Five things every mother needs to do when starting a home business

For many mothers frustrated at the lack of flexible career options, starting a home business and becoming your own boss (and therefore free to set your own working hours) is the dream.

However, dreaming about starting a home business and actually making a success of it are two very different things. There’s no magic wand you can wave that will instantly give you a full-formed business you love that fits around your children and gives you the income you need.

Instead you need to work hard and learn plenty of expensive lessons along the way as you slowly create a business that works for you.

Five things every mother needs to do when starting a home business

To help you get off to the right start, here are five things you need to do when you’re starting out as a home-based entrepreneur.

1) Assess your talents

We all have talents, even if we don’t think of them as being ‘talents’. They’re usually skills and types of activities that we’re naturally drawn to; things we love and find easier than others.

Your talents are the things thatset you apart from the average person. For most of us, our talents are reflected in our personalities. For example, if you are someone who has an inquisitive personality, you are likely to be more observant of the world around you, and this is a characteristic that often correlates with creativity.

A business that it built on your innate talents is more likely to thrive simply because you’ll love it (and will therefore feel revived rather than depleted when working on it) and will make more intuitive, better decisions.

2) Define your skills

Your skills are slightly different from your talents. They’re things that you have learned to do consciously or out of necessity. For example, you might have become adept at art because you worked in a previous role where you were required to regularly sketch out ideas, or because you happened to be assigned a role that involved drawing.

Your skills are just as useful as your talents, but they are more functional and less intuitive.

3) Refine your objectives

What do you want your business to achieve? Armed with knowledge of your skills and talents, you can begin to decide what it is that you want to actually do. Very few people decide to start a home business without any idea of what that business will be. But many begin this journey without having given much thought to what they actually want to achieve with their business.

Are you looking to make a certain amount of money? Do you want to make a difference to your local area, or indeed the world, in some way? Your objective can be as concrete or as abstract as you like. What’s important here is that you give yourself something to aim for.

4) Define your business

Now you know what the finish line looks like, it’s time to start thinking about the vehicle you will use to get there. Defining your business is about much more than simply deciding what your business will do. You need to consider the underlying ethos of it; the thing that you will inject into the business to set it apart from the competition.

Different people have different reasons for starting a home business. For example, some mothers choose to start a home business as a way of continuing to earn money while still being present during their children’s early years.

Equally, there are some women who start home businesses because they want to become millionaires. The ethos of your business and its core values should reflect your reasons for starting it, whatever they may be.

5) Set achievable goals

Laying out a roadmap for your business and the steps that you plan to take is an excellent way of visualising your future success. This will also encourage you to think carefully about what you can realistically achieve, and how you can go about achieving it.

However, it’s important that you don’t set yourself goals and objectives that are going to be too difficult to complete. If you do, you are liable to demotivate yourself when you don’t reach those targets.

Instead, think about your business’ growth as a staircase. It doesn’t matter how many stairs there are, what matters is that you are able to step from one to the next.

One of the first things you will probably need to do, for example, is to build a website for your business. Once your website is online, you then need to make sure people can find it. To do this, you will need to invest in SEO, which you can either tackle yourselfor hire a specialist SEO company (like the Evergreen Agency) to take care of for you.

Instead of setting yourself the difficult goal of “Build a website and attract X number of visitors a month”, set yourself the smaller goals of “Design a website”. Then “Build the website” and “Improve the SEO to generate traffic.”

Ready to start your home business?

Following these five steps will give you the best shot possible at starting a successful home business. All you need to do is throw in a lot of hard work, determination, and perseverance. Good luck!

Photo by Annie Spratt