There is no shortage of examples of successful businesses run by moms all across the country. In fact, you can read an interview with one of them every Monday on this blog.

These are the “mompreneurs,” a successful group of business leaders who have turned passion into profits while keeping a focus on family and life balance.

Although these companies may have begun as the dream of one brave entrepreneur, many of them have grown into full-fledged family-run enterprises over the years, often strengthened by a level of loyalty, commitment, and long-term outlook that other types of businesses can’t achieve.

But there’s a new and different type of small business emerging that seeks to capitalize on the benefits of working with family right from the start, and the post-recession economy is a fantastic breeding ground for these start-ups.

Rise of the Fampreneur

The term “fampreneur” – coined by BusinessesForSale.com, a global marketplace for buying and selling businesses – describes groups of two or more family members who invest together in a business venture in order to spread the risk while capitalizing on the loyalty and commitment that comes with strong family ties.

Although the term was first introduced based on U.K. survey results, similar studies in the U.S. have proven the trend is strong there as well.

This unique style of start-up has become far more popular in recent years than in the past. Traditionally, mompreneur small businesses have been started by one brave entrepreneur while other family members kept the steady day jobs, tightened up the budget, and did their best to support Mom as she got the business running.

When the economy is uncertain, as it has been for the last several years, it makes a lot of sense to be so risk averse.

But now, with the recession finally over, we’re seeing less aversion to risk and more interest in investing in a brighter future for the entire family. Husband and wife teams, sibling partnerships, or Mother/Daughter teams are pooling their capital and talent, jumping into entrepreneurship with both feet.

Or, perhaps more commonly, they’re seeking out an established business opportunity to purchase and making it a family concern.

That’s what the fampreneur is in the modern business world: entrepreneurs taking the best aspects of family-run companies – loyalty, commitment to the business, and the ultimate team atmosphere – and applying them to exciting new ventures in the post-recession economy.

For mompreneurs who have a great idea or entrepreneurial drive, but may hesitate to go it completely alone, this new trend could be the wave you ride all the way to the bank!

For more details on the fampreneur phenomenon, you’ll enjoy BusinessesForSale.com’s full survey-based report: The Rise of the Fampreneur.

By Theresa Ceniccola

Think you have what it takes to be a great leader? If you’re a mom, I’d say you probably do. Somewhere between diapers and diplomas, most moms develop leadership skills that rival any CEO. They earn their honorary degrees on the campus of motherhood. And they’re as competent as their colleagues in the corporate cubicle. Excuse me a moment while I make some assumptions and generalizations. I realize that there are some moms out there who haven’t quite learned these lessons…but I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about YOU! And I want you to know that you’ve got everything it takes to be a great leader.

10 Reasons Moms Make Great Leaders

1. We know how to foster growth. Our job as mothers is to train them up in the way they should go. Whether we’re correcting or conversing, every interaction we have with our children is part of the plan to help them grow and succeed. Wouldn’t it be lovely if every boss felt the same way about helping employees grow?

2. We’ve learned to embrace change. So maybe we cry on the first day of kindergarten and the entire summer before college…but somewhere along the line we accept the fact that change is a good thing. Leaders who recognize this truth are the ones who innovate and evolve in the shifting marketplace.

3. We protect our people. I dare you to say something slanderous about my child or treat her unjustly. I’ll tear you to pieces. (Well, not really.) But at the very least, I’ll make sure my child never has to experience your mean spirit again. Great leaders stand behind their people like an angry mamma.

4. We’re great listeners. I used to think good parenting was about saying all the right things. Now I know it’s more about listening and responding appropriately to each child’s needs. It’s about knowing when to follow the rules and when to follow your heart. And letting my kids come to their own conclusions at times. Imagine if our world leaders listened like that.

5. We get things done. If I ran my house like some corporations or government agencies, there would be a lot of meetings and even more paperwork. But that’s not how moms get things done. We’re quick to make decisions. We’re not afraid to do the dirty work ourselves. And we don’t give up until our bodies give out. We might not do them perfectly, but we get things done.

6. We don’t try to do it alone. Well, maybe the new moms try to fly solo for a few years. But they crash and burn like the rest of us. That’s when they learn to delegate (to husbands, kids and babysitters), find mentors, and create a support system (mom’s night out, anyone?).  I wish more leaders understood that it doesn’t have to be so lonely at that top.

