A mompreneur is a newly coined term for women who establish businesses at home while also acting as the full time parent of their children. The mompreneur movement is one steadily growing in the US as mothers try to find ways to make money, express their creativity or business acumen, and also to parent their children. Precise figures are difficult to find regarding exactly how many mompreneurs make up the current business world, but there are some statistics regarding the growth of home-based businesses.
One of these is the impressive independent sellers list on eBay — close to 500,000 people are independent sellers for the company. Many of these are moms who merely hit garage sales or take in free items and then resell them on the eBay site. Profit may be made on the actual items, but most profits from this style of mompreneur are made by assessing shipping and handling fees to items. “Handling” can mean a charge above the shipping cost that the mompreneur gets to keep as part of her profit.
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The mompreneur may also get her start by inventing something, often an item that will appeal to other moms. Susan Dunk, who was recently featured in Costco's magazine, The Costco Connection, invented the Toddler Coddler, a pillowed device that keeps young children from falling forward in their car seats. Her product sold extremely well at trade shows and Dunk soon was able to increase her production value of the product. You can now find Toddler Coddlers in toy and children’s stores.
Other mompreneur types may do the same kind of work they did before they had children. Instead of working in a large accounting firm, a mompreneur could start her own firm to accommodate her changing schedule. Mompreneur jobs vary exceedingly, but many of them are quite profitable. People may run daycares, create products, design jewelry, freelance write, or sell products from the home (Mary Kay, Avon). Not every mompreneur makes a product to sell, but all of them reinvent the way they can do business and many make a stable profit while doing so. The most successful mompreneurs can make exceptional salaries, though not every mompreneur succeeds.
To this end there are now books and many websites devoted to giving advice to the would-be mompreneur. These advise on how to get funding to start a business, how to create a business plan, and they also serve as an excellent meeting place. Talking with other moms is a great way to make business contacts for the mom thinking of running her own business.
One of the principal issues the mompreneur faces is learning how to balance the requirements of her children with the needs of her business. This is why many sites advise people new to running a business to create small realistic expectations that will not cause too much of a burden to especially young children. The savvy mompreneur learns how to work during those times when her children require the least supervision, and also quickly learns how to say “no” to business obligations that will take time away from her family. She may work around children’s school schedules or nap times in order to maximize her time spent with family.
The mompreneur movement is an interesting one, expressing the changing attitudes toward stay at home mothers. Creative mothers who do wish to stay at home are now finding lots of ways to do so, without necessarily sacrificing income. It can’t be said that all mompreneurs are always able to perfectly balance work and family needs, but they have a better shot of being able to provide this balance by being their own bosses.