The new year often brings with it new hopes, wishes and goals. For an aspiring entrepreneur, it might bring a new business. Wondering what business to start? Many of the business trends you'll see in 2011 will be a great fit for a mompreneur.
"The downturn in the economy opened the gates to a new generation of mompreneurs who are tech savvy and innovative," says Maria Bailey, author of Trillion Dollar Moms and host of Mom Talk Radio. "Mothers have alway been the leaders when necessity appears, and many moms who were in the home when their spouses lost their jobs stepped up."
1. Still social: Social media has been hot, and I don't expect the sizzle to die out anytime soon. Mompreneurs are coming up with online businesses that take advantage of moms doing what they already do -- connect. Why is this good business for moms? It can be done from home, on your own time, with a relatively low investment. The idea is to find like-minded people who would like to connect. The business model is usually to get enough people using the site that you can charge advertisers. In fact, websites like WordPress and Ning give you the ability to put your social media website together with little expertise and a small budget.
Sample social media sites by mompreneurs:
2. Green will be great: When you become a mom, you want to make the world better. We've never been so receptive to new products and services that will be good for us and the environment. Nonprofits like Healthy Child Healthy World and celebs like Jamie Oliver with his Food Revolution are creating awareness about how anyone can be part of the change. Moms are realizing they can make products or start companies that will benefit their families and the world.
Sample eco-friendly companies by mompreneurs:
• Kim Wall, creator of Episencial, an all-natural skin-care system
• Sheil Caldwell, creator of The Baggonizer, a reusable grocery bag organizing system
• Karen Kerk Courtney, creator of Bare Organics, organic skin-care and baby-care products
3. Apps are it: That mom on the phone may be launching her business. While most mobile app developers are men, an article in the Huffington Post revealed that many moms are joining the competitive game. A new group called Moms With Apps helps family-friendly developers who share best practices on making and marketing mobile apps.
Sample mobile apps from mompreneurs:
• Jennifer Wong, creator of Baby Bump, pregnancy tracker and baby names
• Gwen von Harten, creator of Roadtrip Bingo, a family travel game
• Jill Seman, creator of Mom Maps, which finds kid-friendly locations on the go
4. Franchising: Within franchising, we are seeing growing interest in franchises that deal with seniors, health care and fitness. Plus, there are more and more low-cost and home-based models, which are often a great fit for moms.
Of course, it doesn't matter what's hot if you don't love your business. Some may say all of the great ideas have been done, but entrepreneurs keep showing us that we've barely scratched the surface. I look forward to seeing new businesses from all of you "mothers of invention."