By Abbey Fatica

This will be a Multi-Part Series about how to secure funding for your startup and what else can happen in the funding world? I will be discussing my own personal journey and the *MANY* steps it has taken to even get my foot in the door (or even next to the door). The goal of this funding series is to show fellow Women Entrepreneurs the process of getting VC (Venture Capitals) and Angel Investors to provide your start up with the seed capital you need to succeed.

Where to start? Ok so you’re thinking “I’ve got this great idea and I want the world to know about my product/service and USE it.” But where the heck do I start? There are so many options and steps that the world of funding can get quite confusing.

Let’s start with the basics: Before you even start researching investment firms, grants, angel investors, incubators, etc, you have got to get your business plan, financials and executive summary in order.

If you are serious about making your idea into a viable business and want to gain the attention of investors then you have really got to know your stuff.

First, come up with a business plan that outlines the following:

– Company Summary
– Products/Service
– Customer Problem
– Your Solution
– Management Team
– Sales/Marketing Strategy
– Competitors
– Competitive Advantage
– Target Market
– Revenue Model

Once you have this business plan in place in FULL DETAIL and I mean get it as detailed as possible then begin to draft your Financial Projections and how you plan to use your funds.

The following are the aspects of a Financial Projection:

– Capital Raised to Date
– Capital Seeking
– Pre-Money Valuation
– Monthly Burn Rate
– Current Monthly Revenue
– Revenue Driver
– Next Four Years of Projections (Revenue, Expenditures, Profit)
– Where and How do you plan on spending their money?

The last piece of the puzzle is a short one/two page Executive Summary. The Summary is just a shortened version of your Business Plan.

This includes the pieces mentioned above and also:

– Potential Strategic Partnerships
– Social Media Links
– Contact Information

Want to see how I have put together our Business Plan, Financials and Executive Summary then feel free to take a look at Gust.com.

The next part of the series will discuss where and what to search for when it comes to your investor options. I will then delve deep into each of the areas and tell you personal stories about each of these arenas.

This series is a means to help you completely break down how to get funding. It’s definitely not an easy process and we don’t want to discourage you from following your dream but securing funding is a full time job. Just remember that the results will just make the journey that much sweeter!

Abbey Fatica balances her time everyday between her husband, three kids and her businesses. Yes, businesses! Ever since she started working from home and being her own boss in 2009, she has started companies like Living Your Moment and TrackerSphere working with brands and bloggers enhancing her clients visibility through social media channels. Her newest venture includes writing a nine part book series called Life Well Blogged, a collection of humorous blog posts. While she is all over on social media, you follow her currently on Twitter @LifeWellBlogged and on Facebook at Life Well Blogged.

Life Well Blogged is a collection of hilarious blog posts written by Abbey Fatica and Monica Merrill-Mylet.

From their site:

“Who among us has the time to read every hilarious blog out in the blogosphere?

We didn’t even have close to this amount of time let alone time to make sure that we get a shower in each day, cleaning our houses, raising our children and running our businesses.

Life Well Blogged was born! This e-book series is a collection of the funniest blog posts out there that are waiting for people to laugh along with these great personal experiences.”

The series now has three books available to easily download on your Nook or Kindle, or purchase in paperback! The fourth is set to be out very soon.  Here’s the scoop::

Kindle:
*No Laughing Allowed
*To Bliss and Back
*Holly Daze: Underachiever Extraordinaire

Paperback:
*No Laughing Allowed
*To Bliss and Back
*Holly Daze: Underachiever Extraordinaire

Nook:
*No Laughing Allowed
*To Bliss and Back
*Holly Daze: Underachiever Extraordinaire

And, next week, on April 2, Parenting Gag Reel – Hilarious Writes and Wrongs will be released. The Life Well Blogged series has given a portion of proceeds to charity and compiled some hilarious stories from a variety of awesome bloggers. This stuff is funny! You should check it out and like them on Facebook!

  • Do you wish you could have more time for yourself to read/rest/recharge/relax?
  • Struggling with managing the hours in the day?
  • Have you tried every single productivity tip or tool and failed?
  • Is your business suffering because you can’t work on it?
  • Is your family unhappy because you seem to spend all your time working on something?
  • Do your days pass you by in a blur, leaving you gasping for breath?

