Wendy Armbruster Bell started her business, Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear Ltd. in January of 2008.

She offers a wide variety of products geared toward breastfeeding moms, including; PumpEase hands-free pumping bras, PumpEase Wet Bags, Through a Child’s Eyes Keepsake Colouring Book, Do Not Disturb door hangers, Breastmilk Storage Guidelines fridge magnets and the Toni Collection “bump, breast & beyond” line of products.

When asked about how she balances work with life, she gave a straight forward answer. “I honestly cringe when I hear the term “life balance”.  In my opinion, it doesn’t exist for mom entrepreneurs. I no longer strive for it as I believe it is just another way for us to set ourselves up for failure. My business and family life overlap. Sometimes one or the other gets more or less attention than it should. So be it.”

After five years as a mom entrepreneur, she tells others to make it a priority to build a stellar team. The most successful people are surrounded by other successful hard workers.

Snugabell is primarily marketed online and through word-of-mouth. You can visit their website here.


By Shara Lawrence-Weiss, Mommy Perks

Do you struggle to keep content running on your blog?

Social Media platforms are full of talented and creative people. Not everyone excels at the same things, though, do they? Some folks have an easy time coming up with topic ideas for blog posts while others need to hire help because their writing skills are less-than-desirable.

One blog owner may find it easy to slap together videos for YouTube while the next blog owner struggles to find the ‘on’ button.

There are multiple options available now for content generation: producing your own, networking, asking for guest material, buying content and so on.

Consider the numerous ways in which you can get content onto your pages. Here are a few ideas:

  •  Fact-based articles
  • Storytelling pieces
  • Humor pieces
  •  Videos that offer advice or DIY activities
  • Crafts
  •  Recipes
  • Reviews
  • Guest articles from friends/colleagues
  • Interviews
  • Q&A pieces
  • Photos
  •  Podcasts
  • Webinars
  •   Infographics
  •  Compare/Contrast images
  • eBooks

What do you excel at? You can focus in on what YOU are great at and run with it. Become a go-to in your niche. If you excel at several content streams, use a variety of options on your blog! If you feel most comfortable with one stream, mix things up as best you can to keep the content fresh and appealing.

Shara Lawrence-Weiss has a background in education, early childhood, special needs, freelance and marketing. She owns various websites including: Mommy Perks, Personal Child Stories, Early Childhood News and Resources, Emergent Literacy and Weiss Business Solutions (co owner). Shara actively assists with children’s charity events and currently works as a Special Education Paraprofessional (K-5th). Learn more about Shara and Rick. You can view additional Guest Posts here.

 

By Terri Fry Brukhartz

 

Outsourcing some of your work or hiring outside contractors is a wonderful thing if you do it the right way. Here are some things to consider:

Look at where you are being diverted from the main focus of your business. What’s draining you or your staff? Is it administrative tasks, technical support, accounting, human resources, IT or something else? 

Start small and grow from there. Test the outsourcing process before launching ahead. Keep in mind that someone still needs to manage the process for the outside specialists. The process may take some time and experimentation to perfect. Initially, it may seem that it’s taking more time than you’re saving. Learn from these early efforts and use them to craft process maps to follow as you grow your outsourcing strategy.

Understand what your needs are and communicate them clearly to the outside specialist. Double-check that you understand each other, don’t make any assumptions, and put everything in writing.

Measure your success. After you’ve had your outsourcing in place for a while and feel good about it, take a look at your numbers. Is your revenue beginning to increase? If not and you think it might, hang in there a while. Then re-evaluate in a couple of months.

Are you ready to do what you do best and outsource the rest? The move to outsourcing takes an attitude shift, some preparation and a learning curve, but at the end of it all you will emerge with a stronger focus on the primary purpose of your business. And it might just be the answer to growing your business to the next level.

Terri Fry Brukhartz, LCSW, CPCC, has been helping business professionals make more money, do what matters and thrive on their successes since 2001. Coach Terri began her career in 1982 working for advertising agency Leo Burnett and the internationally acclaimed TV conglomerate, CBS.  In 1987, Coach Terri started The Fry Group, Inc., a publishers’ representative firm. Clients included Details Magazine, Men’s Health, and Harvard Business Review. With her husband, two kids and a dog in tow, it’s a wonder Coach Terri has enough time to get everything done! She resides in Chicago but works by phone with entrepreneurs around the world. Feel free to contact her by e-mail or call 708-386-0500.

