Dana Roth and her husband Jeff recently launched a brand new website Totactivities.com http://www.totactivities.com, which provides listings of local and nationwide activities and events targeted for baby, toddler, & preschool aged children.
The idea for the business came about after realizing that there was a serious lack of a one-stop place for moms with baby/toddler age kids to find upcoming local activities for their kids. Their goal is to become the only site that parents come to when looking for activities and local events for their children.
We talked with Dana on the challenges of jumpstarting an online business:
What is TotActivities.com? What is your goal for the site?
TotActivities.com is a nationwide site that allows businesses with baby/toddler/preschool events & classes to promote their upcoming events at no cost. Our site is targeted to moms with children in these age groups (0-5) to help them easily locate upcoming local events and classes for their children.
What inspired you to start your business? What need did you see in the marketplace?
After having my first child 4 years ago and transitioning from working full time to being a stay at home mom, I immediately began searching for local activities and events that I could participate in with my son to keep us both socially active. I found myself having to go to each business’s website to find their class schedules then organizing them myself to make sure it fit my personal schedule. It just took way too much time to do this and told my husband, an entrapaneur himself with other businesses, there was a huge need for a kids events/activities website to bring all of this information together to moms like me. We decided to start the business thus the beginning of TotActivities.com.
What did you do in your previous life prior to starting this business?
I was a clinical dietitian for a major health system in the Pittsburgh, PA region.
What has been the most challenging part about starting TotActivities.com?
Two things come to my mind as far as challenging aspects. First, balancing business with home and family life will always be a challenge. There is always something I can work on or do to promote the website since it is still in its growth phase. At times I force myself to get away from the computer and take care of things at home. Second, the internet has changed so much in the past year in terms of social media outlets and overall communication tools. It has been a challenge trying to keep up to date on the latest trends and determine the best way to communicate our existence to moms online.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far in starting and running a business?
It pays to be patient. When you’re not patient and expect things to happen too quickly, they’ll never happen. If I set a goal for the business, I try not to make it time based to allow every means of developing towards that goal.
What do you find most exciting about being an entrepreneur?
Hearing positive feedback about our website from other moms and businesses is the greatest. It keeps me going every day in my quest to make our site the best out there. I’m always open to hearing feedback both positive and negative to help us grow.
Do you think being an entrepreneur makes it easier or harder to balance your work and family responsibilities? Why?
To be completely honest, it does make home life a bit more hectic but in a good way. The business keeps my mind sharp and always thinking of new ideas to develop. Even moreso, my kids and husband are always unintentionally giving me things to consider for the business simply by going through our daily routine and conversations. It works out great.
Do you work at an office or from home? What are the positives and negatives of this arrangement?
All of the work is done from home. The biggest advantage to this beyond the cost of office space rental is that work can be done at any time of the day. Kids taking a nap? Time for work. Kids out with daddy? More time for the website. Ironically the biggest advantage can also be the biggest negative. Sometimes work does get intertwined with family life a bit too much but I try to balance the best that I can.
What other lessons can you share to other women entrepreneurs?
Businesses and new products usually start from personal experience. We’ve all had those moments where we say “I wish I had this or I wish this was available” to make my life easier. I decided to act on my thoughts and now I have a great new business and a lot of thankful moms on board who all had the same thoughts in their head. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, act on it and don’t live with any regrets.
How do you see your business 5 years from now?
TotActivities.com will be the only site that moms with young children visit to find local events and classes for their kids. Our brand will be recognized by moms, businesses and advertisers nationwide.