If you have a son or grandson, you know how hard it is to find boy clothes that are durable, fun and sporty.  The Boy’s Store is dedicated to bringing a wide variety of fashionable and stylish clothing to boys. 

Not many shops can say they exclusively cater to the boy market, but The Boy’s Store can! Their sizes range from six months to junior and they carry brands like: Appaman, Dogwood, Knuckleheads, Mulberribush and Wes and Willy.

On Wednesday, the store’s semi-annual blowout sale starts. Name brand merchandise will be available for up to 75% off. You won’t want to miss it! Last summer, I had the opportunity to review some products from The Boy’s Store and got an awesome shirt for my oldest son. You can see my review here.

I can definitely say they offer top-notch, quality boy’s clothes and accessories! In addition to their blowout sale, they are having a fun mustache contest where you can win gift certificates to their store. Rules are on their website, and entries are via their Facebook page.

*This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to our winner, Aysha – comment #7!

by Jill Salzman

Ever go on a business-book-reading binge?  Every 6 months or so, I put down US Weekly and People and pick up 12 business books.  I don’t really know why.  It’s like a craving, one that fills my corporate curiosity and that hopefully makes me a better businesswoman.

Except that it’s a let-down every time.

Most of them are too heavy on the theory of business.  At least four of them are very badly written and I spend more time correcting grammar mistakes than I do comprehending the content of their pages.  Eleven of them are written by and for men.  And the twelfth?  If it’s authored by a female, which usually means co-authored, she’s a professor or a PHD who’s well-versed in studying the how-to’s but hasn’t done so herself.

So, I sat up one night in bed with that insomniac spark that strikes every so often.  You know what I mean.  The one that hits so hard that you can’t really fall asleep unless and until you write it down.  But the pad of paper is always in another room.  And how can you find the pen in the dark?  But this time was different.  I dragged my tired self to my office where I took out a yellow pad, lined it with numbers, and jotted down 50 chapter ideas in under 10 minutes.  Just like that.  The next day, I began fleshing out the first few ideas…and continued non-stop for two weeks.  There!  I was done. 

Only I really was just getting started.

I knew the book needed to be a quick read.  What parent has time for verses on business theory?  I also wanted it to be in parts.  One part entrepreneurship.  One part parenthood.  And maybe one part resources?  Not there yet.

After cold-calling a billion agencies, I got lucky and found the cleverest agent of them all.  She shopped and shopped and shopped a proposal I put together describing my book.  What with publishing companies in a massive state of flux these days, she got a few offers but they were all terrible.  After a year and a half of searching, I decided to have her stop.  I mean, what could be more entrepreneurial than publishing your own work?  Shouldn’t I endeavor to self-publish so that I could talk about yet another startup? 

So I stopped waiting.  And I self-published.

I created a whole new company and called it Piggott Press.  I hired an editor.  I hired an illustrator.  I hired a book designer.  I found a printing company.  I applied to a distributor — one who only takes 20 percent of applicants — and got in.  Four months later, I was standing at my book launch party autographing copies of my very own book.

WHAT A WHIRLWIND. 

Am I thrilled with the final product?  Absolutely.  Do I hope that it changes the lives of thousands upon thousands of entrepreneurs?  Of course.  Do I wish that a publisher had picked me up instead?  Not in a million years.  And do I hope that Ellen or Rosie or Oprah or Mr. Colbert himself features my book?  My fingers have been crossed permanently since last June.

Introducing…Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs.  “Easy-to-digest suggestions to give mom entrepreneurs the confidence that the business mountain is indeed scalable,” says a columnist at Inc. Magazine.  Here’s hoping you enjoy the fruits of my latest entrepreneurial adventure.

Want to win a copy of Jill’s new book, Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs?  

Giveaway Details!

The winner of this giveaway will receive one copy of Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs. giveaway will officially end on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST. The winner will be chosen by random.org.

