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 WAHM > Work at Home Mom Business Success Stories > Lata Budhrani: Creating an International Community of Dot Com Women

Lata Budhrani: Creating an International Community of Dot Com Women
Interview and article by Linda Stacy, Newsletter Assistant Editor

Lata Budhrani believes she owes her work at home career to the online community of women who helped and supported her when she started her graphic design business some years ago. So she built an online community for women to not only give back some of the professional support she's received online, but also to provide resources that help women in their personal lives.

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"With Dot Com Women, I wanted to create a place where women could get the best of tools and resources for their professional and personal lives.

A place where they could come together and meet, share and discuss their joys and sorrows."

Lata's began her business career as joint owner of an offline Computer Education Institute.

After designing websites for friends she started Elements Web Services and shifted to online business.


Dot Com Women launched in March of 2003 and quickly became an international online community of women. Member participation is encouraged at all levels - contributing content, sponsoring contests, and networking on the message boards. Whether shopping, planning a party menu, getting to know the trends in fashion or operating and marketing a business, moms at home can give and get help at Dot Com Women. "Have problems potty-training your child? Want a long lost recipe? Want to share your joy on landing that job? People come to DCW for all this and more and this is exactly what I wanted it to be," says Lata.

Working from her home in India and encouraged by the grace with which her online friends adjusted to the differences in their cultures and backgrounds, Lata is determined to make Dot Com Women truly international, including holding international contests and events. "Being online provides me with such a wonderful opportunity to bring together women across the globe that no offline business can ever provide. Even the best of offline communities are restricted when it comes to the area of operation." Initially, time differences around the globe were somewhat difficult to keep up with, but Lata quickly adjusted.

As sole proprietor of Dot Com Women Lata manages the entire business herself - from site design to daily administrative tasks, adding fresh content, and marketing. In addition, she is editor and publisher of "The Dot Com Woman" weekly email ezine.

Lata believes that one of the essential tools for success in home business is organization. "Home based businesses are in constant danger of not being taken seriously. You will be expected to do odd jobs just because you are 'at home'. The only way to survive this danger is to organize your business and working hours so well that you do not leave any doubts about your work in the minds of people around you."

According to Lata, the key to the success on the Internet is proper research. "Conduct a thorough research of the kind of business you are operating. Observe your competition but do not limit yourself to doing what they do. Be creative and innovative when it comes to sales, marketing, and customer relations." She further advises that online promotional activities, marketing, and customer relations are different than offline and adjustments must be made. Customers may expect support to be available 24 hours a day and the written word can be misinterpreted without the cues provided by body language and facial expressions. "It therefore becomes vitally important that you develop convincing written skills."

The success of Dot Com Women is evident in it's growing membership and busy website. Lata won First Prize in the 2003 Great Internet Based Mom Search, an annual award presented to websites that meet strict criteria for content and design.

Lata balances her family and business life with regular family outings, discussing her business with them, including the ups and downs. She uses meditation, yoga, natural living, and swimming to attain her own life balance. She hopes every woman can strike a healthy balance between her professional and personal life and realize the importance of both. "I want every woman to realize that she cannot enjoy success on either front if she has to sacrifice the other.

I want every woman to be a 'Dot Com Woman' who fully utilizes the vast resources on to achieve success in all areas of her life, whether as a working woman, homemaker, wife or a mother. Whether it is for making new friends, moral support, business networking or just sharing and learning from each other's experiences, 'Female Bonding Online' is the feeling I want everyone to take away from Dot Com Women."

Lata Budhrani was born and brought up in a beautiful town Nagpur, India, where home business is still unconventional. Her fiancÚ's support throughout has contributed greatly to her success. You can visit her online at Dot Com Women, Elements Web Services, and her newest venture, osCommerce Shopping Cart

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