Family businesses come in all different shapes and sizes. Some were started by grandparents, who passed a dream to their children in hopes that another generation would continue to represent the family name. In other cases, brothers and sisters collaborate to create brand new ideas, hoping to build their own success story. But of all family run business ventures, few have the unique quality of a mother-daughter business. So what is it about this relationship that differentiates it from other family-based professional connections?
A Mother-Daughter Bond is Hard to Break
Close families enjoy open relationships, where communication is free and candid, respect is high and a true friendship develops. However, moms connect with their daughters with something deep and unexplainable. Sure, there’s fighting from time to time and the occasional cry, but that’s exactly what makes the bond so strong. Mothers and daughters in business together never need to worry about building trust or establishing a sense of loyalty. They are keenly aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and more in touch with how to bring out those qualities in one another in a professional context.
A Natural Rhythm Exists
Mother’s intuition is real, but there’s more to the story than instinct. The truth is, when a mother and daughter find the “groove” that makes their business relationship flourish, a kind of “natural rhythm” develops where tasks and responsibilities no longer need to be identified and assigned. A higher instinct takes over, and each partner thrives doing what they know they do best. That’s not to say that an overall strategy and game plan is a waste of time. Certainly, planning plays a critical role in business success, and all savvy business owners rely on business plans to coordinate efforts and reach objectives. But the natural rhythm of a mom and her daughter is difficult to replicate.
Truth Tellers At Heart
Making a real contribution to the business is a key part of building a successful partnership. In family businesses in particular, it’s easy to overlook less than stellar performance or the family member whose contribution is questionable. The same is not true with moms and daughters. Truth tellers at heart, mothers and their daughters are two family members who will not hesitate to tell it like it is. The result? A business where achievement is earned through hard work and labor.
Growing a family business has its challenges, and there are plenty of hurdles on the way to success. But unlike a typical family run operation, a mother-daughter team has the added benefit of drawing on the unique bond and natural rhythm of a mom and her little girl that can’t be replaced.
3 Tips For Getting More From Your Social Media Efforts…Without Stressing Out
Running a family business is not without challenges, and with strong personalities, uncertain finances and more, each day brings new obstacles. Now add to that this whole idea of social media marketing and most of us welcome the idea of burying our head in the sand on some far away island. We get it, truly we do. Like most business owners, we are well aware of the value to be gained from using social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But if you’re not seeing the results you’re looking for, you’re not alone. Here are a few tips for getting more from your social media efforts without losing your mind.
Have a Plan and Stick to it
Despite what you may believe, there is a method to the madness that is social media. And maximizing your efforts and seeing results from your hard work begins and ends with creating a plan. Instead of running into social full steam, take a step back and think through your objectives. If you’re already using Twitter or Facebook, think about how you want to target your market. Do you want to build up a current customer base or cross promote a new product? Maybe you simply want to start a conversation with other business owners in a related industry to expand networking opportunities. Whatever the long term goal- think it through, create a plan and stick with it. It doesn’t have to be formal, just a few thoughts on where and when you plan on reaching out.
Be Consistent and Meaningful
Nothing will damage a social media reputation more than inconsistency. Sure, you’ll probably miss a few days here and there, and that’s fine. But in order to develop an ongoing relationship with potential clients or customers, you need to stay in touch and it needs to be often. That means if one of your followers asks a question, you need to answer it promptly. If something big happens in your industry, you need to talk about it. Craft your posts thoughtfully and ask questions to incite two-way conversation. Follow your competition and see what they are talking about. Remember, the Holy Grail of social media marketing is meaningful engagement, measured by the amount of times your followers retweet, share and click on what you have to say.
Don’t Fall Prey to Information Overload
Back in the day, we used encyclopedias for obtaining information- and it took a while to find the right book, chapter and paragraph. Times are changing and instant access to everything is no longer far-fetched, but reality. The problem is information overload. It can stifle creativity, deplete incentive and leave you exhausted before you begin your day.
When it comes to optimizing your social media strategy, don’t let yourself get caught in the trap of reading every single post on every platform. You’ll most likely find some interesting thoughts and a few great pieces of wisdom, but three hours will go by and you’ll be back at the beginning. Set limits, respond accordingly to inquiries and move on.
Social media is here to stay. It’s opened doors for meeting and engaging customers in ways we never dreamed possible just a few years ago. Nevertheless, success comes from a well designed plan, commitment, discipline and oh yeah, a little creativity.
Taking the Business to the Next Level: What We Can Learn From Our Children
As moms, many of us feel that it is our sole responsibility to guide, advise and lead our kids, teaching them how to become great people going great places. And that’s true, it is. But sometimes, as a parent, there’s tremendous value to be gained from taking a step back to listen and learn. As professionals and moms, what can we learn from our children and how can the next generation help us be better prepared entrepreneurs and business owners?
Stay Ahead of the Curve
One thing is true about millennials and the next generation- they sure love their gadgets. And that’s a good thing because if it beeps, blurps, bumps or zings, someone will be using it to further their business goals. Are you tech savvy? I like to think that while I know how to use my smart phone and can send a few tweets that I’m doing okay. The truth is, technology is changing at break neck speed. If you lose momentum for a second, you may fall behind, forever playing catch-up. The good news is, our children are often very much engaged with trending technologies and emerging platforms, giving us a rare view into the benefits, costs and potential value of just about everything. How are your social media skills? Should you be using SnapChat for marketing? Is Vibe the way to go? You get the picture.
