So, you have a job and would like to fire your boss to work at home. Let me caution you. Starting a business at home might be the biggest challenge of your life.
Starting a home-based business has risks. It can sap your energy and time. Even if you have sources of other income, you stand to lose a lot of sleep and comfort. There are precautions to take in starting a new business before you quit your job.
For many, a business for mom entrepreneurs is a great idea.
The good news is that it can be very rewarding. A good business will insure you’ll be in charge of your time. You’ll have flexibility and only a 15-second commute. You’ll be able to make your own decisions.
You’ll save money on an office rental. Play your cards right and you’ll have a tax deduction for your home office. And once you’re successful, you’ll feel gratified and will have earned more money for your family, hobbies and dreams.
But you need more than passion.
In launching your dream, here are ways to minimize risks:
1. See to it that you have the right underpinnings. Do your homework. Make certain you have enough income so that in starting a home business you don’t embark with unnecessary fear.
Save some money and start networking. Analyze what you’d like to do for fun in your own business.
Remember balancing work and family can be difficult. Take baby steps. It will take some time before you’re established enough to pay for your daily expenses.
Ideally, before you launch full time, you’ll need to enough money in your bank or credit union to cover your business and personal expenses for a year.
2. Make certain you understand basic accounting and cash flow. Use financial software for recordkeeping. Be sure to be mindful to increase your startup’s cash flow.
3. Set aside an adequate work space.starter. Structure your daytime hours for actually working.
Work smarter, not harder. Educate your family about what you’re undertaking to minimize interruptions.
If you make some money, for IRS purposes, you can take a deduction. But make sure you comply with IRS regulations.
4. Get a mentor for personalized help. Hopefully, you know a woman who has want you want – successful business and family life. If not, volunteer in a charitable organization to meet new people. Ask your clergy for ideas.
Read the “people promotions” page in your local newspaper to get ideas. When you spot someone, be bold and ask the lady for an appointment. Explain you’d like her opinions. Don’t be afraid. Fear is also why women receive less angel funding than men.
A great mentor will answer your questions and guide you through the maze of unforeseen problems. There are many – slow sales, fickle customers, unreliable vendors and an uncertain economy. To prepare for a financial roller coaster, don’t let sales drop and don’t let costs cut into your profits.
5. Plan for the worst – hope and work for the best. Think about the image you want to portray that will lead to a good income. For the ultimate respect, remember that size doesn’t matter but image and professionalism count.
6. Focus daily on sales and marketing. You’ll never know when you run into a prospect so know what to say when you’ll come face-to-face with sales opportunities so develop and rehearse a great elevator pitch, and become proficient in making sales.
Get some positive public relations. Leverage the news media.
Like the old adage says, “cash is king,” or in your case, a queen. So, when there’s no cash, organically grow your business. Develop policies and procedures for preparation on how to deal with obstacles to success.
Have a strong Internet presence. The key to Internet dominance is to think integration. If you like to write, good. Good communication skills are important. If you want to implement content marketing or blogging, great.
7. Make customer retention a priority. Good repeat customers can keep your business afloat. So focus on how to keep your customers happy.
8. Have an exit strategy. Some startups are so successful, they decide to grow by franchising.
However, many don’t.
Many attract buyers. Others decide they don’t want a life as a mom entrepreneur. Whatever the reason, you should always have an exit strategy.
Meantime, never stop growing and learning to stay ahead of your competition.
Good luck! Share your success with others. Drop me a line and let me know how you’re doing.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are more entrepreneurial tips I gave The New York Times in two interviews:
- Been There… Done That… Here’s How – New York Times
- Advice on Taking an Entrepreneurial Leap – New York Times
“To any entrepreneur: If you want to do it, do it now. If you don’t, you’re going to regret it.”