How Busy Moms Can Start a Business
(And Still Get Dressed in the Morning!)
One of the biggest hurdles Moms face when starting any home business is how to manage the home, the kids, and a job, all in the same place! It can be done, and many of us actually even find the time to put eye makeup on every day as well!
First things first, if you are going to start any home business, you need to regard yourself as a businesswoman. If you don't, I promise you no one else will! I know a lot of work at home sites talk about the perks of working at home including the ability to work in your pj's, but I highly suggest you make sure you dress for work every morning. It doesn't mean you need to have your suit and heels on, just casual dress, maybe a little makeup…enough to give you that "I'm ready to tackle my day" mentality!
I just can't start the day without a shower, a cup of tea, and some decent street clothes. If you feel like if a client came to the door, you would be appropriately dressed, then you will feel like you are at work!
Make sure you explain to your family that you have started a business and don't sell yourself short. Act like a businesswoman, think like a businesswoman, and people will treat you like a businesswoman. One of the major morale problems women who work at home have is that they are not taken seriously. Show yourself, and everyone else that you are indeed serious!
Get Your House in Order
Secondly, to work at home with a houseful of kids, peanut butter, and jelly sandwiches, and the dryer beeping at you, you need to get organized. It is a constant battle for me, but it's a battle that can be won! Start small to make the adjustment to living and working under one roof, and soon you'll realize how much smoother your household runs with just a little planning.
Make Sunday evening (or Friday for the next week) your day to set aside an hour to get yourself prepared for the week ahead. Print out a weekly calendar from your computer every Sunday, or pick up a daily planner. Make sure you have room to list both work items, and also home and family issues you need to attend to.
Also make sure you have a weekly menu, cleaning schedule, and shopping/errand list on your fridge, or in another easily accessed spot. Create master menu lists on your computer and keep your recipes either in a Word document you can print out when you create your weekly menu or in a box of index cards on your kitchen counter. (Ol' fashioned, I know, but I love my recipe box!)
Use your Organizing Hour to create a menu for the week, and schedule in all your household needs along with a rough draft of work items you need to get done that week. Don't forget to leave time for yourself, and to spend with the family! (After all, what good will your business success be if you feel like you've neglected the most important thing in your life!)
Stay Flexible and Get Help
Remember the schedule must be flexible for a woman running a business and a household, but that's why God made erasers! I strongly suggest joining an organizing group online, such as Flylady.net, which is excellent. A little organizing will keep your business steadily moving forward, your kids with plenty of hugs and sit down meals, and your sanity intact!
And don't be afraid to delegate and outsource. There's no rule that says you have to do everything at home or in your business. The kids can help with chores. A virtual assistant can take care of busy business tasks that need to be done, but not necessarily by you such as answering email or doing research.
Keep Your Expectations in Perspective
Finally, realize that it is NOT going to run perfectly. Ever. If you can accept that now, then you will realize that placing unrealistic expectations on yourself will cause you stress and anxiety, and that is not what success is all about. It's about balance. And every once in awhile, no matter how much is on your day planner, pack those kids in the car with some peanut butter sandwiches, head for the nearest park, and spend your day pushing the little ones in the swings and tossing a ball around.
After all, that's why God made Moms.
Edited/Updated September 2015 by Leslie Truex