 

 

Amanda Kennedy is the mom behind the handmade goodness at Desert Baby on Etsy. She is the mom of two and sews unique, handmade creations just for you. Here is more about her from her Etsy store …

When I was around 6 years old, my love of handmade officially began. I had learned how to braid ribbons together and create headbands and was determined to sell them for profit. I would sit on the corner of my street and wait for a buyer. Oh how I wish Etsy was around back then! I continued to craft throughout my school years and studied fashion design in college.

My friends and family members eventually started families and I was determined to not bring a “duplicate” gift. I wanted to bring something that everyone would want and “Ooh and ahh” over. That is really how Desert Baby began. Something as simple as handmade burp cloths jump started my shop.

I finally had my own lil’ one to sew for and I was frustrated at the choices of clothing I found for boys. What is it with girls’ clothes? So many choices and yet nothing original for my guys, so that is how t shirts with ties were born and I never looked back. They are my most popular sellers to this day. Most of what I create is out of necessity or a request from a friend. It all just blooms from there.

Today, I work full time out of the home as well as run Desert Baby at night and on weekends. I participate in local handmade markets as much as possible. I have 2 boys, Robert who is almost 6 and Connor who is 2. Connor has a condition called alopecia which prohibits him from growing hair. He is my model that is usually wearing a hat. I am a busy mom, but I love it. I have a fantastic husband who allows me to create and supports me through it all. I hope that my hard work and perseverance to do what you love teaches my kids to do the same in life.

If you put in everything you have, you are successful.

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By Louise Sattler 

My foray in to the world of disaster preparedness did not come by accident.  It came when terrorism knocked at my door. All of our doors.

I remember the exact time and place of where I was when I received a call asking where my brother was at that moment.

“What do you mean, he is at work?” 

Work, by the way was in the World Trade Center Towers, or at least I thought so until I learned a short while later that he moved his office a few blocks away.

That move probably saved his life.

After the initial shock wore off I decided to connect with my many friends in the Deaf community who use sign language to communicate. ASL to be  specific.  What was their experience in the light of 9/11.  We lived in the metro Washington DC area and many found themselves in the district during that fateful day.

Their experiences were largely not good. First Responders, who due to no fault of their own, could not communicate. 

Fear. Silence. Confusion.

It was on 9/11 or maybe 9/12 that I had an epiphany. I would create a way for emergency workers to help to communicate with those who had unique challenges, such as Deafness or Autism. 

And I did.

In 2010 I released (finally) SIGN LANGUAGE FOR EMERGENCY SITUATIONS.  At first it fell flat. A few sold to Barnes and Noble and some other online stores.

Virtually no one inquired about what I thought was a “sure thing” when it came to filing a niche market. Then I decided to mail to each of the statewide emergency response program directors (EMS-C) sample packets containing the DVD, an emergency communication chart and a hand written note.  This was not cheap, but I really was motivated to make this work- save lives – improve communication.

Months later I received a phone call, could I train a number of emergency responders in Alabama.  The phone continued to ring and ring for  New Jersey, Kentucky, Wyoming, and many more seeking to learn more.

Before I knew it I was talking to decision makers, at  major conferences, being asked to serve on the EARTHQUAKE COUNTRY ALLIANCE  committee  and being asked to speak at the International Association for Emergency Management (IAEM). 

I also got another call. Walmart wanted my DVDs.  Now say what you want about Walmart, but when disaster struck Moore, Oklahoma they were critical in bringing supplies to those who were left with literally nothing. (See photos of my first hand observation of Moore, Oklahoma three weeks after the May tornadoes hit and devastated this community and surrounding areas.)

Many needed the help and generosity of companies, organizations and individuals.

This included the Deaf community as three deaf families were left with NOTHING after Oklahoma.  Eleven deaf families wound up in shelters immediately. This time First Responders were more prepared than Katrina, Joplin or 9/11

We still have much to learn.

Many gaps to bridge.

Many lives to save.

