If you’re a stay-at-home mom, there are many good reasons why you might want to start your own small business: Maybe you want to kick in extra money to the family income. Maybe you want to flex your marketable skills, talents, or creativity. Or maybe you simply have a little extra time to fill now that your kids are older and at school during the day. However, if you’re like many women, you may be struggling to find a reason why you personally will be able to take your dreams from “concept” to “company.”
Hopeful “mompreneurs,” relax and take a deep breath. I believe without a doubt that a disciplined and motivated mother can start and operate a profitable business from home while raising children. It won’t happen overnight, but with planning and patience, you can lay a broad, solid foundation for long-term success as a self-employed businesswoman.
Here are 5 of my top ten rules of business for stay-at-home moms:
Set aside a workspace
When you’re working from home—a place that’s full of distractions ranging from laundry baskets to televisions—setting up a dedicated workspace is crucial for productivity. Depending on your home’s layout and how accessible you do or don’t need to be based on your kids’ ages, you might be able to use a spare bedroom, a basement, a detached garage, or even a nook in the living room as your “office.”
Create a dream board
While you’re still in the planning stages, set aside an hour to tap into your creative side. Envision your goals for your business: what you’ll make or sell, who your customers will be, and—most importantly—how being an entrepreneur will positively impact your family and your future. Then glue images and words that remind you of those things to a piece of cardboard or poster board, and make sure the dream board is visible in your workspace.
Use your time wisely
Good time management is an important skill for any entrepreneur to have, but it’s especially crucial for stay-at-home moms, who are splitting their time between taking care of children and building a business. Wasted time has been the downfall of many mom-run businesses, because if you’re forced to choose between spending your last hour on your children or your business, caring for children must come first.
Take advantage of cost-saving opportunities
Since you’ll be using your home as your exclusive place of work, you can save a lot of money compared to entrepreneurs who are based in a more public space. Besides enjoying obvious money-savers like not needing to pay rent on and equip an office or shop space, purchase a professional wardrobe, or spend time and money on a commute, you can—and should—be proactive about using your business’s location to reduce operating costs.
Focus on providing great service
After your business opens its doors, it will develop a reputation. Whether it’s a good or bad one is largely up to you. To make sure that customers hold your company in high esteem, focus on providing great service to each and every customer from day one. Word of mouth is important for the growth of any business.
Buy some online real estate
Many would-be small business owners (especially those who plan to do all of their business locally) figure that traditional print or radio advertising will be enough to spread the word about their companies. That’s archaic thinking. Since most of your prospective customers—even those born during the heyday of newspaper and radio—are surfing the Internet, websites are no longer optional.
While these rules don’t cover every step of creating your own business as a stay-at-home mom, they will help you to head in the right direction. So stop procrastinating. If you have a good idea for a business or want to start earning more money, there’s no time like the present to join the ranks of successful mompreneurs.
About the Author:
Sean C. Castrina is the author of 8 Unbreakable Rules for Business Start-Up Success. Sean is a successful business coach and a true entrepreneur, he has started over 15 successful companies over the last 18 years.