While raising a child is a full-time gig in itself, many moms are getting the Internet to work for them. And we don’t mean using Pinterest to find some tasty new Crock-Pot recipes (though those are helpful too).
More and more savvy mompreneurs are hustling hard to make some extra cash online by selling knick knacks that are collecting dust, hawking their handmade wares or selling their specialized services. While setting up your own online side business may sound a little intimidating, it’s not nearly as difficult as you may think. And here’s the best part: You build your business around your own schedule!
So whether you’re filling those spare moments during nap time or looking to build a full-time, home-based empire, here are some tips to start your very own business.
Do your homework
There are many people online today who are looking to sell things and make money from home. But do your research first. Do people want to buy what you’re selling? Find out if others are selling it, where they are located and how much they’re charging. Then set your price. If you’re creating handmade items, you’ll want to make sure that you make enough to compensate you for your time (yes, the whole point is to pay yourself!), while also keeping things affordable so people will want to buy. This can be trickier than you might think. If you get stuck, try consulting other mompreneurs in work-at-home forums or through MeetUp.com.
As with any business, getting started as a work-from-home mompreneur is a lot of work up front. But stick with it: You’ll never get anywhere if you’re trying something new every month. Try keeping a journal or an in-depth income and expense report. Create some income goals for yourself and try turning those goals into a game every month. Challenge yourself to get one more sale every week, and then reward yourself (maybe a nice mani-pedi?) at the end of the month for “winning” at your business.
Take care of you
This may sound like a real no-brainer, but it’s easy to get completely immersed in your business for most of your waking hours. Many mompreneurs are passionate about growing their very own business and work hard to meet their goals. Because of that dedication, it’s easy to neglect yourself. Take the time to prepare wholesome meals, take regular breaks and get a little exercise. And to maintain some balance (and avoid a bad case of burnout), do your best to turn off your laptop and phone at dinner time.
Create a plan
There are many ways you can market your unique items or services. But don’t waste too much time trying all of them. Try mixing up your offline and online efforts to reach both your local and global market. Remember that no matter what type of business you run, more than half of your time will likely be dedicated to acquiring new clients or hustling to get more sales. Because of this, try to make sure your time is spent in a productive way. So if running regular Facebook ads just isn’t working, don’t be afraid to re-assess.
Make customer service a priority
Above all, make sure every interaction you have with a customer or client is positive and professional. Every sale is an opportunity, because happy customers will tell their friends. Many mompreneurs boost their sales regularly via word-of-mouth referrals. So give them something to love, and they’ll likely pay it forward.
Set aside time for family
It’s easy to get swept up in the forward momentum of building a home business. Your work can bleed into your personal life, especially without the structure and physical separation of a traditional 9-to-5 office gig. One way to ensure some work-life balance is to schedule time with your family right in your calendar. Maybe every Thursday is date night with your spouse, or every Friday morning is one-on-one time with your little one. Either way, blocking this time off the same way you would a business meeting means you’re more likely to get that regular quality time with your loved ones.
Not everyone is cut out to be a successful mompreneur, but if you stick to it, work hard and stay organized, you can find your way. So get out there and get started!