Mompreneurs: Running a family and a business

May 9, 2008 6:58:12 PM PDT
More and more mothers have to balance a family with a job. Technology is now helping moms achieve a balance between raising children and running a business.

Claire Ekelund is a Los Gatos mom with two daughters -- 7-year-old Claudia and 4-year-old Ariana. She designs and makes nursing covers, selling them on a Web site called Bebeaulait.com.

Helene Byrne is an Aakland mom with a 13-year-old son, Jason. She has an online store that features her own DVD teaching prenatal and postpartum fitness and exercise.

You can call these women "mompreneurs."

"Within seconds that my Web designer got that pay now button click working, literally I started making sales," says Helene who is the entrepreneur behind Befitmom.com.

Both women credit Google with allowing them to balance work and family. Both sites advertise online using Google's proprietary Adwords service -- the ads that magically appear relating to the subject you're searching on Google.

"We sell quite well in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Google and the Internet is worldwide, so really any time that we put our name out there and it's with an Adword, then we can get clicks from all over the place," says Claire.

Small start-ups don't have time to design ads or create marketing plans. However, Adwords can do that with simple online forms in a matter of minutes.

"There's no minimum budget that you need to set, so we have advertisers coming in every day saying they have $30 for a month, and based on that monthly budget, we'll show their ad as often as we can, and they can actually compete against much larger advertisers with much deeper pockets, much bigger budgets," says Google's Adwords evangelist, Fred Vallaeys.

Online ads generate almost one-third of Befitmom's Web sales. That gives Helene the time to be a mom.

"That gives me time to cook healthy meals, have a family dinner, get my son to and from his sports activities and really have a balance in my life that really has quality," says Helene.

And for Claire, the online Google ads have helped her to expand the business and spend time with her daughters.

"It also allows me to go home at 2:30... pick up the children, then I can work from home if I need to," says Claire.

Perhaps the best part of being a mompreneur is putting the kids to bed at night and then going to the computer to check how much money they've made.


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