Let me tell you, you are NOT alone. 

Hi! I’m Prerna and I have been overwhelmed, tired, exhausted and stressed out due to poor time management.  From missing appointments to burning the midnight oil because of forgotten deadlines to eating out every day of the week because I just didn’t have time to cook.

Yes, I have done all of this and then some, simply because I just wasn’t making my time work for me.

BUT

Today, I’m balancing a busy blog,  two successful businesses, a happy home, a nearly 5-year old little girl and a loving husband with relative ease and peace.

I can hear you ask:

  •  Did the change happen overnight?
  • Did I boost my productivity instantly and all was well?
  • Did I buy fancy gadgets to make it happen?

The answer is NO.

So, what did I do that helped me reach a stage where I can easily manage home, health and family while boosting profits and building my businesses?

Can YOU do it as well?

Happily, YES!

I share EVERYTHING I did to make time work for my seasons of life in my latest eBook and I want YOU to take that first step towards making this year your most productive and profitable ever!

Productivity 2.0: More Impact, Less Work

It is all about finding a way to make time for you and not the other way around.

It is all about making time for the things that matter – your family, your home and health, your business.

It is about using tools that work for YOU.

DOWNLOAD IT HERE

I’m always thrilled to be contacted by the great folks at Wonder Forge. Their games have provided hours of endless entertainment for my kids. Chuggington and the Enchanted Cupcake Party are a couple of their favorites.

This time was no exception! The Easter themed Disney matching game is perfect for this time of year, and my seven-year-old son is beyond excited about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Clash Alley game.

Disney Matching Game

This is a typical matching game with 72 picture cards that you turn over and try to remember where the matches are. The graphics are very cute. The cards are all spring, pastel colors and the Disney characters are dressed for Easter.

The game is very cute, and just $7.99 at Target, a very affordable fun gift for the young children. My youngest (20 months) LOVES Mickey and I can’t wait until he’s just a little older and can understand the matching concept a little better. For now, he loves looking and pointing at all of the characters while his older brother and sister play!

Clash Alley

This year, Nickelodeon and Wonder Forge partnered to create Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle games and I would say it was a good idea. This game offers things my son loves, like action and strategic thinking. It’s a little more advanced than some of the other games we have, which is a good thing.

The game has players run, climb and leap as they race through the 3D warehouse on important missions. Of course, they must also battle mutants, Kraang and Shredder! Retailing for $16.99 at Target, this game is sure to be a hit at your house too!

 

Two free games were provided to Market Mommy in order to write this review, however all opinions are my own.

By Jennifer Covello

Moms do a lot. We’re the ultimate multi-talented multi-taskers. But there are times when we need to throw off our multi-tasking hats and call in the troops. This applies not only to parenting but to our businesses as well.

On a daily basis, moms do everything from getting the children dressed to preparing meals to homework help to activity planning. Each of these tasks requires a slightly different skill set. As would be expected, there are moms who are better at some of these tasks than others. For example, if you are a mom who loves to cook, then it’s likely that meal planning is a pleasant experience. For those moms who would rather get a bikini wax than plan and cook a meal, like me, this is not so pleasant.

I am in awe of my mom peeps who can plan their child’s birthday party at home complete with a yummy meal and healthy snacks, fun and creative activities, and cool party favors.

Clearly, these moms have a creative talent that enables them to do these very cool, interactive activities. I do not posses such a talent. For me, this is too much pressure. There are expert party planners and party locations that can do this much better than I can.

We all have gifts and talents – things we are really good at that we should continue to do on a regular basis because it’s easy for us. This holds true for parenting as well as being a small business owner. The reason you went into business is because you had a passion – a gift or talent that comes so easily to you that you never even think of yourself as “working” but rather “playing”.

But – as we know, in order for a business to succeed, there are many tasks that need to be done in addition to sharing our gifts and talents. There are websites to be built, finances to manage, marketing to be created, or even business plans to develop. Not every mompreneur possesses the abilities to do these tasks. But we may force ourselves to do them either due to budget constraints or simply due to the “moms can do it all” mentality that we all have.

