Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Make $ with your simple idea!

Have you ever had an idea and thought, wow I should do this? It could really help make a difference.  I interviewed Heather Sievers, creator of the TIME OUT SPOT.  Time Out Spots are a discipline technique designed to help discipline children ages 18 months and up. Heather took a simple idea and created a business with it. Throughout her business cycle, this one idea has led to a product line consisting of Time Out T-shirts for mom and dad, baby onesies, wrist bands and even a Time Out Spot for your pet.

30daysof:  Why did you get started in this business?

HS: I was inspired by my three year old son. I started his time outs on a little wooden stool, which immediately became a problem. The stool would get flipped over and scooted around. It even started to damage the wood floors. The last straw was when he picked it up, held it to his bottom, and walked around saying, "I'm still in time out, my bootie is on the stool.” Time Out had turned into a game. So, it hit me. The family needed a new time out spot! Deciding that a rug would be great for this, I designed the Time Out Spot and went on a mission to have it manufactured.

30daysof: Is there a start up cost? Describe the start up cost and what you need to do to qualify for promotion or revenues, trips, cars?
HS: I started Time Out Spots with a $5000 loan.

30daysof: How do you stay motivated? Books, quotes, people who inspire, etc...
HS: My motivation comes from customer feedback, press, and knowing that I can do my job during my own hours (even if they are 8 pm-midnight) so that I can take care of my boys.

30daysof: What is your favorite product or the best selling product (service) you offer?
HS: Definately the Time Out Spot, although our Mommy and Daddy "Needs A Time Out" tees are very popular.

What is your biggest challenge in marketing your business?
HS: Deciding who to advertise with, which blogs to send samples to, you never know.  Advertising is so expensive and very hit or miss.  Almost all of my major publicity has been free due to it getting into the hands of the "right" people.  See the press Time Out Spots have received.

30daysof: How do you get paid? 
HS: Huh?  Paid?  All money goes right back into the company.  

30daysof: Is there room for advancement (growth)?
HS: Always, but I personally am not ready for growth.  I like that I can still be mostly in charge of overseeing everything and would really need an investor to "go big."

30daysof: Who is your competition? Other companies that sell the same products or services? Why did you choose yours?
HS: There are a few small companies that sell similar products (under 5), but none are really the same.  So competition is not really an issue.

30daysof: How can someone contact you to learn more or purchase your product?
HS: They can visit the website at or email me at heather at  Time Out Spots are available for purchase in a store near you.

Heather is also the author of the popular blog, and the creator of NurseryRhyme Tease. When Heather has an idea she goes for it and makes it happen.  You can too!


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Thanks for sharing!