By Eva Benoit
If you are a stay-at-home mom looking for ways to make money without having to commute, starting a business may be right for you. While starting a business is a lot of work, it also comes with a ton of benefits, such as increased flexibility, the option to set your own hours, and the opportunity to put your skills and education to use. For women who have obligations to home and family, business ownership may involve less stress than working set hours outside the home. And not all bosses understand or respect the needs of women juggling work and life duties — so why not be your own boss and invest your talents in a venture that will yield income?
Here are some popular ideas for home businesses that could work for stay-at-home moms:
One option for creating a business out of your home might be to take what you are already doing and monetize it. If you love caring for kids, you could start a childcare facility in your home. If cooking is your passion, consider starting an artisanal bakery, a catering service, or even a cooking blog. And if you’re craving a break from mom-related work, some appealing business options include freelance writing, copyediting, accounting, or e-commerce.
So how do you go about starting a business?
Depending on the business, the best way to launch might be simply to start doing it. Advertise your services as an editor. Bake your most scrumptious bread or pastries and take them to the local farmers’ market. Once you have customers aware of your goods and services, you can begin to expand and possibly make your business a legal entity. Other business ideas you may need to train or prep for. If you plan on starting a daycare, make sure you are doing so safely and legally. Before offering your services as an accountant complete any necessary certification.
What’s all this about making a business a legal entity?
This is where the bureaucracy comes in. Even if your business consists only of you, it’s a good idea to make it official — for the sake of tax write-offs and to protect yourself from lawsuits. A limited liability company (LLC) is a popular choice for small business owners whether they are employing others or not. Having an LLC will make tax time less painful and involve less paperwork. While some business owners consult an attorney to help them register, it’s cheaper to do so yourself or use a formation service to guide you through the process of setting up an Arkansas LLC. Different states have different regulations for LLCs, however, so do be sure to check up on that.
What else is needed to grow a business?
To grow your business, you need to expand your marketing reach. Having a great website will help in this regard, as will savvy use of social media and internet analytics. You will also want to open a separate bank account and keep it distinct from personal or family accounting. If accounting isn’t your wheelhouse, consult a professional to make sure you are getting all the deductions you’re due, and help you with quarterly filing.
Let’s talk about balancing work with life.
When you’re running your business from home, the best way to keep work and life balanced is to keep them separate, as much as possible. But you may be thinking — it’s never possible! Yes, but this is the number one reason why you need to draw lines between work and life, even if they’re dotted lines. Otherwise, multitasking will overwhelm you. Try to establish a work-only space and give yourself a schedule — even if you have to keep tweaking the schedule to deal with whatever life throws your way. Remember to give yourself breaks to clear your head and decompress.
Running a business while also tending to home and family isn’t for everyone, but if you think you have what it takes not only to succeed at the balancing act but also enjoy doing it, this might be a great option for you to earn a nice income without sacrificing precious family time.
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