More and more women are choosing to stay home but still pursue a career. The old idea that women had to choose to be at home or away at work no longer applies. But if you currently work outside the home, you might wonder if you can take the plunge and become a work at home mom. Or, as it is referred to in the home business industry: WAHM.
Perhaps you have the business idea, or you have the acumen to start something new, but you just aren’t sure that you can actually do it. How will you know when the time is right? There are a few things to consider.
Can you afford it?
If you are running a home based business that involves sales, be sure you know and are comfortable with your product. You need to be able to answer questions from your clients quickly and correctly. Being knowledgeable and honest about your product will help clients to trust you, and result in repeat business.
First, consider finances. Depending on what business you plan to work at home, it might take some time for you to make money in your new venture. Can you afford to live on your spouse’s income only during that time?
To determine if you can afford your WAHM venture, first do a budget and figure out what your base living expenses are each month. Does one income cover that expense? If not, do you have enough in savings to cover the difference if need be for the first few months of your WAHM business?
If one salary isn’t enough to cover the expenses, do you have savings that you can pull from if necessary? If not, consider working a few more months while putting as much as possible in the bank.
Your focus should be to satisfy all of your customers. It’s much easier to keep selling to established customers than it is to try to create new ones. Keep those customers happy, and they will return.
Before you take the plunge, also consider what kinds of start-up expenses there will be for your business. Can you afford to make that investment? Remember that some start-up expenses are tax-deductible, but you still have to be able to make the purchases and investments now.
Can you handle it?
Working at home is often harder that it might appear initially. While the idea of working at home could hold some romance for you, the reality is that it’s much harder for most people than they initially realize, especially when there are child rein the house.
Designate a room or an area of a room as your “office” for your home business. It can be a whole room or just a part of another room. Having your own office space will assure all of your business materials are in one spot, and it will help you to be more efficient.
So ask yourself if you will be able to find the time and quiet to effectively work at home. Think about the kind of job you’ll be doing. If it requires phone work, consider that you need to have quiet in the house before you can do that work. If it requires computer time, is there a computer that you can use often for your work? Do you have a good area that you can claim as your workspace?
Once you have secured a spot and know what you’re going to do, think about the family arrangement. If you have very young children who aren’t even in preschool yet, do you have plans for how you will work around them? Do you have family who can help you or could you hire a babysitter? If you need to work full-time and your kids are in school, how will you handle your work time once they are home from school? How about holidays, days off and summer vacations?
Are you ready to make change?
When operating a home based business it is a good idea to back up all of your business data so that you are protected. You should regularly have backups made of everything that is on your business’s website. You should make backups for every hosted service you use. Everything you have the ability to backup, you should. Being prepared for the worst is an important key to business success.
Transitioning from being a mom who works outside the home to one who works at home can be tough. Or, if you’ve been at stay-at-home mom, it can be difficult on your family, who must make the transition from seeing you as very accessible to them to being concerned with other matters.
Ask yourself these hard questions about transition. Are you ready to work at home? Can you handle the isolation? Do you think you can be a work at home mom and still see to your family’s needs? Most moms decide to work at home because they want to be available to their children; if you plant your children in front of the television so you can work, you haven’t necessarily succeeded in your mission.
If you’ve been thinking about becoming a WAHM for some time, you likely know the answers to all of these questions already. Once you know that you’re ready for the change, the transition can be fairly simple because your confidence will help provide a good result.