Member Spotlight: Denise Fernander
Founder of Mompreneur Success Academy
Listen to the podcast: www.mompreneursuccessacademy.
Mompreneur Success Academy aims to equip moms who are online coaches with the knowledge, tools & resources to create clear messaging and go to marketing plans so that they can start making money now!
Denise Fernander is a 2021 Kitty Fund Grant Recipients
Can you please introduce yourself and your business and the date it was founded?
I’m Denise Fernander, a business coach, strategist, and podcaster. My business, Mompreneur Success Academy, specializes in helping mom entrepreneurs who are coaches and just starting their businesses. We guide them through the process of getting their messaging together, understanding their numbers, and other key aspects to achieve success in the first 90 days. Additionally, our podcast features successful mompreneurs sharing tips and advice for those who are just starting out.
What inspired you to start your own business?
In 2011, I experienced a health crisis which was very serious, especially considering that my son was young at the time. As much as I loved being a full-time teacher, I knew I had to make changes to improve my stress levels and overall well-being. This led me to transition towards entrepreneurship, and inspire my son to do the same. In 2018, a friend approached me to create a course to help her balance her celebrity publicist career and family responsibilities, which became the starting point of my business. By 2019, I resigned from my teaching position to focus full-time on my business. My son, who is now 20 years old, was inspired by my journey and has also started his own business.
How has your identity as a Mother business owner impacted your journey so far?
Immensely! It’s especially meaningful to me since you know that Mompreneur space belonged to me. I feel a deep connection to the women I work with, many of whom are also mothers, and we all struggle to balance the many roles we play in our lives. As a result, I’ve become both a mentor and a mentee, and this has had a significant impact on my role as a mother and my empathy towards others. This experience has touched every aspect of my life and has been immensely transformative.
Can you share any challenges you have faced as a business owner and how you have overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges, especially in the beginning, was understanding the difference between being a business owner and an entrepreneur, even though I still consider myself an entrepreneur. As a business owner, the goal is to build something that doesn’t require your presence every day, whereas entrepreneurship can feel like a constant hustle, especially in the first year. To replace my income, I worked just as hard, if not harder, than in my previous job, and there were fundamental aspects I had to understand. One struggle was the lack of time in a day to accomplish everything, and many new entrepreneurs fail to delegate tasks, believing they need to do everything themselves. One of my first pieces of advice to new entrepreneurs is to create a plan and figure out what they need to focus on, and what tasks they can delegate, in order to avoid feeling bogged down. Successful entrepreneurship requires excellent time management.
As a grant recipient, how did you use the grant funds to take your business to the next level?
I am incredibly grateful for the grant that I received, as it allowed me to focus on the crucial aspect of delegation. With the grant, I invested in marketing, specifically an email campaign strategy, which I was able to implement due to the following I had already built up on social media. Building an email list was the first step, which led me to realize the need for a robust CRM system that could handle email campaigns effectively. I used the grant funds to develop this system and hired someone to create consistent and engaging emails that would continuously interact with my potential and current clients. Thanks to the grant, I was able to take my marketing strategy to the next level and reach a wider audience.
Can you offer any advice for other entrepreneurs who are just starting their business journey?
It’s crucial to have a plan right from the beginning. This involves identifying your message, determining your sweet spot, and understanding your niche market – who needs your products or services and what value are you bringing to them. It’s also important to have financial stability before diving in. While the initial costs may not be high, especially in the coaching industry, you need to ensure that your regular expenses are covered and that you can reinvest in the business without the added stress of meeting household expenses. Additionally, it’s important to know your numbers – understand how much profit you make from each sale, how much you need to pay freelancers or staff, and how much you can reinvest. Finally, find something you’re passionate about and love doing – this is key to driving success in your business. If you can combine your passion with a solid financial foundation and a well-thought-out plan, you’re sure to do well.
Interested in learning more about the Kitty Fund Grant? Check it out!