Running a home business is becoming more and more popular these days, especially in light of the economic times. I feel that a homeschooling family can really benefit from having a home business for many reasons.
Being a former homeschooler myself, I know firsthand that it can be hard financially to operate on one income. This leaves many homeschoolers either on a tight budget, or forces Mom out to a part-time job in her “non-schooling” hours. I think there is a better option.
A business for Mom can really be a blessing in disguise. Moms might be feeling like they can’t add anything else to their already busy schedule, but stay with me. 🙂 By Mom running her own business, she has a sense of something of “her own” that connects her to the outside world. You can choose just how much contact you want as there are many businesses that you can run almost strictly online. Having some extra money to ease the financial burden can also bring a sense of peace and accomplishment.
If Dad is involved in a home based business, this can be a blessing for the whole family. It would add hours onto his day, by eliminating the commute back and forth to work, and may even leave some time for Dad to help out with the schooling of the kids.
It is also an example to the kids of another approach to earning an income. They can see an alternative to the 9 to 5 lifestyle and could encourage them to pursue running a home-based business themselves someday.
If Dad wants to run a business from home, I would strongly recommend starting it part-time while he still has a job, and building it to the point that it can support the family before he leaves his job.
Consider what a practical way it is to teach your teens business skills by having them run their own business. They will not only learn the practical side of business such as bookkeeping and marketing, but also will learn the qualities an entrepreneur needs to possess to be successful. They will quickly see that perseverance and good customer relations are a must if they want their business to grow.
I think that by having your teens run a home-based business, you will open up options to them. They may choose to go to college or they may decide to stick with their business. But you have offered them choices. If they do choose college, they will be way ahead of their classmates in their leadership and time management skills, and in other areas as well.
How to Get Started?
If you have decided that a home business fits into your vision for your family, what is the best way to get started?
Take some time and think about what your interests are. What do you enjoy doing? What do you feel strongly about? This is the best place to begin. I think many people start a business, then drop it and go to another, and so on because they never really assessed what they wanted to do in the beginning of the process. They might have seen a friend working at a business and thought they would try it, without giving any real consideration to whether the business fit them or not.
Once you have some ideas for a business, do some market research. This means you need to determine if people are actually willing to spend money on what you want to offer. There are some tools online that will give you estimates of how many people search for a particular type of product or service. You can use wordtracker.com and sign up for their free trial. Another good way to do some research is to go to Amazon or your local bookstore to see if there are books written on the subject. Also check the ads in magazines on the topic. If others are paying to advertise and to publish books on the subject, that is a good indication there is a buying market for that type of product/service.
After you have done your research and determined what a good niche is, then you want to decide how you will set up business in that niche. Will you start your own business from scratch, selling your own product/service, or join up with an existing company and sell their products? (ex. Tupperware) Everyone is different, so choose the business model that fits best with who you are and with your schedule.
Organization is Key
As a homeschooling parent, you already know how important it is to be organized. When you add in a home based business, the need for organization doubles. It is best to set up a schedule that you can follow most days with times to school and times to work on your business. Try your best to stick to those times and keep your priorities in order. Your business is important, but not at the expense of family time or school time. So, set a realistic schedule.
Even if you cannot work at your business everyday, if you can devote a consistent amount of time weekly to it, you can start to see progress. Just make sure you are actually working during the hours you have available and not just “being online.”
Give it Time
As with everything, good things take time to grow and need nurturing, and your business is not any different. I don’t know too many people who complain about their business becoming profitable too quickly! So be prepared to persevere. This is, again, why it’s important to choose a business you enjoy. It will help sustain you in the drier times.
My last piece of advice is to enjoy your business! If it is a burden, this may not be the right time for you or you may not be in the right business. A business should not only bring you profit, but also purpose and enjoyment.
Laurie Neumann helps connect those seeking a home based business with legitimate opportunities. Visit http://www.legitimate-homebasedbusinesses.com and http://www.christianhomebusinessconnection.com for more information to help you get started in your own home-based business!