To enter, please leave a comment on this post about why you’d like to read this book. After you comment here, you can earn extra entries! {Please leave a separate comment for each, including contact information!}

1.       Like Founding Moms on Facebook

2.       Follow Jill on Twitter

3.       Like Market Mommy on Facebook

4.       Follow Market Mommy on Twitter

5.       Sign up for the Market Mommy rss feed

6.       Sign up for the Market Mommy free e-newsletter

7.       Tweet about the giveaway & tag both @MarketMommy and @foundingmom {daily entries permitted}

Here’s a sample tweet for your convenience!

R u a mom biz owner? Win a copy of A Field Guide For Mom Entrepreneurs from @foundingmom at @MarketMommy #giveaway http://tinyurl.com/85t58hk

Good luck!

Most moms would agree, I think, that diapers take up a lot of space in your diaper bag. Especially when traveling, the space that diapers take up can be excessive. And, how many times have you pulled out a diaper from the bottom of your bag, only to see that it’s covered in crumbs or maybe wet from a leaky sippy cup?

DiaperBuds™ were developed by three sisters, all working moms with nine kids between them, after their need for a compact and hygienic diaper inspired them. . Their vision was clear—to engineer a process that will compact diapers into a small package that saved space and kept the diapers clean in transit. The three moms set out on a mission to make it happen, and through hard work and determination, they have.

They developed a unique folding and shrink wrap process that would not compromise the absorbency and DiaperBuds™ bloomed! Their product has been clinically tested for product quality, and DiaperBuds™ are the recipient of the Parent Tested, Parent Approved seal of Approval.

According to consumers, DiaperBuds™ are very convenient and make a great travel diaper. They are easy to open, don’t leak, have a wide, soft-stretch waist, secure-grip stretch tabs and ultra-soft cover. They are also dermatologist tested for sensitive skin, are fragrance and chemical free and come in recyclable packaging.

The DiaperBuds™ website says that they are:

  • Vacuum-sealed so they take up less space
  • Individually wrapped for cleanliness
  • Blooms into full size disposable diaper
  • Extra absorbent & super soft
  • Fits easily in your purse, bag or pocket
  • Dermatologist tested for sensitive skin

Try them today! You can purchase DiaperBuds™ at Babies R Us, Diapers.com or Amazon!

In recent months, I’ve seen several businesses that have created personal Facebook profiles instead of business pages. In all honesty, it’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine. Facebook very clearly defines the difference, and groups, brands, institutions, businesses, who are using personal profiles are subject to have their profiles disabled, erasing a lot of their hard work.

Facebook is a great way to network and market your business, but it must be done according to Facebook’s policies, or you’re at risk of being banned.  This is especially true if you’re running contests and giveaways on Facebook. You can see all of their rules governing those, here.

Let’s focus on the difference between pages and profiles. Facebook says this in their help section:

Profiles (timelines) represent individuals and must be held under an individual name, while Pages allow an organization, business, celebrity, or band to maintain a professional presence on Facebook. You may only create Facebook Pages to represent real organizations of which you are an authorized representative.

In addition, Pages are managed by admins who have personal Facebook profiles (timelines). Pages are not separate Facebook accounts and do not have separate login information from your profile (timeline). They are merely different entities on our site, similar to how Groups and Events function. Once you have set up a Page within your profile (timeline), you may add other admins to help you manage this Page. People who choose to connect to your Page won’t be able to see that you are the Page admin or have any access to your personal account.

Profiles::        

  • Can be created by anyone, over age 13
  • Other users become friends of other profiles
  • Can upload pictures, update their status, create events and invite people to become friends
  • A Facebook Profile can upload pictures, videos, status updates, and can invite people to become friends

Pages:: 

  • Are designed for businesses, products, organizations, brands and celebrities
  • Other users can ‘like’ a page to follow their updates and posts
  • Can upload pictures, videos, create events and post status updates
  • Can track metrics, such as the number of likes, page views, interactions and demographics of users
  • Can not invite other members to ‘like’ the page
  • Can add free applications to run contests or for other features

As you can see, there are some differences and definite benefits to creating an actual business page for your business. The biggest benefit, I would say is the metrics you can track. This is extremely beneficial when you’re investigating how effective your page is.