I  have uploaded a video to help everyday citizens save lives of their neighbors, friends and family who use sign language.  YouTube video

For more information about my programs and how you can help save lives please connect via SIGNING FAMILIES.

Please do not hesitate to connect to learn how your schools, organizations and Community Emergency Responders (CERT) can help someone with access and functional needs.  EMAIL ME HERE

If you live in the United States and wish a complimentary copy of our emergency mini-chart, please send me an email.  This offer is good for the first 25 requests or until December 31, 2013. Thank you.

THE LINK IF YOU WISH TO UPLOAD THE VIDEO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9YgcCHjNZE

Louise Sattler is a nationally recognized guest speaker who melds her life as a psychologist with her passion for sign language.  Known for her infusion of humor in to her live presentations and media engagements- she can make learning fun! As owner of SIGNING FAMILIES  she often speaks about disaster and emergency preparedness within our communities, especially with children and adults who have special needs.  Louise also is the co-founder of 411 VOICES and considered to be an expert in social media marketing and influence.  Connect with Louise via TWITTER or EMAIL at  INFO<at>SigningFamilies.com.

by Jennifer Varner

FreeDigitalPhotos.net Owning an internet business can be the perfect work from home opportunity for moms.  It’s easy to operate an ecommerce business while still raising a family. One of the main reasons so many moms own internet businesses is because they offer great flexibility!  They can choose when to work. Unlike working from 8am until 5pm in the traditional office, with a work from home ecommerce business, owners can choose the best, and most convenient time they’d like to work. They  can work in their PJs at 5am when the kids are still in bed, at 3pm on their IPhone while waiting to pick the kids up from school, or anytime in between.

In addition to offering great flexibility, there are many other advantages of owning a work from home internet business. Some of the benefits include:

1.) Ease of Set-Up:  Most work from home internet businesses are smaller businesses, so they are much easier to set up then traditional businesses. Someone can purchase a ready to go internet business like the kind Pure-Ecommerce.com sells and can step into ecommerce right away.

2.) Little Capital Required:  You can start a work from home internet business with less capital or even no capital at all.

3.) Few Requirements:  When starting an internet business, it only requires a computer, and stable internet connection and skills.

4.) Fully Automatable:  You have the advantage of fully automating your internet business. You can develop not only one internet business, but multiple online businesses.

5.) Freedom:  An internet business presents a freedom and lifestyle that a brick and mortar store could never offer.  Today with wireless access at every corner Starbucks, at every hotel, in every airport and now even on most airplanes, an Ecommerce business can be run virtually from anywhere. Even when owners are on a vacation, they can still access their ecommerce business by simply bringing their laptop or tablet with them.

6.) Part-time or Full-time Endeavor:  An ecommerce business can certainly be a part-time or full-time endeavor depending on one’s income expectations.  Prior to selecting the type of business, it’s important to decide how much time someone has to devote and their financial expectations.   By doing research on the industry of their choice, one can make solid determinations on what potential sales income for products will be.

7.) Being Your Own Boss: An ecommerce business is a great way for someone to experience the joy of owning their own business and being their own boss.

Two Moms Share Why They Love Owning E-Commerce Businesses:

Bethany, a mom of 2 from Commerce, MI, says, “I decided to purchase my e-commerce business, PoshInfantStyle.com, when my daughter was 6 months old. I was working long hours away from home and my family and knew I needed to make a change. Owning my own e-commerce business has allowed me freedom and flexibility with both my career and family. I set my own hours, make all creative decisions, can work from anywhere, and most of all absolutely love what I do! Being a mom and being an entrepreneur are both important to me. PoshInfantStyle.com has provided me with the opportunity to take matters into my own hands financially and be there for my growing family.”

Samantha of Denver, CO is the owner of MyaMaternity.com.  Samantha shares that “Starting a business has been a fantastic decision and I have never looked back. The cost of getting started is so low compared to starting a brick and mortar store.  In addition being able to work from home was very important to me.  As a wife and mother to three boys our family is constantly on the move and I needed to be available for them and all of their activities.  Being a business owner is perfect because I can still be around for my family while also contributing financially.  Not only has it given our family the freedom on a day to day basis but it has allowed us to travel outside of the country on several occasions.  An e-commerce business can be run from anywhere whether it is the park or at the airport. “

Jennifer Varner, Founder & CEO of Pure-Ecommerce.com, is a “mompreneur” (mom of four) and e-commerce expert.

