch the kids while you work on projects or conduct meetings with clients. Don’t forget, there’s nothing wrong with calling a sitter to watch the kids while you sleep.
Put Yourself First (even for an hour). Solo parenting often means that you are taking care of everyone but yourself. There have been times where I didn’t realize until after I had cleaned the kitchen that I didn’t eat dinner. Working on my business allows me to focus on me (yes, me!) and my goals without feeling selfish.
Laila blogs about her life as a single mom and entrepreneur at OnlyLaila.com.