If you’re a stay-at-home parent with an entrepreneurial spirit, you may have thought about starting a home-based business to make money on the side while you care for your family. But if the idea of running an e-commerce business seems too daunting, requiring too much of an investment both in time and money, read on to discover what other options could put you on the path to small business ownership:
Find Your Business Niche
If you want to start a business that doesn’t require getting involved in e-commerce activities, build on your existing skills to find your niche. Becoming a freelancer doesn’t require a lot of money, time or equipment to get started: if you want to be a tutor or a translator, teach a foreign language, be a personal accountant or a copywriter, all you really need is a computer and internet access in order to do the work. You can also fill a need in your community by becoming a pet sitter, a dog walker, a personal trainer, teaching yoga or art classes, or designing websites for local businesses.
Choose Your Business Structure
As soon as your business takes off and you start receiving money from clients, you should think of yourself and your company as two separate entities. A sole proprietorship doesn’t involve filing any paperwork, and it simply means that only one person runs the business. That structure may work just fine when you first start getting freelance gigs, but you should consider forming an LLC as your business grows to legally protect your personal assets and to obtain an employer identification number in order to open a business bank account, pay your fees and taxes, and even hire people when you need extra help.
Track Your Money
Once you’ve set up your business, simplify your accounting by using a financial app and start tracking your transactions with API software. A transaction data API will allow you to see where and how you’re spending your business capital. Getting a 24-month overview of your business expenses and revenue can be useful down the line for cash flow modeling and risk analysis, helping you make decisions for the future of your business. Additionally, you’ll always have your financial data at your fingertips, with real-time updates to avoid overdraft fees from your bank.
Build a Clientele
Once you’re ready to offer up your talents, the next big hurdle is to find clients. Freelancing platforms let businesses connect with independent contractors, which is a great way to start dipping your toes in the water as you start on your freelancing journey, but the gigs obtained through these online platforms aren’t generally as profitable as when you acquire direct clients. Ask your existing clients to leave a review on your website or on social media, and stay in touch with your clients via regular emails to let them know of your availability or of any special deals you’re running. Give out business cards when you’re out and about, and make sure all your family and friends know that you’re open for business as they can be your greatest cheerleaders.
Freelancing requires a lot of self-motivation, and it’s easy to quickly feel overwhelmed and disorganized when you’re the one in charge of everything. So make sure you have a dedicated workspace free of other people’s clutter, where you can concentrate on your work without distractions. Keep clear boundaries between your work hours and your personal or family time. And when you’re starting out on your entrepreneurship journey, make a list of achievable goals that you can cross off as you go, which will help you feel accomplished at the end of each day.
Stay-at-home parents who want to take advantage of the small business trend have many options to choose from. So turn a passion into a lucrative venture, or share a special talent with people eager to learn from you, while still spending time at home with the ones you love.
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