Pure-Ecommerce specializes in helping mompreneurs create successful online ecommerce businesses. Each turnkey website comes with a full 40 hours of consulting and mentoring. For more information on our internet businesses for sale, please call us at 866-511-6257, find us on Facebook, or visit Pure-Ecommerce online.

Prior to running Pure-Ecommerce.com, Jennifer was the CEO and founder of one of the largest and well-known online maternity clothing companies, BellaBluMaternity.com. She sold the company six years ago to focus on helping others to achieve their dream of entrepreneurship.

Pure-Ecommerce has been featured in several national magazines and websites such as Entrepreneur, Forbes, Success and Women Entrepreneur as well as on NBC, CBS, and Fox morning television programs. Pure-Ecommerce has also been selected as one of the top 50 Women-Owned businesses by Start-up Nation and has been chosen as an Honorable Mention recipient for the 2013 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards.

 

 

 

By Jenn Kampmeier

Have you heard the latest BUZZ going on around Indianapolis…IndyFamilyFest is coming to town and Indy’s Child and Hamilton Family Magazines are the Presenting Sponsor of the event.

New to IndyFamilyFest?

IndyFamilyFest is a all day celebration of the family with a full schedule of entertainment, shopping, how-to demos,and activities for every member of the family from belly bump to tween. We are proud to announce Mary Susan Buhner of “Mommy Magic” has signed on as our keynote speaker.

IndyFamilyFest will take place on Saturday, October 19, 2013 from 9:00am to 4:00pm at the IN State Fairgrounds in the Blue Ribbon Building.

Your Business Will Benefit. 

Since you are a current Market Mommy reader, you will receive an extra discount of $75.00 off booth rental space. Use code MARKET.

We have multiple ways in which your company can directly market your business to the consumers whom attend our event.

* Become a Vendor.

* For greater visibility become a sponsor.

* Sponsor at an interactive area.

* Have a Product? Then place in our Swag Bags.

* Can’t attend? We offer onsite marketing options even if you can not be at our show.

Our event will bring consumers to you, so you can directly market, sell and inform consumers about your product,brand and/or service. We estimate over 2,000 consumers will attend this show.

This extra discount special will expire on August 1st, so hurry and contact [email protected] for vendor and sponsorship information.

Dalagelis Painting LLC was founded by two individuals who wanted more for their family than just the ordinary. Separately they didn’t think the business would succeed, but together as a team and a family they knew that there was no doubt that their business would thrive.

“Chris and I decided to jump feet first in and see where life would take us. This business has been and will continue to be successful because of our honesty and loyalty to our customers,” said Rachel Higginbotham, co-owner.

The business was designed so that no customer would ever be forgotten and every phone call and email would be answered in a timely manner. “I am the “artist”. I see color, design and know how to pull everything together. I have a degree in Graphic Design and have over the years broadened my horizons and began getting into decorating. It doesn’t have to stop with picking out paint colors, you can always ask me questions about where you think things should be placed in the room, what accent pieces might work and even where you might want to go to look for certain pieces,” she said.

When you hire Dalagelis Painting LLC, you are hiring Rachel and she doesn’t just stop at the color choices. “I enjoy helping people beautify their homes and I would love to work with you as well,” she added.

Chris and he is the perfectionist, the planner, and extremely detail oriented. Chris has never wanted to leave a home or place of business that we have worked on without everything being absolutely perfect. Don’t ask him about color, but he can certainly put it on the wall and the results will speak for themselves. He has an extensive background in painting interior, exterior, residential and commercial work. He does staining, painting, moulding, doors, wallpaper, faux finishes and much more.

If you have questions, feel free to visit the Dalagelis Painting contact page, or find them on Facebook. They will be more than happy to answer your questions. 


By Terri Fry Brukhartz

If you calculated how much time you lost or how much stress it cost to clean your house, you might hire a housekeeper. Then you could focus on keeping clutter in check and enjoy your free time a little more.

That’s why outsourcing makes so much sense—you get to do what you do best (and love to do the most), and outsource the rest. Then use the extra time to focus on growing your business which not only pays for the outsourcing, but hopefully puts a little extra in your pocket, too.

