When teacher Laura Berg was pregnant she came across the idea of teaching babies sign language so they could communicate more easily before they learned to speak. She decided she’d try it with her daughter.
She was also trying to figure out how she could make money while staying home with her kids.
Putting the two together she started teaching other parents how to teach their babies sign language. And since many people had heard of the idea but never seen it, she did a video of a lesson with her daughter.
That video went viral.
It has been watched more than 4 million times. (You can see it below.) My Smart Hands was born, and has blossomed ever since. Her YouTube channel has had over 25 million views, she now has 200 licensed instructors across North America, and she sells a wide range of products from her website.
In today’s interview Laura talks about the successes and stresses of growing her business.
Advice for Entrepreneurs from Laura Berg
1. When you do business with a friend, always have a contract!
She learned this one the hard way, as she discusses in today’s podcast. You may think you’ll be best friends forever, but things can change. Better to be prepared.
2. If you are offering a share of the business or sales instead of cash, cap it.
When you are desperate to get help from an unaffordable programmer or other pro, offering them a share of future earnings seems like a great solution. But do you really want to be tied to them forever? Offer them a generous cap in exchange for the risk, but at some point you want to stop being in debt to them.
3. Dragon’s Den is great for exposure and brand-building.
She was offered a deal on Dragon’s Den, but, like the folks from Rent Frock Repeat (interviewed in our 3rd episode), it fell apart after the show. Nevertheless Laura feels she learned a lot from the experience, and the exposure helped her land a book deal with a US-based publisher. No regrets!
Would you go on Dragon’s Den with your business idea?
Sure there’s a chance of a deal, but there’s also a good chance they’ll squish you and make you look stupid. (Fortunately, Arlene’s there to prevent them from getting toooo nasty!) What do you think — would you go on with your idea? Share your thoughts below.