Mompreneurs are the New Innovators

There’s a new world in baby land.

The other day, I walked into a friend’s nursery expecting to see a simple crib and some cute toys. It was a waste of time. The room was full of sleek, new contraptions and inspired designs, as well as all sorts of clever, creative things to distract, soothe, and comfort her child.

My friend showed me how the Diaper genie creates a sealed chain of used nappies. The rocker had programmable nature sounds, the mobile was sleek and spinning, and there were eco-friendly and state-of-the-art furnishings. In the garage, there were three strollers, one of which was for off-road adventures.

The innovation, problem-solving, and Zen-like simplicity these products displayed were astounding. It’s exciting to see that a group of budding entrepreneurs and mompreneurs created many toys and tools designed for the new generation of children.

What is mompreneurialism? This is just one of many inspiring stories.

Sandra Wilson was laid off from her airline job in 1994 due to downsizing. She created a pair of bright leather shoes with soft soles for her 18-month-old son Robert. The boots allowed him to “feel the floor” while protecting his feet and increasing his sense of balance. The response was overwhelming. Sandra recruited 15 retailers to sell products. She transformed her basement into a corporate headquarters and has never looked back.

Sandra’s company employs nearly 400 people and has sales that consistently exceed 15 million Canadian dollars. Sandra’s colorful and comfortable leather shoes are sold in more than 4,500 stores throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Sandra also founded the Robeez Heart & Sole Program, which donates shoes to charities and nonprofits worldwide.

Mompreneurs represent more than a story of success. For several reasons, the mompreneur phenomenon has been a growing market trend.

All marketers are thinking the same way.

We no longer wait for experts to act on our behalf when we identify a market gap or an ideal product or service idea. We seize the opportunity more than ever before.

The virtual universe has broken down barriers.

The technology has virtually eliminated the need for traditional work hours or a traditional workplace. It’s not a big deal if you catch up on your email after midnight feedings or schedule client calls during a toddler’s nap. It’s more than OK; it’s inspirational.

Moms who are savvy, connected, and sharp

Most of the new mompreneurs have a corporate background and continue to maintain their professional network even after leaving the office. They already have valuable connections when it comes to securing funding for their home-based business or career change.

Even moms who have never worked outside of the home can be well-connected. They have run complicated fundraisers, organized playgroups for children, and developed the skills to become entrepreneurs.

Moms notice the missing.

Moms are fixing everything from rickety chairs to ugly diaper bags. Where there is a gap in the market, there’s always a lucrative business opportunity.

How to reach mompreneurs in a more relevant and compelling way:

  1. Support this new entrepreneurial group by finding ways to help them. Remove barriers to entry and provide convenient next steps. From insurance to financial services, nearly every industry can tap the mompreneur’s market by making life and business easier for them.
  2. Storylines: Mompreneurs are a great way to incorporate your brand and advertising messaging. Millions of people dream of starting a business or turning their hobby into money. You can tap into this desire by showing people who are successful at both home and business.
  3. Connect with other women who share similar interests. As a mompreneur, you may feel isolated. That’s why business owners seek information, connections, and resources, like banks that offer small-business mentorship and peer matching.
  4. Flexibility is key. Understand the demands of mompreneurs and offer your services and products with more flexibility. For example, you could create e-courses with live phone coaching that are more convenient than scheduling childcare to attend a seminar.
  5. Viral marketing has become a huge trend among mompreneurs. It’s a given that articles are easy to forward and emails work. Low-tech solutions are equally as effective. Clorox’s newest mops come with postcard-style coupons so that happy customers can share the product with friends.

Last word: don’t undervalue the title “mom.” It’s time to move on from the 2-D images of June Cleaver or Desperate Housewives, as well as stereotypical soccer mothers. Mothers can be women in second marriages with adult stepchildren or young professionals juggling babies and business. They could also be mid-30s women who stay at home to raise their adopted family.

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