Businesses of all sizes are recognizing the need to spend more time perfecting their area of specialization and building better relationships with their various stakeholders—and less time on administrative and business processes that are more generic.

Rationale for Outsourcing

Outsourcing can maximize the efficiency of all of your resources—people, time, money and energy—because you and your staff can focus on the primary purpose of your business and use your unique skill sets. In the meantime, other companies with different primary purposes and skill sets (e.g., accounting, human resources or information technology) can do what THEY do best. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

The resulting ability to be laser-focused on your specialization enhances and increases your credibility, too. You become more attractive to people who are looking for the precise solution that you offer.

An Outsourcing Attitude

Outsourcing requires an attitude shift and a willingness to surrender some control. It can feel uncomfortable at first, and that’s what leaves some people stuck at the same level year after year.

Examine your hesitation; what are your concerns about outsourcing? Here are some common objections:

Offshore concerns. A lot of outsourcing is done at the local or national level, but more and more is accomplished on foreign lands. Perhaps you’re concerned about language barriers, health and safety standards, work quality or the impact on the U.S. economy.

Reputation. Business owners may worry what their customers, clients, staff and other stakeholders will think about their decision to outsource. You may also be concerned that the outside specialist will make some error that will harm your reputation.

Security. Companies may not be sure how to protect their intellectual property and other key data from fraud, tampering and other damage.

With each of these concerns and any others you may have, spend a moment to answer the question, “What’s the worst thing that could happen if we outsourced?” and then ask, “If that happened, then what?”

It can help to express catastrophic worries to see if they’re valid. Many businesses have outsourced successfully and made mistakes that you can learn from. Do your research and put your concerns to rest.  

Terri Fry Brukhartz, LCSW, CPCC, has been helping business professionals make more money, do what matters and thrive on their successes since 2001. Coach Terri began her career in 1982 working for advertising agency Leo Burnett and the internationally acclaimed TV conglomerate, CBS.  In 1987, Coach Terri started The Fry Group, Inc., a publishers’ representative firm. Clients included Details Magazine, Men’s Health, and Harvard Business Review. With her husband, two kids and a dog in tow, it’s a wonder Coach Terri has enough time to get everything done! She resides in Chicago but works by phone with entrepreneurs around the world. Feel free to contact her by e-mail or call 708-386-0500.

 

Tara Geissinger and Christine O’Kelly are a pair of mom entrepreneurs that own SEO Content Solutions, a content marketing company that was incorporated five years ago, and Online PR Media, a press release distribution website, that was incorporated two years ago.

SEO Content Solutions is a content marketing company focused on SEO and online visibility. They offer keyword research, eBook writing, web content, article writing, blog writing, etc… They work behind the scenes for many large SEO and marketing firms, offering them an outsourced writing option that is affordable and focused on quality content. Many customers have used them for years and are very happy with the results.

Online PR Media was born out of a need for press release distribution. “Many of our content clients were writing and distributing press releases with us, but couldn’t afford to do the major network distribution all of the time,” Geissinger said. So, they created Online PR Media to be a viable option for small business owners. “We offer four different priced distribution packages with various options. Our main goal is to allow users to post their news, videos, images, links, etc… to attract the attention of not only journalists, but bloggers and customers as well!”

Both women are work-at-home moms. O’Kelly is a single mom with two kids and Geissinger has three. When asked how they balance kids with business, Geissinger said “They are all school-aged, so that helps! We do a lot of our work in the early morning while the kids are at school.” They also both hire out household jobs.

The two have a unique story. Geissinger lives in Florida and O’Kelly in California. The two actually went into business together after meeting online and never seeing each other in person.

“Being a mom is hard – and owning a business is hard!” Geissinger said. “Honestly, I think the best advice is to just keep doing it and don’t get discouraged. I also highly recommend having a business partner. I literally could not do this without the support of Christine. Even though she is across the country from me, it helps to brainstorm ideas, make large financial decisions together and just generally have each other’s backs on a bad day.”

For marketing purposes, the pair relies heavily on SEO. They also publish articles and press releases. Recently, they have started to use Facebook advertising as well.


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