I've realized over recent months that moms rarely do enough soul searching and research before jumping into a home business. To help you dig deep and give this the careful consideration that it deserves, I have three ‘must ask questions’ for you. Before you make a decision, especially before you spend any money on an idea – sit down with a pad of paper and do some journaling on each question. Then, if you're married, take these questions and your thoughts to your husband and talk about all of it.
Have you walked through common sense steps?
Common sense dictates that you have a business plan. I'll admit to you that I have never had a business plan when I started – but I do have a plan today that shapes my decisions and how I spend my time. Common sense would say that you need to have a budget and a financial plan for your income.
Common sense would also demand that you research your business idea fully. Talk to others who are doing what you want to do and ask them pointed questions about how long it took them to get established and make a profit. Do not just ask those who are new to the business, seek out those who have been in business for at least four or five years. You need their perspective.
If the business that you're considering is in Direct Sales – have you tried things out as a Hostess first? I've talked with women three months down the road who are disillusioned and regretful about their decision to join a particular company and when I ask them if they started out by hosting a party and seeing if they enjoy that experience first – they have all said no. That tells me that testing the waters as a consumer is key.
Are you sure you can handle being your own boss?
I know a lot of great hard working people who would be in big trouble if they were in charge of themselves day in and day out. It's important to your quirks. Working at home may seem like a long vacation at first but after awhile the polish wears off and it's just work again.
Are you self motivated? Do you set good goals and keep on task without someone else holding you accountable? If you're not entirely sure – ask the people that you've worked with what they think.
How will this business affect your kids, your marriage and your home?
This is huge. Working at home means different things to different people. If you're going to start a business to earn a little extra grocery money, you might not be looking at something that will create big waves in your home life – but if you're looking for replace a full time income you have to be aware of the impact that your business will have on the home.
If your business involves physical products – where will it be stored and who will be taking care of it, moving it, shipping it? Don't assume that your husband and kids will automatically love to lift your boxes all the time. If your business requires you to be gone from the home a lot, who will pick up the slack for you? Who will watch the kids? Who will prepare family meals?
It's easier than ever before to create a business from home that doesn't involve products or time away – but even a virtual business requires your time and attention. When will you work and who will that time be taking away from? Don't fool yourself into believing that you can run a fulltime business during nap time or only while the kids are at school.
If you can work your way through each question you'll be well equipped to make the best decision possible about your home business.
Kelly McCausey has hosted Work at Home Moms Talk Radio since November of 2003. As an internet based business coach she helps other moms build profitable businesses that let them keep their family number one. Listen online anytime at http://www.wahmtalkradio.com/