Take four young children at home, combine a mom with little business and marketing experience, and add a mother's desire to launch a new business. What do you have? The ingredients for potential entrepreneurial failure.
This is exactly the prospect Tina Parmigiano faced several months ago. "Opening a new business isn't easy to do," says Parmigiano, who began planning Reputable Home Services LLC, a network and referral service for home improvement contractors, in 1999, before quickly realizing she needed to learn more. "I felt I needed more information. I didn't know how to get the marketing off to a good start, or work with my children around."
Enter the "Mom's Home Business Kit" from Home-Based Working Moms, which Parmigiano considers the cookbook for success. The organization debuted the product last year in response to calls from mothers around the country seeking insights and information on launching new businesses, says Lesley Spencer, founder and director of Home-Based Working Moms (http://www.hbwm.com ).
The kit includes checklists, a year's membership in the organization, a monthly newsletter, resources and Web sites for entrepreneurs, and books on starting and marketing homebased businesses. Most important, the $89 kit can include a career assessment with a professional business coach for $79 more. The assessment is designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs find the work that best fits their experience and lifestyles, says Spencer.
"It brings everything together in one package," explains Spencer, who left work as a golf school tour coordinator upon the arrival of her first child five years ago. She launched the organization soon after in 1995, and has logged almost 700 members at $44 a year since.
Spencer created the kit last November in response to the questions she frequently fielded on home business start-up. She realized if she packaged her insights, she could sell her knowledge and some powerful tools to her customers and members, instead of spending hours on the phone answering the same questions.
Parmigiano, for one, says the insights have been invaluable. From the marketing and business-start-up tips to networking with fellow work-at-home moms, the new entrepreneur has what she needs to get her new business off to a strong start.
"The kit is well worth the money, and the Web site offers a lot of continued support," says Parmigiano, who has recommended the kit to fellow at-home moms--"especially the moms who want to start a business, but just don't know how to find the right one."