FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 2, 2012

StartupNation.com Honors Nation’s Leading Moms in Business

Market Mommy® Wins Top Honors in Mom Business Competition

Van Wert, OH –– From among thousands of contestants, Market Mommy® has been ranked in StartupNation.com’s 2012 Leading Moms in Business competition (www.startupnation.com/leading-moms-in-business), sponsored by Web.com (www.discover.web.com/) and Sam’s Club (www5.samsclub.com/YourBusiness.aspx). 

Over 350,000 votes were cast in support of the 2012 contestants, reflecting immense interest and supportiveness for moms building businesses at the same time they tend to their families.

“There’s been a sea change among moms as they’ve come to realize that adding entrepreneurship to their lives brings exhilaration and immense gratification, not to mention supplemental—sometimes primary—income to their families in these dicey economic times,” says Rich Sloan, chief startupologist and co-founder of StartupNation.

The 2012 Leading Moms in Business ranking highlights some of the dominant trends, motivations and attributes among moms in business. They include:

  • A great eye for providing attractive discounts, coupons, savings and value, all especially important to consumer moms of the recession era.
  • A likelihood to come up with innovative products and solutions to address the challenging maze of motherhood. It’s an environment that demands resourcefulness.
  • Conscience-driven business, where “doing well” is just fine, but the real rush comes from doing good.
  • The attraction of being your own boss looms large for moms wanting to take control they just can’t find in a day job.
  • Sustainable solutions and responsible business practices are increasingly paramount.
  • Making the most of social media for business benefit is seemingly a birthright for the socially adept moms.

The full results of the 2012 Leading Moms in Business ranking are available on StartupNation’s website at http://www.startupnation.com/leading-moms-in-business.

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About StartupNation

StartupNation (www.startupnation.com) provides over 175,000 pages of business advice and networking for entrepreneurs and serves millions of entrepreneurs annually. StartupNation is a free service founded by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs with the intention of providing a one-stop shop for entrepreneurial success, including blogs from a host of experts, podcasts, webcasts, eBooks such as 23 Hot Businesses to Start Right Now (www.startupnation.com/hot-business/), award-winning step-by-step advice, and more.

StartupNation co-founders, Rich Sloan and Jeff Sloan, are two of the country’s leading small business experts. The Sloan brothers speak frequently at entrepreneurial forums and recently hosted a Public Television special helping people transform their passions into business opportunities. They are authors of StartupNation: Open for Business, published by Doubleday. The Sloan brothers are regularly quoted and featured in media such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune Small Business, Entrepreneur Magazine, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, FOX News and many others.

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For Immediate Release
April 13, 2012

Jessica Welsch’s HopeFULL Company Wins First Ever S.T.A.R. Mom Entrepreneur Award

FWe are SO excited to announce the winner of our S.T.A.R. {successful, tenacious, accomplished, remarkable} Mom Entrepreneur Award! Market Mommy wanted to honor an awesome mom for her continued dedication to her business and her family! Our judges did not have an easy task; we had a ton of exceptional nominees!

Our goal was to honor a leader; someone who is balancing her business and family in a creative way. We asked moms to tell us what sets them apart from the thousands of other mom entrepreneurs, why they are determined to succeed, how they’re helping others and what they’ve done to show the world that they’re confident, remarkable and steadfast!

Here is a snippet from the winner’s nomination form::

Jessica Welsch is a proud hockey mom, volunteer, artist and passionate entrepreneur. She’s driven to excel and make a positive impact in the world. Jessica’s a leader in her children’s school serving on the board and chairing school events. When asked why she’s so happy and successful she’ll give an answer you might not expect, “I wouldn’t be where I am today without my 7+ years of sobriety. I would not be the mother, business partner, friend or colleague I am today without it. I am truly grateful for all the blessings in my life!”

We are overjoyed to announce that Jessica Ann Welsch of The HopeFULL Company is the first-ever Market Mommy S.T.A.R. Mom Entrepreneur! Visit her at the following channels and see why we think she’s such a strong example of entrepreneurship.

