Obstacles and How To Overcome Them – Working At Home Moms
No matter what kind of business you hope to start or even if you intend upon becoming a telecommuter for your existing company, there will be obstacles you’ll have to face. From finances to your own fears of isolation, working at home all the time is not necessarily rainbows and sunshine every day. You’ll have good days and bad days. You’ll even face roadblocks that stand in your way of even getting started. Fortunately, there are things you can do to tackle just about any obstacle that stands in your way.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle that will stand in the way of opening a home-based business is the money issue. This might not apply if you’re going to become a telecommuter for your existing company or another one. Should you be starting from scratch, however, it can be a huge roadblock to overcome.
To give yourself the best footing to start on, do look at that budget closely as suggested before. If you find you fall short, these tips can help you come up with the seed cash you need to make a serious go at your dream:
- The Savings Plan
- This can take longer than other options for overcoming cash flow problems, but it can put you on better financial footing over the long haul. Rather than borrow money, this obstacle buster simply requires that you start building your business nest egg on your own. You can do this by remaining in your regular job and saving money from your checks. You can also consider launching your business part-time at night to build up cash, contacts and income. The latter option keeps your day job money coming in and can add to it with the part-time venture. Overall, this is a pretty prudent way to overcome money issues.
- Small business loans, mortgage refinances, second mortgages and other lending options might be available to you to seed your business. This route can jumpstart your dream and give you cash in the bank to live off for a time, too. The danger here is that you will have to make repayments. Essentially, funding a business with loans involves starting out with the books in the red. Still, if your business idea is good enough and your skills are high enough, it can be a great way to go.
- It is sometimes possible to obtain grants to open a small business. This will depend a lot on what you plan on doing. If you are eligible for grants, they are well worth applying for. The fact is grants can give you money you need without involving repayments. Government and foundation grants may both be available. Do look into the option, but plan on a big application process. If you are successful in getting grants, make sure the money goes exactly where you said it would, too. Doing otherwise can get you into a lot of hot water!
- Family, friends or other acquaintances might want to get in on your business on the ground floor. While this is probably the least recommended option, it can fuel your business dreams rather quickly. Do count on having to pay back these loans or offering up a piece of your business to these “partners.”
Money issues can always be overcome if you have the determination to make it so. Consider your options and move forward with the choice or choices that work best in your case.
Family resistance can also be an issue when you’re considering the idea of becoming a work at home mom. If you don’t have their full support, you could be in trouble.
Here are some tips for overcoming the issues that may arise:
- Highlight The Benefits
- Make sure your partner fully understands what you working at home can mean for your family. While you will have duties to tend with, you will, ultimately, be more available to your family.
- Talk Up
- The Potential Savings Point out how much you will be saving in gas, lunches out, fast-food dinners and childcare. These expenses can add up very fast and even may offset any losses you’d face from leaving your present job if that’s your intent. Many moms discover they spend just about as much as they make at work on these expenses that can be eliminated from a budget sheet if you work at home.
- Highlight The Possible Earnings
- Make sure your family knows you’ve done your homework on your business idea. Show them the earnings protections, the potential clients and so on. If you have clients signed on already, this can be a quick mind-changer for certain.
- Give It A Trial Run
- If your partner just isn’t sure you can pull it off, prove it. Start your business on a part-time basis and grow it with care. Once it’s off the ground, transitioning and not jeopardizing the family’s income will be possible. Keep in mind, your partner likely supports your decision 100 percent, but might fear the “what ifs.” This is okay. Just prove to your partner and yourself that it can be done.
Family resistance is generally very easy to overcome. If you’ve done your homework, you should be able to sell your plan pretty well.
If you’re like most people, however, the hardest sell job will be with yourself. You have to believe you can do it to make a successful go at being a work at home mom. One of the biggest obstacles you’ll face on this front is deal with isolation.
