Desperate Mom Needs Business Help!!!

Updated on September 30, 2009
L.D. asks from Boynton Beach, FL
21 answers

Dear moms,

This request is for other moms who own their own business, preferably an online business. I desperately need your advice.

I'm a stay-at-home mom to a 4 1/2 year old boy. My marriage is not going so well and I really need to make my invitation and announcement business work. This is the only way I have to make money right now since he's in pre-school.

I've had my business for over three years now and I've taken a loss on it every year. A lot of it is due to advertising costs, but if I don't advertise, then I don't get any orders. I would be heartbroken if I had to close down my business because I truly believe I can be successful at it and I've put a lot of money and time into it already.

If any of you have any good ideas on generating more exposure for your online business, I would love to hear from you. I'm getting desperate and don't know what to do anymore.

Thanks for your time.

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone for all the tips and I really appreciate the positive responses. Because of the rules on Mamasource, I was not able to list my business or website in my request. But my website is listed under Local Business Reviews and it starts with a "P".

I've been told by a lot of people that my website is very cute and that they love my designs so I know that I can be successful at this. And I don't think it's uncommon for new business to NOT be profitable in the first 3-4 years, especially with this economy! I think if I could just help bring in some income to help with the bills, that would alleviate some of our marital issues.

Some of you asked what type of advertising I've done, so here's more information. I've recently hired a company to do some PR for me which I've never tried before. I've also been doing some celebrity gifting with them so I'm hoping that will open some doors too. Other than that, I do Google AdWords, periodically advertise in some major magazines and have a Twitter page but admit I haven't really gotten the hang of Twitter. I also put up regular blogs on my site.

Two suggestions I received that I haven't tried yet are the email newsletter and going to stores to see if they want to carry my products. Now that school has started, I'm going to try both. My past customers all seem to be happy with their purchases so I think the email newsletter is a great idea.

Thanks again for all your positive responses. I really appreciate it!


Featured Answers



answers from Daytona Beach on

Hi L.

Try wedding planners, wedding guides and bridal expos. You'll get fresh contactable leads each month, as many as 300 just from the wedding guides.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Gainesville on

Have you looked into Thats where I have my online shop, and the fees are very reasonable.
Good luck!

More Answers



answers from Tampa on

L., financial problems can certainly add stress to a marriage. Unfortunately, a business that has taken a loss for over three years is not viable. One of the most valuable forms of advertising is word of mouth. Have past customers been happy with service? You should follow up with email or phone calls to survey their experience with your company. You may also want to consider networking with local businesses and associations. Perhaps you can barter services with another business, which can later end up in referrals. You'll also want to try different forms of advertising. For instance, if you usually advertise via mass email marketing, then try running ads in local church newsletters. (Just make sure to choose publications with large exposure)

In the mean time, you may want to consider a part time job to supplement your income. Perhaps you can do some home cleaning while your son is in preschool. Or perhaps some elderly customers need someone to take them grocery shopping or do it for them (which can also be done with your son). It sounds like it's time to think outside the box. I hope this helps :) Hang in there.



answers from Miami on

A strategy that works really great for me is getting out and meeting new people and making it a habit to tell them what I do. A great start would be at your son's school. You might also consider passing out business cards or frequenting local facilities that specialize in baby products. Even with the economy in a downward spiral people are still having babies, yours is a business that will always be around. Hang in there!


D. L. Campbell



answers from Punta Gorda on

A very inexpensive way that might help you is Ebay. You can sell brith announcements on Ebay. Yo can create an Ebay store, or post long term buy it now items. In your listings you can also put a link to your webpage for cheap advertising. Good Luck. Also do not be affraid to put your link in your post so some of us can see you business. Use these types of mom blags to get your web page outh there for free.



answers from Orlando on

Hey L. D.,
Have you tried viral marketing or the use of social media such as twitter, facebook, linkedin networks. I know of many who have had success using these vehicles to advertise, upcoming events and businesses. All are free. You tell your network, and your network tells theirs and so on and so on....... You could even start your own viral marketing campaign just using your address book. Hope this helps.



answers from Miami on

Hi L.,

Advertise via a flyer. Do your own, and put them on cars outside churches, supermarkets, mailboxes etc.

The most powerful weapon we have is GOD, please pray
that you be devinely guided to improve your financial situation, and to have the wisdom to deal with your husband's problems. Please remember not to cause your son
any trauma, that might debilitate him all of his life.

I am putting the white light of the holy spirit around you and your son for protection.




answers from Miami on

You've gotten a lot of great tips and offers to help already. I do not own an online business, but I recently started making money online publishing articles.

In the process, I was referred to The Keyword Academy, which was created and run by 2 guys who are professional internet marketers and educators. Their focus is on helping people create niche websites and researching keywords to use to drive traffic to their sites. Their concept and teaching style is great and easy. I can't believe how much I've learned from their course. I recently started my first website ( am on the road to earning, slowly, from all my articles and blogs.

Perhaps it would be a good idea for you to check it out for the keyword and backlinking information - here's the website:

By the way, good luck with your marriage issues. I feel like I'm in a similar boat - we're just roommates that get on each other's nerves most of the time. We have two girls, 4.5 and almost 3, and I know we need to make it work for them. Also, I don't want to have to go back to work outside the home, so something's gotta change, but it is hard - of course, we've (me - cancer) had a lot of major health issues over the past year ..... I could go on and on but I won't. Best of luck with everything - really.


answers from Orlando on

Have you tried blogging and using other Social Media outlets?

What is it that you truly love about your business? I could probably give more suggestions talking on the phone - would that be helpful? Let me know.