However, what ends up happening is that we spend all of our time on tasks we don’t’ know how to do which leads to us getting more and more frustrated, which then diminishes the passion we had when we started the business. Can you see this is a lose-lose situation?

This has to change. Why? Because you are wasting your time. What?

That’s right. You are wasting precious time every hour you spend trying to figure out how to grow your business with social media when you can barely turn on your laptop. Or wasting days on end writing a press release or struggling with Quickbooks. Your time is better spent on your own creations – whether it be expanding your product line or writing an inspiring blog entry, or simply providing the best massage ever.

Do you attempt to fix a leaky toilet or do you call a plumber? Do you reshingle your roof or call in someone who does this for a living? The same principle applies to mompreneurship. If you concentrate on doing what you do best and hire people who can do the rest, your business will not only grow, but it will flourish. Yes, this requires some investment of time and money, but that investment is going to pay off ten-fold as you are able to focus on the things you do well and let others help you do the things you can’t.

This is a tough concept for some moms. Many of us want to do it all – to be the perfect mom. However, this goal is not only unrealistic; it undermines us and our true vision for ourselves and our business.

It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to have your kids or spouse do some of the chores. It’s ok to order out once or twice a week. It’s ok to hire an accountant, and SEO expert, a PR person. Maybe you can’t use them full-time, but even having their assistance on a part-time basis to start will do wonders for your business and your motivation.

You hear so often that women business owners don’t think big enough and that’s why they don’t succeed. They get stuck in small dreams because they can’t see how they can accomplish anything larger. I want to encourage you that in order to dream big, you have to plan big. Planning big means asking for and receiving help.

You don’t have to do everything yourself. You just have to do what you do best and hire the rest.

Jennifer Covello  is The Purposeful Parent, an award-winning author, blogger, creator of Frittabello baby gifts and mother of two children. With her unique perspective on parenting coupled with her sense of humor and vast experience, Jennifer is able to relate to a variety of women and the daily challenges they face as a mom and business owner. Jennifer has been featured on both radio and TV programs for her insights about her journey from corporate “cubicle dweller” to “mompreneur” providing helpful tips and inspiration to moms and dads alike. Most recently she was on Better Connecticut Weekend Edition where she provided tips on overcoming SuperMom Syndrome. Jennifer is a native of Long Island, New York and had a corporate career in IT and Marketing. She holds a B.S. degree in Management Information Systems from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Marketing Management from Pace University, New York.

Dreama Lee is what you would call an experienced mom entrepreneur. She’s the mom of two children and four businesses. Currently, she runs a real estate investing business as well as a marketing/consulting business with her husband.

She started her first business in 2003 and has been working toward her goals ever since. Her consulting business targets organizations that want to start an internship program. “We have everything from a book all the way up to a course and trainings for the intern,” she said.

According to Lee, there is a constant balancing act going on between work and family. “I make a point of scheduling time to “work: and time to be “mom.” If I don’t set boundaries on these times both begging to blend together and I don’t do either well,” she admits. “I have an office to go to when I need to do meetings or presentations but often work from home if the kids are at school so I can multi-task – folding clothes or taking a walk to squeeze in my exercise while I’m on a business call.”

Lee advises other mom entrepreneurs to ask and look for help. “If you can’t afford to hire a full time employee consider hiring a virtual assistant to handle your customer service, scheduling, etc. They can be hired for a few hours a week but can be well worth the help. Consider hiring someone to clean your house. It’s my most dreaded task and I find that if I have a clean house I function better. It’s worth the monthly expense and I value my time with my family and my business, both of which I have more time for if my house is cleaned.”

She also recommends hiring an intern. “Not only will you get much needed help in your business for very low costs (and a new set of creative eyes) but you will also be mentoring the future workforce. I get a lot out of mentoring young adults and helping them achieve their professional goals. If you give you will get.”

Lee markets her business via social media, her blog, word of mouth, e-mail and affiliate marketing and webinars and interviews. Learn more about Lee here.

