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There are lots of very good reasons for Moms to want to start a small home based business or to work at home. Taking care of family and small children, caring for their elderly parents or special-needs children, cutting commute costs and helping to earn extra are just some of the reasons.
Not surprisingly the first step to starting your own home business can also be one of the toughest to overcome - how to find the right niche or idea. Very often, successful work-at-home Moms start out with simple (even boring) ideas that slowly evolve into a full-fledged small business.
To help you decide what you can do at home to make money, here's 5 tips you might want to consider :
Make use of your knowledge and experience
The most logical start to finding your small business niche is to use your knowledge and experience. If you've been an accountant for years, why not offer your services part-time to small companies, organizations or personal friends? Perhaps you've got a Degree in Creative Writing. Why not put those skills to good use by freelancing, being a ghost writer or starting your own blog? Or how about putting all those years of experience as an Administrator in government service to good use by being a part-time consultant on government application procedures to small companies?
Do something you're passionate about
It's not always possible to fall back on your working experience or educational qualifications. So what do you do then? Money is important, but if you work at something you love, chances are you will be in it for the long haul and you will enjoy building on your knowledge and expertise in that field. So think about what you're passionate about and try and find ways to make money doing that. For example, if you love to bake, why not sell your cakes and cookies at your local marketplace? You can also supply to your local grocers. If you love to cook, why not start a small catering business for small parties and events over the weekend? How about making craft items, handbags, costume jewelry, hand painted t-shirt etc. if you are gifted in artistic skills?
Keep your eyes, ears, heart and mind open.
Ideas are floating around everywhere you look, everywhere you walk, even in your quiet time. Make it a habit to really open your eyes and ears the next time you’re out window shopping. Look at what people are selling, wearing, eating, drinking or enjoying and ask yourself “Can I provide that service too?” or “Can I make that and sell it?”.
The next step to this is to open your heart and mind. People tend to be too judgemental about themselves. Too often, just as soon as an idea comes into mind, they counter it with a negative “Naw... my family loves my pastries, but I don’t think other people will... “ or "It probably took years of hard work to learn that, I don’t think I’m good enough”. All these thoughts come from your mind – your first stumbling block. It’s just your imagination trying to keep you safely within your comfort zone. Don’t shut yourself out from your own limitless possibilities.
Talk and listen to people.
The best way to avoid learning anything is to avoid people. Don’t. The folks around you are a rich source of ideas and experience. You never know when idle banter can suddenly spark a bright idea. Our mind’s funny like that. Haven’t you ever enjoyed a good laugh with a friend over a drink and talk about (what seems like) nonsensical ideas when you suddenly think to yourself “Hey! That might just work!”.
My wife and I find some of the most interesting ideas spring up when we talk to our suppliers. Whenever we strike up a friendly conversation with them ( and with people in general), we always find that they often have inspirational nuggets that can be turned into money making ventures. So, don’t ignore that little old lady who cleans the toilet at your office or the elderly gentleman who stands guard at the office supplies storeroom. Talk to them and don’t forget to apply tip #3 by watching what they do. They might just have an idea or technique that can make you lots of money!
Make use of the Internet
You can find almost everything you need on the Internet these days - that includes money making ideas and home business opportunities. There are lots of websites that offer freelancing opportunities for people who want to make extra money or who are looking to work at home. If you have a web blog or a website, there are lots of ways to monetize the traffic to your website. If you don’t know how to set up a blog, there are also lots of ways to learn and set up blogs for free. You can sell stuff that you make yourself on the Internet or sell other people’s products. The latter is called “affiliate marketing”.
One very important thing to remember when looking to make money online is that there are just about as many scam sites as there are genuine home business opportunities, so you’ll want to make sure that you learn how to recognize and avoid scams.
Another important thing to remember is that contrary to what most Internet marketers would want you to believe, making money online does not happen overnight. It does to some – but as a general rule of thumb, like any other job, it takes hard work and perseverance to make money online. The difference is that you get to set your own work schedule and never have to leave the comfort of your own home. Using the Internet, the knowledge and opportunities of the entire world are open to you, so make sure the Internet becomes your friend.
There are lots of ways for moms to work from home and spending time with their families and still be financially independent. It might just be about making extra money to buy nice stuff for your kids or to help out in the family finance or about living your dream of running your own home based business, but the best part about being able to work from home is the freedom to call the shots – and be your own boss!