If you are anything like me, a home based business mom in the making, you are determined to do whatever it takes to prevent your children from going to daycare. Even before I had my four wonderful children, I knew that my kids would never set foot in a daycare. They were going to be raised by husband and myself. My motto is, “Where there is a will, there is a way!” So, what steps did I take to ensure this plan?
Like many people, I always wanted to be my own boss so I could have a flexible schedule and work around my kids activities. After graduating from college, I formed an errands business. No similar business existed in my area to “model” so it was more like paving my own road.
What is the most important factor when starting a traditional business today? Marketing! Three simple but creative marketing strategies on a shoestring budget are:
1. Flyers/brochures–Use a computer to create a flyer or brochure advertising your business. For my errands business, I literally walked into retirement homes to tell the owners that I would transport their residents to doctors appointments and do their shopping for them. I walked downtown, going door-to-door handing out brochures to let everyone know that I started a business and could run their errands. The two main benefits to this method are saving money on postage and by personally handing out your business information, you can start to build relationships with individuals.
2. Classified ads in community newspapers–Placing classified ads in your local small papers is much more affordable than the county newspapers but can be just as effective.
3. Local Ad on Craig’s List–An ad on Craig’s List is free and can be viewed by a much wider audience. (Unfortunately, Craig’s List was not available when I started my business.)
By using the brochures and community ads, this home based business mom was making it work. After a few years, I got married and two years after that, we had our 1st son. I was able to take my son with me on appointments so my plan was in motion.
Two years later, my 2nd son came along. Transporting a senior citizen who walks with a cane or walker while caring for a toddler and an infant became a bit of a struggle. While driving, I would try to create conversation with my clients without too much success due to a screaming infant in the back seat. Needless to say, I started to scale back my appointments but I was missing my extra income.
After 2 more children, family expenses were starting to increase. This home based business mom decided to become a consultant for Creative Memories, a scrap-booking company, to earn extra income. After many years, I found the home party industry to have its drawbacks as well. Some of the less desirable factors for the home party industry like Creative Memories are:
1. The much needed evening and weekend home party times cuts into personal family time
2. Small commissions–Average sales approximately $500-$700 earning $150-$210 in commissions
3. Quarterly Quotas–$500 minimum requirement every 3 months. All Sales tax and shipping are pre-paid on the retail value of the product ordered.
Given these less desirable factors, Creative Memories for me has been set on the back-burner because of its inability to generate significant income.
Before I knew it, all 4 kids were in school. So, this home based business mom went back to the drawing board. I decided to work part-time to help a family member with his “brick and mortar” business. I really enjoyed the work and the social aspect of being around people and soon found myself working almost full-time for a “family discounted” hourly rate. Meanwhile, my own family quietly suffered because I was not home to put dinner on the table or run the kids to their sports practices. Feeling under-appreciated for the sacrifices I was making to help my family member with his business, we ended our working relationship.
Once again, this home based business mom ended up back at the drawing board. Finally, I found the answer… online! As a seasoned online marketer, my husband recommended I work online too. The main benefits to working online are:
1. It can be full or part-time with flexibility
2. It is portable–work while on vacation or at the children’s sports practice
3. Teamwork–husbands and wives can work together
4. Unlimited income potential
5. Home based so business expenses can be deducted on annual taxes
In my opinion, it would be well worth your time to research the various online opportunities.