Put Unparalleled Energy and Unwavering Dedication Into…Having Fun
Yes, we’ve all heard that success comes easier when you enjoy what you do. But this takes it a step further. Our kids have mastered the art of learning how to make play a priority. Sure, there’s a time and a place for fun and you can’t simply decide to retire the disciplined approach for a thrill-seeking strategy. But while business needs to be structured, it also needs to be balanced. With that said, you’re not alone if you can’t remember the last time you weren’t consumed with schedules or meetings, returning phone calls, even email. Make time to relax, de-stress and have some fun. Chances are your body, mind and business will thank you for it.
Make New Friends…Everywhere
For kids, networking comes easy. Whether it’s on the playground, at school or in the driveway getting in the car, kids find ways to interact and engage. That’s a trait many of us forget about as we age, yet one of the most important aspects of building a business. The people we know and connect with build the foundation for a strong, robust future. Remember, success in the 1980’s may have been defined by what you know. In the 1990’s it was who you know. Today, business achievement is clearly defined by who knows you. Networking is everything.
For many of us, the next generation of business leaders is just a short walk down the hall. Whether or not we choose to maximize these resources by listening, engaging and getting to know them will surely define our path forward.
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Family businesses are fantastic opportunities to pursue a dream with the ones you love- and that’s a great thing. But they’re also filled with challenges, uncertainties and even a little heartbreak along the way. Now add to that, the idea of working out of your home and you really have your hands full. The good news is, it is possible to run a profitable family business from home, as long as you are well aware of some of the pitfalls and how to avoid them. If you’re considering starting a home based business or you’re already going full speed, here are a few pointers for staying on the straight and narrow.
Don’t Use Convenience as a Reason to Get Lazy
One of the benefits of running a business from home is the commute. In most cases, it takes a cool twenty seconds to go from the breakfast table to the office- and that’s simply awesome. But don’t let the convenience of easy access allow you to veer off the path. Keep a strict work schedule as if you were expected to be at the office and ensure family members do as well. If it’s easier, set a daily agenda and post it on the wall for all to see. Keep the expectations clear- and the same for everyone- and disciplined time management is easy.
No Bickering…Respect Differences and Embrace Compromise
Simply because you are related does not mean you have the same personality. In fact, it’s not uncommon for family members to have completely different perspectives on a wide range of things. But the bickering that is accepted in your personal lives has no place in the work environment. Embrace your difference and use it to complement your decision making instead of stalling progress. By respecting that each of you is coming from a different angle, and recognizing the generation gap, you’ll make it easier to find common ground. Besides, taking time to compromise helps you focus and more clearly define your objective.
Keep Work-Life Boundaries Clear and Understood
A successful family business requires well defined boundaries. That means work-life responsibilities must not blur. Particularly when working out of the home, it’s easy to “work around the clock” or mix business tasks with a personal agenda. While this strategy may work for a solo entrepreneur, when others are accounting for your time, it creates anxiety, stress and resentment. Keep the boundaries clear and understood. Avoid conflict by talking openly about workload and reasonable work hours.
Making a profit without tearing the family apart may seem like an impossible goal when working from home, particularly with strong personalities in the mix. By taking time to create and organize a disciplined work schedule and agenda, expectations are clear and it’s easier to pursue a common goal. Success with a home based business doesn’t happen overnight, but comes from hard work, commitment and a few good tips along the way.
Success stories are everywhere and it’s always motivating to hear when great ideas and creative women come together in a fantastic business. Building your own company is exciting and loads of fun, but at times a bit challenging. Whether you’re still in the planning phases or up and running, there are no guarantees when it comes to success- and for many of us, that’s part of the allure. While every business owner brings something to the table, here are three “must-have” characteristics that drive entrepreneurial success. Do you have what it takes to be a good entrepreneur?
No. 1: You are Your Best Advocate…and You’re Ready to Stand Your Ground
Like many self-starters, you’re opinionated, outgoing and proud of your ideas- and that’s a good thing. Particularly when it comes to building a brand, you’re likely to experience your fair share-and then some- of naysayers. Knowing how to be your best advocate and standing your ground despite negativity is the cornerstone to entrepreneurial achievement. In fact, even Oprah was told she would “never make it” in television. Building a successful business takes a great idea, but it also takes tenacity, discipline and support (both mental and physical) to endure setback, barriers and unanticipated challenge. Highly successful entrepreneurs knew from day one that they were onto something great and they didn’t let anyone diminish their enthusiasm.
No. 2: You Can Be Fearless…When Necessary
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get dirty, it can be a pretty rewarding experience. Being fearless- even in the face of failure- is a quality that comes through time and experience. The good news is, you can learn to be fearless and once you do, it’s the fastest way to grow through mistakes and carry on through setbacks and uncertainty. What does it mean to be fearless? It means taking the big risks that don’t come with safety nets and pushing forward despite the odds. It means perseverance and commitment when you’re uncertain and even a little nervous. It’s a dogged enthusiasm and a smile on your face when you have no idea what lies behind the next corner.
No. 3: You Soak it all Up Like a Sponge
Having an open mind and more importantly, recognizing when there is something of value to be learned is a trait the world’s most successful entrepreneurs know well. It’s about knowing how to use available resources and maximizing the benefit to be gained from others. Too often, people assume they know all there is to know about their product or service or how to build and grow a successful organization. The truth is, the world around us is changing at break neck speed, and whether it’s learning how to more effectively use social media, master project management software or build networks of loyal customers, soaking up everything is key. Entrepreneurial success doesn’t come with a recipe. But you can bet that the world’s most prominent business leaders have a few things in common. Wildly successful people aren’t winning because they have a better product or a better price. They’re winning because they’ve learned the art of mastering who they are to be better prepared to present the world with the next best t