Mom’s the Boss: Top Tips for Running a Business as a Stay-At-Home Parent
Launching a business as a “mompreneur” can offer you the best of many worlds, creating an opportunity to work from home, be there for your kids, earn an income, and be personally and professionally fulfilled in all areas of your life. There are many business models to pursue, ranging from popular independent-contractor, franchise-type opportunities to monetizing a hobby to building on a profession or education. Here’s some advice on how to get started from The Staten Island Family:
What Will You Do?
The type of small business you’re best suited to will likely be dependent on your time availability, your interests, and your skill sets. For example, if you’re an amazing cook and organized event planner, a catering business might be the way to go. If you have a knack for wordsmithing, a home-based consulting agency that focuses on advertising, marketing, and public relations could be a good fit. If you were an IT pro or accounting whiz before you became a stay-at-home mom, think about getting your area of specialty up and running as a business.
Even a small business launch requires planning and preparation to be successful. You’ll want to establish your home office and workspace, and outfit it with essentials, including:
· A desk and task chair
· A laptop or desktop computer
· File cabinets and other storage
According to the Senior Corps of Retired Executives, you’ll also need to open a business bank account, establish your operational objectives with a business plan, and develop a website and marketing agenda. You may need a business license, and it’s wise to consider forming a limited liability company, as well. With an LLC New York, for example, will protect you from some forms of liability and provide some advantages when you file your taxes. All states have different regulations around LLC formation, so check yours in advance. It can be expensive to hire an attorney to do the filing, but while you could do it yourself, a formation services company can be an even bigger help.
Creating Work-Life Balance
Balancing home and office has always been a juggling act for moms. Trying to manage both in the same location can present some challenges, but creating schedules, focusing on time management, and bringing in childcare help as needed can smoothen the way. The early days of a startup can be especially hectic, so Good Housekeeping suggests employing the assistance of your spouse or partner, where possible, and delineate the lines between work and home:
· Use office space only for work, and try to keep it off-limits to the rest of the household.
· Create a schedule with “work” hours and “home” hours, and gently reinforce those boundaries with your kids.
· When you aren’t in work mode, be present and in the moment with your family so you don’t feel like you’re shortchanging work or home.
Since you’re modeling the entrepreneurial spirit for your kids with your home-based business, challenge them to work toward goals of their own. Investigate different programs and reading materials that will help inspire curiosity and creative thinking!
Many ventures that start as home-based ventures grow into large-scale operations. Once you’re up and running, think about your long-term objectives. As your kids get more self-reliant, consider ways to expand and grow your company. You might even interest them in the inner-workings of being a small business owner!
For more great content on family, parenting, and life, check out The Staten Island Family.