Fears Of Isolation
Working at home can lead to a sense of isolation. Make no mistake about it; you will have to be proactive on this front. Unless you are perfectly happy to deal with people only over the phone and e-mail, you’ll want to make some provisions for a social life in advance. Keep in mind that some business ideas will have you outside the home more than others, but you will still likely want to come up with a plan to conquer and overcome fears of isolation.
So, how can you make sure your needs for adult conversation, networking and interaction are met? These things can be lifesavers for work at home moms:
- Join A Moms’ Group
- This is a great way to get out of the house and spend some time with your little one away from your new “office.” When your join a mothers’ group, you’ll be able to meet new people and feed your need for conversation. At the same time, you’ll give your child much-needed interaction. Many mothers groups offer a full schedule of activities that you can pick and choose from. Some even offer nighttime events to get you out of the house with just the girls.
- Set Client Meetings
- Out Of The House If you’ll be selling, working as a consultant or doing anything that can get you out of the house, take advantage of the time at least once in a while. Although the plan is to work at home as much as possible, going out several times a week isn’t a bad thing. In fact, can be good for you and your child both. A little chance of scenery and faces never hurt anyone!
- Join Networking Groups
- Take the time to join networking groups, your local chamber of commerce or other business organizations. Do this and you can kill two birds with one stone. Not only will you enjoy some adult interaction, but you can also boost your business at the same time.
- Go To Meetings
- If you will be telecommuting or even working as a consultant, make a point of attending meetings in person once in a while. This will get you out and about and give you some time to recharge your batteries among other working adults.
- Keep In Touch With Friends
- Rely on the same old support network you’ve had for ages to keep you going when you work at home. Call on your friends for girls’ nights out, fun lunches or movies on the weekends. Just because you now work at home, doesn’t mean you can’t get out of the house!
- Plan Date Nights
- Make the time to get out with your spouse or partner. One night a week or even one night a month staked out for working on couple time can be a much-needed change of pace. Plus, this can help keep your relationship fresh and strong.
- Enjoy A Hobby
- Get out of the house on your own by pursuing a hobby you’ve always wanted to do. Take a class, learn to play tennis, just do something that sounds interesting to you on a personal level. Volunteering can also be an excellent way to get out and do something enjoyable. Even an hour a week driving meals to the elderly can have a big impact on your psyche. Keep in mind that doing nothing but working and taking care of your family will burn you out fast. You have to have something that’s all your own, too. Even if it’s one hour a month doing something you love, do it!
Don’t worry that working at home will turn you into an isolationist. You can overcome this obstacle fairly easy.
Exploring Your Options
If you’ve been working for your existing employer for a time and love the job, but want to stay at home, telecommuting just might work for you. Should your employer already use telecommuters, you’ll have a leg up. If not, take the time to discuss this with your supervisor and his or her superiors.
Telecommuting is becoming more accepted in major workplaces. There are even a number of Fortune 500 companies that allow their employees to work from home all the time or part of the time.
The benefits of taking your work home and staying with your existing company can be extensive. They include:
- No Learning Curve
- If you do at home what you already do in the office, the learning curve will be non existent. This is a great way to have your cake and eat it, too.
- Extension Of Benefits
- If you do stay employed with your present company, you won’t lose out on any benefits offered. This can be a very big deal for some families, so don’t discount the value.
- Guaranteed Income
- Your family won’t lose a dime if you telecommute. In fact, it could end up making more thanks to the cost savings of working at home we’ve already discussed. This can be a huge perk for you and your family. It can also work well as a tool to use in convincing your family that working at home is right for you.
Telecommuting does have its pros, but there are a few cons to consider, too. If you do choose to stay with your existing employer, you will be restricted to a set salary. Chances are your hours will also be monitored. This can take away from some of the freedoms you hoped to enjoy by working at home. Carefully consider the ups and downs of this choice before proceeding. There are other options out there.