 

I, personally, never ‘friend’ a business. If someone has created a profile instead of a page, I do not accept their request. I am pretty thorough at keeping my business page and postings separate from my personal profile. I do not know who is actually administering these profiles that were created incorrectly and therefore I do not want them to see my personal posts, pictures of my children, etc. When you accept a friend request from a business, you are allowing them access to all of your personal updates, pictures and posts. I’m sure this is one of the many reasons Facebook has clearly defined the two.

 

If you have incorrectly formed a profile, I’d recommend you start switching it over to a page as soon as possible. You will most likely enjoy the expanded capabilities, and you definitely want to make a change before Facebook makes the change for you and disables your page!

Watch for more Facebook related posts in the near future, we’re working on exploring other topics that will be of value to you and your business. Do you have specific questions related to Facebook marketing? Leave them in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer them for you!

Angel Tucker is an Expert Personality Profiler, Best-Selling Author, Corporate Trainer, Media Resource and National Speaker. She has 20 years of experience in her field, but started her own business, CHBC Personality Profiles, LLC, in August of 2003.

Her advice to other aspiring mom business owners is to find something that you are passionate about and start there. She also recommends seeking help from the Small Business Administration. “Write down what you want to achieve each year at the beginning of the year and don’t let other things steer you off course!” she said.

Tucker said that she utilizes social media and HARO to market her business. In addition, she offers a free newsletter, a tip of the week and daily advice on Facebook. “The key is to provide a service without catches and the business will come,” she said.

To learn more about Tucker, visit her website, blog or find her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube.

From Mindee Doney (Boogie Wipes® and Juicebox Idea Consulting)

I occasionally run into a Mom so disappointed with her business results, she can hardly muster the energy for another email, another sales call or another tweet.  Typically, after some analysis of her character, where she is, where she was and where she wants to go, I discover without fail her disappointment stems from expectations that did not hit her target.

All too often it’s the target’s fault, not hers.  We spend some time reviewing what she thought would happen when she spent her mad money on business cards and a postage machine.  Her expectations are through the roof and unrealistic for a small business just starting out. She has usually had many moments of guts and glory to be proud of and yet they did not line up to where she thought she would be leading her to feel defeated.

Unfortunately, there are more glorified stories of Moms in business than there is truth of how they got there. The media, blogs and events you attend show Moms smiling and sugar filled with their moments of success and reward. They tell of selling a product or service online, at a tradeshow, on etsy, through friends. Then landing a storefront, a local chain and then a retail giant like Babies”R”Us.  Their intentions are admirable to the moon and back!  They want to encourage YOU to try, to start to enjoy and give what you have to offer with your business idea.

It’s a wonderful thing that we do all need to hear from time to time.  Usually, however, these Mompreneurs are often not given the time or the platform to share details of the “other side” of the story.  Every action has an equal opposite reaction. They ALL had their own moments of disappointment, shifting gears, re-thinking and head scratching about how exactly they ended up on their dining room floor stuffing packages at 1:30 in the morning…..and still not making a profit.  

We can’t change the fact that everyone wants to hear the happy side of running your own business. We don’t really want to change that anyway. It’s good stuff. What we can change, however, is our level of discouragement and disappointment while moving through these inevitable tough spots.  I usually find it’s a  pretty easy fix with most of the clients I work with.  We start by making an “I Expect” list like this one:

–          I expect to be up late at night a few nights a week working on my business.

–          I expect to spend $1200 on a tradeshow and maybe only generate a sale or two.

–          I expect it will take me at least a year to be able to pay myself a salary.

–          I expect my family and friends will help me work in the business sometimes.

–          I expect to be selling in 3 local boutiques within 3 months of receiving my first order.

–          I expect to have 10 repeat customers within the first 6 months.

–          I expect to meet a lot of new people and take in many new experiences.

