To say that I am completely blown away each time I get to interview a mom would be a huge understatement. I am completely floored by the talent and creative geniuses that I have talked to this past month.
Meet Alina Adams.
Applying your child for kindergarten in New York City is no joke, and Alina has done it three times. Many times, the process can take two years. Pause there. Two years?! I would not survive as a New York mom. Back to Alina’s story.
Pretty soon other parents started to come to Alina, founder of NYCSchoolSecrets.com, for advice on how to get their children into kindergarten and from there is snowballed. Parents would invite other parents to Alina’s conferences and shortly after, preschools started paying for Alina to give talks.
Now Alina has two books, Getting Into NYC Kindergarten and Getting Into NYC High School, and she does full-time private consultations at the lucrative tune of $75 per half hour. “The job is perfect for working from home,” Alina says. “I do my consults over the phone or in person during the day, and am still available to do school drop off, pick up, attend any parent activities and get my kids to their after-school classes without it causing a disruption – most parents who need my services are free the exact same hours I am.”
How to Stand Out from the Competition
Even though Alina is not the first person to offer school consulting in New York City, she was able to set herself apart. She says that many other consultants charge parents a flat fee upfront, sometimes as much as $30,000. Alina charges parents for services al la carte. “People only pay for what they need, and for as much time as they think they need,” she says. “I am of the silly mind that people should be able to find a good school for their children even if they don’t have an extra 30K a year.” Amen!
“Before you start, it is vital that you figure out how you will be different, and how you will communicate that difference to your customers in order to create a unique value proposition,” Alina says. “What makes you special? How can you help people in a way that they are not currently being helped?”
Always Keep Expanding Your Business
I found it very interesting that even though Alina has an amazing set-up with her private consultations, she does not put all of her eggs in one basket. Her business is constantly growing. She now offers podcast and webisodes on her site saying, “I believe all parents deserve to know all their school options.”
By publishing books and offering free advice over her podcast, Alina keeps the root of her business, the one-on-one consultations well-fueled. By offering a free service, she is able to help so many parents. She says, “I really want to get my information out to as many parents a possible. Many don’t even know what they don’t know, until it’s too late. For parents who can’t make it to one of my workshops either due to time constraints or finances, the podcasts and webisodes allow them to watch on their own time and at no cost.”
However, offering her expert advice for free through podcasts has paid off for Alina. She has paid advertisers on her podcast, and many parents pursue a private consultation with her after listening to the podcast and reading her books because they need specialized help with their unique school journey.
So many times you see a work at home mom trying to do all these different tasks that don’t tie back to their core business. It results in them doing several things haphazardly and their root business doesn’t grow like they want. I think Alina Adams has nailed her niche and has picked the perfect extensions of her business to allow amazing growth.
Running Head On Into Your Business Idea
If you had asked Alina what she wanted to do career-wise before she had children, my guess would be that “NYC School Expert” would not be on her top 100 list. That is why I love Alina’s story so much. In the midst of motherhood, she saw a big need amongst other parents and made a business out of it. She realized she had a knack for getting through the kindergarten application process and could easily explain it to other parents.
If you are a mompreneur that wants to start your own business but feel like everything has been done already, be inspired by Alina’s story. Look at your experience in motherhood. Have your children made you an expert in a field without even realizing it? Perhaps you are a pro at getting the best summer camp rates, know how to get the best tax return and benefits as a mom, or even excel at training your high schooler to pass the SAT. Let your accidental expertise become your next business idea.