In the Spotlight: Hollie Sparrow from Daily Baby Buys

dbbspotlightTell us a little about the person behind the business?

My name is Hollie, I am 29 and a work at home Mum. I have two Children, Jhet (5) and Charleigh (3). My background is in HR and Finance and I enjoy time with my kids and riding my horse. It wouldn’t be right not to mention the ladies who work with me as there would be no ‘Daily Baby Buys’ without them. Amy is my business better half with two little boys under three, Zoe and Bridget handle the customer service side of things at home with their little ones and Zan is our IT Guru, also working from home with three beautiful girls.

And now a little about the business itself?

Daily Baby Buys was created in August 2011. I was regularly sending products to the US (another one of my businesses) for the Baby Deal site (they have many) to try and get my product into the US market. I always wondered why we didn’t have anything like that here, so I sat down with my two business partners at the time to nut out the finer details and build the website. A close friend of mine was the first to feature her product on the website and we launched! we now feature a new brand every day during the week and one brand over the weekend. Having one day free gives us all a chance to spend some time with our families over the weekend.

How did you come up with your business name?

It was a bit of a no brainer really… not much creativity I must admit, but it is easy to remember and sums up the business perfectly.

HollieWhat made you want to begin a work at home business and how did you get started? 

I have a background in HR and was used to seeing employees that were not happy with their jobs for some reason or another. Usually this was due to the fact that they would rather be home with their kids or didn’t really feel as if they were making a difference and getting anywhere within the company. Work at home parents have the flexibility to work around their children, not fit their kids into their work schedule. I believe this is the way that it should be and my business is proof of that. In all the time I worked in HR I never saw an employee enjoy and appreciate their job as much as my ladies do. If one of our little ones are sick that’s okay; the rest of us can sort it out as the kids always come fist.

What inspires you to keep your business going? 

I am constantly inspired by the lovely feedback from our customers and the great team that I work with! I am very blessed to work with a very motivated team of ladies who always have new ideas and are genuinely excited about the business. I hope that one day we will grow big enough to be the first large company run entirely by work at home parents!

Do you have a current best-selling product or service? If yes, tell us about it.

We feature so many great products, it’s hard to choose. Our best selling products are definitely cloth nappies! Pikapu, Bonnibuns, Bumcheeks, Bambooty, Issy Bear and heaps more. Ambience Amber is also a great seller which we feature once a month. We LOVE Vanchi nappy bags and teething jewellery like Smartmum and Jelly Stone. The ladies and I are very lucky to be able to try most of the products we stock and it makes the job just that little bit more exciting! I am sure we are some of our best customers!

How do you advertise your business and which methods have proven more successful?

We find that our very best marketing tool is social media and word of mouth. Written media does not work very well for an online business as they have to remember the website and look it up later.

How do you juggle your family and your work at home business? Any tips for other home based women entrepreneurs?

I try to get most of my emails done first thing is the morning, over toast and coffee, while my kids are having breakfast. I find that this is the best time of the day for this. After I drop my son to school I will often go to Amy’s house so that we can work together and bounce off of each other (and she makes great lunches). Emails can wait! If your kids are having a bad day or they need your attention, take a break. They will still be there when you get back, I promise! Buy your groceries online if you can, and get a cleaner in once a week just to do the floors, bathroom and change the sheets. You will be amazed out how much more time this gives you! I can guarantee that you will make more money in the time it takes to clean your house than what you would pay a cleaner.

And finally, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to start a home based business?

NEVER outsource your key competencies! We made the mistake of outsourcing our fulfilment to a warehouse in the very beginning which almost ruined us. Compromising our customer service by outsourcing our order fulfilment was a big mistake! So we quickly changed our business model and everything has been great since. What I realised was, an outsider will not care about the needs of your business the way you do, so it is best to keep total control of every aspect of your business.Trust your gut feeling! if is looks too good to be true, it probably is. Always get samples of products and manufacturing and if it does not feel right, it probably isn’t, so move on.