Ready to Become a MOMpreneur? Start Your Own Small Business
How fantastic to see Sara Blakely, 41, owner and inventor of Spanx body-shaping underwear being named the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire this week in the 25th annual rich list from Forbes magazine.
What a great story! Sick of VPL, Sara found herself cutting the feet off her tights to wear under her cream trousers. Not being able to buy what she wanted in stores, she decided to make her own underwear solutions and patented her design with a legal text-book (to save costs). With an investment of just $5,000 of her savings, she made up a prototype and sold the concept to department stores herself to take orders.
Karen Katz, formerly of store Nieman Marcus, said: ‘Sara’s effort was to solve an age-old problem for women in a modern way. We were smitten from the beginning.’ – Daily Mail. Her company is now valued on Wall Street at $1 billion.
As a mom of one, Sara’s story is certainly inspiring and I am sure many of us would be thrilled to have only a small part of her success. So if you have a budding idea, a way to solve a problem you encounter every day or a creative product your friends love, then why not think about starting your own business!
Starting your own business can be very exciting and empowering. It can offer lots of potential rewards plus the ability to work to your own schedule. However, before you embark on your idea, weigh up how much time your realistically have to devote to your business each week. How will you cope if you have a lot of demand? What will you do about childcare? Is your business idea one that can be scaled up and down according to your family commitments? If not, do you have other resources you can utilise if necessary?
Beyond this, there are also certain attributes that someone starting their own business usually has: you should be comfortable with a certain level of business risk; you should be fairly comfortable with numbers and/or prepared to learn to help you manage your financial affairs/cashflow; you need marketable skills or an attractive product and you need to have confidence in yourself and your business idea.
To find out whether your business will be viable you need to be able to sell a service or product that people will want and make a profit from it. Focus on your income sources as many “good ideas” do not actually transmit to bringing in dollars. Also bear in mind, potential start-up costs and the level of risk you are comfortable with…obviously it is easier to start businesses with a lot of money behind you…though this is not necessarily a guarantee of success!