Hello! Happy Monday! Welcome to our Mommy Monday feature for this week! Each week, we interview a mom business owner and get to know her a little better! We like to find out how she balances life with children and a business! We also like to hear about the marketing strategies that are working for her! Hopefully, this provides a little bit of inspiration to all of the other hard working moms out there! If you’d like to be considered for this feature, send us an e-mail! We’d love to learn about your business, too!

Your name and business name:

Hi! My name is Melissa LaHann and I’m the founder of a Chicago based company called LatchPal by Happy Fig Our product simplifies breastfeeding for new mothers.

When did you start your business?  July 1, 2014

What services/products do you offer?

LatchPal is a mom-invented nursing clip that converts a mother’s shirt, sweater, or sweatshirt into a nursing shirt within seconds. LatchPal eliminates the nuisance of a falling shirt and gives mom a clear view of her nursing child. LatchPal also frees a mother’s hands, so she can hold her child more securely & comfortably. Our simple solution is perfect for post-partum moms, pumping, and nursing in public. It’s a must have!

How do you balance family and business?

I’m a busy gal enjoying the role of mom, wife, friend, and entrepreneur.  I’m fueled by love, caffeine, and a desire to help new mothers.  Let’s face it, parenthood is tough and at some point most of us need a helping hand. That’s why we created LatchPal and it’s also why I rely upon a treasured network of family and friends.  They give me balance and inspire me to love more, live more, and enjoy each day.  It’s been said that a person is a reflection of their 5 closest friends and I’m fortunate to be surrounded by like-minded people who are driven by genuine passion, inspired to make a difference, and devoted to their families.  

What advice do you have for other mom entrepreneurs?

Everything will take longer than you think; anticipate, plan, & prepare.

How do your market your business?

We strive to get LatchPal in the hands of mothers who need it.  We love connecting with new moms, lactation consultants, hospital professionals, bloggers, and retailers at tradeshows and via social media.  The internet is a wonderful resource for sharing and caring; we enjoy sharing LatchPal testimonials, inspirational videos, and parenting resources on Facebook , Twitter, & Pinterest.

Where can we find you?

  1. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LatchPal
  2. Twitter: @LatchPal
  3. Instagram:@LatchPal
  4. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwB15NjCHfPA-rNwSXIJUxA/feed?view_as=public
  5. Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/Latchpal/
  6. Buy LatchPal: http://www.latchpal.com/shop/the-latchpal/

 

Kim Flynn is passionate about playing big in business. She is a bestselling author, speaker, and workshop leader for entrepreneurs and small business owners. She has four kids, is the founder of five businesses, and the creator of the Plug & Play Business System. Kim teaches business owners how to automate, systematize, and grow their business using her unique system. Kim started her first tutoring business when she was 24 years old. She grew that business to employ over 30 people while working only 3­5 hours per week. She went on to build, systematize, and automate three businesses which she sold in 2009. In 2010, she founded Kim Flynn Consulting where she trains and mentors women (and a few brave men) to play BIG in their businesses. She has been a frequent guest on television and radio shows such as Forbes and Fox Business News and is often interviewed on small business topics. Her book, combined with her seminars and media appearances, have helped tens of thousands of people systematize and grow their small businesses. Kim has taught countless sold­out seminars throughout the country in her Master Class Live and Internet Marketing Bootcamp event series. She is most known for her Business Intensive Retreats, where entrepreneurs gather in her Park City Lodge to learn the Plug & Play Business System, overhauling their operations and marketing in three intense days. In 2010, Kim was recruited as one of Vanguard’s 22 international keynote speakers, which include Stedman Graham and Stephen R. Covey. She was featured in the Top 40 under 40 through Bennett Communications, and was named Woman of the Year through the Telios Group. To learn more about Kim visit KimFlynn.com or find her on Facebook at Business Training for Women.

By Monika Labbé

Successful brands have branding at the heart of their business, it permeates from the inside out. It’s prevalent not just in their look but in their verbiage as well. It’s in everything they say and do.

So how do you define yourself or your business? Is this the same as business identity? When you have a strategically defined brand and customers can connect with it on an emotional level, it means they have the same values and beliefs of your brand. This then gives you an ideal platform from which to extend your offerings because at this point your clients feel loyal to you.

First you need to pinpoint your space in the market, and research the emotional needs and concerns of your clients. Think of your brand as a person. When your building your brand consider your own character, will it be the same or different from you as person? It’s vital to create trust with your brand, and you do that by not breaking promises and delivering more than expected. Let your clients know exactly what to expect from your product or service so there are no surprises.

Most important your brand is different from any other so copying from the look and feel of other similar chains is counterproductive. What you need to be is different, not the same. Clients want someone original and they crave authenticity. Do a competitive analysis and find out what other companies are offering, then decide how your brand is different. Finding that special something that sets you apart is essential. Clients today have so many choices that you need to stand out in order to be recognized.

Just putting your logo on everything will no longer work as the marketplace is rapidly changing. Clients want to engage with your brand at every level, they want it to be a personal experience. Give it to them. The clients of today are highly intelligent so respect that intelligence by generating some intrigue about your brand, allow them to find out more about you on their own. This is how relationships are built after all. Clients today will share their great and not so great experiences with their friends, family and even strangers so creating loyalty is more important now than ever before.