–          I expect to have my product featured on 4 blogs by the end of the year.

–          I expect to have 300 facebook likes by this summer.

These are just examples but you get the idea. Each business model is different. This exercise will help align your expectations going into your journey so when you hit the speed bumps you feel prepared. You were ready, you can understand what you need to do to push through them and move onto the next step. It will also give you some goals to go back and reflect on and you will no doubt find some places to feel accomplished and proud. 

Especially the first few years, focus on the personal rewards for you and your family, and your career as much as the monetary.   I expect if you align your expectations often enough, you just might find yourself on the shelves of Target® …with a smile on your face.

Mindee Doney: Author, Inventor (Boogie Wipes®), Idea Consultant.Tired of chasing her kids runny noses, Mindee herself ran with an idea she had for a saline infused nose wipe she called a Boogie Wipe ®. In 2007, she partnered with Julie Pickens and by 2011 grew her concept, to $12 million in sales, with distribution to 50,000 retail locations in 8 countries.  She managed all PR, marketing and branding herself and landed Boogie Wipes® on the Today Show, The Big Idea with Donny Deutch, Good Morning America, in People Magazine, The NY Times and countless others.  She is the author of Get your Own Juicebox – Confident Moms raising Capable Kids (May, 2012) and consults an exclusive group of start-ups through her company Juice Box Consulting. 

By Tasha Williams-Jordan

Lose weight, improve your blood sugar levels, drop your blood pressure and cholesterol and get paid doing it? To make it even more exciting a new skincare product called Ageless will be added this month. What a winning combination…It doesn’t get any better than this! See how we are doing it!

THE OPPORTUNITY —>>> Skinny Body Care

Skinny Body Care offers an opportunity for the average person to earn income by becoming a Skinny Body Care Distributor sharing a five minute movie anywhere around the world. With the most lucrative compensation plan in the industry to put money in your pocket fast and long-term, coupled with the best weight management product on the market, it’s no surprise that Skinny Body Care is the fastest growing company in the industry! By adding Ageless to our portfolio this will help to attract and retain new customers as well as Distributors increasing the business volume. More business volume means more money!

With Skinny Body Care, you can earn income eight different ways!

1. Powerline Bonus

2. Retail Bonuses

3. Fast Start Bonus with Infinity Overrides

4. Long Term Residual Income to Matrix Commissions

5. Infinity Matching Bonuses

6. Monthly Leadership Pools

7. Rank Achievement Bonuses

8. The Bentley Club

To learn more about the pay plan, watch this five minute movie, fill out the form and take the free tour to see how it works. Click here.

THE PRODUCT —->>> Skinny Fiber

Skinny Fiber is a healthy, stimulant-free fat burning blend manufactured in the USA in a green facility. It is an all-natural, plant based enzyme weight loss formula. It:

– Detoxifies the body and flushes away ugly toxins

– Slows down skin aging

– Helps break down fat for weight loss

– Improves blood sugar imbalances

– Digests cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood

– Melts away stubborn fat

– Releases sexy energy

– Gently boosts metabolism

– Reduces Cravings

– Flattens Your Tummy

– Eat Less and Feel Full!

To order the Skinny Fiber product, click here. One bottle is $59.95, buy two bottles get one free for $119.85, or buy three bottles and get three free for $179.70. Shipping and handling is additional for all orders.

THE PRODUCT —–>>> New Ageless Skincare Line (Launching February 25)

Ageless is all natural and includes the following rejuvenating ingredients:

– Collagen

– Elastin

– Aloe Vera

– CoQ10

– Glycosaminoglycans

– Vitamins, minerals and extracts from 12 of nature’s finest rejuvenating fruits and vegetables.

According to the CEO of Skinny Body Care, “This skin care product flat out rocks! Men, women and children around the world will want our new product!”

