With talk of a double-dip recession heating up, it’s time for small business owners to take a second look at moms and the ways they can benefit your business.
Why moms? A few reasons. First, the recent recession pushed more men out of the work force compared to women (some pundits dubbed it a “mancession”) though men are recovering their jobs faster at this point. As the economy remains uncertain, mothers are more likely than they might have been in good economic times to be seeking work.
Second, moms still haven’t gone back to pre-recession spending habits, and if they’re worried about layoffs, they’re even less likely to do so. Third, moms—whether they have jobs or not—continue to be the primary “purchasing agents” for the family (according to some estimates, moms are the primary decision-makers for 80 percent of purchases). So if you hope to capture her business—and grow your business–you need to be aware of what Moms are thinking.
How can you benefit from moms in today’s economy? Here are four ideas.
- Keep an eye on her budget. Moms have been keeping tight control of the purse strings since the last recession hit, and they’re not about to open the wallet now. Make sure your marketing message acknowledges Mom’s financial concerns and positions your product or service as a good value. That doesn’t necessarily mean a bargain price, but simply that what you offer is worth her family’s hard-earned money.
- Acknowledge the time crunch. Working moms, in particular, are feeling extra pressure these days—pressure to keep her job, raise her family and spend time with her spouse–so your marketing message needs to address that. Can what you sell save her time or simplify her life? Will it give her more time to spend with her family? Will it help her do better at work and gain more job security? Will it help ease her stress (without making her feel guilty about wasting time or spending too much money on herself)? All of these topics are hot buttons you need to hit.
- Consider hiring moms. Many small businesses are seeking extra help right now—but don’t have the budget for full-time staff. Many stay-at-home moms are seeking part-time jobs to help ease the budget crunch at home or build a nest egg in case a spouse is laid off. Sounds like a match made in heaven, right? Remote working options, part-time or flexible hours are great ways to lure moms who often have tons of relevant work experience. JobsAndMoms and MomCorps are two mom-oriented job boards to consider.
- Be nice to your moms. If you’ve got moms on staff, be considerate of their needs. They’re already working hard, but perks like flextime, letting them take a few hours off here and there for childrens’ school events and working at home will build lasting loyalty now more than ever. A Baylor University study published online in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that the more control moms had over their work schedules, the more likely they were to stay at their jobs after having children. Realize you can’t provide these perks just to moms—you’ve got to offer them to your whole staff—but the payoff in loyalty and dedication will be huge. Now, that’s something even your Mom would approve.
About the Author
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her blog, SmallBizDaily. Visit her website SmallBizTrendCast to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.