When choosing a design theme you will need to make sure you match the tone and language of your brand and its mission. Your look needs to be synchronized across all the mediums, website, product, brochures, etc. A great logo helps you to embed yourself in the clients mind. Hiring a professional is a must as your logo should be distinctive and well designed.

Research and choose colors that will represent your brand, remember to keep it simple. You want the brand you create to be easily recognizable and come to mind quickly.

Try offering more rather than offering discounts. Promotions are opportunities to further enforce your brand. Consider nostalgia to build your brand, people feel connected to things that remind them of childhood and carefree times.

It’s a good idea to copyright any visual branding or distinctive tag lines. Remember the personal connection you have with your clients is what will ultimately make your company successful.

Having been a professional photographer for over 13 years, I feel very blessed to have been published in numerous books, magazines, and websites. For me, seeing how my photos touch others, whether they bring a smile, a chuckle, or a tear, is what I consider truly priceless. I welcome the opportunity to bring that to you and your family. For more information regarding photography services, please contact me through my website,or email me directly. ~ Monika Labbé, Visual Storyteller

Nellie AklapMarket Mommy:: When and why did you found your business?

Nellie:: After we sold my first company to Intuit back in 2005, we took a few years off to spend time with the kids, work out and relax. We soon realized that we were too young, too bored, too passionate and too motivated to take on an early retirement so after our non-compete agreement with Intuit expired, we decided to get back into the document filing industry and started CorpNet.com in 2009 since thats where our passion and excitement liesIN Small Business..making peoples small business dreams into a reality!

Market Mommy:: How long did it take before you felt successful?

Nellie:: We started CorpNet.com in 2009 and it took us 4 years to break even and we are just seeing the true success and fruits of all of our effortsso almost 6 years. For me its a constant battle because I am always setting these high goals and standards for myself and my team so even when we have seen success, we are off onto a another crusadeLOL!

Market Mommy:: How do you define success?

Nellie:: I believe success is something you achieve based on how much you put into whatever it is that you would like to see success from. Certainly others can help you, just as others can provide obstacles, but ultimately you make your own success and your own failure.  What I know for sure is that if you want to have success and be successful, you cant make success your goal. The key is not to worry about being successful, but to instead work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow.  If you have the vision, drive, and the determination, and you immerse yourself into whatever it is that you are trying to do, you can and will accomplish that goal in the face of any obstacle or challenge, the rest will come.. And that in itself is success!!!  I truly believe, that the reason Ive been able to be so financially successful is because my focus has never, ever for one minute been money even to this day. I would do what I do today, which is inspiring and empowering small business owners by assisting them with making their business dreams into a reality and not get paid for it…that is how much I love what I do and thats how you know you are doing the right thing.  Off course, hitting daily, monthly, quarterly revenues is just a matter of numbers, but more me, its bigger than that.  Its creating a legacy and leaving a legacy behind and the biggest success for me would be if as a result of my help, motivation and inspiration, someone else was able to achieve success and true happiness and doing what they love to do.

Market Mommy:: How do you balance parenting with running your business?

Nellie:: From the outside, it might seem to be a breeze for me, but believe me: Ive set up rules and processes to make sure both components of my life get the attention they need to thrive. Some of these rules include choosing one over the other – you cant be CEO and Mommy at the same time so choose one thing to focus 100% attention to at a time and switch roles. Sometimes, for my own sanity, I dont focus on either role as CEO or Mommy and instead focus simply on myself and it helps a lot! De-stress and then go back to what needs attention.

Market Mommy:: When did you break the six-figure threshold?

Nellie:: We broke the six-figure threshold in our first year in business. To most thats a huge deal, but in our industry, our profit margin is super low so even though we broke the six figure mark in our first year, our costs and expenses outweighed our profits so it took a while for us to become a profitable company.

Market Mommy::  What business strategies contributed to your success?

Nellie:: Our reputation in the industry, the relationships we establish and maintained with our clientele and our AMAZING unsurpassed personable customer service is what I believe has contributed so much to the success of CorpNet.com.

Market Mommy:: What specific marketing efforts really paid off for you?

Nellie:: Surveying our clients, listening to what they had to say and improving and innovating and coming out with products and services based on their feedback and needs.  In addition, myself and my company both have heavy social media presence which I love. We want to be a resource to people to come to with questions, not just any service. Being on social media allows us to share a plethora of valuable content to help and inspire others.

Market Mommy:: What advice do you have for moms who are just starting out on their entrepreneur adventure?

Nellie:: I recommend that you first get your support system ready. Whether it is your family or friends, you will need to let people you love know about the journey you are embarking on so no one is left feeling like they werent prepared for the repercussions you becoming an entrepreneur will cause. Next I recommend you set goals early and often. I think a lot of newbie entrepreneurs dont think about setting goals when they first start a business. They just want to get the business started and begin making money! But setting goals is a really easy way to set your sights on where you want to go. Finally, my last piece of advice is to get help when you need it! Its Ok to ask for help, find a mentor or look for resources along the way. There is so much out there and available, just find it and you will get back on your road to success.