The HopeFULL Company

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

And, here’s a little more about her company from the nomination process::

The HopeFULL Company offers kits used to make nutritious and delicious frozen whole food pops at home. Our award winning recipes and products have been developed to help children and adults who are having trouble eating, particularly due to illness, cancer and sensory issues. Our kits come with our patented silicone mold, 20 unique nutritious recipes, 100 birch wood spoon sticks as well as a cooler tote or chef’s hat for little kiddos.

As the winner of the S.T.A.R. Mom Entrepreneur Award, Welsch recieves all of the wonderful prizes supplied by our sponsors listed here.

Honorable Mentions

We had a feeling that there would be a large number of excellent nominees and we were right. So, we are glad that we reserved the right to name up to 5 Honorable Mentions. Our judges have chosen::

Tiffany Krumins:: Elephant Lady LLC 

Desiree Vargas Wrigley:: Give Forward  

Kris Wegener:: Business Observations 

Chrissy Freeman:: Consignment Mommies 

Amanda Lassiter:: Sweet Bella Bakery

We do want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their nominations and offer a sincere congratulations to every nominee. You all are amazing women and doing amazing things in this world! Kudos to you! {You can view all the nominees on our Facebook page}

Alison Price is the owner of Organic Glow, a business that she chooses to run from her home in order to be available to her two small children, ages 4 and 1.5. In 2009, Price began the business selling certified organic products to consumers who seek organic health, body and beauty. She also mentors others in the success of building their own Miessence(r) organic home businesses.

According to Price, balancing work and family takes constant monitoring. “I would not change a thing,” she said. “But, when you are working around kids at home, it’s rare that you find hour long blocks to work, so you really have to make the most of whatever time you do have available.”

Price recommends serious organization followed by daily prioritization. “If you only have 15 minutes here and there to accomplish a couple of tasks you need to know what comes first and have the materials handy to get that job crossed off the list. If you waste time trying to figure out what you are going to tackle, your 15 minutes will be gone.”

“Personally, I always have to remind myself to be patient and to accept that I can only do so much. When I am feeling overwhelmed it’s usually because I have taken on too much and need to scale back or let it go. Family will always be my priority. I enjoy being an entrepreneur and the challenge of it all, so working is really enjoyable for me but at times it just has to take the back seat to life.”

Price said she markets Organic Glow mostly online using Google Adwords, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin groups. “I’m constantly trying to blog, add new content, reach out to other organizations, etc. to get my name out there and build search engine optimization,” she said.

One piece of advice that Price said she learned long ago and likes to share with other mom entrepreneurs is not to try and sell your product to everyone, but rather connect with those who are looking for it. “I try to keep this in mind with every marketing initiative and with every prospective customer I talk to. Listen to what they are looking for and if you are a good fit, provide them a solution,” she said.

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Read more

If you are running your own online business, chances are you’ve needed to outsource some work. If not, you most likely will need to at some point. According to statistics, hiring online contractors has increased 100 percent just since 2010. There is a new service that makes this outsourcing easy and hassle-free.

Ziptask saves you time and money and allows you to effectively grow your business by delegating smaller projects to the right freelancers. No more searching, hiring and training contractors. Ziptask does it for you.

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With Ziptask, you can send almost any type of digital work, from research and proofreading to presentations, Excel sheets and more, off to their global network of top-notch freelancers for completion. Watch the short, informative video here.

Ziptask makes outsourcing easy. There is no interviewing, no interaction via phone or chat required, no emailing back and forth, no language barriers, no hiring or firing, and no management oversight by the customer required. The customer can send projects to Ziptask within seconds, a Ziptask employee assesses the work, assigns to the hyper-specialized worker appropriate for the project, and quality checks the files when completed.  No other competitor in the world has a system such as this.

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Sherrie Tennessee founded her spa Management company, Sherrie Tennessee Consulting – STC in July, 2011. The services she provides include consulting services for those starting or growing a business in the beauty and wellness industry. “In addition, I also teach continuing education courses to massage therapist and spa management courses as an adjunct at various colleges,” she said.

