It’s a safe generalization to say that most mom entrepreneurs start out as solo-preneurs rather than with an established team to support them. After all, start-ups don’t start out making a whole lot of money, and so most mom biz owners feel they can’t spend any money getting help for their business if it’s not generating an income to pay for said help.
Insert graphic of dog chasing tail here:
Mompreneurs are often faced with the task of “doing it all,” but that doesn’t mean we need to do it all by ourselves. Simply put, that’s not a recipe for success. It’s a recipe for burnout and giving up. As a business coach for mom entrepreneurs, I say these exact words to my clients. A lot.
It may require some creativity to find good help that you can afford (Hello, bartering, anyone?), but here are the five human resources every mompreneur needs to be successful.
1. Virtual Assistant or “VA”
In my mind, a virtual assistant is the next best thing to cloning yourself.
A virtual assistant is someone you hire to do all that work that has to get done, but that doesn’t need you to do it. VAs are like administrative assistants, except that they work remotely, from the comfort of their own homes, and they usually have multiple clients they serve. You pay only for the hours that they work on your projects. Common tasks they handle range widely depending on their expertise, but include: managing email, customer service, newsletter or blog content management, database management, social media management, marketing support, sales support, etc. Rates range from $15-50/hr, depending on the VA’s niche and experience.
2. Website/Blog Manager
I strongly encourage you to use WordPress for your website/blogsite, since it’s set up so that you can manage it mostly by yourself. You’ll need a professional to install a theme and customize it to match your branding, but you can learn to make updates and add blog posts by yourself. That said, you need a reliable human you can turn to when you hit a snag, or when something goes wrong, or when you want to increase the functionality of your site (like adding e-commerce, or the ability to sell products from your site). Your website is your virtual sales team and often your brand’s first impression for your prospects. If web design isn’t your money-making talent, make sure you hire someone who can help you create a professional site that helps you put your best foot forward. Resist the temptation to create it all yourself. We can all easily spot a home-grown website. Many VAs do this work, but you can also hire Web Designers on a contract or hourly basis.
3. Graphic Designer
Whether you run a brick-and-mortar business or an internet-exclusive one, you’re going to need high quality graphics all the time. Pictures and graphics help convey your point, create an emotional connection with your audience, and sell your products. Whether you’re creating business cards, logos, brochures, website buttons, badges or banners, you need to hire an experienced graphic designer to produce these items for you. Try fiverr.com, elance.com or oDesk.com to get help on a quick project. Costs range from $5-a few hundred dollars, depending on the nature of the graphics you need.
Unless numbers and taxes are your thing (Call me! LOL), it’s a great idea to make sure that a professional helps you crunch your numbers and file your taxes each year. Seriously: the last thing a mompreneur needs is to find out she’s in deep with the government for not filing or reporting her income properly. Bonus: A small business accountant/bookkeeper can help you find ways to save money through business deductions and such. Rates range from $50-100/hr.
5. Mompreneur Community
You’re working by yourself most of the time, right? Yeah. It gets lonely. And while you may have lots of family, friends and neighbors, they might not all understand your desire to run a business while raising a family. Could you use some like-minded women to brainstorm your ideas with? Sure you can. Do you need an accountability partner to help you accomplish a tough goal? Trust me, you do. Wondering where to find good people who do the stuff I listed above? You’re in luck. In the #MomBizMondays Facebook Group, which you’re welcome to join, we have a business directory for members, and lots of the mom biz owners in there are connecting and helping each other. Nothing like doing business with other mompreneurs you can get to know before you need to hire them :).
Of course, there are so many tech resources out there that help make mompreneurs’ lives easier, especially if you can’t afford to hire all the staff we’ve listed above right now. Read the post Shelagh Cummins wrote on the Mom Biz Retreat blog about 15 Free Website Resources Every Mompreneur Needs for that list.
So, who’s on your team? Did I leave someone out? Or are you struggling trying to figure out when you can ever hire some help? Share in the comments below, and I’ll respond.