Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Today I took a vacation day to work on my business. I spent the whole day on-line and updating my business plan. I finally feel like I am moving ahead. I made some calls to reach out to some organizations that can help me with my questions. There are plenty of organizations with free counseling and advice, especially for women. I am going to use every one of them. I went to class tonight as well. It was all about the business today. The class discussion was about picking your location. Since I am not having one, I left early after the break. I am feeling exhausted and excited at the same time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I skipped class tonight to continue working on my business plan. It takes a lot of time to research on the internet as well as write down my thoughts on what I want to do. I must admit, what I do have written down does clarify where I am going. I believe it is an important step. I am not sure I can complete the business plan in full before starting my business though, specifically talking about the budgeting portion. I am definitely stuck there.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It's amazing how fast a week can fly by. I was able to brainstorm a little bit this weekend on my business plan, but then all this week I've been running around in single parent mode. I am excited about the choice of 5 different clothing lines to import, all providing the same unique, colorful fun clothes for kids. Two of the companies even have an "agent" program for wholesalers. In order to complete their applications, I'll need to finalize my business plan as many of the questions on the application apply to the decisions yet to be determined.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Tonight I had dinner with my children's daycare administrator. We've had to cancel a few times, the latest cancellation due to Hurricane Katrina. She is a great resource and I think we brainstormed even better after a few drinks. I had a dual agenda in mind, first to understand her buying habits as a mom of children and second to understand what is most important to her as an administrator of a daycare with regards to fund raisers. As a mom, I asked her how she shopped for her own kids. When her children were those ages, the web did not exist as it does today. If it had, she would have definitely used the web or catalogs to order fun, unique, different children's clothes.

I want flexible reduced hours to spend more time with my own children so I am thinking of other alternatives of distribution other than a storefront. Along with web and mail-order catalogs, other forms of distribution could be home parties, mini fashion shows, festivals or table displays at daycares and schools. We agreed that career moms would be probably the best target market for home parties. It becomes a social event for moms to get out with the "girls".

One goal of this company is to be socially responsible as well... give back to the children, not only to the children of the country the clothes are being imported from but to the sponsor school. I asked what alternative would work best in daycares and schools? What's in it for the school? As an administrator, what is the most hated part of these promotional programs? During our discussion, it was concluded that daycares and schools would probably do best with either a table display with a stack of catalogs and poster or send each student home with the catalog and poster. The poster needs to include a goal for the school, what could be purchased for the school through the fund raiser. Children's clothes may even sell better than overpriced wrapping paper or candy bars. Parents need to buy kid's clothes anyway and it also has a dual role as a fund raiser for the school.

As an administrator, any work is a burden. Make it easy for the administrator to raise funds for school programs by giving the opportunity to sell products with little to no work required by the school for managing the program - make it seem like free money.

Overall, it was a great meeting. I learned a lot through our brainstorming - including business can be fun.