It’s often been said that being a parent is the most challenging job you’ll ever have. So what happens when you’re a full-time, stay-at-home mom or dad and you start a business, as well? Those folks might be crazy, but a lot of them say they love the flexibility as well as the opportunity to interact with adults.
In this economy, it can be more cost effective to skip day care and the 9-to-5 grind in favor of staying home with your child. And what is more rewarding: the pride you take in a job well done on a work project, or being there to see your son’s or daughter’s first step? On the flipside, I do recall when a devoted mother and dear friend of mine confessed that she was eager to return to work, “just to talk like a grown-up again.” A home business can be a good fit for a stay-at-home parent: You – hopefully – will earn an income while not paying for day care and keeping flexible hours. A home-based business is less risky, too, since it requires less overhead than a storefront or office. However, as with any type of new company, careful planning is required. 1. Consider the type of business. What are your skills? What would you be good at and enjoy doing? Perhaps most important, what kind of business would fit in with your parenting responsibilities? AllBusiness.com lists child care, crafting and accounting among the top 10 home-based companies for stay-at-home moms and dads. 2. Read up on legal issues. Look into insurance, licenses and tax issues. Make sure you understand that you will be your own boss, so you are responsible for every single issue affiliated with your business. 3. Take advantage of free resources. You don’t always have to shell out hundreds of dollars to lawyers and consultants. The Internet is a bounty of free information. Business.gov is a great place to start, with information such as how to create a business plan, how to learn about zoning laws for home-based companies and how to understand Social Security. PsPrint, too, has tons of free resources, such as marketing plans for all sorts of industries, including day care and graphic design.