Do you want to start a home-based business so that you can be your own boss, manage your work schedule, and spend as much quality time as possible with your babies and children young and old? You may think it is too complicated to start a home-based business, or may be unsure about how to start. The good news is that with the Internet, it is much easier and very inexpensive to start a home-based businesses than it ever was pre-Internet era.
Here are 5 things moms should know about starting a home-based business.
You Can Start a Home-Based Business Without Spending a Dime
There are several home-based businesses you can launch without spending a dime. If there are any expenses involved, it will be minimal. Thanks to the Internet, you don’t need to incur any expensive overhead, for example, carrying inventory, hiring staff, etc. All you need to do is to figure out what you’re passionate about. If you have a strong desire to turn your passion into a home-based business, you can totally do it!
Know how to write?
If you enjoy writing, start a blog on a topic, issue, or hobby that you’re passionate about. Let’s say for example, you are an accomplished scrapbooker. It’s something that you do to totally relax. You can blog about your scrapbooking experience, do Vlogs about a certain technique, etc. As you gain followers, you can earn money by doing product reviews, or having companies advertise on your site. Or you could sell scrapbook layouts that you create digitally and run an e-commerce site that also includes your blog.
Let’s say for example you love fashion. You have a closet full of designer clothes, and a lot of them have either been worn once or not worn at all. Perhaps you still have the tags on the clothing. Besides e-bay, you can use the app Poshmark to sell your fashionable clothes. Another resource is Totspot to buy and sell your kids’ clothes. For a couple of hundred of dollars or so, you have the option to launch an online shop selling your fashionable clothes, or those of your kids. Another viable business selling for your friends and family members, and charging them a certain percentage of the proceeds.
Have a Professional Skill?
If you have a professional skills such as performing administrative tasks, bookkeeper, a social media marketing, management consulting, you can turn any of these professions into a very profitable home-based business with zero to minimum investment. Leverage your professional contacts to obtain clients. Often businesses based on your professional skills experience tremendous growth through word of mouth referrals. Make sure that you regularly attend local networking events and conferences to spread awareness of your professional services. And if you can afford it, become a member of your local Chamber of Commerce to get your business listed.
These are just a few examples of home-based businesses that you can start for zero to minimal costs.
Excellent Time Management Skills Necessary for Success
To succeed in running a home-based business plus taking care of your baby and pre-school children, you need a top-notch time management system. So that things do not fall through the cracks, use Google Calendar, i-calendar, paper calendar, anything that you look at frequently. Use your smartphone to set an alarm to remind you of a project due. Have a running To Do List that you input into your calendar. Spreadsheets are also excellent for tracking projects.
There are no shortages of online project managements. So far I have found Asana to be the absolute best. You can create teams and assign them specific projects, and easily communicate with them. Asana also allows you to track a list of tasks by due dates, even allowing you to store files, images, and ideas.
If you do not want to take the technical route, you have the option of using a combination of paper and digital in order to manage your time and tasks.
I recommend using Google calendar as this easily syncs with your smartphone. So if you run into your girlfriend at the grocery store and she proposes a mommy and me playdate, you can pull out your calendar to check your schedule.
Expect The Unexpected
Since beginning my work at home journey, I learned to accept the reality that no matter how much I plan my schedule will become very unpredictable. with unexpected occurrences like a screaming toddler, or a client emergency. So what kind of strategies can you incorporate to address the unpredictable?
I typically use the Pomodoro technique which is scheduling activities in blocks of 20, 30 40 or 60 minutes, whichever is realistic for you and your child. For example, I often check and respond to email for 1 hour prior to my toddler waking up. While she’s eating breakfast, I will work on a client project for 30 minutes. Then I will spend 30 minutes with her, and set her up with an activity. Then I work for 1 hour on the client project. Then I spend 30 minutes with my child and give her a snack. Then I work for another 30 minutes. The next 30 minutes is with my child, Then I spend 1 hour working on my business. Then it’s lunch.
As a mompreneur with babies and toddlers, remember that your calendar is a general guideline for what you need to accomplish. You will need to make adjustments like working when your child takes an unexpected nap, or working past midnight just to catch up. Sometimes you may need to be as creative as working outside just to keep your toddler happy.
Your Progress Will Be Slower Than Expected
As a mom of pre-school children, after a lot of trial and error you will eventually set realistic expectations. For example, you may plan to launch a webinar in 1 month. Because of working and taking care of your child, along with other obligations, time slips by and next thing you know, it’s a week prior to your planned webinar date. You have barely promoted your webinar via your email or social media. You have not started writing your sales copy.
Rather than beating yourself up over not doing all the prep work, extend the date. Then plan out all the tasks you need to accomplish in small chunks, and put them in your calendar. What matters is that you move forward.
Don’t let the unexpected daily occurrences as a mom and business owner that slow you down prevent you from planning and setting deadlines, as this helps you to stay accountable. If you complete a project on schedule, congratulate yourself and celebrate.
Spending 15 minutes daily on your business, if that is the only time you can spare, is better than not doing anything to move forward. Every step big or small counts.
Once you have decided what type of home-based business you want to launch, you will encounter successes and hurdles along the way, including several late nighters. Don’t be surprised that after all the challenges and obstacles you endure, you find yourself thinking that you made one of the most fulfilling decisions of your life. Because you are right where you need to be, following your passion.
The road to having a home-based business as a mompreneur is rough. You will have days that are awesome because everything is moving according to plan. Other days you will feel that you worked hard yet didn’t accomplish as much as you had hoped for. Your desire to work from home, plus running a business based on something that excites you, is the fuel you need to keep going no matter the obstacles and challenges that you encounter. As tough as it is to be a full time mom and business owner, you will persevere.
Ultimately persistence pays off. You’ll succeed no matter what comes your way. Life is too short not to follow your dreams.