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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Featured Biz Question

I want to start a baby business. I have no idea where to start and how to make it happen! I know that I'm going to make baby outfits, baby keepsakes and possibly a baby book. I'm not sure whether to start with mail order or internet. How do I go about starting either of the two? How do I accept credit cards? Do I need to register with the IRS for tax purposes? I also was considering going to flea markets and promoting my products. Any help I can get will help me more than you know. I appreciate it! Lisa

Answer from our Guest Expert Cheryl Demas, Founder and Editor of WAHM.com

Baby Business Advice

Dear Lisa,

Whew! Those are all great questions to be asking before you start your baby biz!

Write a Business Plan

First of all, to help you focus, I'd suggest you research and write a business plan. It doesn't necessarily have to be formal, but creating this document on your biz idea will help you organize your thoughts and make decisions regarding the direction for your business.

A business plan helps you think about the questions to ask yourself and the information and data you need to gather. For example, one aspect of a business plan is gathering market data on your product or service. For example, you could start with a baby book. Make some samples and show them to people. Don't just rely on the opinions of your friends and family. (They're probably too nice to tell you what they really think.) Don't be shy. This is the time to find out what people like and don't like. Find out what you need to change. Better to find out now than after you've produced 1,000 items.

Go to your potential customers: parents, grandparents, playgroups, mom organizations. Ask them:

  • Would you buy this product?
  • What would you pay?
  • What would you change?
  • Would you buy it for your baby or for a gift?

Then do the same for your baby outfits and any keepsake ideas you have created. These answers will not only give you insights on what your products should feature and cost, but they can also help you decide which marketing methods will work best for you.

Resources for Business Plans

Next, you'll want to check out your state's business regulations and how to get your products to market. continued

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About the Expert

Cheryl Demas
Founder and Editor of WAHM.com
Cheryl Demas

Cheryl's career included 11 years working at Honeywell and CableData and a degree in mathematics and computer science. From her home in Folsom, CA, Cheryl has built a web site that draws more than 2 million hits per month and, with advertiser support, makes money. In 2000, her book, The Work-at-Home Mom's Guide to Home Business, was published. more