If you ever wanted to be involved with a company in the beginning, this your chance. Skinny Body Care is only a year old and has already accomplished what took other companies years to do. Skinny Body Care is changing the industry with an easy to duplicate system, unbeatable compensation plan, dynamic leadership, tremendous amount of training and support. We are winning! Join us on our road to 100,000 in 2012.

*This blog post is a sponsored post, purchased as part of an advertising package.

Michelle Murray is the bereaved mother of Tyler Jason, who passed away in March 2006. He was only seven weeks old when he died and Murray wanted to have a proper baby book for him that would serve as a memorial of his short life.

So, she decided to create and self-publish one. “I Will Hold You In My Heart Forever – A Baby Book for Little Angels” is what Murray produced, under the umbrella of her company Forever Heart Publishing.

In addition to running her website and selling her book, Murray also works full-time as an x-ray technologist and two other children at home. “Balancing all of this on my plate sometimes can be a juggling act,” she admits. “My father helps me a lot with the book as I am not home to do the shipping.”

“I really feel that this book is helping mothers who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. There are a lot of mothers out there who suffer from a loss of a child. Having been through the grief of losing a baby I know more than anything that people want to talk about this precious baby that was a major part of their life,” she said. According to Murray, bereavement professionals who have looked at the book feel that it helps mothers with the grief process.

Murray is happy that Tyler’s legacy is helping other families through their grief and that something special has come from his short life.

You can find Forever Heart Publishing online and on Facebook.

By Heather Lopez

When I was in college, I was not on Facebook yet. It really wasn’t existent at the moment, at least not on my campus. I did a lot of IM’ing via AOL and MySpace messages. In some ways, I kind of miss those days because it was okay to have a profile that really spoke to me as a person. Plus, it was cool to swap your pics and profiles whenever you wanted to.  Oh yes, and the ability to play music from your profile was awesome. However, when the shift to Facebook happened, the noise and individuality got cut out a bit. Apparently, dull colors and rigid formatting appeal to the masses. And yet, because of the attraction of the masses, we are able to connect with so many more real people than before. But, are they real friends?

One thing I remember was that on MySpace, people would try to get the most friends they possibly could and the top positions on someone’s friends list were very valuable. On Facebook, those things don’t matter as much, at least not for individuals. Facebook caps you at 5,000 total friends and likes from your personal profile, because the personal profile is not really supposed to be for business. Businesses care about likes, interactions, comments and top favorite positioning on the side of the page wall. However, a majority of people use social media to develop social relationships, not for business. So as a business owner, there are some things we need to consider when planning our social media outreach.

This takes me to the questions: Are these social relationships, real relationships? And, where does business come into play?

According to a study released last year by Pew Internet, people using Facebook have more trusting and close relationships, more social support, and are more likely to revive relationships from the past. Let me analyze these three areas a bit more.

More Trusting and Close Relationships: This means that Facebook users exhibit more trust in people than others and have more people that they can trust in. While you used to be able to create a persona for yourself online, it is much harder on Facebook.  If you are fake, you will be called out. If you spam, you will be removed. Facebook, especially with the timeline, makes you more transparent. It also allows for in person connections via events.  In this sense, your relationships on Facebook are real.  Business Lesson: If people begin to know, like and trust you via Facebook, they will more likely purchase something from your business when you present it. You just have to make sure the focus is not always getting their money from their wallets. You want to develop reciprocal and real relationships with your followers and if you can then apply that to your business page, you can generate even more income. When people like your page and interact with it, they will more likely purchase from you.

More Social Support: When you are going through something, you can now turn to Facebook to vent or gain support from others for your cause, purpose, etc. You have access to a lot more friends than you would’ve just trying to go through your phone book. Plus, because of the Facebook algorithm, your status is seen by those who interact with and support you the most. Those who support you consistently may eventually be considered real friends even if you have never met them in person or IRL (In Real Life).  Business Lesson: Facebook can allow you to gain more support for something you are wishing to share. It can also allow you to express a viewpoint tor opinion that is important to you, and weed out those who are constantly in disagreement. If you make people feel part of your growth, and show them how they benefit from it, they will take on helping you without a ton of direction.

