Are you ready to start your own business but are nervous about doing so while balancing the responsibilities of parenthood? Then you’re in luck! Today’s post contains tips and tidbits that can help you get started as an entrepreneur without sacrificing your most important role: mom.
START WITH A SELF-EVALUATION
Before you decide to quit your job to open a home-based business, evaluate yourself. While everyone has opportunities to become self-employed, it takes a special type of person to thrive under the pressures of running a business and raising a family. Ask yourself questions like:
Are my soft skills of organization, discipline, and communication on point?
Can I work unsupervised?
Am I prepared for the challenges of running a home-based business?
Do I thrive under pressure?
Do I want the freedom of working for myself, and do I understand that that comes with some sacrifices?
Am I results-driven?
If my home-based business fails, am I prepared to try again?
WHAT IS A MOMPRENEUR?
According to Investopedia, ‘mompreneur’ simply refers to a woman who starts a business while parenting full time. It’s more common than you think, with approximately 33% of all women-owned businesses in the United States being owned by mothers. We start businesses for many reasons, including to spend more time with our family and to supplement our incomes.
But just because it’s common does not mean that it is an easy scenario. There are many challenges associated with being a work-at-home mom. Not only do you have to get your business up and off the ground, but you have to do so while you have children who also need your attention. If you have a spouse or partner who works full-time outside of the home, they may not even realize how many different ways you’ve been torn every day. Dinner may not be made, laundry may be piled up, and the kids might’ve been relegated to their computer screens for hours while you handled important business meetings. These issues, and many others, can cause friction, but there are ways to reduce the burden on yourself and on your family.
Communication is crucial when you’re an entrepreneur and a mom. When you start your home-based business, talk with your family about what that might look like. Set clear boundaries between your work and home life, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, both at home and work. At home, find a babysitter to help with the kids on your busy days. You may also consider outsourcing areas of your business where you aren’t an expert, such as creating marketing materials. If you need logo design services, for instance, you can look online through job portals — look for freelancers that are affordable, well-reviewed, and able to deliver your logo or branding package before you are ready to launch.
BEST HOME-BASED BUSINESS IDEAS FOR MOMS
For the most part, anything you can do in an office or workshop, you can do from home. But if you are still looking for ideas, here are a few to consider. Match these to your skillset, and you have a solid initial foundation for a successful home-based business.
HandyWoman. Do you like to paint and make minor home repairs? Not all of us do. Working from your home office, you can advertise your services as a “Jill of all trades.”
E-course designer. If you have expertise in a particular area, own it, and sell it. As e-course alley has illustrated before, there are many strategies you can use to make money online by marketing your e-course effectively.
Developer. Software development skills are in high demand. You can work as a freelance/self-employed developer for other small businesses.
Ecommerce. E-commerce is simply selling items online. You can launch your own home-based business in the e-commerce arena by researching what’s trending and creating a welcoming website.
Photographer. Everyone knows that moms are always the ones behind the camera. If you’ve invested in high-end photo equipment — and you’ve taken the time to learn how to use it properly — you can charge hundreds of dollars for a family photoshoot.
Personal chef. You’ll need to check rules and regulations with your zoning department first, but people love to eat, and they will pay for a homemade meal.
BUSINESS AND LEGAL MATTERS TO ADDRESS EARLY ON
Despite the absence of a brick-and-mortar location, there are still many business and legal issues that you will need to handle in the early days of your enterprise. A few of these include writing a business plan, creating a business entity, opening a bank account, and determining how, exactly, you plan to fund your home-based business endeavor.
A business plan is a document that essentially outlines the direction of your business. Within it, you can spell out your goals and what you want for the future. Creating a business entity means choosing between acting as a sole proprietor or a more formal structure, such as an LLC. As a home-based business owner, you’ll also want to open a bank account so that you can keep from co-mingling your personal and business funds. If you plan to have investors, this is crucial as they will want documentation on where their money is going and how you intend to use it. It will also help at tax time, particularly if you’ve formed an LLC.
Something else to consider is where in your home you plan to put your home-based business. Ideally, a back bedroom or unused study will work. You can also convert the garage or an unoccupied outbuilding into a workshop/office. Having a separate studio is a smart idea if you are a photographer, crafter, or artist.
A BALANCING ACT
When you’re a working mom, whether you operate a home-based business or go into an office each day, balance is one of your greatest adversaries. We want to be our best and give our all to each endeavor, parenting and entrepreneurship included. But this presents unique challenges in itself, particularly if you have the drive and desire to do both simultaneously.
Create balance from the beginning by defining specific working hours. Take weekends off if possible, which is especially important if you have a spouse or partner who continues to work full time. Remember, you also have to make time for your adult relationships.
When you’re off work, take a digital detox. Don’t use your computers or smartphones, and don’t shy away from taking vacations where you are unreachable by clients and employees alike. Keep in mind, further, that there will be days when the kids won’t nap or will want to be with you 100% of the time. Think of inventive ways to involve them in your home-based business that will keep them busy while you’re on duty. For example, ask them to draw the next piece of jewelry you will make or give them a small instant film camera to photograph items for your online store.
Running a home-based business when you are also a mom is an excellent opportunity to leave the 9-to-5 grind behind. But it takes discipline, lots of planning, and the ability to juggle business and babies without dropping the proverbial ball on either. More than anything, it takes drive, patience, and determination — which, as a working mom, are already qualities you possess.
Ready to design an e-course? Let e-course alley help. Start here.