Just in case you needed some convincing that female entrepreneurs are totally killing it, this should do the trick: According to a 2016 study commissioned by American Express, the number of women-owned businesses has grown five times faster than the national average since 2007. With that astounding rate of success, advice from mom entrepreneurs about starting a business is some of the most valuable intel out there. As moms we're already used to the full-time job that is juggling the dozens of wants and needs of our kids with the basic needs of ourselves, so it's no surprise that after simultaneously adding another full-time job of running a successful business, we're pretty much the best experts you can find on all things time management, business strategy, and entrepreneurial success.
Although everyone's path to success will differ, it's helpful to remember that all business ventures started out the same way: as an idea that had to transform into a thriving product, service, or company. Making this big leap might seem daunting when you're first getting started, so to prove that it's more than possible, I sought out advice from a few mom entrepreneurs who've already conquered this milestone. From magazines to mom groups, these are five women have turned their ideas into reality — and their tips can help you do the same.
“Before getting started with launching your business, be realistic in your goals. Is this a hobby? Or is it a business? Launching a business requires an incredible amount of time which is often hard to come by as a mom. I recommend doing a bit of a time audit of your day to find ways to be more efficient and cut out activities that won't help you achieve your business objectives. Netflix will have to wait!” —Andrea, Creator of Selfies to Selfless
"Ask yourself ‘Why am I doing this?' Why are you? Are you prepared for this business and it's launch to be all-consuming? Because it is, and it has to be. At some point, you will find yourself in a full-blown panic in a carpool line, or waking up at night wondering if you should've changed the curve of an earring already in production. It's normal. If you don't have the fear of failure, the fear of the amount of time and money it takes, the fear of whether or not this is the right thing for you and your family, then the dream isn't worth it. But if after all the self-doubt, planning, contracts, travel, designing, accounting... if then, you still can't imagine your life any other way, then go for it!" —Taylor, Founder of Taylor Wilkinson Designs
“Surround yourself with positive people — especially women. The power of community and support is phenomenal. I thought about creating a [clothing] line for years before I actually had the courage and confidence to do it. I am beyond lucky to have a strong circle of family, friends and entrepreneurial ladies around me. I know I can lean on them, ask stupid questions, freak out, and grab a glass of wine whenever necessary." —Irene, Founder/Creative Director at Bash + Sass
"It's good to have a plan, but a clear vision is more important. What I mean by that is life happens. Your plan will go off course. Doors will shut, but opportunities will show up where you didn't expect them. Don't cling so tightly to your plan that you don't recognize these opportunities when they're presented to you. No matter what the business books say, there is no single path to success. Everyone's process looks different. What matters is that you're taking the steps that make sense for you and your business, and that they're moving you forward to your goal.” —Katarina, founder & editor-in-chief of RUBY
"Research, research, research and educate yourself on how to start your own business. I took a course at a local women’s entrepreneur center on how to start a small business. I was familiar with the design and marketing side of things, but financials and numbers scared me. I quickly learned there are so many resources out there specifically designed to help women in this space.” —Irene, Founder/Creative Director at Bash + Sass
“Whether you're interested in a service or product-based business, doing a little market testing on the side is a great way to explore what it will be like once you're in it full-time. Try your hand at freelancing, use an existing marketplace like Etsy to test product iterations, or even volunteer with an organization you're aspiring to learn from!
Before I launched Meridian, I spent several years learning everything I could about the market in order to make the transition as seamless as possible. I took online classes, explored brand and product testing by selling future products online before we launched, and freelanced on the side for a design business that taught me a ton about the interiors and home decor sector.” —Ashley, Founder & CEO of Meridian
“Recognize that your product is never going to be perfect and that there is something to be said for launching before you're 100 percent ready. I was six months pregnant by the time RUBY launched. Our first few months of content were on track with our editorial calendar and mission statement, but once I gave birth to our baby girl, everything went into survival mode. Things went off course for a while as I got used to being a working mother. I lost track of timelines and was experimenting with a lot of different types of content out of pure necessity. It stressed me out at the time, but now I realize it was an important part of RUBY's journey because I've learned what type of content works well for the site and what doesn't." —Katarina, founder & editor-in-chief of RUBY