Inquisitiveness and a willingness to jump on an opportunity is a big advantage for any inventor, but it can be an especially useful trait for moms with an entrepreneurial spirit. Chances are if you notice an idea for a product or service from which you and your family could benefit, then there may be a much larger market for it.
Jamie Pearson, co-publisher of Best Kids Apps, a kids’ iPhone app review blog for parents, did just that when she teamed up with partner Jen Leo, lead blogger for the Los Angeles Times Travel Blog. Together they developed and launched BestKidsApps.com, an extremely informative, colorful and well-organized “review blog for parents who want to find the best children’s iPhone applications without slogging through the entire iTunes store.”
Networking with other moms in order to do market research can be an inexpensive and truly valuable way to decide if your product or service is viable. When speaking to the advantages of being a mother in business, Pearson says, “We have the advantage of a built-in audience of fellow mothers that would love to see us succeed in any endeavor.”
So, before making a big investment in your concept, depending on the type of product or service it is, develop a low cost mock up of your idea and show it to other mothers. Brainstorm names and bounce marketing ideas off your friends and family, too.
Jamie adds, “Parenting is an uphill struggle, and I think moms are automatically hard wired to try to make life easier for other parents. Best Kids Apps is all about helping parents save time, and who couldn’t use more of that?”
She also advises that mothers looking to make the plunge into entrepreneurship “be a tough boss—make a daily schedule for yourself and stick to it. If you only have five (or two or three) hours a day to devote to your business, it’s critical that you spend that time wisely. It’s all too easy to get sidetracked by research and networking while your to-do list grows and grows.”
As a photography instructor, I mention in my book (about helping people to develop their photographic eye, and thereby enabling them to notice and take advantage of more photo opportunities) something that is equally relevant to inventors:
Do you miss what others see, or see what others miss?
Having the ability and inclination to keep on the lookout for ways to fill a niche is a skill that comes naturally to many entrepreneurs, but can be developed over time. Like a muscle, this ability needs to be developed, nurtured and exercised. Moms are in an excellent position to see what others miss, as they tend to tackle challenges as CEO in managing their kids’ lives every day.
I’ll bet you’ve said to yourself a number of times, “Geez, I wish someone would come up with a way to [insert problem here].” Many moms probably do this an average of three times or more each day as they go through their routine and inevitably stumble across situations that they wish someone, maybe even themselves, could make better with a simple solution.
So learn not just to look, but also to actually see.