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SOFLA Super Moms: Mompreneurs

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It’s exciting to have this guest post by Heather Lopez, who is an expert on moms starting their own businesses. If you’ve considered becoming a business owner, check out what Heather has to say and the resources she thinks are key. — Holly

By Heather Lopez
There is an ever-growing presence of moms in South Florida opting to start a business from home or on their own. In fact, there are now several groups in SOFLA just for those moms to connect and support each other. I will highlight them later in this post.
In this economy, times are tough and moms know how to make things work on a limited budget. They use their savviness to find ways to grow a business with very little money, realizing that working from home might make the best sense for them financially and personally. Many of these moms use their talents to create products and services that will help others moms and studies show that moms support mom-owned businesses when it comes to making purchasing decisions.
When making the decision to work for themselves, moms have several options to choose from. They could choose a more turnkey approach via becoming reps, purchasing a franchise, claiming a territory, etc. from an established brand that will give them them what they need to start and grow their business. These are the Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Avon type businesses. Some of them require a small initial investment, but take some of the headache out of starting from scratch.
Next you have those moms who create their own products. This could be cupcakes, cake pops, crafts, baskets, clothing, bows, unique inventions, and the list goes on. These moms must learn to develop a business as a startup and if their product is intended to be sold in stores, they need to go through a whole patent and manufacturing process.
Then you have those that work from home for other businesses as an assistant, customer service rep, medical billing, etc. These can be good if they provide consistent work and you are good with the phone and computer. They do not always fulfill a mom’s desire to work for herself.
After that, you have moms who provide services for other moms, people, and businesses. As a service-based business, it can be harder to market than a product-based company and it can also be harder to value your time. Moms have to go into it with a clear plan to delineate what they do for others and how much they plan to make from it.
A popular option is creating an e-commerce or eBay store where you choose what you would like to sell and promote your store to others. Some people keep inventory, while some dropship or work as an affiliate.
There’s another type of business owner that might not even recognize that they are a business owner. This is the mom blogger who has any advertisement or sponsors on her blog. A blog can be like a service or product. The more content you provide, the more followers you attract and the more you focus on your niche, the more valuable your site becomes for advertisers and sponsors. While a majority of mom bloggers do not make much cash on their blogs, they may receive products and services to review in exchange for a blogpost. Some bloggers even make a living off of their blogs by building a loyal following and brand for themselves. They also learn how to “monetize” their blogs, which means to get paid for what they do.
No matter the type of business they start, they have in common that they are contending with some extra challenges that a traditional business owner usually does not face. This is why I use the term “Super Mom Entrepreneurs” when I reference them. When I use the word “Super” I am not referring to “Perfect.” The mere decision to take on balancing a business, your home, your children, your romantic relationship, and yourself takes some strength. Actually struggling on a daily basis to make it work requires a bit of super powers and persistance.
Now I will highlight some resources in SOFLA, for those interested in becoming a mom business owner, connect with other mom business owners, or support moms in business. You would be amazed at how much these moms are doing.
First, there are two sister groups on Facebook just for this purpose. South Florida’s Moms In Business, which is a group that “believes in creating a free support system for moms who are in business so that they can connect with other local mom business owners.” This group is nonpromotional in nature, meaning moms give each other free support and advice. It is not a place to promote your business and services, though you can list yourself in the directory and provide a one time introduction post. They also have organized meet-ups.
The sister group, which I run, is SOFLA Moms Making Sales. My group “assist[s] moms living in South Florida to make more sales through providing an avenue for them promote their businesses & events, create collaborations, develop business relationships, and share leads.” Self promotion, within guidelines, is permitted. It also offers themed days, a directory, a barter opps section, and casual networking events.
There is a local mom, Tera Faso, providing free mom business support services for SOFLA moms on her Facebook page Biz4Moms,LLC. There is also a networking group with SOFLA meet-ups called BizMoms Connections.
For those specifically looking into blogging, connecting with bloggers, making a business from their blog, etc., I also have a free group called South Florida Bloggin Mamas and a free program to help moms make money from their blog called Bloggin Mamas Make Money. Holly is one of our FB group members.
Last, but certainly not the least, is the Super Mom Entrepreneur Conference & Expo that will be coming to SOFLA in February. We will have a special preview event on 10/1/11 with Aliza Sherman and Danielle Smith (Extraordinary Mommy) who will be launching their book Mom Incorporated, alongside the support of some of their author friends.
Now it’s your turn. Do you have a business, a blog, or want to start one? Do you know of any other groups and resources dedicated to mom business owners in SOFLA that I didn’t list?

Heather Lopez is a 30 something, christian, married mom to two toddlers. A blogger & business professional with over 12 years experience, Heather teaches and empowers moms to transform what they do into something both profitable & enjoyable, so that they can have more time and money for their kids, their families, and themselves. Heather lives in Palm Beach County, but works with moms throughout South Florida and nationwide and was named a Leading Mom in Business 2011 by StartupNation. You can connect to Heather via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/HeatherMarieLopez

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