Market Mommy:: When and why did you found your business?
Melanie:: My name is Melanie Stewart and I am the Co-Founder and CEO of Compliance Partners, Inc. d/b/a CPI Experts and M&M Consumer Products, Inc. Compliance Partners, Inc. d/b/a CPI Experts was founded in 2001. My son was 6 years old and I wanted to have flexibility with my time so that I could be more involved in his life.
I co-founded M&M Consumer Products, Inc. in 2009 because I was not able to find products on the market that addressed certain health and beauty issues that I was having. I invented cuesTM, FooteezTM and The SASSI System as a result.
Market Mommy:: How long did it take before you felt successful?
Melanie:: It took about 2 years before I felt successful.
Market Mommy:: How do you define success?
Melanie:: I define success as owning my own business and living the life that I want to live.
Market Mommy:: How do you balance parenting with running your business?
Melanie:: My family is my top priority! I keep my family’s calendar with my work calendar so that I can make sure that I don’t schedule client site visits that would interfere with my son’s school events. There are many days that I will work during the time my son is in school and then complete my daily tasks in the evenings when he has gone to bed.
Market Mommy:: When did you break the six-figure threshold?
Melanie:: I broke the six-figure threshold in 2004 with CPI Experts.
Market Mommy:: What business strategies contributed to your success?
Melanie:: Creative and flexible payment arrangements for the consulting services provided to CPI Experts clients. This allows small hospitals with limited budgets to purchase the consulting services that they need.
M&M Consumer Products is a niche product company. We develop products that are solutions for specific health and beauty needs.
Market Mommy:: What specific marketing efforts really paid off for you?
Melanie:: I tried several marketing strategies when I started CPI Experts. These included mailers and cold-calls. None of these strategies really worked. The best marketing for CPI to date has been referrals from satisfied clients.
With M&M Consumer Products, the best marketing has been getting our products featured on daily give-away and “coupon” sites. Networking with people in the beauty and health industry as well as bloggers is also proving to be very beneficial.
Market Mommy:: What advice do you have for moms who are just starting out on their entrepreneur adventure?
Melanie:: There are several pieces of advice that I would give anyone just starting out:
o Believe in the success of your service/product
o Be true to yourself
o Don’t under sell your worth
o Be persistent
This post is part of a new series on Market Mommy, Achieving $uccess. These posts detail the journey these mom entrepreneurs have taken to reach sales of six figures and beyond. How do they balance it all? What strategies have worked for them? What advice do they have for you, the new mom entrepreneur? Follow our blog for many more Achieving $uccess stories in the near future.