Oviedo, FL



answers from Jacksonville on

Have you tried listing on Ebay and Craigslist?



answers from Miami on

what about social networking? junior achievers? craigslist? these are ways to do non-traditional advertising that don't cost much



answers from Stationed Overseas on

Where are you doing your advertising? There are a lot of inexpensive ad spots on message boards where you can get a lot of exposure for minimal cost ( is one of my favorites).

You could also try participating in the Great Cloth Diaper Hunt, a bi-annual online scavenger hunt that leads hunters through WAHM websites. I get thousands of hits each hunt! You can check it out at

One last thing- try getting a review on a high traffic blog like Basically, you send the reviewer a product sample and offer up a prize, and they talk up your business. To get more prize entries, people blog, twitter, post, etc. to other places about the review, so it spreads a lot farther than that one page!



answers from Naples on

Hi L.,

Just wondering if you use my-space, twitter or facebook? I am a my-spacer and they do allow you to do free ads. I get quite a few views on them. I also belong to a couple of the groups and have quite a few people looking at my site, which is good for business. There are also many other sites where you can do on-line ads free or cheap. Inet giant is great, and also e-page and Lycos classifieds.

We recruite quite a few SAH moms on our team and I know some of the group does advertising by visiting maternity wards and putting their info in the "new mom" packs they give out. Also, have had some success with putting info in the packets at birthing classes.

I hope this is helpful! Have a great day.

Hang in there girl, and God Bless You. We are in the greatest business!




answers from Miami on


Read the book "Hiring the heavens" by Rhonda; easy reading and can open other doors to success. Good luck!



answers from Orlando on

Have you asked your son's preschool about advertising with them, or partnering with them. There is a women who sells a similar product and offers the preschool 20% or something like that, of any sale she gets that comes through the school advertising...She runs specials, etc and sends out massive emails to the parents, etc.



answers from Miami on

Hi L.,
I am a work from home mom of a 17 month old girl and 34 month old boy and I own an advertising company. I have owned many companies on the past and have 2 masters degrees in business and marketing. Please let me say that in this economy many people are using very inexpensive ways to do invitations and announcements (pre-made) If you are going to be successful at that business you will have to distinguish yourself as high end and target only those who can afford high end invitations and announcements which means a high end website and internet optimization for the site so everyone that searches invitations finds you. You also need the ability to produce high end products. Sit and evaluate who buys your products and why. Make a budget and cost analysis to see how much you need to sell to make your bills. Then decide if it is a lucrative business. Just because something works on paper doesn"t mean it will work in real life. Feel free to email me with questions, I'm happy to help.



answers from Fort Myers on

I recently joined Empowered Network is SW Florida. There are several chapters and this had been great exposure for our business. It's a women's networking group and they are very loyal and help refer you to others. There are photographers in this group, which could be one connection for your card business. Check them out on-line or come to the Live Well Expo at Coconut Point on Thurs. Oct. 1st to meet a lot of people from the group.



answers from Tallahassee on

Have you tried social media sites? Join Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter under your business entity. Advertising fees on Facebook are based on what you're willing to pay, so it can be affordable, plus just having the networking system is also a bonus and FREE. I would also suggest getting email addresses, even of friends and family or of people you're doing business for should have the email of past customers...start an email newsletter (you can do this yourself using Word, again cheap!). Focus on Holidays of the month or a reminder to buy invitations for next birthday, from previous customers. I would need some more info about what tactics you use now, in order to really help you. If you need some more ideas, please let me know. I'm a marketing consultant for businesses just like yours (my own shameless plus!!).


answers from Fort Walton Beach on

I didn't see anyone mention

My husband's cousin's wife uses this site and does pretty good (name on etsy is "chicdefrosch").

Don't forget to claim your loses on taxes. You can do that for so many years - IDK what's required, but that might be a thing to look into.

This site might give you other ideas to look at making and selling. I'm thinking about the same thing after college.



answers from Tampa on

Hi L.,
I haven't answered any Mama Source requests in a long time because my life is non-stop running, but your message caught my eye and my heart! I have been a Neonatal ICU Nurse for over 30 years so I know how very much you appreciate your precious son! I have also been doing a business from home for 3 years now and know what you mean about your efforts to get things going! I can certainly understand why birth announcements are so much in your heart! I'm sorry you are having stressful times in your marriage... after 34 years of being married myself, I always share with young girls who are getting married that "it doesn't ever get easy"! After being married for 16 years we experienced the loss of our first precious baby girl to S.I.D.S. (sudden infant death syndrome, or crib death), then had 2 miscarriages, and then our now 16-year-old son was born with Down Syndrome. He has turned out to be the greatest gift we ever received in our lives, and we also have a daughter who is almost 13. I tease that she is "the real challenge", ha, but sometimes it is actually true! Anyway... I didn't plan to go into our life story, and don't have any magic solutions for getting more exposure for your business, but I want to acknowledge that I truly understand how very important your son is to you, and that I also understand why you want to have a home business and be able to stay home for him!! The one really important lesson I have learned about home businesses is how very important relationship building is, so I have finally slowed down on pushing and feel compelled to learn more about people and their own personal needs. I'd like to share Blessings for You and Your Family L., and wish you the best!! Your heart is definitely in what you are doing... can you possibly expand your business into other types of invitations and announcements too?! The other recommendation I would make for you and "every mom" is to schedule some time into your busy schedule for some intimate time with your husband. I want to create a logo: "Reflect-Respect"... because everyone certainly has the same need to feel loved and respected... love your husband like you love your son and see what happens, ha!
Take Care L. and Good Luck with your business!
Sincerely, D. Moore



answers from Tampa on

There is lots of help out there. YOU CAN DO THIS!!

Call me ###-###-####

P.S. I am not selling you anything. I just happen to be involved with almost nothing but entrepreneurs like your self and we all support each other. So call me so we can figure out what it is you might need to move your business forward!!

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