Balance Work and Family With a Home-Based Business

Retail Level Up welcomes guest contributor: Marjorie Jones of Working Class Wow. Read all about the author Marjorie Jones below.

If you’re a stay-at-home parent interested in generating an outside income, you have a number of options to choose from. While many people opt to start an ecommerce business, there are other opportunities that can be just as lucrative. Retail Level Up can help you identify the right approach and teach you best practices around business development and optimization.

Decide What To Do

Most people who start their own businesses either build on their professional expertise or training and education or, according to Gathering Dreams, they decide to do something they love, often monetizing a hobby or pursuing a newfound passion. Your first step should be deciding what you’re most interested in, and then do a little market research to see if there’s a demand for your product or service. You’ll want to make sure you have enough time to allocate to the work, and that there’s enough of a profit margin to make it a worthwhile endeavor. This is an especially important consideration if you’re juggling childcare while you’re building your business.

Brainstorming Ideas

If you’re still in the strategy phase and know you want to start a business, but aren’t entirely sure what options are best for a stay-at-home working parent, consider approaches that allow you flexibility, yet still generate a good income. For example, you might consider medical transcription, writing or editing, or industry-specific consulting. Perhaps you prefer something more hands-on, like massage therapy, tutoring, translation services, childcare, or music lessons. Depending on your skills and experience, catering, party planning, or even professional services like accounting, tax preparation, or bookkeeping might fit the bill.  

Establish Your Company

Regardless of what you do, there are a few business startup basics to take care of. You may want to incorporate, apply for a business license and any special use permits or insurance required by your state or municipality. You’ll also need to create a business and marketing plan, develop a budget, and decide how to fund your operation. You could use savings, a small business loan, or even a grant. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, you may have the best luck at a bank or credit union that specializes in small business loans, or by seeking out a small business development center or microenterprise initiative that offers to fund.

Set Up Your Space

When you’re a parent running a business from home, it’s essential that you carve out a dedicated workspace. Ideally, this would be a room that’s quiet and removed from other household activities. If possible, make it off-limits to the rest of the house, and resist allowing it to be a catch-all space for other uses. You’ll want to deduct your home office use on your business taxes, and that means that your office setup, work supplies, and tools must be used exclusively for home office use. Invest in equipment like a computer, printer, scanner, and any other materials that will help you run your operation.

Get Ready To Launch

Prior to start up you’ll want to establish a website so people can find you, and a marketing strategy, which should include a social media and email outreach component. You’ll also need to decide how you’ll manage your business finances. Fortunately, there are advanced software programs that can help you manage the operational aspects of your business, which could help you boost profits and run your company more effectively. For example, Plaid’s suite of software makes it easier to invoice, manage payroll, and maintain real-time transactional updates. You’ll also be able to conduct an income verification API, which will reduce the potential for fraud for both you and your customers.

Creating a home-based business can be immensely rewarding, affording you a healthy and fulfilling work-life balance. It’s also a great way to model an entrepreneurial spirit to your kids and teach them the value of innovative, high-quality work.

Author Marjorie Jones: Marjorie Jones created Working Class Wow because she knows you don’t need a big budget to make your business look like a million bucks! From a well-designed logo and a carefully-crafted website to grammatically-correct copy and professionally-printed marketing materials, it is entirely possible (and surprisingly affordable) to bring a little “Working Class WOW” to your small business to build your brand, improve relationships with customers, and benefit the bottom line. WorkingClassWow.com can show you how.

Retail Level Up helps retailers and those who work in the retail industry survive and thrive in the age of large-scale online companies. Their process is designed to empower individuals and teams to be the best they can be. Visit the site to learn more, reach out via email, or subscribe to an informational newsletter.

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