I started a business, I teach online at Rutgers University, I am actively writing a book with a dear friend, I blog like a fiend here and for the Huffington Post. As a single and divorced mom my life is hectic, add in the life of a entrepreneur and it gets a little nutty. Building an empire is as exhausting as it is exciting, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I have learned a few lessons in these last few months that I think can help any new momprenuer out there looking to build a business.
You need a strong internet presence with a professional website and blog
Every potential customer and client is going to want to check out your website. Make sure your information is well written and talks to people as human beings. Your website should have an internal blog that you update about once per week, articles that explain your core business areas, and videos showing your personality.
Every small business owner needs to be promoting on Social Media
Many small business owners tell me they do not have time to promote their small business on social media. Often they roll their eyes and share they do not know how to get started. Unfortunately, in today's world, small business owners do not have a choice but to get up and running on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. In fact, because of the time crunch most small business owners face, I created my service to help them out and priced it so it fits into their marketing budget (its $25 a month).
You can never network enough and don't forget the business cards
I am constantly at networking events meeting new small business owners, promoting my business, and speaking to groups. I love talking about my work, what I do professionally, and how I can help other small business owners. I am relentless about exchanging business cards for future follow-up and also they remind me of who I have met at the event. Take every opportunity to stand up and talk about your company when the opportunity is given. This week I was at an event that went to an open mike segment and I couldn't get to the mike quick enough - it gave me a great opportunity afterwards to network. I wish I had started networking months ago.
You need a way to send people information about your company
After every networking event I send each person I met an invitation to join my mailing list. Then, about once per week I use this list to send out information on an upcoming talk I may be giving or send out my newsletter. Capturing email addresses is a long slow build. Make sure to set yourself up with a service that can help you automate this process.
Put good people around you
I have a business coach who is worth his weight in gold (thank you Marcus Padulchick), a group of friends who each truly believe I have unlimited potential and a boyfriend who is the happiest person in the world and a great personal cheerleader (and who shares a commitment to no drama). I carefully selected the perfect partner to write my book with. Life is good, better because of those around me.
I am living my own personal dream. Sometimes that dream demands that I stay up until all hours of the night but I am up for the task. I am organized, scheduled, and make sure I take a break to spend lots of time with my three daughters, my boyfriend and small group of friends who often gather around my dining room table. I meditate, exercise, and read. I do not watch TV. I do love to watch movies. It all works for me as I build.