7. We’re problem solvers. Any mom knows that as your children get bigger, so do their problems. And a good mom can solve five different problems while she’s cooking dinner. She also knows when to let her children solve their own problems. Sounds like the perfect training ground for a future leader.

8. We follow our instincts. Good moms read the parenting books and solicit the advice of others who have gone before them. But in the end, they do what they think is best for their child. I remember my pediatrician telling me that I would know what’s right for my child. That I would have a feeling I couldn’t explain — and that I should rely on that feeling. I like to call it the work of the Holy Spirit. And leaders who are tuned in to that wisdom are bound to make better decisions.

9. We know how to prioritize. Nobody is juggling more than a busy mom. No one has to reconcile conflicting priorities as much as a busy mom. We’ve perfected the art of reprioritizing and refocusing – and saying no to anything that isn’t mission critical. Now that’s a skill every leader should have!

10. We have vision. Remember those eyes in the back of your head? They enable you to see more than what’s in front of your face. They allow you to see the big picture. And they give you the confidence to move forward every day, knowing that there is greater plan unfolding right before your eyes. Yes, moms are the ultimate in visionary leadership.

What mom qualities do you have that make you a great leader?

Theresa Ceniccola is The Christian Mompreneur—a Mentor to Moms Who are Running a Business that Supports Faith and Family. As the president and founder of the International Christian Mompreneur Network, she empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace. Theresa has successfully run a home-based business as a freelance writer and marketing consultant for the past 18 years. She considers herself blessed to make a living doing what she loves and empowering other moms to create businesses that support their values of faith and family. Join the International Christian Mompreneur Network (it’s free!) today and you’ll receive Theresa’s Mompreneur Toolkit featuring the Ten Commandments of a Mompreneur.

School’s out for summer, but we know that the school holidays never last forever. So, if you’re dreading the first day back at school, here are a few tips to help you and your children start the new semester on the right foot.

Start your new routine today

The first day back at school after a long and lazy summer (for the kids) is not the time to start a new routine. It’ll be such a shock to the system that it will not work.

Instead, get the kids (and yourself) used to the fact that you will have to start getting up much earlier that you’re used to. Start by setting their alarms to get them up in the morning in preparation for the big day.

Ease them into it; start by setting the alarm to a more sociable hour, and then, slowly, take it down to the right time.

Don’t forget about bedtime too, as the later they get to bed, the later they will get up. So, start getting strict with bedtime routines around the same time that you reintroduce the alarm clock.

It will set them in good stead for later in life too, having a good morning routine will be invaluable when they leave the nest for University and have to be in charge of waking themselves up in time for lectures and tutorials, they’ll soon be top of the class.

Communicate with each other

We’re all guilty of not communicating enough, and when it comes to our children, we could all do better.

Important events, such as the first day back at school can go much more smoothly if you just take the time to sit down and talk to one another before you start the preparations. These skills will carry on to the classroom environment too, whether at school, college or University then communication is vital, not only for interacting with their peers and making friends but in preparing for class discussions and presentations.

Make a shopping plan

Every child needs something new before the start of the new term; new uniform, new school shoes, new backpack, the list goes on.

Sit down and make a list of everything they need to start the new school year and then start planning your shopping trip down to the last detail. Write down the names of the stores that you need to visit, scope each store the night before (if you can) so you know where everything is.

You can then carry out this task with as much efficiency as possible because you know what you need, you know where it is and you are unwilling to compromise. You’ll be glad when it comes to the biggest back-to-school shop of all – the moving away to Uni shop, with a bit of planning it will go as smoothly as possible.

Get everything ready the night before

Once you’ve got everything your kids need, you’ve got them into a suitable post-summer routine, don’t fall at the last hurdle; get everything ready the night before.

Pack their lunches, get their uniforms pressed and hanging, ready, to be slipped into after breakfast. Have their bags ready and waiting at the door, next to their school shoes, so once they get to the front door, they are ready to go.

If your children are older, get them to help by packing their own lunch, backpack and polish their shoes. The skills that you teach them today will mean that they are self-sufficient by the time they go to university. Sending them off to university can be a daunting prospect, if you’re still concerned check out the university’s website, for example, http://www.aus.edu/ for lots of handy tips for what they can expect when they arrive.

Going back to school doesn’t have to be a battle; with a little bit of planning and cooperation, the first day back at school can go like a dream.

Images by  University of Salford Press and  CollegeDegrees360 used under the Creative Commons License.