Have You Ever Wished You Could Build a Family Business? Audrey Kerwood Shares How She and Her Mom Do Business Together. Hint: Could It Be As Easy As Playing a Game?

March 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Anne Holmes, Blog, Entrepreneurs, Work, Money & Retirement

Have You Ever Wished You Could Build a Family Business? Audrey Kerwood Shares How She and Her Mom Do Business Together. Hint: Could It Be As Easy As Playing a Game?

Many of you have told us you’d like to make some money, perhaps even start a business that would get you out of the financial mess the recent recession has caused.  Your concerns, of course, are that you don’t know whether or not you have any marketable skills.  As a coach whose expertise is in helping people find a way to do what you love and make money in the process, I often spend a fair amount of time helping my  clients identify their skillsets…

In today’s post, I have asked Audrey Kerwood to tell her story of how she’s making a good living running four eCommerce stores. That is, she sells stuff online. Best of all, she does this with the assistance of her mother and her sister. And, the businesses don’t require her to stock an inventory, or manage a warehouse…

Curious? Here’s Audrey to tell her story:

My name is Audrey Kerwood and I run four eCommerce stores.

I sell a broad gamut of products from replica armor to European wall hangings. I spend most of my time working on refining and growing my business. I am able to do this because my mom and my sister manage almost everything that requires daily attention in my stores. But more importantly, I’m convinced that sharing my business with my family has helped me develop a fuller relationship with my mom and sister.

Audrey Kerwood's mom Ginger Let me tell you about my mom, Ginger:

  • If you had told her a year ago that she would become a regular blogger, my mom would have laughed in disbelief.
  • Now, she chuckles as she gets more and more followers.
  • She’s thrilled that folks want to learn from her.
  • She has knowledge she took for granted and now that raw knowledge is making me money.

Ginger says she’s amazed that people read her blogs. I keep telling her that what she writes about is what people are searching to find – stuff like how to clean a tapestry wall hanging for instance.

  • The win/win is that my mom knows how to clean just about anything that needs cleaning.
  • My customers need to know how to clean the European wall tapestries I sell them.
  • In fact, many others who own wall tapestries need this information too.
  • The cool part is that everyone searching for how to clean their wall tapestry is a target customer of mine, so I make money when my mom blogs about the care of her own wall tapestries.

How do I make money off my mom?

Well, to begin with, I pay her. My mom and my sister are independent contractors I hire to run the day-to-day customer interface with my customers.

It started out with me doing everything. Then my stores got big enough where I couldn’t do everything myself. I had to begin dividing up roles and responsibilities in my business. This happened far faster than I imagined. Within three months I had replaced what I was making at my last job.

  • If you’re like most Boomers, you probably would like to have a way to make money with your daughter or son the way I make money with my mom. Maybe you reverse the roles and you run the store and they work on your business. I can’t tell you who should focus on what or divide up tasks for you that will be based on individual strengths and desires, what I can show you is exactly what needs to get done to make money together, giving you income-generating power for your future retirement.
  • If you want to change your lifestyle and go into business for yourself – and do it fast, I can give you everything you need to know to open an online store. But I want to be clear that fast means 90-days, not overnight. I also want to be clear that most people only work an hour a day, five days a week. This means you can have a store up and profitable in 120-days.
  • This isn’t you selling your stuff on eBay. This is using drop shippers  or wholesalers – first one, then more than one. I can teach you how to find a profitable niche you love, then vet the category for a reliable supply of vendors because you don’t want to build a business around a single supply source, that’s too close to Multi-Level-Marketing for my comfort. I wanted my own business, where I own my whole business. Getting tied to a single supplier removes some of the freedom factor in working for yourself.
  • I love having my mom in my life as much as she is. I get to spend more time with her because we work together. That doesn’t work for some. If you don’t have a smooth relationship, this may be disastrous. For us it works smoothly and consistently. And what I’ve learned over my life from my mom is immeasurable. She’s helped many people in many different ways.

Ginger, a beautiful married woman in her 60s, is a blogger by day, nanny by afternoon and a handful for my dad at night. They play Beatle’s RockBand competitively and my mom usually wins.

Is Ginger worried about her financial future?

Who doesn’t want to recapture the money you lost in the stock market over the last two years, right? But that hasn’t stopped Ginger from continuing to enjoy life. Despite the economy, she is still known for:

  • Spoiling her grandchildren with gifts whenever she sees them
  • Always having the house she wants – she recently replaced her couch and overstuffed chair with something new she liked better
  • Living in a fabulous home with a pool and a huge yard for family events
  • Driving the car of her choice, and
  • Taking her grandchildren for grandparents weekend each year

How Can She Do It?

