While the June Cleaver days are a thing of the past, research suggests that the number of stay-at-home moms is on the rise. This is good news considering a recent study found the children in these homes have increased school performance and are less apt to have behavioral problems and higher stress levels. But these results don’t come without blood, sweat, and tears.
Compiled data from surveys compares the responsibilities of a mom to someone working two and a half full-time jobs. Even so, this isn’t stopping “mompreneurs” from starting their own (now extremely successful) businesses while raising a family. In fact, the number of women-owned businesses increased 54 percent between 1997 and 2012. Here’s how to get started if you’re a mom who wants to dip her toe in the entrepreneurial pond.
There are two routes you can choose: starting your own business based on your current or previous career or turning a hobby or passion project into a full-time gig. For example, if you were are an accountant at a firm, perhaps you start your own tax business, or turn a teaching career into an opportunity to tutor children — either online or in your home. While business ideas are only limited by your passion and creativity, other popular ideas include becoming a virtual assistant, collectibles dealer, graphic artist/designer (from websites to personal branding to greeting cards), craftswoman (think jewelry, furniture, etc.), freelance writer, gardener (even for herbs used to make handmade soaps, etc.), hairdresser or esthetician, and many more.
All the enthusiasm in the world won’t replace having a concrete and organized plan. Additionally, you need to have the right characteristics to run a successful business. In order to get your idea off the ground, you’ll need to possess self-motivation, great problem-solving skills, and a willingness to give 100 percent each and every day.
⦁ Research your business idea to ensure there’s a need in your market. If it’s something that’s already popular, identify how you can make your business better/faster/more unique, etc., by analyzing your competition.
⦁ Making a business plan can be a time-consuming process, yet it’s the foundation for your success and an absolute must if you plan on obtaining money from an investor or bank. If you’re self-funding your startup, a more simple one-page brief will do — something that states goals, who/what the competition is, a clear vision of what your concept is, how you intend to market it, and financial projections.
⦁ Take care of any applicable licenses and permits and decide upon what type of ⦁ accounting system you’re going to use. You may even opt to have a pro handle this if you’re not a numbers person.
⦁ Once you’ve established the basics, you need to figure out how to market your business, to create a plan that includes several tactics just in case one doesn’t prove to be fruitful.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Running a business from home with kids is no easy task, so make sure you’ve got an office that sets you up for success. Ideally, this is a separate room where you can close the door so you’re free from noise and distractions. Keep in mind that just because you’re running a company from your living room doesn’t mean it’s any less professional. So, chocolate fingerprints on invoices and kids screaming in the background when you’re on an important call won’t cut it. Get a good organizational system in place such as filing cabinets, drawers, shelving systems — whatever works for you.
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of being a mom and a business owner is achieving a work-life balance. Make sure you’re scheduling time each day for yourself to do something you enjoy outside of your family and work. Don’t forget to administer self-care (exercise, getting enough sleep, eating well, meditating, doing something social) so you don’t burn out.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
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