Moms In Business: Debra Marcionette - Piggy Makes Bank

Moms In Business: Debra Marcionette

This week, Moms In A Blog, is happy to share with you our interview with Debra Marcionette of BigIQKids.com.

You may remember hearing of BigIQKids.com since Debra graciously provided a 12 month membership to our readers a few months ago. Thanks again, Debra!

What made you decide to be a work at home mom?

Being a stay at home mom was important to me. I knew the only way I could continue working was to be a WAHM.  I never compromised my belief  ‘woman can have it all’.

What is the nature of your business?

Creating online learning tools designed to help each child develop the skills needed to perform to his/her full potential.

What made you decide that particular business?

Out of need.  My daughter required help preparing for her Friday spelling test.  I searched for a tool and one did not exist.  Being a multimedia developer, I knew technology could be leveraged to achieve greater word retention and better grades. I created a tool for my daughter and later gave it to friends. Soon the online tool was helping many and BigIQKids.com was born.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Competing against large education companies that have deep pockets. Our products have to be better (and they are) in order to generate the tremendous  ‘word of mouth’ that keeps our business growing.

What has been your biggest success?

Organic growth and the thousands of emails we’ve received from parents who love our applications and tell us BigIQKids has made a difference in their child’s life.

What is the best way you promote your business under $10.00?
under $50? Any cost?

Quality products and keeping the customer first. At BigIQKids we don’t let any calls go unanswered and I can’t tell you how often our customers are blown away when a ‘real person’ answers the phone.

How do you balance work and family?

I’m lucky. BigIQKids is like a part of the family now. It’s my third kid. It’s been a fantastic learning experience for my children who sit in on meetings, provide insight and who are genuinely concerned with the development of the site.

To what do you attribute your success as a WAHM?

Passion. What’s that old saying: “When you love what you do , you'll never work another day in your life.”

What impact has blogging made on your career?

I don’t have a blog BUT to me, bloggers represent grass roots empowerment and everything that is right about Web 2.0.  I do read blogs and they provide a wonderful support system and sharing of ideas.

Can you recommend any resources for WAHMS who are just starting out, or perhaps trying to make the transition from the workplace?

SEO – Search Engine Optimization.  Learn it yourself. Don’t farm it out.  When a marketing budget doesn’t exist, it’s a valuable resource for your business.

What can you tell us about your other ventures.?

We just launched BigIQBee.com which is a free, online spelling bee that tests children on grade appropriate spelling words in a simulated “live” environment. Kids love it because they get to compete against other spellers from around the world and parents love it because their kids are actually online, competing and learning.

Is there anything else that you want to share with the readers?

If you start, don’t stop. When I launched my first application, several people close to me expressed doubt. I stayed true to my passion and forged ahead.

What is one thing you can't do without in your business?

Short term and medium term planning.

What one thing should be avoided at all costs?

Self pity.  I think every entrepreneur at some points feels overworked and under appreciated. It just natural. Recognize those moments and move on quickly!  Being successful takes the 4 P’s:  be positive, passionate, persistent and patient.

What's the biggest business killer?

Failing to plan.

What advice do you wish someone would've shared with you when you first started out?

Be patient.  A lot of people are prepared to work hard and sacrifice for their dreams but when timetables aren’t realized, they get discouraged and quit. Keep moving ahead

Thanks for a great interview, Debra!