Like others, Tennessee sometimes finds it difficult to balance work and family. “It has been a challenge finding the balance between being an entrepreneur and up until this month a stay at home mom,” she said. “I make the most of nap and bed times, plus I use my support system to switch off child care and allow time for me to work on the business.”

Tennessee prides herself on strong time management skills. “I think that time management is key to success. I have a time chart breaks down my day in 30minute increments. I put in the must do-first; grocery, laundry, work, quality time with family. Then I put in the other items that need to get done, including writing, posting, and creating new leads, it really helps to keep me on track.”

She is encouraging when talking to other aspiring mom entrepreneurs. “My advice to other mom entrepreneurs is to not be afraid to follow your dream. I feel as a mom we are already super hero or she-ro as I like to say. Why don’t we share our talent with the world and earn a living as well?”

For marketing, Tennessee utilizes social media and word of mouth to advertise. She also has a writing blog where she features stories about the companies she has worked with.

STC can be found online, or Tennessee can be reached via e-mail.

Questions from Kara at Maids on the Run

Answers from Shara at Mommy Perks

Q:: What is the best way to grow your numbers on Facebook and Twitter?

A:: I have written numerous articles about Facebook and Twitter. Here are some of them:

Helping you succeed

Facebook tips

Twitter tips

How NOT to use Twitter

Q:: What type of info do people want to follow?

A:: This really depends on what you offer, your gifts and talents, your passions, your audience, etc. I would suggest that you not post information based on what you think others will want to read.

Post information based on what you know and love and do – and let the ‘right’ people find you and then keep them engaged. You currently run a business that offers cleaning services and help for those in need. I would certainly be writing about those things, if I were you: cleaning tips and ideas, top ten lists for your favorite cleaning supplies or cleaning methods, home made remedies for green cleaning solutions, fund-raising ideas that involve cleaning homes (a new fund-raising idea for schools, perhaps?), charity news and updates from your business, families you have helped (no names needed), ideas for kids who want to clean the home for their parents or grandparents, “start your own cleaning business” tips, articles that quote some of your employees and what they enjoy most about helping others (the people they clean for who have a sick family member, etc), your favorite cleaning toys for kids who love to clean (my toddler son loves to help us clean!) and so on.

There are so many fun and informative articles at your fingertips. Take advantage of that for SEO!

Q:: Are giveaways a good idea to get numbers?

A:: Are you running lots of giveaways?

Are you considering a giveaway or review for your business?

Q::If you are blogging, what is the best place to connect with other bloggers?

A:: There are many sites available that connect bloggers. Here are a few:

Mom Central

Mom Vantage

The Blog Frog

Reliable Bloggers

Shara Lawrence-Weiss has a background in education, early childhood, special needs, freelance and marketing. She owns various websites including: Mommy Perks, Kids Perks, Personal Child Stories, Early Childhood News and Resources and Pine Media (co owner). Shara is an active member of her town charity group and a Library Board Member. Learn more about her at Mommy Perks.

Rebecca Nash is the mom behind Rebecca Nash Photography. She started her business on a part time basis in September, 2010. When she moved to London, Ontario last year, she began pursuing it full time after receiving funding through the CYBF (Canadian Youth Business Foundation) in late March 2011.

Her business has multiple facets including wedding photography, portrait photography and fine art photography. “I am also a proud member of the Artisan Group (a celebrity gifting organization) and will have my new line of stationary with Fine Art Images on display in the 2012 MTV Movie Awards Celebrity Gifting Suite and in the Celebrity Swag Bags at the same event,” she said.

Celebrities will be receiving a portrait case trimmed in ribbon from Rebecca Nash Photography this year. Inside a set of 4 4”x5” blank note cards with fine art photos on the cover, corresponding envelopes, a biography card and a gift certificate for a full set of 12 note cards and envelopes of the theme of their choosing. More than any repeat business, Nash hopes to receive photos of celebrities holding her new products to use on her website and in promoting the new line of products.

As part of her fine art photography, she is also collaborating with another local artist on a touring gallery exhibit in honour of the bicentennial of the War of 1812. The exhibit is still in the creation phase but the hope is to have it ready to tour North America in early 2013.

