The thought of working from home can be very appealing if you are a mum-to-be or are just starting to enjoy your maternity leave. You may have been thinking about options for some time even before you became pregnant and the thought of those grueling commutes and tedious hours may now take on additional significance.
Many mums find that they need to work after they give birth, especially as budgets were tight to begin with and will be even more strained from now on.
In a recent survey in the Daily Express, more than a third of working mums said they would rather be with their children and give up work if they could, while a majority wished that they could work a shorter week.
When the idea of physically leaving the home to go to work every day combines with the thought of being away from your precious baby, many mums start to think about “work from home” options. There are many opportunities available to you in this respect, but you must first be sure that you are aware of all the implications.
Very often a home-based business can represent longer hours and the thoughts of having to keep up with paperwork and all the other elements of running your own business can be quite daunting. Professional coaching with an ICF-accredited coach will help you get clarity, direction and a plan of action. You will make better decisions and move forward more quickly than you would have done so on your own.
When you’re thinking about setting up a home-based business, you should consider your strengths and weaknesses carefully. Cast your mind back to school days. What did you enjoy. Whilst many online life coaching experts caution against trying to convert a hobby into a business, you should nevertheless see if you cannot uncover an entity that piques your interest. You may remember that you were particularly good at an extracurricular activity in school or university — it’s great to set up a business that caters to your values and your strengths.
Here are five home-based business ideas:
1. Photography. This can be a very rewarding venture. Do people always compliment you on your photos? If you have a natural flair for photography, then you could develop this into a business? These days it is relatively easy to open your own photography business and you can set up a small studio in one of your spare rooms relatively easily. With the advent of digital technology and the spread of the web, you can get someone to help you design a great website and upload your creations for all to see. You should know that there are a number of online websites that allow you to register and upload your creations for their members to browse and potentially buy.
2. Wedding or event planner. Were you the woman who was always the social secretary at college? Are you one of those people who is a natural organizer? If so, you could set up as a wedding planner. This is an ideal job for a work at home mum and you can use your flair for creativity and your list of contacts to start the ball rolling.
3. Mobile pet grooming. This opportunity can combine your love for animals with a definite need in the marketplace. Just as others have problems allocating time to do anything these days, they may neglect the pet and would be more than willing to allow you to bathe and groom. You will have to spend a good bit of time away, but you can set your own hours and will probably be surprised to find that there is a fairly large client base within your immediately vicinity.
4. Consulting. If you are a professional with expertise in a particular field, you could set up as a freelance consultant? You must of course find out whether you had any kind of “non compete” agreement with your previous employer, but if not, use your expertise and skills to help others.
5. Internet marketing. This is a huge growth area and while it does suggest a fairly significant learning curve, you will conduct all of your business from the comfort of your spare room. There are a variety of different fields within the overall subject of Internet marketing and you can set yourself up to be an agent to sell other companies’ products, something known as “affiliate marketing,” or you can sell your own services as a web content provider, writer, artist or designer.
Coaching for women in your position is available online and can often help to open your eyes to a number of possibilities that you may not yet have considered.