With the world job market in crisis and the cost of child care increasing to impossible levels, more and more mums around the world are coming up with their own solution to this problem.
The UK has just announced a 40% increase in self-made multi millionaire women – a trend that might well be coming to Australia too. Mothers are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the country at the moment with 15% of women setting up their own business once they have had a baby.
With the onset of the internet it is now very easy to get a business idea up and running in a very short period of time and with minimal investment. So how are they doing it? Below are our top tips to help you set up a home based business so that you can earn money whilst home with your children.
1. Come up with a business idea – you might already have a great idea but if you don’t there are many ways to come up with one. Think about something that you need to make your life easier but which does not yet exist, if you travel overseas keep your eyes open for a product or service that you think might do well back in your own country. Think about some ideas which have already done well and see whether you can adapt them so that they are a little different and create a whole new market. Another great idea is to subscribe to www.springwise.com – they will email you on a weekly basis with fascinating business ideas from around the world.
2. What will you call your new product or service? Ideally you want a name which is catchy and memorable – and one that isn’t offensive in a foreign language so make sure you check that out! Think about business and brand names that you love and look at how they have put their names together. You might want to use colours, foreign words or a play on words e.g. the maternity store ‘From Here to Maternity’ taken from the well known film title.
3. Secure your domain name. Your domain name will be the url for your website – even if you are not planning to have a website straight away, make sure you can secure the name anyway so that no-one else can use it. Just Google ‘domain name registration’ and you will find a host of companies that can do this for you – starting from around $10 per year.
4. Think about how you want to structure your business – you might want to just start out as a sole trader until you see how things go. Alternatively if you are worried about liability and protecting your assets, then look at registering as a Pty Ltd. There are many different options and they all have their advantages and disadvantages so make sure you do your homework and get some expert advice from your accountant.
5. Market research – before you start to put too much time and effort into your new business venture, make sure you research and get some feedback. There are some very affordable and even free ways of doing this – put together a focus group of your family and friends, put up research questions on Yahoo Answers or Twitter – although make sure that you are not giving away your actual business idea.
6. Once you have decided that your idea is worth pursuing, the next step is to set your budget. It can be tricky to forecast how much money you think you can make and you also need to bear in mind that many companies do not make a profit for the first year or two until they are more established and well known. You will need to work out your essential living costs, for e.g. the first 6 months, and make sure you have enough money to cover them. If this looks like an impossible task, then it may be worth taking on a part time job or keeping your existing job and starting your new venture on a part time basis.
7. Surround yourself with a strong support team – it may be family and friends or it may be other mums wanting to start up in business.
8. Believe. It is extremely important that you have a true belief in what you are doing as there is a lot of work involved in getting a new business off the ground, and your confidence will be what gets you through those tough times.
9. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. You may be fabulous at marketing and sales but terrible at budgeting and finance. Make sure you get advice from an expert in any of the areas you are not confident in.
This guest post was written by Sophie Andrews of The SOHO Agency, sponsor of Childhood 101.
The SOHO Agency is a one stop shop for people wanting to start out in home based businesses. They provide a range of services including books, courses, email coaching and website design. The SOHO Agency is the brainchild of an award winning entrepreneur who has built 3 successful home based businesses. If you are facing the prospect of having to return to work but would rather stay at home and spend more time with your family, then setting up a home based business could be a great option to consider.
For all readers of Childhood 101, The SOHO Agency are offering you the following special offers:
- FREE copy of ‘Confessions of a Mumpreneur’ – a series of interviews and insider tips and tricks from 25 mums who have given it a go. All you need to do to receive your copy is visit www.thesohoagency.com.au and subscribe to the newsletter.
- 10% discount on all books and courses located in store at www.thesohoagency.com.au. Simply enter the code ‘101’ at checkout.