She plans out her time and her money. She’s always made good use of her time and her money. She isn’t doing me any favors by working for me – I pay her well. And, I’m not doing any favors to her by hiring her. I make money from what she does for me; I know she treats my customers like they are hers and that’s comforting to me. I love having my mom as part of my business.

In fact, working with family members to build something together is one of the best perks you’ll experience when you decide to go into business for yourself. And one I never anticipated when I first got started.

Here’s what makes this workable:

  • My mom knows exactly what she does for me, so there is never a time when she is wondering how to make herself useful
  • Ginger started simple by answering my customer service line. It worked because it was something I desperately needed help with, and something that was easy to learn, because our policies make it easy to say yes to our customers
  • My business is a premium price business with free shipping and we honor our return policies so most customer service callers are happy people who are grateful for courteous help
  • As my mom got comfortable with each new task, I asked her to try something new, like email customer service.
  • Six-months later my mom was blogging and had followers.

If you asked Ginger a year ago she wouldn’t have been able to see herself as a blogger with followers, but she loves it. Now, she’s warmed by how many folks want to learn from her. The knowledge she has is now making me money. Thank you mom. Remind me to give you a bonus 😉

So: Can You Do It?

OK, it’s Anne again. Audrey’s story has inspired so many people, she and a friend Ben Mack, decided to put together a game to help others learn all the terminology needed to run a drop-ship based estore themselves.  Ben is a marketing genius, so I can promise you the game is freaking fun. Something you can play with friends, your kids, or even your grandkids, to learn how to make money with an eCommerce store.

Ben and Audrey call their new game eStoreOpoly,  and they’re just launching it online now. Just when you’d decided you need to change your lifestyle. How convenient, right?

According to Audrey and Ben, there have never been so many GREAT options available for becoming a successful online merchant as there are today. And it’s never been EASIER for you to become a full-fledged ecommerce business owner than it is right now.

But at the same time, there is so much to get confused over. After all, there’s a whole new lingo to learn — and then you have to do stuff like:

  • Setting up shopping carts
  • Finding good merchant account providers,
  • Sourcing quality wholesalers and product suppliers,
  • Identifying the best and most convenient shipping and fulfillment vendors…

Which is a problem in itself. I know all about that. I’ve had clients literally spend over a year simply building their websites and taking photos of their products.

Which just goes to show you  – too much of a GOOD thing can be a problem!

There are SO many choices… SO many possibilities to take into consideration… it can be really tough making sense of it all.

Audrey and Ben want you to succeed in building your own ecommece store – in 90 days or so.

They don’t think it’s an overnight process, but they also know it’s easy to fall into “Analysis Paralysis” without even realizing it!

Audrey says that’s the 2nd most common issue folks write to her about.

So: If you’re feeling frustrated or intimidated about getting your online store up and running…

…you are NOT alone!

But why exhaust yourself  and spend thousands like my friend did just trying to figure out build his ecommerce store?  Hey, you need to start making money faster than that!!

Let Audrey and Ben show you how to get your ecommerce store up and running in 90 days with their great new game – eStoreOpoly.

Until now, building a business was NEVER this fun!! And even better, here’s a chance for you to not only make some money, but share the business you develop with your family, and suddenly you have a great way to leave a legacy, too!

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23 Responses to “Have You Ever Wished You Could Build a Family Business? Audrey Kerwood Shares How She and Her Mom Do Business Together. Hint: Could It Be As Easy As Playing a Game?”

  1. Tom@Law Of Attraction Money on April 4th, 2010 11:06 am

    I’ve never run an eCommerce store before, but I’ve always really wanted to. I don’t know why I never tried… scared of failure I suppose.

    Thanks for sharing Audrey’s story. I’m off to check out eStoreOpoly! 🙂

  2. Alex@Auckland Public Relations Agency on April 5th, 2010 3:18 am

    The story of Audrey and Ginger is so inspirational. Initially when I started reading I couldnt believe, but your follow up on how they did it proved everything else. I am sure I can get some thing out of the eCommerce Incubator 🙂 Thanks for sharing this with us.

  3. kaidop on April 7th, 2010 1:21 pm

    family businass is a very good step to stable future off all family members. thanks for post.

  4. donnie@chattanooga web design on June 24th, 2010 10:53 pm

    Interesting story. I’ve always been a little uncomfortable with bringing my family into my business. Heck, I’ve been uncomfortable with bringing anyone into my business. This story has made me think that I should change that.

  5. James@nail polish organizer on July 7th, 2010 12:02 am

    What a wonderful story! I only wish more parents would take the initiative to explore their children’s interests and see whether they could pursue some sort of business venture. Yes, it could be a struggle in the beginning and test some relationships, but in the end it can be very financially rewarding and reinforce whatever relationships were compromised.

