As a work at home mum, you have time to dream about all of the awesome things you could do. But creating the time to actually go and do those things in between driving the little ones to play dates and keeping the house clean can be tricky. To be a successful entrepreneur, you’ll need to find the physical space in your home and the actual time to develop your business and run with it. Follow these tips designed for work at home mums (WAHMs) to turn your dreams into money-makers.
Planning your business
If you’re unsure what you want to do, brainstorm what you can do and what you enjoy doing to find the sweet spot. Maybe you loved designing the nursery and you have a good eye for color. You could try your hand at interior or graphic design, or even offer professional organizing assistance. Dream big now, then pare down later to develop a business focus. Once you have a business idea, develop your road map. Areas to consider here include:
- Equipment — What do you need to do business?
- Startup fees — Do you need a business license, insurance, etc?
- Business name and branding — A business name different from your name helps you create a brand.
- Marketing — Marketing should be a top priority, suggests Daphne Mallory of WAHM.com. Even with a limited budget, you can still market by word-of-mouth, blogging and social media.
Home office: A must for moms
Sure, childless freelancers can get away with working on the sofa. As a mum, you know that you need a quiet home work space all your own to get things done. Entrepreneur recommends a separate room with a door you can close, where you can get away from distractions such as laundry, cooking and kids. Go ahead and turn your guest room into a home office. If you don’t have a guest room, consider turning the dining room, basement or other seldom-used area into a home office, then develop a way to keep your kids occupied elsewhere while you work.
Once you have the space down, plan and purchase needed equipment. If you hope to sell those collectibles on Ebay, you’ll want to invest in mailing supplies and a Pitney Bowes Mail Station 2 to automate package-sending. If you’re hoping to do graphic design work, your major expenses will be design software, a computer and a printer.
Putting it all together
Planning and developing your home office only gets you halfway there. Once you take these steps, put your efforts into doing business. Consider doing small projects at a deeply discounted rate to build your portfolio. Take your portfolio to potential clients and sell yourself, bid for jobs in freelance marketplaces or launch a course teaching your skill based on your demonstrated experience. There are lots of ways to land initial gigs, so you are only limited here by your creativity. In Family Circle, Michelle Abt suggests brainstorming and then targeting hot markets with your services.
While diving into your business requires a lot of time and energy, it can ultimately be so rewarding for you to have something all your own. Take inspiration from other moms who have done it to continue on your path toward business success and extra income.
This is a guest post by Amanda Davidson. Amanda is a mother of four who runs a boutique marketing agency from her home.