Over the years, I've had the opportunity to interview many mompreneurs, from Julie Aigner Clark of Baby Einstein fame to maternity wear designer Liz Lange. For self-serving purposes, I've asked them all the same question: What can you not live without as a mompreneur? Most answered with things like "a sense of humor," "passion for business" and "unrelenting determination." I then asked for something more tangible. Many gave the same answers and tips. I think you, too, will agree with this must-have list!
Jo Ilfeld, Co-Owner,
Let's Go Strolling
1. Phonetag.com --This website is a must-have. It's a service that transcribes phone messages, which are then sent to an e-mail account. With all phone messages transcribed, you can discretely check voicemail via smart phone while at school assemblies, standing in line, etc. The service provides the entire voicemail message including call-back phone numbers. It's great for checking the status of voicemail messages left on the office machine without having to call in all the time.
Julia Tanen, President and CEO
The Tanen Group
2. Daycare --My must-have is fantastic, reliable daycare. Your hours might not be 9 to 5 as a mom entrepreneur, so you need to be able to depend on your child care situation so you can attend essential meetings, answer phone calls and work.
Julie Aigner Clark
The Safe Side
3. Housekeeper --A good housekeeper is my No. 1 must-have. It doesn't matter who makes your bed or does your dishes. Get those household chores off your to-do list and you'll have much more time to spend on the important things in life. Plus, a good housekeeper can watch your children when you have to take a call or leave for a last-minute meeting.
4. Helpareporter.com --HARO is a must-have for mom entrepreneurs, especially if you can't afford a publicist. On average, business owners receive 15 to 30 queries each day about various media opportunities. It's free and it just takes a few minutes to see if a query is a good match for your business.
Alicia Forest, Founder and CEO
5. Husband --OK, not everyone has one. But if you do, appreciate him and acknowledge that he can offer great support for you as you run your business. Not only can he can help with the kids, he can also be your sounding board. If he thinks he's a part of your business, he'll be more likely to lend a hand.
Liz Lange , Liz Lange Maternity
6. A Smart Phone --Whether it's an iPhone, a BlackBerry, a Treo or something else entirely, it allows you to juggle multiple priorities anytime, anywhere. It lets you balance work and motherhood.
Stacey Kannenberg, Author and Publisher
Get Ready To Learn Mom
7. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn --Get profiles up on all the social media sites; it's free and some of the heavy traffic these sites get will be transferred to your site as people find your profile and click on your business's website and blog links. Be careful not to let it suck too much time from your day; designate a specific amount of time each day to attend to social networking sites and stick to it. Use sites like twitterfeed.com to feed your information from Twitter to your other social networking profiles.
Stacey Ross, Founder
San Diego Bargain Mama
8. Dedicated Work Space --Your hours might not be traditional and you may be homebased, but you need some adequate work space if you want to be productive. Create a home office that's organized and inspiring. Make sure you have enough time each day to work while someone watches your children.
Trillion Dollar Moms and Marketing To Moms
9. A Good Accountant --Get somebody who will help you make decisions to prepare for the growth of your company. While this may seem like something you can do yourself, it's best to have a professional make sure your business is financially sound from the start.
Lisa Druxman , Stroller Strides
I'll take No. 10. I think a virtual office is most important. Make sure you have a web-based system so you have access to your e-mail, faxes, files and calendar wherever you go.
Mom entrepreneurs continue to be some of the most creative, resourceful and passionate people in business. They have a fierce determination for success and openness to learn from others. Learn from what these successes mompreneurs have shared here and these invaluable time-savers will benefit you, too.