Entrepreneurial Moms: Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Home-Based Business

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home-based business gives moms the opportunity to have the best of both worlds. We can contribute to our family income and still be home with our children. Instead of making a choice that is black and white – work or stay home – some women have chosen to try out a world that is more colorful. Numerous women have considered starting a business at some point. The good news is they are not alone.

The current economy has persuaded women to try their hand at entrepreneurship. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, 9.1 million firms were owned by women in 2014. Sadly, for almost every new business that opens, another is closing. The reasons vary, but for many, it just wasn’t a good fit for them. How can you decide if a home-based business is right for you?

Do you have the support of your family? A new business may sound like a good idea, but you may not realize how much time it will take away from your family. Even if your business hours are scheduled around your family, there will be conflicts. Phone calls come at inopportune times. Computer problems cause delays. Deadlines get shortened and shipments arrive late. Your business will impact the family financially, too. When unexpected expenses come up, the business owner has to dip into her own pocket. On slow weeks, there is no paycheck. Having the support of your family is key.

What are your childcare plans? Have you made arrangements for someone to watch your children while you are working? Television and electronics will only entertain them for so long. A successful working mom has a well-thought-out childcare plan. Try trading childcare with another mom. Enlist the help of teenage babysitters after school. Rely on your spouse a couple of evenings during the week or on the weekend. If you know your children are in good hands while you are working, you will be able to concentrate on your job instead of worrying about your children.

Are you self-motivated? Without a boss or co-workers to hold you accountable, are you able to get the task done in a timely manner? Business owners need to be able to work despite interruptions. When things don’t go as planned, you need to be persistent enough to keep going. While working out of your home, try not to be tempted to throw in a load of laundry or empty your dishwasher. When you set aside time to work, do not do any household tasks or take non-work phone calls. It is challenging to set up boundaries between work and home, but in order to succeed, it must be done.

What about seed money? Do you have enough money to launch your new business and keep it going until it shows a profit? When you are doing research for your business plan, be sure to include costs for insurance, advertising, association fees, website hosting and equipment rental. These expenses occur whether you have money coming in from sales or not. Whatever dollar amount you think you need to start your business, expect to double it. No matter how well you plan, a new business has surprise expenses. By having extra money to fall back on, you will not need to dip into your personal savings when these surprises occur.

Do you have the right skills? A business owner needs to wear many hats. One of the biggest downfalls of small business is the absence of sales skills. Yes, you may be an expert in your field, but if you can’t sell yourself, no one will buy your goods or services. A business owner needs to find a way to get the word out. Buyers will not show up at your door without advertising. Accounting is another skill often lacking in small business owners. Before hiring help, check out your local SCORE chapter or small business association for workshops, classes and local mentoring to help you with the skills you need.

Owning a successful home-based business is a dream held by many women. You will have the flexibility to set your own hours, keep the profits and be your own boss. However, it is not for everyone. Take a moment to ask yourself these questions and see if you would be a good candidate. If now is not the right time, wait until you have gathered the skills and support you need to make your business succeed. Don’t risk losing your dream because you weren’t prepared.  

25 Home-Based Businesses That Work for Moms

Do you think you have what it takes to start a home-based business, but have no idea what you want to do? Check out this list of flexible businesses that can work around a mom’s schedule.

Personal Services

  • Personal Trainer
  • Dog Walker/Pet Sitter
  • Daycare Provider
  • Resume Writer
  • Tutor/Music Instructor
  • Lactation Consultant

Creative

  • Photography
  • Freelance Writing
  • Sewing (seamstress/alterations)
  • Home Staging  

Business to Business Services

  • Accounting/Tax Preparation
  • Web Design
  • Courier Service
  • Graphic Design
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Consulting

Retail Sales (online or home-based)

  • eBay
  • Esty
  • Used Bookseller (Amazon/Abe Books)
  • Direct Sales (Pampered Chef, Avon, etc.)

Home Services

  • Computer Repair
  • Gardening Consulting/ Service
  • Home Organizer
  • Babyproofing
  • Home Inspector
Pam Molnar
About Pam Molnar

Pam Molnar is a small business owner. She has launched several successful businesses while staying home with her three children.

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