Nash said she finds balance by implementing regular hours for work, family, and me time. “Everyone can understand what’s happening and when. We have special nights for the family too, including movie night and board game night every week that we all look forward to.” She said, “It makes it easier for everyone to focus and respect the time frames.”

Like me, she’s also a big fan of to-do lists. Each week, she prioritizes the list into what must be done immediately, what should get done soon and what will get done sometime. “Then, I use the prioritized to-do list to block in tasks that must get done first and then work the way down the list for all the hours you have available for work. Use a timer to keep you on task and within your time frames!”

Nash encourages organization when talking to other mom entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners. For marketing, she utilizes her website, celebrity gifting, social media, bridal shows and local publications most often.

Rebecca Nash Photography can be found online here.

By Amber Davis

To be successful our businesses must grow! To achieve growth we must find new and innovative ways to market our products and meet new people! Events can be one way to do both!

An event can be as simple as an open house or as elaborate as a Home and Garden Show! I have done both, as well as, other event types that fall in the middle of these spectrums. Most recently I attempted my first large scale event. A home and garden show with over 40,000 attendees. What an amazing opportunity for growth!  In order to determine if an event is worth your time and money you must consider a few things:

  1. What is the traffic flow and does it fit with your target market?
  2. What is the expense vs. traffic flow and amount of time the event is being held?
  3. Do you have the resources to handle the show?

In my case, a Home and Garden show fit my business about 50%. My products consist of three basic lines – a thermal line, a purse line and an organizational line. For this event my target market would be people looking to organize their home or life! Making my display focus on this concept would help draw attention to my products.  I included all my product styles in the display but my core line of organizational products was my main focus.

Secondly, this event was by far, the most expensive I have ever undertaken but with the help of two team members I was able to split the cost and hours needed to work. This was helpful considering the initial investment was so large and having a family of 6 sometimes my hours away need to be carefully considered.  The cost then for me would be 50 % booth rental, all my supplies, my door prize and my time. All in all I was very excited going into the event and worked hard to prepare my literature, recruit packets, hostess packets and products display!

Finally, I felt I did have the resources to handle the large show! My home company provides a ton of training, literature and items needed for the show. Combine that with my 17 years in Direct Sales and I was ready to work the floor!

BRING ON THE SHOW!!!

Once the show hit I was ready! I worked 11-9 day 1 and never ate, drank or sat the entire day. My belief is people won’t feel your approachable if your slouched on a chair in the back of your booth shoving food in your face! I wanted to be ready and approachable for any possible leads! Being from a small farm community I really need to meet new people away from the cornfield I call home! This show was my ticket!

Day one went very well. I had several strong leads for parties, orders and one recruit lead who took home one of my fancy packets!

Day two also went well. I worked 11-6 that day followed by tear down. Needless to say I was exhausted!

I am not an aggressive sales person by nature, nor will I ever be. A wise person once told me “If your friends cross the street when they see you coming your doing something wrong”. I kept that mentality when doing the show. Trying to be approachable but not pushy. Not sure it was my best method as my girls booked 10 firm shows on their days!

I love watching people at events! There are so many different personalities out there! The Type A who barrels into my booth and starts doing her own demonstration for her friends and family! They shy observer who won’t come near me or my booth with a ten foot pole but will look and stare for a long time! To name a few! Knowing how to talk to and approach different personalities is helpful in situations like these! NEVER PRE-JUDGE! You know nothing about this person, their life or the circumstances leading up to this moment! This person could be your next top seller, biggest buyer or strongest hostess leading you to many, many more in home parties! Simply stick to your plan and ASK EVERYONE! “Hi, have you heard of Thirty One? Would you be interested in hosting a show?” Hi, have you heard of our company? Did you know it’s a Christian based company and our name is based on Proverbs 31 and you can be your own boss for $99” Find the conversation starter to fit the situation!

THE FORTUNE IS IN THE FOLLOW UP!
Now the show is over and the key is to follow up with any leads I have.