Consulting In Your Field
Okay, so maybe you don’t want to work for your current employer any longer. Or, maybe you have discovered your company just won’t allow telecommuting for whatever reason. Don’t take this as a roadblock you can’t get past. If you have built up your skills in a particular field, you might be able to transition yourself into a consultant position.
Should you decide to strike out as a consultant, you might be able to “work” for your company on your terms. Keep in mind, however, that you will lose on-staff status. This also means, however, that you can consult for other firms that can benefit from your knowledge, experience and skills.
Consultants are in high demand in a variety of fields. From legal and operational consultants to design, management and beyond, many companies call on an outside set of “eyes” on a regular basis. Many are also willing to pay a very pretty penny for professional consultants.
If you do want to transition into a consultant position, consider these things to jumpstart your effort:
- Approach Your Existing
- Company Depending on your skills, this can be the fastest way to enjoy a solid consulting contract. Your company may delight in the idea of taking you off the payroll and saving on the benefits, but still having your skills available.
- Join Trade Organizations
- To find other opportunities, make sure you join trade organizations and keep up with meetings, publications and even online want ads these groups put out. This can be a great way to find jobs in your field on a consulting basis.
- Get On Government Bid Lists
- Make sure to get yourself listed as a vendor with city, county, state and federal agencies that might benefit from your skills.Government consulting contracts can supercharge careers and offer steady income.
There are ways to stay in your existing field and use the skills you’ve honed over time to earn you money from home. If you want a complete change, however, there are ways to make it happen with little to no retraining. Of course, you can always retrain and launch anew if you want to enter a new field all together.
Writing Your Future
One of the more steady and lucrative options out there for work at home moms with professional backgrounds involves writing for a living. Freelance writers are in high demand in just about every field imaginable. As more companies take their businesses online, they need people to write their content, update their blogs, craft special reports and so on. This option can enable you to work in your existing field, parse, and it can allow you to branch out to other interests, as well.
If you want to get into writing as your new business venture, you will need to have some basic skills. Beyond being able to string a sentence together, it will be necessary that you have a decent writing style, understand grammar and be able to handle the pressures of deadlines.
Some of the options available to freelance writers include:
- Report writing;
- Public relations writing;
- Search Engine Optimization content creation;
- Technical writing.
Writing for a living can be an exciting and rewarding career choice. For work at home moms who can write, the possibilities are almost limitless.
Data Entry and Other Similar Options
Writing might not be your thing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put keyboarding skills to work for you. Data entry positions and other related jobs are always in high demand in freelancers and telecommuters. Having a professional background can be a big boost for breaking into these fields, too.
Some of the related fields to consider beyond data entry include:
- Medical billing;
- Medical transcription;
- Working as an online personal assistant;
- Billing agent.
Sales And Beyond
If your skills lie in the area of sales, you will find a world of possibilities open to you. The reality is that selling is one of the easiest ways to get into a business, but it can be one of the hardest to succeed at. Still, if you’re good at it, the sky will be the limit.
Should sales sound good to you, related options include:
- Working As A Representative
- Big, established companies that sell house wares, cosmetics and other similar products recruit salespeople all the time. In these cases, salespeople are independent contractors that set their own hours, work their own territories and so on. This can be a great way to enjoy “owning” a business without having to reinvent the wheel.
- Franchise Possibilities
- This is another great way to go if you do want to own your own business and reap all the rewards. Franchises can give your business instant recognition and the support you need to get off on the right footing.
- Other Possibilities
- It’s possible to turn a hobby into a business, create a product to produce and sell, launch a Web site and so on. These options can rely on the skills you already have or enable you to develop new ones to go on a different path entirely. Don’t leave any stone unturned on this front if you want to do something entirely different.
The possibilities for working at home really are limited only by your imagination. Whether you want to stay in your existing field or branch off in a new direction entirely, there are ways to make your work at home dreams become reality. Just take the time to truly explore your options, do your homework and see what road works best for you and your family. If retraining or new skills are needed, relax. You can pick up training a little easier than you might think.