Women start small businesses at a higher rate than men, and according to a recent Forbes.com survey, women will launch more than half of the 9.72 million new small businesses expected to be created by 2018. A growing number of these women (many of whom are moms) will run these businesses from their homes. Are you one of these entrepreneurial moms?
Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a mom who works outside the home, you may be wondering if this is the right time to start a home based business. At the International Christian Mompreneur Network, we’ve had the honor of helping moms start and grow businesses while remaining true to their values of faith and family. And while each woman has her own unique story, here are some of the common themes we’ve seen among our community of mom entrepreneurs.
5 Telltale Signs You’re Ready to Start a Home Business
1. You have an urge to do something more (or different) but you can’t explain why. Some call this a burning desire, I say it’s a calling. You may not know where you are headed, but you know that God has planted a seed in your heart. You know it’s time to make a change and you are convicted that starting a business is the next step in fulfilling your divine purpose. (Even if you are scared, confused and overwhelmed at the thought of it!)
2. You can’t stop thinking about your business idea. You’re distracted (or even obsessed!) with all the details and possibilities that await you on your entrepreneurial journey. Moms are naturally good at multi-tasking. I can even carry on a conversation while typing an email (not that I recommend it, of course!). But when you find yourself hyperfocused on your business, to the point of ignoring everything else in your life, you know it’s time to take the next step.
3. You just can’t take it anymore. If you’re working full time outside the home and you don’t like the person you have become, it’s your responsibility to make a change. Maybe you are seeking a more family-centered life or an opportunity to simplify and appreciate the time you have with your children while they are young. If the demanding schedule is turning you into a mean and resentful mom, and you find yourself wishing you could escape, then a home based business might be a good solution.
4. You’re feeling a little lucky. Entrepreneurship is a risky business. You have to be willing to take a chance – financially and emotionally. There are no guarantees. But the rewards are worth the risk. If that thought doesn’t scare you to death, then you may have what it takes to run a home based business.
5. People you trust are encouraging you to go for it. It takes a lot of support to start a home business. I know I wouldn’t have had the courage to start my freelance writing career 18 years ago without the unwavering encouragement of my husband. He insisted that I stay on course as my business grew from a single project to a full time business because he kept our goal in mind – to create a business that would support a family-focused lifestyle. If your husband, friends, and even your children are urging you to move forward with your business dreams, lean on their support and go for it!
Now, if you’re like many of my clients, then you “get it.” But you still have objections. Like…”But we don’t have the money right now.” Or, “I don’t even know what kind of business I want to start!”
Consider this permission to explore options and build yourself a safety net first. It’s the smart thing to do. And if you’re going to succeed in business, then you have to be smart about it, right? So, do a little research. Save enough money to cover some of your start up expenses (or replace your corporate income for a few months). If your business idea requires a big investment, borrow money from family and friends or check out a crowdsourcing site like Kickstarter. Write a simple business plan. Then test your product or service on a small scale first – so you can get in the trenches and really see if your business will work. Once you get funding and feedback, you’ll be ready to refine your idea, and start your home business with confidence.
What are your biggest questions or challenges around starting a home business? Share them with us here so we can help support you!