Hi Everyone! I’m proud to say that the Baby Fair this past weekend was a success! It was BUSY even though it was a little dreary outside. I’m happy to say that I generated a lot of interest in Announcements Galore {especially thanks to our scratch off discount cards from Karen at MyScratchOffLabels}! And, the women LOVED the basket donated by Market Mommy and all of you wonderful mom entrepreneurs who contributed.

The winner of the basket was Amber S. and the winner of the $50 gift certifciate was Kelsey M. Both are great prizes, but Amber is really getting a treat! Below are all the great items included in the basket and their generous donors. Please be sure to check them out, they are all fabulous!

Baby Fair Prize Basket Included::

Gift Card to from Candi at Care4Hire
Necklace and Earrings from Erica at The Jewelry Stylist
‘So You Want to be a Work at Home Mom?’ From Jill at CWAHM
My First Photo Album Laura at Board Book Albums
Two Aprons and Tea Towels from Michelle at Cupcake Swirl
Baby’s First Journal from Lindsay at Glow Baby
Onesie from Robin at Grandma’s Shoppe
Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten! Book Series from Stacey at Cedar Valley Publishing
Scratch Off Baby Shower Games from Karen at My Scratch Off Labels
Bag and Organic Bath Mitt from Jules at AmoliaMae
Notebook from Market Mommy 😮)
Thanks again everyone!!

It’s finally Friday and tomorrow is the big Baby Fair that I am participating in. It seems like I’ve been preparing for the fair for years when it’s actually only been a few months. It should be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it. Stay tuned because next week I plan to post details about all the great mom entrepreneurs who donated prizes for my gift basket and hopefully some photos too!

Anyway, since it’s the eve of the Baby Fair, I thought I’d offer a few tips for participating in such events. Whether you are attending a craft fair, baby fair, tradeshow or another event, all of these things apply.

Choose the right fair:: First and foremost you need to make sure you are attending a relevant event. If you sell animal products, don’t attend a tradeshow for beauty companies, etc. A lot of effort and money can go into participating in an event, so make sure you do your research upfront and ensure it’s a good place for you to be.
Follow the rules:: All shows and fairs will have their own set of guidelines, restrictions, requirements, policies and so on. Make sure you read them and do what they ask. You don’t want to be booted at the last minute for failure to comply.
Signage:: This is critical! You want everyone walking through the doors to know who you are and why you are there. Your entire display is important, but eye catching and descriptive signage will go a long way in attracting people to your booth. {As always, be sure everything coordinates with your branding and company logo!}
Takeaway:: Make sure you have something that visitors can take away with them. Whether it be a small sample, a promotional item, a business card or a coupon, they need to walk away with something concrete. Or, sad to say, they probably will never remember to give you a second thought, even if they initially wanted to.
Giveaway:: Raffling off a product or gift certificate is always a sure way to generate excitement and interest in your booth. And, since you’ve already done your research, you know that the audience is appropriate 😀 Plus, this is a great tool to grow your mailing list. If they are interested in winning your product, they most likely will be interested in receiving your updates, coupons, etc.
Touch and feel:: Tradeshows and fairs are a great opportunity to showcase your products up close and in person. So, make sure you have plenty of them! Potential customers want to see, touch and feel what you have to offer. This is literally the best way to show off your quality and craftsmanship.

Here’s to a great weekend!!

What do you consider your most important piece of marketing material? Your catalog? Your packaging? Your advertisements? Your fliers? How about your business card? Have you considered how important that little card is to your image?

Often, your business card is the first impression of your company and yourself. Are you proud of what you are handing out? Will potential customers and business partners take you seriously when they first see your cards? Business cards are probably the cheapest marketing materials you’ll ever purchase.

Sometimes, I’m sure; you distribute cards to people without even meeting them first. That makes your business cards even more critical. Are they attractively designed? Do they contain all of the information that they should? In addition to your name and title, you want to include ALL of your contact information. Phone numbers, e-mail addresses and websites are all important. Potential customers need to know how to find you.

Usually, there is even enough room for a coupon code or special promotion. That gives your audience an even better reason to keep a hold of your card.

Don’t have business cards yet? Need to update your current ones? Market Mommy can help. For a mere $25 we can design a great card for you that incorporates your brand and all the critical pieces of information. We can also provide printing services. Contact us today to see how we can help create an attractive, professional business card for you.

I am so excited to announce the first annual Holiday Gift Guide at Market Mommy! The 2009 gift guide is sure to be the best around because it will feature the best mom entrepreneurs! For a full list of details and to reserve your spot, click here. Listings start at just $5 so there is NO reason not to secure yours today!

This is a great way to get additional exposure for your products! We are planning a big media announcement as well as additional advertsising, so we are anticipating heavy traffic! Where else can you get three months of advertising for only $5? Feel free to contact us with questions!

Laura Miranti, CPA is the owner and founder of Board Book Albums, LLC. She officially formed her business in April 2008 after discovering first-hand the need for a board book photo album for small children.

When her daughter was only 1 year old, it became evident that she was behind other children her age developmentally. A therapist recommended making her a photo album full of photos of family, toys and other familiar objects. Her daughter, Lucia, immediately tore up the album she had put together and Laura began searching for a kid friendly album.

