You just had a baby and you can’t fathom the thought of dropping him off at daycare while you head off to work. Don’t worry, these feelings are perfectly normal for new mums. You know you have valuable skills and you need to make an income, so why not start your own business? The Small Business Administration reports that more than half of all businesses are started out of the home, including the likes of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Hershey’s and even Apple. For all you know, your business could be the next big thing, but you will never know if you never try.
Is It for You?
Before you put too much money or time into starting your own business, you need to take a look at your lifestyle to see if it will mesh with being a business owner. For example, is there space in your home for you to work adequately? Will you be able to separate from your baby to get the quiet noise you need for phone calls (nap times are the key)? Will your family be supportive? Once you can honestly answer all of these questions and have the right answers (hint: YES!) then you are ready to get started.
Get the Money
Now that you are committed to reaching your dreams of becoming an entrepreneur while being a stay-at-home mum, it’s time to get your money lined up. You can visit AustralianGovermentGrants.org to search for grants your small business qualifies for, or search for an affordable business loan.
Brand Your Business
Since you are working from home, you don’t have the benefit of a storefront to create your brand. Instead, you need to rely on your marketing materials. Business cards are always a necessity, and Overnight Prints also advises to take advantage of direct mail. If you do a little bit of market research, you will be able to reach a huge portion of your demographic by using postcard printing. To help track your return on investment, consider including a coupon on the postcard. Inc.com advises that it is also a good idea to take out a P.O. Box for your business address, because an obvious home address (apartment number anyone?) can ruin your reputation before you even get a chance to build one.
Track Your Taxes
One of the biggest changes of going from employed to self-employed is that you have to pay all of your own taxes. While self-employment certainly has its tax advantages, like getting to deduct a portion of your home office expenses, there is definitely not a lack of paperwork involved. You should check the ATO website to make sure you are doing everything according to the Australian Taxation Office laws.
Keep Your Priorities Straight
Once you have things up and running, it can be hard to keep your priorities in line when you are so focused on growing a business. However, it is crucial for you to remember that your kid is your priority. Yes, you are working to provide for him. Yes, trying to do both is challenging. But, if you do it right, you will have the quality time with your kid and a business that can pay your bills (and hopefully more). Remember, your business will always be there. You can make mistakes and try again. You only get one shot at raising your child.
Guest post by Caitlin Somers: Caitlin is a business consultant and mom of three. She enjoys writing when she isn’t busy carpooling or volunteering at her kids’ school.