Ros Guerrero turned her "couch potato" idea into a business with the invention of charms for kids' eyeglasses.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
I invented Ficklets, a product the first of its kind in the marketplace – interchangeable eyewear charm hugger.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
I worked as a brand manager for a European Distributor, was a residential/commercial real estate investor, co-owned a soft window treatment design company as well as a nail salon prior to owning & inventing Ficklets.
How did you come up with your business idea?
I call it my "couch potato" idea because the idea was conceived while I was literally sitting on my couch watching my favorite business show, The Big Idea. My daughter wears eyeglasses and it was a way to jazz up her tired, old and plain eyeglass frames. I also wanted to add some whimsy and fashion to help her enjoy them more.
Do you own a business with family members? What do you think are the benefits and challenges to running a family owned business?
I co-own the business with my husband. With a limited working capital, working together is more of an advantage as our strengths compliment each other. Hence, the expense to build the business is streamlined.
For women entrepreneurs, what specific advice would you have for young women who would like to become an entrepreneur? Are there specific advantages, disadvantages to being a women business owner?
Most importantly, network both online and offline and find a mentor for both. I feel there is more of an advantage to being a woman business owner as other women entrepreneurs are more open to reaching out to you. As owner and inventor of a product-based business, women bloggers are supportive and enthusiastic to help promote your idea or business. Nothing beats grass roots marketing.
With the current economy in a slump, what cost saving tips would you have for a new entrepreneur?
As PR/marketing is an ongoing aspect of any business and with the technology available today, you have the ability and creativity to brand build and grow your business at a grass roots level.
Social marketing is consistently being written about in the small business space. Has it worked generating business for you?
Absolutely! Twitter being my choice of social media platform, I gained new customers and friends that help promote Ficklets and connected with industry media that has led to press coverage.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
Yes. Taken a more aggressive approach to social media platforms.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Don't over think the business and take action. The first step is always the most frightening.
Thank you for your time, Ros. Other inventors will benefit from your wisdom!