Are you dreaming of being able to work from home but unsure of what you can do?
There are several avenues you may take to develop an income and stay home with your children.
And there is one important rule: NEVER quit your job before you’re making enough money to stay at home.
That might seem like common sense NOW, but soon you’ll be excited about an idea and sure that you’ll be able to sell your product or services. You will be tempted to stay home and pour heart and soul into the business.
But you’d be wrong.
It works in Hallmark movies, but not in real life. Before long you’ll have more credit card debt than you’ll be able to pay off in 10 years and you won’t understand how it happened.
You’re next statement will be, “Well, it must work for other people, but it doesn’t work for me.”
And you would be wrong again.
It will work for you, but you have to follow the path that has been laid out before you by others who have been successful.
Here are several of the Dos and Don’ts that will make your journey less of a challenge. Mark what was said though – LESS of a challenge, not that it won’t BE a challenge – because it will.
- Ask yourself several questions . . .
Do you like your hobby enough to do it every day?
Do you use this hobby for relaxation? If so, you might want to choose another path.
Do you have a hobby you think others would pay to learn or purchase the fruits of your labor?
- Consider what you do and whether others would pay for what you enjoy. Ask your friends how much others might pay. BUT, don’t get discouraged if your friends or family don’t see the potential that you do. Here are three entrepreneurs who started their own companies in markets you wouldn’t think would be lucrative.
- Has anyone else done this before you? Being the first in your market means you’ll be doing all the work for the people who come after you. AND, it may mean that there aren’t people selling the product or service you want to sell because there is no money to be made in that market.
- Would this full time business support your lifestyle? Some businesses are wonderful to bring in additional income and others will support you and your family.
- Can you expand the business and leverage what you do? In other words, can you get others to create the products while you’re marketing your business?
- Are you willing to be the face of your company and sell your products or services? If you can answer yes to the other questions but no to this one, then you may not be suited to working at home. Because, no matter how you slice it, you WILL have to sell yourself or your product/service.
Are you ready to take the first step?
- Do an assessment. Consider several aspects to your business idea. Do you have the stamina and endurance to work during the day, take care of your children and THEN pick up your business at night? What once was relaxation and TV time has suddenly become business hour.
If you stay focused and determine to work the business without immediate income, you could work 2 hours each night and 4 on Saturday to get your business rolling. However, that might mean spending your income on advertising or on product creation.
Is your product or service a viable idea? Are there people willing to pay NOW? Do many searches online for businesses doing exactly what you want to do – you’ll get your answer.
- Start your business on the side first. To get started, write out a plan. This isn’t a “business plan” you would approach a bank with, but rather a plan of action you use to move your business forward. It should have some of the same information you would provide a bank – because it’s good information to have and will focus your marketing.
Who is buying similar products or services? Identify these people – they are your target market. You aren’t selling to “everyone” even if you think everyone could use your product. Instead focus on one group – young mothers, single fathers, men over 50, mothers with children younger than 10.
What area of the country will you address first? Is this across the U.S.? Will you eventually expand outside the country?
How much will you sell your product for? How much does it cost to produce? Will you make enough money between cost and price of the product?
Write out your marketing plan – will you use social media, paid advertising, forums, magnets on your car, through your church? There are many ways of getting the word out and you must outline what you’ll use BEFORE you get started.
Where will you source the products from?
- Build a network. You have a current network of friends and relatives. This is a network of business relationships you’ll use as you move forward. If you are going to sell on Etsy or eBay, join the forums for sellers. Get to know the people, the culture and the rules. This will help you tremendously as you move forward.
- Have a USP. This is a Unique Selling Proposition. What makes your product different from everyone else’s? Are your products cheaper? More expensive? High quality? Do you have a fast turn-around time? Can you create something original for your customers?
Whatever your USP – be sure you’ve identified it, understand it and can express in writing and in person.