  1. Any phone numbers who marked “Yes” or “maybe” on their slip will be called.  So far, one home show booked in a neighboring community, one catalog show packet mailed, one order and one recruit packet sent! Plus many messages left!
  2. Any e-mail addresses will be added to my monthly Thoughts, Talks and Trends letter.  This will share specials and product ideas with them monthly.
  3. ALL postal addresses will receive a postcard from me.

The other thing I have done for the month following the show is set up a Home and Garden show party on my site for any attendees to place orders through. This will help me track my income vs. expense from the show.

My experience with the show overall was very successful! Since our company is relatively new in the direct selling industry many people have never heard of it. That itself is very helpful and the fact that we are not even close to our peak in the direct sales lifecycle is amazing! I am still working on the follow up and feel like it will take a month before I can evaluate the true success. My strong lead fell through but LOVED the recruit packet I gave her and plans to duplicate it in her direct selling business! That makes me smile! My favorite part of direct sales is leadership and motivation to my team members! I love watching them grow and achieve their business goals!

My best wishes to you in choosing an event that works for your business!

Amber Davis is a 17 year direct sales associate with The Lonagberger Co. and currently director for at Thirty One Gifts.  Holding a degree in business administration and marketing, she previously worked in the business industry. After the birth of her second child; family took priority over work and she left her full time position. Now a mother of four, she believes firmly in direct Sales and the endless opportunity it provides! “I can’t imagine ever returning to a traditional 9-5 job,” she said. She firmly believes in doing what works for your family. She helps her husband on the family farm and writes her own blog: Adventures in Farm Life. This, she said, is a work in progress and mostly serves to share family photos. In her free time she loves to travel and enjoys volunteering.

When I was asked to review a book about birth, I quickly jumped at the chance! A bit of a birth junkie myself; I’m intrigued by the birth process and the stories of those that experience natural childbirth. In her book, Tracey Rose details her journey from being fearful about birth, to her completely painless natural childbirth using hypnosis.

While I haven’t experienced a painless birth, or used hypnosis, I’ve read quite a bit about the subject and completely believe it’s possible. Rose talks a lot about her education process and how she learned the risks of cesarean sections, induction and medicated birth. I too went down this path of self-education. Unfortunately, my own journey came after an unnecessary c-section.

The results were somewhat similar though. Like Rose, I came to realize I wanted the most healthy and best birth experience possible for not only me, but my baby. I share Rose’s opinion that the best is the most natural. She lists the many side effects and risks associated with surgical and medicated birth. This is great because many moms, especially first-time moms aren’t aware of the potential complications.

Rose admits in her book that medical intervention is sometimes necessary, and she’s grateful that it’s available when needed. I share those sentiments. However, birth is a natural, physiological process that a woman’s body is designed for. One of my favorite quotes that Rose uses in the book is:

“I think one of the best things we could do would be to help women/parents/families discover their own birth power, from within themselves. And to let them know it’s always been there, they just needed to tap into it.”

John H. Kennell, MD

In the book, Rose details her experience with childbirth education classes and how she was able to prepare mentally and physically for the labor and births. She acknowledges the strong role that emotion and fear play and the process of eliminating these fears and fully embracing the emotion.

For example, when using hypnosis for birth, different words are used. Contractions become surges and pushing becomes breathing the baby down. The different word choices help the mother envision a peaceful experience rather than one filled with pain.

Rose gave birth in Australia, so I think there are some minimal differences between the hospitals and medical systems here in the US. Rose depicts her story extremely well. The possibility of a painless birth excites me. Although I don’t expect to have any more children, the book has definitely inspired me to further research hypnosis if I did. If you don’t believe that a painless childbirth is possible, I encourage you to get Rose’s book and learn about the method first-hand. You won’t regret it. Knowledge is power!

The book will be released next week, {you can purchase it here} but I do have one free copy to giveaway! If you’d like to win it, comment here with tell me why! To earn extra entries, like Market Mommy on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, like Natural Childbirth World on Facebook or follow TraceyRoseLive on Twitter. Please leave a comment {including contact information} for each completed task. The giveaway will end on Thursday, May 10 at 11:59 p.m. EST and we’ll draw a winner via random.org.