This post is sponsored by Basnight Garner Real Estate. These expert realtors attribute their success to consistent communication with their clients. If you are seeking a compassionate and knowledgeable real estate group in the Morehead City area, please check them out.

Do you collaborate? I’m sure you do, maybe even in more ways than you think. Collaboration and joint ventures are very effective marketing tools and they can be very low-cost or even free.

First and foremost collaborating gives you a reason to network. Step outside of your office, or comfort zone and meet new people. What are the businesses in your area up to? How are they expanding and improving? What new initiatives are happening around you?

If you’re online based, you can do this too. Attend online meet-ups and gatherings, converse via social media. Seeking collaboration forces you to expand your circle of associates. This is always a good thing. Chances are you’ll meet people that you can easily work with and some that aren’t a good fit. That’s ok; the relationship building is still very beneficial.

Another benefit of collaboration is that it often introduces you to a new market. For instance, an online bow boutique in our area recently partnered with an area salon and dance studio to carry their products. This immediately increases her local exposure. And, it introduces her products to those who may not frequent social media, or be too young to do so. It also will increase her sales because now she is more available to impulse buyers who want cash and carry items.

Collaboration is also a way to improve your reputation. Even if you are known to be a stellar business woman, this can still be beneficial. What is better than one stellar business women but two of them! When you seek out potential partners, keep this in mind. Be picky and search for businesses that hold them to the same high standards that you do.

When you are entertaining partnership ideas, be sure to think outside of the box. How can you be more creative? How can you maximize the benefits? What can you do to make your arrangement more unique and appealing? Think about these questions as they relate to you, your potential partner and your customers.

Small businesses generally have small marketing budgets. It is great when they can work together and get more for their money. When two businesses work to get the word out, exposure automatically doubles. However, as with any agreement, always proceed with caution and follow your gut instinct. If you don’t feel as though it is really a good fit, don’t pursue it. And, it is always advisable to get all agreements in writing.

Happy partnering! Feel free to share some of your creative partnership ideas in the comments!

Want a great deal on adorable items for your child? The One Stop Kids Shop knows that your child is the cutest.  That’s why they offer the BEST selection of clothing and merchandise to show them off in! 

Picture now, your grand-daughter squealing with delight as she opens her new Dora tutu!  OR….your nephew exclaiming how “AWESOME” you are because he loves his new Super Hero pajamas!  If you need the perfect gift for the perfect child than look no further than One Stop Kids Shop! 

They stock merchandise for infants up to teens, specializing in character apparel.  Leave the work to them. They research what’s popular now so all you have to do is sit back, shop and choose your favorite!

You can buy with confidence because One Stop Kids Shop always honors a no questions asked return policy.

SAVE:: One Stop Kids Shop offers competitive pricing and always quick and FREE US shipping. International buyers can contact them for large discounts on shipping as well. And, if you mention Market Mommy, you can save an extra 10%! Shop now!

 

Jilliane Miranda is a Stella & Dot Independent Stylist and has been since March of 2010. Her work as a personal jewelry stylist allows her to host fun girl’s night events and earn an income at the same time.

Balance is very important to Miranda, as it is to all mom entrepreneurs. “Family is always my first priority,” she said. “They come before my business, so any family events – birthdays/holidays
– I block those off my calendar right away. I then go over my weekly schedule with my husband and block off any days that he would need.” From there, she allows herself to schedule one or two trunk shows a week.

Other than the nights she has trunk shows, Miranda said she limits the time she works while her daughter is awake. “I only do my phone calls while she’s awake which only takes about one hour. The
rest – emails, training etc., I do when she is asleep.”

When asked about advice for other mom entrepreneurs, Miranda suggests time blocking and prioritizing tasks. “A to-do list is helpful to keep you on track, but knowing what items on that list can be put off, or taken out is good too – it helps from making you go crazy!”

And, she said it’s ok to ask for help when you need it! Miranda said she markets her Stella & Dot business on Facebook and Twitter and at vendor shows.  

I love Boogie Wipes, do you? In today’s paper you can grap a 50 cent and $1 off coupon! Check your local paper today, March 3!