  6. Diego@Da Vinci Cribs on July 18th, 2010 11:44 am

    Is nice to see people doing business with their families. It makes life more meaningful. I’m doing something similar with my mom. I’m a web developer, my mom is retired and has always liked to design clothes and sew. What we are doing now is that she makes clothes, and I sell them through ebay. There is a great demand for one of a kind and custom made clothes. The next step is going to be to find other moms that will like to sew my mother’s designs for a fee, in that way we can increase the production.

    The idea is that you should find a way to mix your talents, create a synergy. Working in a team is always better than alone, and if it’s with the family even better.

  7. Tamara @ military halloween costume on August 6th, 2010 12:34 am

    Amazing story. Basic motivation of children to venture in business originates to what they see in their parents. Many successful businessmen have their ideas from their relatives. More often than most family businesses survive during tough economic crises.

  8. Thez @ Shih Tzu Puppy Training on August 11th, 2010 9:42 pm

    Not only a mother, a best friend, but a partner in business also, Wow. This is great!. I will not hassle to find a suitable partner for a business. My mother is all around who can advice and supervise me as well. I think your business is successful because you have a bond that cannot be dissolve. I like also the steps of your ideas. I want to apply it in my business soon.

  9. Hair Extensions Chicago on August 18th, 2010 3:58 pm

    I think this is a great post because it gives me inspiration to want to start a business with my own mother. My mom knows an awful lot about business, but virtually nothing about computers or working online. After reading this post, I am thinking I would like to talk to my mom about having an online business, and have her help me run the shipping and ordering side. Thank you for this post.

  10. Johnny on August 23rd, 2010 6:06 pm

    Your Mom sounds so wise with her money and I think lots of us can learn something from her! The success of this must really bring you even closer as a family.

  11. Georgh on November 17th, 2010 5:35 am

    everybody can learn something from such a story. I think its inspirational for other family their only need the last “push”. So thanks for sharing

  12. Website designers Chennai on January 15th, 2011 4:42 am

    Intresting story of build family businerss..Great post from an expert blog writer which deserves a great compliment while he serves the blog which will be a great knowledge to us. Keep on writing good contents like this one.

  13. Flip flops on February 4th, 2011 4:39 am

    I went ahead and opened my own store and it was the best decision I ever made. The freedom of working for yourself, whilst terrifying at the start, is amazingly liberating and such a positive move. Yes my income dipped for a while but the rewards and enjoyment of life shot up because I wasn’t answering to anyone I didn’t respect.

    So well done Audrey and Ginger, great read and very positive for all those who are waiting to take the plunge.

  14. Cupcake Courses on February 14th, 2011 8:51 pm

    Wow what a great story! I’m sure this will inspire lots of people to start their own family business.

  15. Keith@MLM Leads on March 1st, 2011 6:02 pm

    Thanks so much for the post. I have two home based businesses and thoroughly enjoy them. I have tried to get my family involved but no such luck. I appreciate how you told the story of your Mom and how you eased her responsibilities. It has helped me to think about how I have been going about it.

    Thanks so much,

  16. Your Own Retirement on April 18th, 2011 9:27 am

    It is great to see people in their retirement years still finding clever and interesting ways to create a steady income stream.

  17. Kirti Tuitions on May 18th, 2011 11:54 pm
  18. Loke@Coin Dealers on September 23rd, 2011 2:23 am

    Nice story. Something that will inspire people to make their aspirations materialize. A lot of people are actually afraid of taking the risks in business but fear is pointless especially if you are doing business with your family since you know you are safe and you will have each others’ back through thick and thin.

  19. Furniture Guy@White Bedroom Furniture on October 20th, 2011 2:12 pm

    What an inspiring story. Dropshipping is something I’ve been wondering about trying lately and this articla has given me the final push I needed. Thank you.

  20. Jane Magical on October 28th, 2011 2:10 am

    Starting a small business with your family can have its good and bad. Tapping on your expertise of family members and working together is great. However, given the stress of running a business, there will be conflicts. Remember to leave things professional.

  21. emedoutlet on October 28th, 2011 4:55 am

    I have already started. I started generic medicines online. It is not easy. I takes lot of work and time. This one is biggest business. I started making small money. Let us see how far I can go.

  22. Bobby on March 14th, 2012 5:31 pm

    I’m learning again and again that it IS possible to live a full life and manage online businesses from home. Thanks for an inspiring story. I laughed at the part about Beatles RockBand!

  23. Alice@Senior Homes on April 22nd, 2012 8:35 am

    It is entirely possible to run an online business from home, while being able to dedicate enough time to work AND be able to take care of the kids at the same time.