Archive for the ‘Small Business Entrepreneurship’ Category

How to Become a Mom Entrepreneur?

Monday, November 1st, 2010

v401rcat2qicwcad0em4bcai5vbkncal7izubcaw6cg9zcazxqfejcasuo2ppcailvec9ca1n5n3hca5z76p8caklebbacabwwvn6cabl13x5cajx997aca68r29bcaeokuvucab3mgmtcaia1jl11I enjoyed watching  Donny Deutsch’s show, The Big Idea.  Donny Deutch, an advertising executive, got his own cable tv show after appearing in an early episode of Trump’s The Apprentice.  On his show, Donny would interview entrepreneurs about their products.  The question he asked his guests was:  “How did YOU come up with THIS product?”  Restated the question was:  “How did you come up with your BIG IDEA?”  Invariably, the guest entrepreneur would answer:  “When I was confronted by X problem, I found a way to SOLVE it.” 

The story the entrepreneur told was compelling, sometimes arising from a personal tragedy such as designing a better infant car seat after having had a child injured in a car accident or a nagging, everyday irritant such as not being able to fish out car keys from the bottom of one’s purse (what woman hasn’t had this problem?) or how to keep bra straps from showing when wearing sleeveless tops with wide armholes.   The products featured on his show might cost but a few dollars.  Donny would urge his audience to find solutions to problems in their daily lives. A problem solved could the BIG IDEA for a new or improved product. 

I would dream of being on Donny’s show and telling him that I too fit his entrepreneur pattern of:  frustrating PROBLEM prompts BIG IDEA and determination to SOLVE that problem.  It’s not that difficult to come up with a BIG IDEA.  What is difficult is carrying through on a BIG IDEA and transforming it into a product consumers will actually buy.  I imagined telling Donny how frustrated my son was filling in pages of mindless drills to learn the multiplication tables and my deciding right then and there that there HAD to be a better way!  I would tell him how I drew a grid for tables 1-10 and found amazing patterns for all the tables.  I would tell him how each day my son and I papered the fridge with our discoveries. I would conclude by saying I decided to hire a graphic artist, design my book from cover to cover and publish Teach Your Child the Multiplication Tables to help other families and how in four years I’ve sold almost 10,000 copies!

Every day, moms are confronted with frustrating problems such as discovering toilet paper cascading down the stairway from a child’s bathroom.  An enterprising mom invented a toilet paper dispenser to keep that from happening.  Another mom used her creativity by improving the design of the standard baby pacifier. Why not a pacifier shaped like a rasberry in an eye-catching color?  Look at everyday items in a new light.

Moms spend their days solving problems large and small.  Why not take the leap and become a mom entrepreneur?  Hats off to dad entrepreneurs too!  The results of improving other people’s lives are rewarding.

                              [Image from] 

Marketing for Small Businesses: A good press release can make all the difference

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Last week I was quoted in this blog:…/small-business-shoulda-coulda-wouldas.html  on marketing strategies for small businesses.

Eugenia Francis ( wishes she had learned the value of press releases sooner. “A well written press release is a good investment. ‘Times Tables, the Key to Your Child’s Success?’ (which I wrote) was blasted over the internet. Not only has [the press release] appeared in several languages, but [it] was reprinted in EDUCATION MATTERS, a periodical for teachers. I should’ve done this earlier,” says Ms Francis.

Press releases are important, and with so many free and low-cost press release distribution services online, it is possible for even a small business to develop a strong marketing campaign that includes press releases. Just know that to see tremendous return on your investment – like anything in life – it’s not just quantity, it’s quality. Send out press releases often, but you have to have a great story to tell before you decide to send out a press release.

And don’t do any new marketing strategy unless you can evaluate its effectiveness and your ROI (return on investment). Ms. Francis suggests adding coupons to your newspaper ads. “Advertising in magazines [and newspapers] is expensive. Every quarter, the ad exec would beg me to renew my ad. I decided to include a coupon in the ad. When not one coupon was redeemed, I dropped my ad. My advice: include a coupon in your ads to see if indeed you are reaching/persuading customers.”…/small-business-shoulda-coulda-wouldas.html

Teach Your Child Entrepreneurship

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

As the owner and founder of TeaCHildMath and small business entrepreneur,  I am frequently asked how to teach children entrepreneurship. 

My recommendation is to have your child actually run a business such as a lemonade stand.  Have your child compute the cost of the lemons, the sugar, the cups and other incidentals. 

At the end of the day, have your child count up the sales and figure out the net profit.  Your child is solving some real math problems in a real context, not only addition and subtraction but multiplication and division.  What was the net profit at the end of the day if 15 cups of lemonade at 50 cents each were sold and the cost was 5 cents per cup?  Math in a real context is powerful.  Your child is holding a fistful of dollars and a cup full of change.  He/she is very interested in how much money he/she made and how to increase profits next time. 

Discuss what factors increase sales such as selling on a summer day, cost of products, lemonade stand location and developing salesmanship skills by engaging with customers.  What of advertising with a bigger sign and maybe one posted on the corner?  Discuss whether diversifying the product line by selling chocoate chip cookies would increase sales.  One lemonade-stand entrepreneur in my neighborhood found, not surprisingly, it was cheaper to buy chocolate chip cookies at Costco and reselling them.

A dollar your child earns is worth so much more than the dollar you give him. Think also of your child’s pride and satisfaction in running his or her business.  Why not teach your child to be resourceful at an early age?  Why not develop these entrepreneurial skills?

Entrepreneurship is developing an idea, product or service and selling it.  Start with a lemonade stand; the lessons learned here are Basic Entrepreneurship 101.

TeaCHildMath Mentioned on Jan Norman’s Small Business Blog in the Orange County Register

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Thank you to Jan Norman for featuring my workbook and my Orange County business, TeaCHildMath, on her Small Business blog  on the OC Register.  It means everything to me to have local recognition.

Bringing a product to market is a daunting task. As any entrepreneur can attest, starting and running a business is a hands-on, real-life MBA in creative innovation, product development, strategic innovation, task management and marketing.

Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Yet the rewards are immeasurable. It is entrepreneurship that drives our economy by creating new jobs, new services and new ways of doing things. It is the entrepreneurial vision, courage and can-do attitude that will see us through this economy.

Jan Norman’s blog can be found at: