The daily news of doom and gloom about the current recession and the financial challenges facing the world might convince you that now is not the best of times for a mom to start a business. But despite the hard times, many moms are doing just that.
After all, if you have been let go or can’t find a job in the current economy, what have you really got to lose by starting your own business now? Why not chase your own dreams, rather than be dependent on another employer? Why not just take control of the helm yourself?
Because if you have a computer, a network of contacts and some marketable skills, you can launch your business from home with very little money and use your passion and sweat equity to make it a success.
But first, you need to do some planning and scheming to find the best business for you. Here’s some tips to get you started:
1. Make a list of your current assets. Include equipment like computers, printers, and cell phones; skills like writing, editing, web design, organizing; expertise with software programs and computers; a list of your network of personal and industry contacts; and the amount of capital you could invest in your business.
2. Brainstorm ideas for the kind of business you want to start. Don’t edit the ideas as you write them down, just keep going and list as many as you can. Then put the list away for a day and come back to it and then pick the top 5 ideas that excite you the most.
3. Do some Internet research using Google and Amazon to find web sites, books, and blogs that focus on your top 5 business ideas. Also look for potential role models of women who have already built a successful business in these areas. You might want contact them later to ask for an information interview to find out more about the ins and outs of a specific business.
4. Now, based on the information you’ve collected, write a short summary of your business ideas and the potential income for each. Be sure to include the links to resource sites, books, and the role models you’ve found. Think of these as a short pitch you might make to an investor to get them interested in your idea.
5. Assemble a focus group: people you trust who will support you in your entrepreneurial efforts and who will give you good feedback and advice. Do a presentation of your business summaries to them and ask for their input. Do not dismiss any of their ideas or comments. Just listen to what they say and write everything down for further review later.
Note: It’s best to select people who are already successfully self-employed themselves. You want a nurturing and informed group of people to help you evaluate your ideas. People who have never been self-employed often have negative and unfounded ideas about starting a business and will project their fears to you.
6. Finally, review all the information and input you’ve selected and choose the business you want to start. The best business for you will usually be the one that intersects on your points of passion, skills, and resources.