If you’re serious about starting a business, here are some pointers to think about that will help you choose the right business for you and your family AND make your business a big success:
1. List your priorities such as earning money or finding work that lets you stay home with your children. If you understand what is really important to you it will help you know if a business idea meets your needs.
2. Write down your skills, and ask others what they think you’re good at. You may be surprised to hear others thoughts on your talents.
3. Think about the hours you can devote to working. Be realistic if you plan to work around the kids, as children may not understand “mummy’s working”.
4. What style of work suits you? Would you love the sociability of a party plan business, are you prepared to go door-to-door, or would you prefer a business where you interact with people over the phone or online?
5. Are you prepared to work on commission? Direct sales businesses give you the benefit of having a business all set up for you, but check the percentage commission you will receive.
6. How much money do you have to invest? A direct selling or party plan business may ask for initial investment between £20 and £200. To buy into a franchise you will need several thousand pounds. Setting up your own service, such as ironing or dog walking, can be done very cheaply: you will need a few pounds to invest in promoting your business.
7. How much help do you need? If you want lots of support you may prefer to choose a direct sales business or a franchise. Ask about the support you’ll get, and meet your potential manager to make sure that you get on. If you feel isolated, join a forum like www.mumsclub.co.uk to meet other parents in business.
8. Get some business ideas. You can find business opportunities listed on www.mumsclub.co.uk, or visit the blog at www.familyfriendlyworking.co.uk to read about how real mums have created their own businesses.
9. Research the market for your business. Will people buy your product or service? Is it unique enough to be appealing? If you are selling something will people need to buy it often or is it a one-off purchase where you will continually need to find new customers.
10. Whatever sort of business you opt for, pop into a local Enterprise Agency for advice and free or low cost courses on starting a business.
11. You need to register as self employed within 3 months of starting any business. The Inland Revenue can also send an advisor to your house to help you understand what you need to do.
12. Prepare a business plan. Set out aims and objectives, and the steps to take to achieve your goals. This will help you make sure your business is a great success.