Mommy Perks was founded in 2005 as a potential franchise opportunity. Shara Weiss became the co-owner of the site in late 2007 and took full ownership of the site in early 2009. The focus then shifted to a B2B service. Her website has undergone numerous changes and shifts over the years.
As of 2016, Mommy Perks is a blog that primarily focuses on sharing information about parenting and family topics, charity groups, non-profits, ministry endeavors, and small businesses.
How many children do you have?
Four. That I know of. :-)
How many hours do you work a week?
How do you balance all of your business and personal activities?
My husband and I both work-from-home. We remodeled a travel trailer and turned that into our office. It sits at the side of our home. We have a sitter come for five hours each day (M-F). That gives us time for focused work (although we do pop in on the kids every 30-60 minutes just to say hello and to cuddle them a bit).
Rick and I have always gotten along well and love working next to each other … just 10 feet apart in fact. LOL. Once it’s ‘quit’n time,’ we head indoors and play with the kids, eat, and go for a walk if it’s not too hot. Or we might take them to the park in the afternoon or play in our yard (2/3 acre of woods where they can explore and swing or collect rocks, look at bugs, and so on). We pick our eldest son up from school after flag football, and then we all eat dinner together and watch Wheel of Fortune. If we have time, we play a game like Yahtzee before bed.
I don’t think I could do everything I do without the support of my husband. If he worked outside the home, I would have to re-organize and re-structure for sure. This routine works for us because we make it work. I do think, though, that ANYTHING you put your mind to it – you can make it work for yourself. So even if you don’t both work-from-home or have a sitter, you can organize your life to suit your own needs and make it work.
For me, it’s all about balance, like you mention. A little work and a little play. Also, you must make time to laugh. Laughter clears the air and keeps us in good health.
What was the inspiration behind Mommy Perks?
I didn't found Mommy Perks; however, I was co-owner for about a year and recently became full owner. The inspiration behind the business is this:
- Save moms money.
- Offer resources and tips.
- Share sales and give away great free products!
- Blog about small businesses and offer an ‘inside’ to niche markets that shoppers might not otherwise find or locate.
- Network, market, share ideas and insights.
- Offer an affordable location for moms to gain PR, branding help and advertising.
- Have fun and enjoy the community!
What has been your biggest business struggle?
I am taking things in stride. Mommy Perks has grown so rapidly over the last few months that it’s been hard to keep up the stamina. I have to step back, breathe and take it one day at a time. Some days I have to take it one MOMENT at a time. I have a to-do list sitting next to me, and I update that daily. I cross things off and add new items, etc. The list gets longer and longer and longer. I can’t complain because that means things are going well. At the same time, it’s exhausting to have so much on my shoulders all the time. I have to balance my time and manage my work hours effectively to get it all done and get it done WELL.
I make lists, I schedule things, and I try hard to stay organized. That certainly does help.
What are your three favorite websites or blogs?
- MommyPerks.com. LOL. Just kidding.
- I also love Kids Health with so many informative and comprehensible articles.
- Also Education.com with ideas, tips, and expert advice. I have a background in education, so I am typically drawn to such sites.
What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?
Oh, boy. First and foremost: If you have an idea that you believe has merit, do not give up. Even if you feel as though you are the only one who ‘gets it’ – don’t give up. Those who succeed are always the ones who push on, even when the breakthrough appears to be out of reach.
Second: Ask others for input and advice. Always. Don’t assume you know it all. The input of others in an invaluable and free tool. Use it wisely.
Third: Don’t assume you can do everything for free. Some things you may have to pay for or invest in to get things going. At the same time, don’t throw money at the wind. Read, research, compare, and contrast. Run a pro and con list. Contemplate and think. No one ever died because of thinking things through.
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