“As a mother and business owner, my number one obstacle is balancing my time,” Denise Marcelin Pringle of Denmar Consulting LLC states. Between parent meetings, extra-curricular activities and maintaining relationships with clients—running a small business can get tricky. The ups and downs of parenthood have played a significant role in how this mother of two manages her business and personal life. Regardless if you’re raising a family or not, all small business owners can learn from women, like Denise, who run their own business while balancing motherhood.
Taking the Leap
“I began Denmar Consulting at a time when I was not certain I wanted to become a consultant, let alone have my own business,” she told us. Denmar Consulting LLC is a project management firm designed to boost business efficiency. Much like her work, Denise uses all aspects of project management in her life—whether she’s scheduling her children’s play dates and doctor appointments or managing her free time.
In 2009, Denise and her entire department were laid off from their full-time jobs, which lead her to start freelance work part-time. Then, unexpectedly, she won a contract in the finance industry. The new client allowed Denise to start freelancing full-time. The idea of having her own company was always in her thoughts, though she was constantly battling the concerns many moms and women alike face when taking control of their career: “I can’t do this. I have kids. I have security in my full-time job!”
One day, Denise was at a doctor’s appointment and read an article on Forbes that “forever struck a chord.” It was, at that moment, when Denise decided to form Denmar Consulting LLC and never looked back.
Facing Obstacles as a Small Business Owner
Much like many other small business owners, Denise found difficultly expanding her company and client-base. “As an independent consultant, I am the one who has managed my contracts. If I am looking to expand and bring on new clients, I also need to be able to provide the resources to do the work.” Denise had the pleasure of working with the same client for four years. However, this made it more difficult to actively seek new clients.
In addition to growing her client-base, Denise needed to refinance high-cost debt from a previous online loan. Her CPA directed her to Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF). From there, EGF was able to provide her with a loan to increase her monthly cash-flow position, leaving her with the ability to reinvest in her company.
“EGF has played an important role for my business financially by providing me with a loan and connecting me with multiple resources that help me to further grow and develop my company,” Denise mentioned. Through the information and contacts EGF provided, Denise is now enrolled in a 60 hour entrepreneurial program through the Women’s Enterprise Development Center (WEDC) that walks her through the process of writing a business plan with a focus on new business development and marketing. Denise exclaims, “I am forever grateful for our meeting last November.”
Balancing Motherhood and Entrepreneurship
Similar to any parent with school-aged children, Denise works from morning to night. After client meetings and handling the day-to-day tasks of a small business owner, she tackles the challenge of coordinating her two children’s lives.
“Most mothers are project managers in their own right,” she said, “I truly believe that being a mother helped me become much more organized.” While being a momtrepreneur can be very overwhelming at times, Denise claims that being a single mother has shaped the way she runs her business.
Her trick is to incorporate a weekly routine into her schedule. “Every Sunday, I make time to sit down, open my mail, pay bills and plan a schedule for the week.” Even staying on top of a shared calendar with her ex-husband helps her significantly with coordinating meetings and appointments.
Her Advice to Other Small Business Owners: Never Give Up
It’s common for mothers to put their own needs or desires on the back burner. Our children and family comes first, and then maintaining a career comes second. Theoretically, there’s nothing wrong with this. Ideally, however, there needs to be a balance. Motherhood may change our plans and career path, but we need to remind each other to get the negative perceptions out of our heads.
“I’m a true believer in the Laws of Attraction,” Denise states, “What you think about, you bring about. Say to yourself, ‘In 2018, I will…’ and write it in a notebook or somewhere you’ll see it often. Remind yourself that running a small business is something that you want.”
It took Denise some time to fully grasp this concept, and she, too, was burdened with the thought that she wouldn’t know what to do with her own business. “The thought I had that caused so much fear is the very thing I’m doing today, and I have zero regrets!”
Thanks to owning her own business, flexibility is now within reach for Denise. She’s able to take on projects that fit into her current workload, while still focusing on growing her client-base. “I am working on building my brand to market my company and developing a strategic business plan.” The future, indeed, looks bright for Denmar Consulting LLC!
Back to You!
What challenges have you faced as a small business owner? Tell us your unique story, and how the Business Advisory Services team at EGF can help!
Learn more about motherhood, entrepreneurship and project management from Denise at 845-205-2778 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Excelsior Growth Fund
Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) helps businesses in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania grow by providing streamlined access to business loans and advisory services. EGF’s signature product, the EGF SmartLoan™, provides up to $100,000 in fast, transparent, and affordable financing through a secure online platform. Larger loans up to $500,000 are also available. EGF is a nonprofit organization and is certified by U.S. Department of Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Learn more at www.excelsiorgrowthfund.org.