Starting a business as a stay-at-home mom
The small business community is thriving in the United States, where there are over 33 million small businesses.
Many of these are run by hard working parents, who appreciate the flexible scheduling and compelling opportunities that entrepreneurship provides. After all, if anybody can juggle competing demands while remaining vibrant, innovative, and passion-driven, it’s our nation’s incredible moms.
Stay-at-home moms, in particular, are well-suited to the demands of the entrepreneurial lifestyle and can also make the most of business ownership’s unique benefits. With the right concept and a little support, many run successful businesses while also spending quality time with their families.
There is no one path to business success, especially for entrepreneurial parents. Still, there are a few basic steps that most aspiring business owners can expect to take as they turn unique ideas into full-fledged enterprises. We’ve outlined these essentials below, along with suggestions tailored to the unique challenges faced by entrepreneurial mothers.
1) Find the right business idea
Some entrepreneurs stumble upon genius ideas, seemingly by accident. This is not typical, however, and many require weeks, months, or even years of soul-searching before they find the right concept or idea. You can expedite this process by employing a purpose-driven approach, however, while highlighting your unique skills, interests, and experience. What do you, as a parent and an ambitious entrepreneur, have to offer?
As you ponder the possibilities, keep in mind that some business opportunities will be far more feasible for busy parents than others. Anything you can do from the comfort of home — or while building your schedule around your family — is preferable. Yes, you deserve support as you embark on this journey, but the realities of life as a parent need to remain at the forefront. Consider: which business opportunities will bring more joy than stress to your lifestyle?
Your perspective as a parent should also play into this effort. It’s a lot easier to appeal to a specific market when you share core life experiences or values with target consumers. For example, if you are committed to helping your children develop healthy habits, you can encourage other moms to accomplish the same through home catering or creating healthy snack products.
Other business ideas might center around bringing more convenience to busy parents’ lives, perhaps through personal shopping or time management solutions. Short on inspiration? Think of a challenge you’ve faced as a mother and consider how your expertise can help other parents deal with similar concerns in their own lives.
Once you stumble on an amazing idea, do your research to verify that you can drive a profit by putting this concept into action. Market research should offer insight into current demand for your potential products or services, plus challenges you might face along the way. Take a close look at the competition to reveal market saturation and to determine what it will take to stand out in your industry of choice.
These details should inform business decision-making but should not stand in the way of pursuing your passion. Remember: even in a fast-paced business environment, there are always hidden niches and pockets of demand.
Even if you’re interested in starting a business in New York, for example, you should not let the presence of similar enterprises stand in your way. Demand is high not only in New York, but also, in states such as California and Washington, where, with the right products and a little marketing magic, your business can gain a foothold.
2) Create a solid business plan
You’ve discovered an amazing business idea that ignites your passion but will also help you find balance as a parent and entrepreneur. The next step? Developing a business plan. This will act as a valuable blueprint, providing guidance through the entire process of forming and running your new business.
Your business plan can also help you get your finances in order and may even be instrumental in securing investors. Critical elements include the following.
Detailing the basics of your business and what you hope to accomplish, the executive summary provides a broad overview of how and why you want to start a business. It should include your mission statement and also touch on core products and services that you intend to provide.
Building on the executive summary, the business description reveals what, exactly, will make your company unique. Highlight pain points faced by target consumers, along with details describing how your business will help clients or customers overcome these challenges. This section can also reveal your relevant experience and how this will help you to succeed within your chosen industry.
Now, it’s time to dive into details about your target market. This section should draw on a wealth of research to reveal the general outlook of your industry and how your potential competitors are faring in the current business environment.
Be sure to highlight trends that will play into your business plans. Above all else, this section should ensure that your target market is well-understood by revealing demographics, geographic location, and so on.
How will your business be organized? Clarify by using this section to designate a legal structure: sole proprietorship or LLC, for example. Describe who will be involved in running your business and which roles or responsibilities they will take on.
Products or services
While you will want to touch briefly on core products or services within the executive summary or business description, a separate section should provide additional insight into these offerings. Detail how these will benefit consumers and how products will be manufactured or distributed. This section may also reveal plans for filing patents or dealing with other intellectual property concerns.
3) Makes the most of social media
Social media is a powerful tool for developing your brand and reaching potential customers or clients. As a mom, you may already be thoroughly familiar with several platforms, which you use to share highlights from your family life. As an entrepreneur, however, social media will drive traffic to your website while building brand awareness.
While many businesses make huge investments in social media, there are many surprisingly affordable ways to get your message across on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. Select these platforms carefully, being mindful of your brand identity and how your target clients or customers prefer to interact online. Other suggestions that will boost your social media presence include:
- Free up valuable time with scheduled content. The most effective social media strategies aren’t always the most groundbreaking, but they must be consistent. As a busy parent and entrepreneur, however, you might struggle to login and update your page. This is where scheduled content can bridge the gap. Many platforms allow you to schedule posts containing images, videos, or meaningful captions. This approach provides more time for brainstorming, rather than forcing you to think up impactful ideas when you’re busy, stressed, or short on inspiration.
- Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. When you follow a business page online, what do you hope to see? This perspective should shape your social media strategy. If your target market centers around fellow parents, you’ll find it easy to empathize with their needs and develop social media content accordingly.
- Build a community. Social media provides an excellent opportunity to build the sense of community that moms — and users in general — so clearly crave. This means creating content designed to generate a response and also engaging with your audience through comments and replies.
Get excited about your future as an entrepreneur
There are many ways to achieve your goals, both as a mom and a business owner. Above all else, however, your strategy needs to be driven by enthusiasm, not fear.
If you genuinely believe in your mission and have the resources and plan to back that up, you can make your mark in today’s fast-paced, but exciting business environment. Take this opportunity to make a difference as an entrepreneur extraordinaire.