There’s something about maternity leave and having a newborn baby that makes you want to come up with a business idea. I have a few theories on why this happens:
- You are yearning to do something for yourself and be creative, again;
- You aren’t used to NOT “working”; and
- You don’t want to go back to “work” after maternity leave.
*I put “work” in quotes because I know you’re working harder than ever at being a mom. “Work” means the traditional sense of the word such as going to the work force.
Whatever your reason may be, it’s an upward trend for women in general.
Mothers are deciding more and more to stay home with their kids and start a business to fulfill their creative, spiritual, and financial needs. I understand this completely, because although I’ve been an entrepreneur for several years, it means so much more to me now to be able to pursue my passion.
To watch a video on this topic, click below:
First, get a notebook and a pen and call it your ideas log.
Now, here’s the weird part. Don’t start writing down ideas. Write down PROBLEMS.
Yes. I said problems.
Go through your day to day tasks and write down any problems you encounter.
- My child’s bottle is leaking.
- My maternity bras are too big but I can’t go back to regular bras.
- I can’t find any kids programs to register my kids.
- My house is always a mess.
- I need coffee to survive but it’s giving me the poops.
- I keep running out of snacks for my kids.
- My stroller is always so dirty because of snacks.
Is this starting to make sense? The best businesses (and the only way to start a successful business) solve a problem. They are solutions to real problems faced by real people looking for help.
The ideas log is not a static document because you will always have problems that need fixing. So, keep adding to it as life happens.
What do I do now?
Now that you have a juicy list of problem, come up with solutions for a handful of them.
|1||My child’s bottle is leaking.||A bottle that doesn’t leak even after being washed and put in the dishwasher.|
|2||I can’t find any kids programs to register my kids.||A drop in kids program so that parents can bring their kids in whenever they want and not have to be on the same nap schedule.|
|3||I need coffee to survive but it’s giving me the poops.||Coffee that doesn’t make you poop. A scientific approach.|
|4||I keep running out of snacks for my kids.||A healthy snacks box that arrives at your house bi-weekly so you never run out.|
|5||My stroller is always so dirty because of snacks.||A stroller cleaning subscription that comes to your house once a month to clean your stroller quickly and quietly.|
Take a look at your solutions and determine which ones are aligned with your values and passions. Which ones could potentially fulfill your creative, spiritual and financial needs? You may be the poster girl of anger towards leaky bottles (having tried every one on the market) but if it doesn’t sound like something you’d get out of bed early in the morning to work on, then scratch if off your list.
Then, determine which ideas you are willing to work hard and long on. The ones that you will sacrifice for.
Mark Manson talks about this here and he really hits the nail on the head when he says:
Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.
Your list may go down to 1 or 2 ideas after this activity. It may even go to none. Don’t lose sight of why you’re doing this: to come up with a business idea to fulfill your creative, spiritual, and financial needs. Not just a business for the sake of a business.
I chose my idea! How do I know if it has the potential to succeed?
Before, we start this section, remind yourself that this activity is dynamic and just because your first jab at it doesn’t pan out into an actual business, it doesn’t mean you’ll never get there.
Most importantly, remember that failure is the best learning tool out there so don’t be afraid.
Let’s go with our healthy snack box subscription idea. I feel passionate about it and I know my life would be so much easier if I always had a supply of snacks for my kids and never ever ran out. Bliss!
Here’s what I would do next:
(1) I would ask my target market (ie: moms who care about healthy organic snacks) if this is a problem they face. If yes, then I’d ask them if a bi-weekly subscription box would make their life easier. If yes, then I’d ask them how much they pay for snacks on a monthly basis. Then I’d ask them if they’d be willing to pay a few bucks extra if those same snacks plus some new ones were delivered to their door bi-weekly. If yes, then ask how much more.
Basically, if you have their attention, let them talk about this problem and any other problems they may be facing (jot them down!).
If they are answering no to most of your questions, chances are this isn’t a big enough problem to tackle.
Don’t ask individuals who are NOT your target market these questions. For this idea, I would not speak to dads (or men), moms with kids who are older than 5, moms who are on a tight budget, or moms who only feed their kids vegetables. Get it?
(2) I would conduct online research on what exists in this space already. Start with a list on what the other companies are doing well, what they’re not doing well, and if they’re already fulfilling the need you want to address. Then, if they are doing well, would you order from them? Why or why not? Further, if this was a problem you were facing, why hadn’t you heard of them already?
If you find a company that solves the problem you had in the same way you would solve it and you have nothing new to offer, you’ve realized two things. One, a solution to your snack issues. Two, the need to go back to your ideas list and potentially move on.
Sometimes the perfect solution already exists and instead of re-inventing the wheel, you just need to move on. Other times, a bad solution exists, or a solution exists that you provide a unique edge to: efficiency, accessibility, more options, better rates, better product, your personality, etc.
Pursue it in those cases.
I’m ready to start working on my business!
You did it! You’ve found a big problem, come up with a solution, and are ready to dive into your first business venture. Now, what?
Do you start with: a business name? Business plan? Investors? Should you start posting to instagram? Should you claim a domain name?
No. You do none of these.
Because you have to remember your WHY. Why are you doing this?
Go back to your intention. You are starting a business to fulfill your creative, spiritual and financial needs. Revisit those needs because giving your business meaning is what will keep you motivated.
Does this business have the potential to fulfill those needs?
What comes next is something I help women with as my business: launching and growing a successful business that gives you financial independence so that you can lead a happy and fulfilling life, while pleasing God and raising good children. Because this means the world to me!
If and when you’re ready to take that next step, fill out this form and we can get started.