Rachel Blaufeld, Back'nGroove Mom
With a decade of household CEO experience under her belt, a real-world degree in listening, motivating and consulting, countless leadership projects and sheer mad chaos, Rachel founded Back’nGrooveMom in 2010 to share her thoughts on where being a mom intersects with building a business.
‘Ah ha’ moment that led to launching this business: Originally, I launched my blog as a personal project, but when my email inbox became full of requests to ‘chat’ more on the subject of rebranding and growing a business while maintaining the role of being a mom, a lightbulb went off. Many moms were hungry for something of their own.
Ideal Customer: A woman or mom who either has been on a career break or looking for a career change that includes some flexibility and a feeling of ownership. A woman who wants to see her ideas brought to life.
First Customer: Both of my first clients were high school and college classmates. It was a relief that someone who I knew and valued already trusted in me, however, asking for payment was difficult. I did it though.
Measuring Success: As a writer, I measure success in page views, time on the site, comments and interaction and how these statistics translate into women engaging in projects with me. As a woman, I gauge my success by hearing back positive feedback from other moms.
Biggest Struggle: Asking for money was a big hurdle for me in the beginning, especially when it came to former classmates. Realizing that I wanted to help other women be successful, value their own time and expertise and achieve greatness made me think that I had to be a role model.
Surprise!: The busier I am, the more productive I am. The fuller the agenda or my calendar, it seems as though the more I accomplish.
Promoting Business: Attending conferences – like Spark and Hustle – has been the best promotion so far, and more than likely will continue to be so. The networking that evolves is tremendously valuable and ongoing. The ripple effect of going to my first Spark and Hustle only a few months after deciding I wanted to launch a business continues to astound me. It truly has evolved into a very connected ‘society.’
Two things I wish I would’ve known: 1) How long some aspects of business take in setting up and 2) That there are really only 24 hours in day.
What keeps you up at night (business-wise!)?: Unanswered emails, planning for the weeks ahead and trying to remember whether my kids need a packed lunch or not.
Ever tempted to throw in the towel and just get a job?: I throw in the towel every month for about five minutes, and then I think to myself that my brand is me and if I quit, there will be nothing there. No legacy, nothing for my kids to remember. Quitting would be an awful example.
Moving Forward: My goal is two-fold. First, to finally launch my second business, a product line that I created and was the impetus behind my original blog. Second, to maintain my blog and work with moms while launching. It is a lofty notion, but I am determined, tenacious and have too much riding on it all working. I expect to get even better at chunking my time into segments for each business, outlining specific times for specific groups of tasks.
Pricing, Getting It Right: I really try to get a feel for what the marketplace can bear in a certain category — and price accordingly. It is a constant tweaking based on supply and demand. I believe that quality of services provided sets the tone.
Funding: To set up my blog and LLC for consulting required minimal funding. What women really need to remember is time really is money, and it is so crucial to evaluate what is the best way to spend time. I have some experience with funding due to the products business, and it is not easy. I used some money that I saved, and I am diligent over every financial choice in this regard. Crowd funding seems to be a fantastic way to go, and I am intrigued with that avenue.
A Few Good Tips: Our lives are so virtual now, and it is very easy to hide behind a computer, but we must take our internet connections and turn them into real life relationships. It is important to attend conferences, workshops, and networking events in order to meet others face-to-face and be able to refer one another and/or do business together. Finding a few good mentors is key. Do not ask someone right off the bat to be your mentor, but foster and nurture a relationship.
Must Read: The Spark and Hustle Blog, of course! I really do love the stories and posts from real women and their success stories that Tory shares. I find it important to stay on top of issues facing women in business through Entrepreneur Magazine, The Huffington Post, local news, and a large dose of other blogs on business related items. StartUpNation, where I am a regular contributor is a fantastic resource for forums and information on starting a business.
The absolute best part of owning my business is: that something is MINE. I still cannot believe what I have created, and I am often taken aback when someone compliments me.
If I had to start over again, I would: have planned better in the beginning, but my excitement took over.
I never imagined: staying on top of receipts would be so difficult. It is my worst nightmare.
If standing on a rooftop facing crowds of aspiring or struggling small business owners, I would shout: “Do what you are passionate about, what you love, and what you do best.”