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Mom Business Owners: Tips for Success

By Brett Snider, Esq. on May 08, 2013 9:25 AM

Sure you're a mom, but you're also an entrepreneur running a successful business. And although those skill sets often overlap, there may be some pitfalls to treating your employees like your children.

The following tips will help keep mothers, and the businesses they own, on top:

1. Find Funding in Unexpected Places.

Women-owned businesses have a poor track record for attracting investors, with venture-capital funds flocking to traditionally white-male-dominated tech startups.

But don't be discouraged: There are plenty of good ways for moms to fund their budding businesses. Some potential routes that may pay off include:

  • Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. There are two kinds of loans backed by the federal government given to businesses with at least two years of cash flow.
  • Home equity loans. Moms put a lot of love into their homes, and this loan may allow you to get some love out for your business.
  • Loans from loved ones. Keeping strong family connections has its benefits, sometimes in the form of a low- or no-interest loan.

2. Interview Like a Pro.

Depending on the size of your business, you may be interviewing employee candidates every month, so it pays to remember these tips:

  • Be polite. but not informal. Every mom has her own interview style. But if you're too casual, an applicant may take your friendly demeanor as a sign of an informal chat and not an interview.
  • Don't get too personal. Questions about kids, partners, pregnancy and marriage may seem harmless, even if it's between two women, but these questions can potentially expose you and your business to discrimination lawsuits.
  • Interview in a smart space. Even if you work from home, choose a neutral, quiet space to interview -- and not a noisy neighborhood Starbucks.

3. Don't Be Your Employees' Mom.

Moms have enough to deal with from their own children, there's no need to invite more stress by being overly maternal with your employees.

Being friendly and open is fine, but even with a business partner, you may want to clarify your role as a boss in writing, along with your employees' roles and your expectations.

4. Get Some Legal Backup.

Running a business requires a lot of contracts and paperwork, and your reputation as a business owner depends on those items being immaculate and effective. How can you make sure you're complying with all the laws and regulations out there?

One way, of course, is to retain an experienced business lawyer. But another, and perhaps more affordable, option is to sign up for a prepaid legal plan like those offered by LegalStreet. LegalStreet plans include contract reviews and on-call access to local attorneys, among other benefits, for an average cost of less than $13 a month. For busy business-owner moms, that's a small price to pay for some legal peace of mind.

Disclaimer: LegalStreet and FindLaw.com are owned by the same company.

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