Good Mother Will Make Money: Part 1

Chinese Mom Inc.

Good Mother Will Make Money: Part 1

Do you want to make more money? There are two ways to increase revenue in your business: You can sell to more customers, or you can sell more to your customers. At Admiral Road, for example, that means we can grow the company by selling blankets to more people, or we can sell more blankets to customers who have already purchased from us. Ideally, we’ll do both.

The business model is interesting in the publishing world because publishers have two different kinds of customers. The more books the publisher sells to bookstores, the more money it, and the author, will make. Here, the publisher has to sell books to one customer at a time. The other way the publisher can make money is to sell the rights of the properties it owns to other publishers. When we signed a publishing contract with HarperCollins Canada, they acquired the worldwide rights to our book. 

After Mom Inc. was published in Canada we learned that HarperCollins had sold the Chinese language rights to our book. We have no clue what happened after that as we never heard anything about it, but we thought this was great. It was more money for something we had already written. We just had to let HarperCollins sell something that we had already sold to them. We were tickled, but we never thought about it again. 

Last week we were egosurfing (doesn’t everybody Google themselves?), and we made a surprising discovery: Chinese Mom Inc.! What a thrill to see a Chinese language edition of our book! (And the hilariously subtitled, “Good mother will make money.” We’ll talk more about that next week.)

When thinking about who you can sell your product or service to, try thinking outside the box. We sure hope the moms of China are enjoying Mom Inc. as much as we enjoyed writing it.

Entrepreneurship and Competition

Run Your Own Race

Entrepreneurship and Competition

Judging the recent MOMpreneur of the Year Award got us thinking about competition and how it affects us. As small business owners, competition is something we all need to navigate. 

Our businesses are extensions of ourselves. We can’t help but look around and see what other people are doing. Like most things, it’s a good news, bad news story. Let’s start with the downside.
Occasionally, and more than likely at some point, a competitor will do something that annoys you. They will rip off your marketing materials, inappropriately target your customers, or be less than straightforward in an interaction with you.
We’ve had people impersonate customers to learn about how our business works. We've had our designs copied. Someone once copied our ‘About us’ section for her own site. And once, on a competitor’s web site, the language had been so directly copied that it instructed customers to contact Admiral Road if there was a problem with a blanket!
We can take these occurrences very personally. Our competitors become a perfect place to target all of our stress and insecurities in our business. We’ve known some people to be so fixated on their competitors that it affects their own lives negatively. They make poor business decisions following their competitors, or trying to avoid them.
Sometimes we don’t even have to interact with another business to feel threatened by it. Every entrepreneur (every human for that matter) looks at others and feels that the other gal is doing better. We think they must have something we don’t have. Maybe, we think, they have more money, better connections, or just plain better luck. Worse, we feel disappointed and angry by her success relative to our own.
Here’s what we’d like to remind you of: When you started your business you had an idea of what you wanted from your business experience. Did you want flexibility and balance? Did you want to be home with your kids? Did you want the joy of bringing your idea to life? What we all know is that entrepreneurs are motivated by so many things. So, before you judge yourself negatively against someone else, ask yourself how you are doing in your own business. How are you meeting your own goals?
Theodore Roosevelt famously said that comparison is the thief of joy. We contend that it’s also the thief of your own notion of success. We say, if it looks like the other gal is doing better than you, then good for her. Very likely she started out with some different goals than you. In any case, her failures and successes are her business, and you should be focusing on your own.
We also argue that competition can be good for your business.
The good:

 Learn from best practices of others

 Reflect the strengths and weaknesses of your business by looking at others

 Stops you from becoming complacent

 Meet people in your field who you can potentially work with. No one really gets your business and its struggles better than your competitors.

Sometimes a competitor can be the best thing that ever happens to you. When we’ve felt most threatened by others we’ve turned inwards and adopted the mantra ‘smarter, better, faster.' In fact, the periods where we faced the most competition have been some of the most productive in our business.
You started to work for yourself because YOU wanted to work in a certain way. YOU wanted your life to look a certain way.
I’m a competitive long distance runner and I used to train for marathons with my late mother. No matter how many miles we logged together in training, when we got to the start line on Race Day we would look at each other and say, “Run your own race.” You have worked too hard, and too long to be doing this for anyone other than yourself. It’s your life. It only needs to work for you. Run your own race. We'll be cheering for you.

MOMpreneur Of The Year

And The Winner Is...

MOMpreneur Of The Year

This weekend marked the 1st Annual Mompreneurs® Conference and Awards Gala in Toronto. Over 200 women gathered to learn, laugh, be inspired, and swap stories about life as self-employed moms. The Conference was the brainchild of Maria Locker and the company she has created, Mompreneurs Showcase Group, an organization that boasts chapters throughout Ontario to help support, educate and empower Canadian moms in the work that they do.

Saturday also marked a passing of the torch as Canada’s MOMpreneur of the Year was named for 2013. We were thrilled to be included in the judging process again this year. Past winners of this honour have included such inspirational women as the founders of Mabel’s Labels, Martha Scully of Canadian Nanny, Laura Berg of My Smart Hands and most recently, Ann-Marie Burton of momstown.

This year’s Top 10 was no less impressive, with business ranging from brick-and-mortar outlets to innovation in product design. This year the top honour goes to Jade Barr founder of Jady Babys. Jade manufactures (herself!) soft-soled baby boots that are non-slip, machine washable, vegan, and made-in-Canada. The prize, $30,000 worth of prize will help Jade move her business to the next level.

There are already plans in the works for next year’s award, so if you haven’t done so in the past, make sure to throw your hat in the ring next time around. In the meantime, congratulations to Jade and Jady Babys. We know you’ll do us all proud.