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Tips For Stay At Home Entrepreneur Mothers
Parents often find it difficult to juggle child-raising with a 40-hour-a-week office job. They’re both demanding, often-stressful responsibilities, and sometimes it’s necessary to sacrifice one for the other. If you’ve found that the requirements of parenthood have to come first, don’t worry: You can still be successful—both as a businesswoman and stay-at-home mother.
An increasingly internet-based and niche-oriented marketplace have made it easy to start and grow a business from the comfort of your home. It’s an exciting challenge, and if you have tenacity, a competitive spirit, and the ability to adapt and take risks, it can be a rewarding arrangement. It’s also a great way to put your savvy business experience to work, earning money while doing something you enjoy.
Best Business Models for a “Mompreneur”If you’re unsure what skill or type of business model you should pursue, that’s okay. Here are some strategies, ideas, and tips to get you started.
People who have a background in IT and computer networking can make very good money these days by drawing on their experience. Many companies are outsourcing these functions to save some money. There’s also plenty of work for anyone with experience as a web designer, app developer, or social media manager. This is probably one of the most promising work-at-home niches, due to the demand and the level of pay your knowledge and expertise will command.
The service-oriented business niche is also custom-made for a work-at-home parent. With a snazzy website and some good word-of-mouth buzz on social media, you can build a healthy client list for anything from writing to travel logistics. There’s really no limit to the services you could provide. Aestheticians, Feng Shui experts, life/work coaches, accountants, and many other service professionals are making comfortable livings—and doing so from their kitchen table or family room. However, be aware that potential customers may wish to interview you. No need to panic; it’s really not much different than any other job interview, and the same skills will serve you well. Conduct a few mock interviews with a friend or your spouse.
Teaching and Tutoring
Online communication makes it easy for teachers in many subject areas to conduct lessons or tutor online. If you’re a former math teacher, there’s a long list of confused and frustrated young students out there who can use your help. Same with English teachers: An increasing number of young people are falling behind when it comes to writing (a victim of texting, social media, and instant communication technology). Musicians can also make a healthy income by giving lessons in their homes, the student’s home, or online.
Art and Design
Full-time jobs can be difficult for illustrators and graphic designers to find, and even harder for parents to hold down. An increasing number of companies are taking advantage of the niche economy by hiring designers on a freelance or contract basis. You can create marketing materials, web designs, logos, and more from home without the distractions of impromptu meetings or the offhand critiquing of micro-managing executives.
The Next StepsOnce you’ve identified a marketable skill, review your business contacts and reach out to colleagues and former clients—anyone who could be or might know of a potential client. It’s all about networking, so take advantage of as many contacts as possible. Social media can be particularly helpful in your marketing and outreach efforts. Start developing a website design, thinking through the functionality you might need. Of course, you should consult a professional designer if this work is foreign to you.
Consider how much people would be willing to pay for your service, and whether it would generate an adequate income based on your circumstances (a modest income may work to begin with if you have a spouse with a full-time job). And don’t forget your tax situation. Many people launch a business without giving any thought to the tax ramifications. You’ll likely need to declare quarterly taxes at first to avoid a very unpleasant surprise in April.
Also, be sure to set aside space at home to act as an office you can retreat to when work demands—ideally, a place you can declare as “off limits” when necessary.
A home-based business can allow you to devote more time to your kids and make it much easier to achieve a healthy work-life balance. You get to do your own thing, your way, and on your own time. It requires self-discipline, patience, and determination, but it can be an ideal situation for a stay-at-home mom who can’t make the 8-to-5 routine work anymore.
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