Soon, she had the idea to create and album with a sturdier, board book design and after trying to create it herself, was on the hunt for a manufacturer that could help her make her vision a reality. It wasn’t long before she had a prototype that she was completely excited about.
“I am so excited about having my own business!” Laura said. Over the past couple of years, she has put every one of her spare moments toward creating her business and her company. “Starting my own business has taught me that I can do anything that I set my mind to, even if it seems like a daunting task at the beginning,” she said.

While Laura admits that it is easy to get overwhelmed, it’s important to focus on the small victories and accomplishments along the way. She is married and has three children, Slone 12, Marren 9, Lucia 3 and a baby girl due in November.
“Family has always been my first priority,” she said. She also emphasized the importance of multi-tasking. “You have to be organized and use your free time for the business.”
Laura said that she hopes many children will enjoy her products, including children with autism, speech delay or other special needs. More about Board Book Albums can be found here and you can purchase albums here.

Mommy Monday is a regular feature on Market Mommy:: The Blog. If you know a great mom business owner that should be featured here, contact Dawn at [email protected] and put Mommy Monday in the subject line!

Happy Friday 😎

Today, I want to make the official announcement about our upcoming Autumn Blog Party! Just like the Labor Day party, it will run for six days and include features on a variety of mom owned businesses. And, of course there will be more FANTASTIC prizes to win!
Thanks to everyone who supported the last party! We had a great response! We are working to make this party even better! This weekend I’m closing submissions, so if you think your business would make a good participant, e-mail me asap.

The party will run October 5 – 10 here at The Blog. Be sure to tell all your friends! You can become a facebook fan and RSVP and invite your friends here.

I won’t deny that small, mom owned businesses are generally among the best when it comes to customer service. Kudos to you! However, a recent experience made me think it wasn’t such a bad topic to bring up here.

In a previous life I was a waitress and let me tell ya, dealing with cranky pizza eaters at 11:30 p.m. wasn’t always fun. However, I’d like to think it taught me some important lessons that I’ve carried with me through both my professional and personal lives.

It is extremely important that you are not only considerate to your customers, but available and accomodating as well. Below are just a few of my favorite customer service tips.
  • Be accessible! Your website should list not only an e-mail address but also a phone number so that you can be reached if need be. If someone can’t contact you with a question, they most likely aren’t going to feel comfortable sending their hard-earned money to you.
  • Respond! I know you have your own, busy life with kids and tons of responsibilitie. And, I’m not saying that you need to respond to every e-mail within minutes of receipt, but within 24 hours would be good.
  • Be graceful! Don’t argue, it’s not worth losing a customer, or future customers over. Even if you don’t feel as though you did anything wrong, be understanding and helpful.
  • Listen! When a customer contacts you with a complaint or a compliment, listen! What they have to say is important and could give you crucial insight to what your customers want and what they expect. This can only help you!
  • Go the extra mile! Once you have a customer, keep them! It’s the little things, like a thank-you note included with the order, or future discounts for referrals, etc. that will keep them coming back!
Hopefully this was helpful, and at the very least reminded you about some important aspects of customer service. Have a great {or horror} customer service story to share? Leave a comment or e-mail us!

P.S. We still have a few spots open for our upcoming Autumn Blog Party. If you are a mom business owner who would like to be featured, contact me for details. And, while you’re at it become a fan on Facebook for great updates an insider info ;o)

I just finished this ad today for Sherri-Lee at Mail4Kids. It’s for a special publication for seniors that she’s advertising in. I think it turned out pretty great, and I thought you might all like to see, too. You can visit Market Mommy for great, low-cost marketing services. And, you can visit Mail4Kids for an educational and unique gift for children!

I love Wordless Wednesdays ….. gives my brain a break ;o)

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming …….

Are you looking for another way to network and promote your business? Silly question, I know, aren’t we all? I recently came across Abbey at Living My MoMent and I think you should check the site out as well! Abbey is the mother of one toddler and is expecting her second child the first week of December.

Living My MoMent started earlier this spring and is already growing by leaps and bounds! The site’s name has two meanings. The first one is living in the moment and not focusing too much on what the future will hold. Living your life day to day and cherishing the moments you have with your children right now. The other meaning is how important it is to stress the MoM part of the word MoMent because that is what the site is all about; helping other MoMs out and being their support system.

The site is geared towards MoMs and their most popular advertising option is the FREE one for MoMbusinesses and MoMblogs. The site features your logo, a write up about your company and products and mentions of special promotions or other networking sites you belong to. The website also provides MoMgiveaways, MoMreviews (of products), a listing of MoMblogs and other great MoMadvertising Options.

According to Abbey, she loves running Living my MoMent because it allows her to be able to do something that she is passionate about and she gets the opportunity to stay home with her children and raise them. “ The flexibility is great because I can work pretty much whenever I want and the only person I have to answer to is myself. The other thing that I love is being able to connect with other MoMs and see what they are doing to be able to stay at home with their children,” she said.

Like a lot of moms, Abbey gets the majority of her work done while her daughter is asleep. However, she said she always protects her weekends as family time. “I make sure that Saturdays and Sundays are family days and resting days. I love what I do and I have learned from past jobs that you can’t focus completely on your business because then you will get burned out. Having a weekend off can refuel me for the upcoming week,” she said.

“ My word of advice is to love your business because the hard times will come and go but if you continue loving what you do then it will all be worth it in the end,” Abbey concluded.