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Old 10-10-2012, 10:26 AM   #1
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Class Project: WAHM Businesses

Hi! I'm doing a project for business class, about WAHM diapers specifically, but the WAHM world in general is relevant. I hope it's OK to post this here, and I'm hoping the conversation might help many WAHM-curious as well as helping me with my project.

Next I have to make a Survey Monkey Survey, so I'll post that later. To be grateful to you awesome Mamas I'll share the results of that survey too.

If you have a few minutes, I'd love to discuss:

-- Are you currently a WAHM?

-- Since dollar figures are private info, is your goal to have profits equivalent to a full time job? Half time? Quarter time? (and have you achieved this)

-- Do you have management or business owning experience?

-- What were the most difficult hurdles in starting your business (or, if you haven't yet, what's the wall you keep hitting now)?

-- How do you reach your customers? (Etsy, Hyena, DS Site, your own website, brick and mortar store, going straight to people ...)

And anything else you'd like to share about your experience!!

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Old 10-10-2012, 11:11 AM   #2
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-- Are you currently a WAHM? Yes

-- Since dollar figures are private info, is your goal to have profits equivalent to a full time job? Half time? Quarter time? (and have you achieved this)

My wahm business just supports my hobby, meaning that all profits are sitting in my fabric and machine inventory.

-- Do you have management or business owning experience? I have a lot of experience in customer service positions, as well as some management experience. My parents own a small business, which I have been involved with in various positions for fifteen years, beyond just being immersed in it from childhood.

-- What were the most difficult hurdles in starting your business (or, if you haven't yet, what's the wall you keep hitting now)?

Defining and sticking to one single target audience, rather than trying to meet everyone's needs and desires.

-- How do you reach your customers? (Etsy, Hyena, DS Site, your own website, brick and mortar store, going straight to people ...)

Started on ds and hc, moved to etsy and fb

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Old 10-10-2012, 02:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fancy Pansy
Defining and sticking to one single target audience rather than trying to meet everyone's
Thanks for answering! Do you mind telling me more about how this process went for you? What did you start offering and how did you pare it down?
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:15 PM   #4
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Re: Class Project: WAHM Businesses

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrennaII View Post
Thanks for answering! Do you mind telling me more about how this process went for you? What did you start offering and how did you pare it down?
I started off with myself as a target audience - a cheapskate who only buys clearance. I realized that's not a realistic target audience after trying to make almost every diapering type out there at bargain basement prices...it just doesn't work. Once I realized this, I was able to weedle out the items I didn't enjoy making, and come up with a system that was both fun and economical, so I still could offer an affordable diaper system without burning out or being discouraged.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fancy Pansy

I started off with myself as a target audience - a cheapskate who only buys clearance. I realized that's not a realistic target audience after trying to make almost every diapering type out there at bargain basement prices...it just doesn't work. Once I realized this, I was able to weedle out the items I didn't enjoy making, and come up with a system that was both fun and economical, so I still could offer an affordable diaper system without burning out or being discouraged.
Lol I was just at Cottonbabies digging in their clearance bins... I hear you!

When I'm not on a smartphone with a dying battery I'll have to look at what you've come up with! I love that sweet spot of affordable quality.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:45 AM   #6
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Re: Class Project: WAHM Businesses

Not sure if I quality because I just sell diapers, not make them, but here goes:

Are you currently a WAHM? Yes, and I also am a full time WOHM

-- Since dollar figures are private info, is your goal to have profits equivalent to a full time job? Half time? Quarter time? (and have you achieved this). My goal within 2 years is to make enough profits that I can cut down to 4 days per week instead of 5. I think this might be realistic if I work really hard.

-- Do you have management or business owning experience? Not management per se, but I've working in banking and accounting for over 10 years (mostly working with small businesses) and I very much understand how businesses run and the financial side of a business. I have a business partner that has lots of marketing experience so she manages that side of the business. Both my parents also own their own business so I was a big part of their businesses growing up.

-- What were the most difficult hurdles in starting your business (or, if you haven't yet, what's the wall you keep hitting now)? For us, it was finding an existing business to purchase as many of the mainstream diaper manufacturers are not accepting new online only retailers. Another big challenge for us was building a new website.

-- How do you reach your customers? (Etsy, Hyena, DS Site, your own website, brick and mortar store, going straight to people ...)
Our website, here on DS, facebook, Diaper Pin and other websites that we advertise on. We also teach a very popular cloth diapering class at a parenting center (we inherited this class from the prior owner) which generate some nice sales for us. Gaining new customers is very hard because there is so much competition out there and CD mom's are very loyal to their retailers (understandably. I was too before I came into this business).
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:11 PM   #7
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Re: Class Project: WAHM Businesses

-- Are you currently a WAHM? I'm a different kind of WAHM (freelancer), though I did own an online diaper store for years and have tinkered with going back into it in the brick and mortar world.

-- Since dollar figures are private info, is your goal to have profits equivalent to a full time job? Half time? Quarter time? (and have you achieved this) I haven't ever had a goal in terms of this. My husband has always made enough money that if it were merely hobby income, that was fine. It all kind-of started with having older kids and needing something to do with my time while they were in school. Now, I work from home and home school them, too.

-- Do you have management or business owning experience? Yes. I owned the diaper store for years. I also have been working as freelance accounting and paralegal off and on since 2000.

-- What were the most difficult hurdles in starting your business (or, if you haven't yet, what's the wall you keep hitting now)? When I owned the diaper store, honestly, other store owners feeling like you were encroaching on their territory. Perhaps that has changed by now, but it was not a very pleasant environment! With the freelance work, it's hard to establish the initial contacts that you will continue to repeat business with.

-- How do you reach your customers? (Etsy, Hyena, DS Site, your own website, brick and mortar store, going straight to people ...) With the diaper store, it was through a site and straight to people locally. I would participate in festivals and whatnot to spread the word. With the freelance stuff, it's straight to the people.
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