Parents Guide to Starting a Home Business
Many parents have to return to work after having children, and it can be difficult to balance work commitments with family time. Starting a home business can help parents achieve a better work-life balance and spend more time with family. It will also allow you to pursue your passions and earn a living doing something that you enjoy. That said, running a home business alongside caring for a family can be a challenge, and you must plan your business venture carefully. On that note, here is a parents guide to starting a home business:
Come up with a business plan
If you are considering starting a home business, then your very first task should be to come up with a business plan. Think carefully about the type of business you want to launch by considering your skills, interests, and passions. Many hobbies can become a profitable home business. For instance, if you enjoy arts and crafts, you could set up an online crafts business and start selling your products on Etsy. At the same time, a talented writer might be able to earn a decent living working as a freelance content creator or a copywriter. Once you have come up with an idea for your business, you must write a comprehensive business plan. This is an essential tool that will guide you through the various stages of your home business.
Having a business plan will help you clarify your ideas and identify potential problems. Your business plan should cover things like competitor research, startup expenses, and your company goals. You can visit the GOV.UK website for guidance on how to write an effective business plan and to download free templates.
Create a productive workspace
The next step is to create a productive workspace where you will run your home business. It is best to have a separate work area from the rest of your living space, e.g., convert a spare room into a home office. Having a distinct workspace will help you keep your work and family life separate. Working in an office will also help you set boundaries with your kids as it will signal that you are working and should not be disturbed. If you don’t have the luxury of a spare bedroom, then you could consider converting your attic into a home office, although this may be an expensive project.
A cheaper alternative might be to purchase a garden office. A garden office can be installed in your garden quickly with the help of a professional installation company, and there is a wide range of designs to choose from. According to gbcgroup.co.uk: “Adding a garden office can increase your property value by 5 and 7%, making it a smart investment.”
Purchase tools and equipment
Think carefully about the tools and equipment you will need to complete your business operations efficiently. You must budget for these items and have a realistic idea of the cost. You should also consider investing in technology designed to make your work tasks easier, e.g., automation software. Here are some must-have tools and equipment when starting a home business:
- Well-built desk and ergonomic office chair.
- Reliable high-speed internet connection.
- Laptop or computer monitor and a printer.
- Filing cabinet to store documents.
- Stationary, e.g., notebook, pens, highlighters, etc.
These are the essential items needed to set up an efficient home business, but you may need additional equipment depending on your company. For instance, it is a good idea to install a smart parcel box from iLoveParcels if your home business receives frequent deliveries. A parcel box will keep your packages safe and also means that you won’t be disturbed when parcels are delivered.
Follow a work schedule
As mentioned earlier, one of the major advantages of running a home business is that you will have complete autonomy over your work. This is ideal for busy parents as it means that you can create a work schedule around your family commitments. So, you can begin working after you’ve done the school run or work in the evenings once your kids have gone to bed. This flexibility is a huge benefit for working parents, although it does present some challenges. In particular, many people working from home struggle to find the motivation to work without a clear structure and guidance from a manager or supervisor.
The best approach to productive home working is to follow a consistent work schedule. Get into a routine and try to start and finish work at the same time each day. It is also important to plan regular breaks into your day. The HSE recommends taking a short 5-10 minutes break for every 60 minutes of work. You should also try to get out of the house at least once a day and do some physical activity, e.g., go for a walk around your block or do a home exercise class.
Market your business
Keep in mind that there is high competition between home businesses, and you need to work on making your business stand out. Effective marketing campaigns will help you promote your home business, create brand awareness, and attract new customers. This, in turn, will increase your sales revenue and profits. Social media can be an extremely cost-effective way to market your home business.
You can use social platforms like Facebook to spread the word about your home business and connect with your intended audience online. Some other effective ways to market your home business are to build a blog, invest in paid advertisements, and optimise your website.
Starting a home business gives working parents the ultimate work flexibility. You will benefit from having no commuting costs, complete autonomy over your work schedule, and more time to spend with your family. Setting up a home business has never been easier, and thousands of working parents are starting successful businesses from home. If you’re thinking of taking the plunge, then use the above guide to help you plan a profitable home business.