More Likely to Revive Dormant Relationships: 

You know you have done it- searched for people you went to high school with. Facebook has changed the shock factor of high school reunions. People are able to connect with so many people from their past and across so many borders. If the dormant relationship was pleasant, then the individuals will have fond memories they would wish to rekindle. If it was a strong relationship, like a best friend or a first love, the person will be more likely to trust the person even if they haven’t seen them in years. You can revive relationships with people you once knew and these would be real friends that you knew IRL before Facebook. Business Lesson: You can seek out people you have developed relationships with in the past and share with them what you are doing now, without making a sale. They may begin sharing your things to support and regain that connection with you that they once had. You don’t have to look at them as a prospect, but you can welcome their support in helping you grow. This especially applies when you are reciprocal in the support.

Overall, Facebook Friends can now be considered real friends whom you can trust in, be closer to, gain support from, and reconnect with. When you develop your relationships first, you can then focus on your profit second, as this will more naturally flow when you have a group of supporters.

Heather Lopez, aka The Social Commerce Mom, specializes in relationship marketing both online and off.  She is the CEO of Heather Lopez Enterprises LLC, where she is responsible for several events, websites, trainings, and services targeting moms and those seeking to market to moms. Heather empowers moms to create their own financial freedom through business or blogging so that they may have more time for what they treasure most. She is also a 30-something mom to two rambunctious toddlers and wife to one entrepreneurial-minded husband.  You can connect with Heather here.  

 

As a marketing professional {and as a woman} my favorite part of the Super Bowl is always the commercials. And, of course, the half time show. I always find it fascinating how large corporations choose to express their brands, considering they’ve spent millions to do so.

Now, it’s obvious that none of us here will ever be advertising on Super Bowl night. Nationally, anyway. However, you may have been lucky enough to scoop up one of the few local spots that were available. If you were, I hope your spot looked better than some of our local promotions. Sad. I digress ….

So, what were your favorite commercials from last night? And, what did they teach you, or fail to teach you about marketing? I think the biggest lesson to be learned is impact. When spending a significant amount of money, make sure your ad will be effective and make an impact. While we remember many of the spots from last night, many more are already forgotten. And, sadly enough they spent the same amount of money, maybe even more when you consider production.

I really enjoyed the M&M commercial, the Doritos baby and the Pepsi spot was great too. I liked many others, but those were probably my top three.

Another advertising strategy that was apparent last night was the use of celebrities. Obviously, it’s much more common when it comes to these high budget projects, but you can make that work for you as well. Network and align your brand with those who are well-known in your niche or in your community. An endorsement from someone popular can go a long way. Or, perhaps you could try celebrity gifting. Maybe a famous celebrity will endorse you indirectly by using, wearing or displaying your products. {We published a guest post last week about making the most of celebrity gifting here.}

Granted, we probably won’t see celebrities like Elton John, Mark Cuban or Clint Eastwood in your ads like we did those on Super Bowl Sunday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use celebrities to push your brand.

It probably wouldn’t be a regular Super Bowl without a little bit of controversy, right? {It wasn’t just in the half-time show this year.} Ford asked GM to cancel their commercial mimicking the apocalypse, but they ignored the request and aired it last night anyway. You can read more about the GM vs. Ford debate here, but basically GM directly called out its competitor. They aren’t shying away, stating that the Chevy Silverado is the most reliable, longest-lasting truck on the road.

It was a brazen act, but admirable. Although I don’t usually recommend directly undercutting your competitors, if you’re going to do so you better have the data and the proof to back it up. That wasn’t the only clever thing GM did last night. They also incorporated technology and a giveaway. If you downloaded their app, you had a chance to win a new vehicle. Who doesn’t like a giveaway? This is an example of another easy marketing strategy that you can incorporate into your plan. You won’t be giving away cars, but giving away some of your own products can be beneficial.

So, what do you think? What did you enjoy and not enjoy about the marketing on television last night? Let us know in your comments!