If the kids have gone back to school during the daytime or you’ve got some free time as the new-born is napping, you might have picked up a hobby or two to fill your time with something that you love. If this has developed into a passion project, and you want to upscale it into something more, you might have considered starting a company with this newfound hobby. However, there are plenty of considerations that you need to take into account and research before launching into a new business venture.
We’ve concentrated on a few of these considerations so that you have an informed foundation to build upon and to decide whether or not it is a good idea to start your own company as a stay at home parent.
Financing Your Business
If you are a stay at home parent with a partner in work, you may be in a position to use your joint savings to fund your new business venture. However, if your partner doesn’t earn enough to supplement your business, or you are a single parent, you might need to consider finding other ways to source money, which will go towards starting the business. A good way to establish some business funds is by selling old clothes, furniture and technology lying around the house or in storage that is no longer used. As a parent, you are probably storing lots of items and clothing that is no longer suitable for your children as they have outgrown them. This means that you are sitting on business capital, so get selling on marketplaces, online auctions and garage sales.
Whilst selling old items won’t fund your business entirely, it’s a good place to start - and a good way to declutter! You can also consider starting a crowdfunding page, where you receive donations and can give gift items to people who donate certain amounts.
If you’re able to commit to the business and you know this is something you are determined to do, you could consider a loan to get you started. A loan can allow you to sort out the initial business costs and order the materials that you need to get your business venture flowing.
The thought of borrowing money when you have kids can be scary. New Horizons has a guide for parents, which offers finance and credit advice for all stages of your journey as a parent. New Horizons is a fully authorised and regulated credit broker, who work with leading lenders to ensure that you can access a loan payment within as little as 15 minutes! As a broker, they do not lend you the money, but arrange an instant decision loan for 90% of all applicants.
Balancing Your Time
As you have a full-time job already by looking after the house and children, adding a business into the equation means that you have to maximize any time that you have outside of this parent role. If you have younger children, it might mean that you have to work on your business venture in the evening, once they have gone to bed. Or, if your children are older, you might find that the daytime when they are at school allows you to focus on your business. Once they are home from school, your house might not be the same quiet environment where you can concentrate properly on the business, and you will have other responsibilities too like dropping the children off at swimming or football!
Having children is a commitment, just as owning and starting a new business is. You have to decide whether your lifestyle and free time can allow you to give the attention that any new business needs. This might mean that you have to sacrifice your regular socials where you meet up with friends for drinks every week, and instead do this fortnightly. It is still important to have your own, personal free time, so that you maintain a balance that is vital for your well-being. However, if you are building a business from a hobby that you enjoy, your new business venture should be contributing to your happiness! However, it is normal in any job that there will be stressful moments - especially with your own business. It is important to keep this in mind so that you are not overwhelmed if things become stressful. Like everything in life, these moments of stress are only temporary and they will help to fuel your motivation and drive for the future success of the business.
Finding Your Market
It is extremely important that you do your market research. That way you can find out if there are other businesses like your proposed business who could be potential competitors, and how you can make your business stand out against these rivals. In your market research, you should also decide who your target audience is, so that you can tailor your product or service towards these people. Your market research will allow you to understand how you can best market your business to this audience, to ensure that your business is reaching its desired customer base.
Through this research, you should be able to begin to plan how you will offer your business product or service. You probably won’t begin by renting or purchasing a unit to use as a shop front because this is risky. There are online alternatives that are more financially viable and stable than physical stores, whether this is through a website that offers independent producers the opportunity to sell their products such as Etsy, or if you are going to build your business from the ground up using social media, like Instagram and Facebook.
Managing Your Expectations
Whilst you need to be positive and optimistic about your company, don’t feel disheartened if you don’t achieve immediate success. It may take months to make your first sale, but if you keep in mind the initial reason that you started the business was to take your passion project to the next level, you can remind yourself that it doesn’t matter if you are only initially selling to a small group of people to begin with.
As long as you are growing, gaining customers or interest and the passion doesn’t become a nightmare, you are on the right track to building a successful and sustainable business - no matter how long it takes!
Starting and owning your own business will be a journey filled with stumbling blocks, so don’t view these as walls that will be impossible to get over. Working through any problems that you have will mean that you are better equipped to deal with any issues in the future, and help you to grow as a business professional. Think about all the big businesses out there, and think about the amount of difficulty they have had in their initial stages of creating their business. No business has ever been successful without determination, hard work and resilience.
By considering the above, you should be able to decide whether starting your own company is right for you, and hopefully, you have gained a better understanding of where you need to begin. Remember, you don’t need to pressure yourself into building a successful business overnight, nor you should expect to have made massive profits within the first few months.