Home Based Business for Stay at Home Moms
Home Based Business for Stay at Home Moms document sample
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My passion is to help work at home moms create lucrative and fulfilling home based businesses. Follow me on Twitter! http://www.twitter.com/kellymccausey Friend me on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/kellymccausey This guide and accompanying teleclass transcripts are my gift to you. I hope that the resources will be a help to you as you work to create the life you want for your family. Bonus Transcript Download Links: • Personality Types & Choosing a Business • Can You Really Make Money Online? Reasons to Stay Home There are a hundred different reasons why a woman chooses to either stay home with her children or go to work outside the home. As Moms we want to raise our kids with a firm moral foundation. We have to make choices about our lifestyle everyday, asking ourselves how it will affect our parenting. For many of you it will mean that you choose to stay home full time with your kids. Most people will agree, nobody cares for your kids like you do. There are wonderful child care providers out there, I know because I was one of them for eight years! But, even the best daycare may not be instilling the values that you want your children to learn. There is no perfect choice. Some women would go nuts if they stayed home full time! They love their kids and treasure the time they have with them, but they feel most fulfilled when they are able to pursue a career outside of the home. One of my closest friends was a nurse for 15 years. She raised her first two children with the support of daycares and her family. After a divorce and remarriage she had two more kids and this time around she feels that God has called her to be home full time. It meant giving up a good paying job. It also meant giving up a lot of ‘status’ that came with her work. But she hasn't regretted it. It's going on ten years now. I have another friend who has two lovely kids and a new baby just a few months old. Her job doesn't pay all that much but it satisfies her love for working with people and gets her out of the house on a regular basis. She has a child care provider that she is 100% confident in and she was happy to get back to work. Please don't make your decision in this area based on other people's opinions. You have to follow your own heart. Many Moms don't have a choice about whether they are going to work, especially single Moms. The rent comes due every month and the costs of raising kids never go down. I hear women who work outside the home say that they would love to be home full time, if only they could still help pay the bills. Needing money is the motivation behind the majority of women who begin a work at home business. But not every stay at home woman is meant to have a home based business. My friend who gave up a nursing career now raises a family of six on her husband's income, and his income isn't huge! There have been many times that they have struggled financially. But she has prayed about finding ways to earn an income and feels strongly that God wants her to focus on her family. (With four boys, is it any wonder?) Between football games and wrestling matches with the older boys and playground duty with the younger boys, when would she have time to operate a home business? She and her husband have chosen to rely on God for the increase they need from time to time and while God has seemed to take them to the limit several times, He has always provided what they need. For those who are considering a work at home opportunity, they usually have an amount of money in mind that they really need to bring into the home. Maybe it’s grocery money or entertainment money. Maybe it’s for Christmas and birthday money. Of course, not every Mom is motivated by a need for money. They just long to do something that will allow them to express their creativity. I want to encourage you – whether you’re motivated by a financial need or a personal desire to achieve - it’s important that you have a clear idea of your reasons and your goals for the home business that you’re starting. If you don’t have a target – how will you know if you’re hitting it? I’ll touch on this more at the end of the guide. Making an Income Online It really is possible to earn an income on the internet – even in today’s tough economy. I’m doing it – and if I can do it – anybody can. There are a lot of potential pitfalls so let me warn you about a few. • Never pay for a job – Real employers would never even think of charging you to apply for their available positions. • If it sounds too good to be true – it’s a lot of crap. Really. There are no exceptions to this rule. • Anyone offering you a Business Opportunity is in it for themselves. I know this sounds jaded, but it’s true. They may be really nice but they’re still sharing their opportunity with you because they will benefit if you sign up. Never, ever take their word for anything. • If you don’t value your time, noone else will. There are lots of programs that offer you the opportunity to make a few pennies at a time. Surveys, reading emails, writing for a share of ad income, etc. The people who run these programs have figured out a way to profit from your efforts – even if you never will. It sucks to start things out with so much negativity – I just don’t want you to be drawn in by false promises. There are so many GREAT ways to develop an income on the web – so let’s move on to that! Ways So Many Ways To Earn Extra Money Telecommuting Telecommuting is working for a company by virtual means. Most telecommuting jobs involve customer service work. There are many companies that hire moms to take orders, field phone calls and man live support help desks. There is a lot of competition for these jobs as you can well imagine. If throw your hat in the ring with all the others, you must approach it the same way you would if you were looking for work in your own town. Get your resume up to date and start submitting them everywhere you can. eBay/Auctions Auctions remain a great way to market a product online. You can get started by selling what you have – a virtual garage sale in the making! You can move on to explore drop shipping options that let you run auctions for products offered by wholesalers. You make the sale, they ship the product, you pay them their price and pocket the difference. Start a Business selling your own Products I know several moms who are doing quite well marketing something that they make. Crafts, home décor, custom clothing, art, etc. Then there are those that are selling digital products like ebooks, patterns and how to guides. If you’re creative or have special knowledge, you could start something that will earn income for you long term. Start a Business selling your own Services If you need to earn income right away, this is the quickest route to cash. Trading your hours for dollars can take many forms. You can write articles, make blog posts, create graphics or provide administrative services of some kind. I’m a business coach, I sell my coaching services by the hour and do really well with it. Direct Sales Marketing Direct Sales is a wonderful business option for a social go getter. I personally love the home party system. It’s fun and profitable. There are hundreds of options. Sell makeup, food, home décor, crafts, scrapbook supplies, etc. Direct Sales has a multi level aspect to it, so you can build a team and earn even more. Affiliate Marketing You can actually build an online income by acting as an affiliate for other people’s products and services. Start a blog about your passion for family pets and monetize it with product recommendations. When your readers take your advice, you earn a commission. What Should I Do? Have you ever heard of Spiritual Gifts? God has gifted you with a unique set of skills and interests that bring out the best in you when you work in an area where they are most useful. Here is a list (not a complete one) of these gifts. I picked out just a few that will give you come clues about what you might be good at when you pick a work at home job. (If you would like to learn more about this, please don't hesitate to ask me!!) Encouragement To encourage someone is to cheer them on, build them up, tell them what is good about them and help them to see what they are destined to become. (An exhorter does not tell people all "nice" things, they also tell them the truth, which occasionally can be painful.) They encourage others to be the best that they can be. An Encourager makes a great life coach! They also make a great team leader. Let's consider if you chose a work at home opportunity in Direct Sales. You pick a product that you are excited about and can really stand behind. As an Encourager, you are probably going to be a great recruiter and find a lot of other women who will be interested in the same thing. The Encourager will want to stay away from opportunities that keep them home alone all the time. They are going to love to be with people! Leadership A person with a God given gift of Leadership is a Visionary. They don't take other people's opportunities, they make their own! They see a need or recognize a niche that hasn't been taken advantage of yet and build up a business to meet the need. Usually it will involve something that they are passionate about. A very good example of this is Kay Green of My Precious Kid.com. She recognized a need for simple, affordable products that parents can use to keep important identification information about their children. Her passion for keeping children safe extends now to a wide variety of products. Kay is a good example not only of Leadership in action but also of Encouragement because she encouraged and builds up a growing number of My Precious Kid Representatives. Mercy The woman with the gift of Mercy just loves people. They long to help another person improve their circumstances. They can listen for hours and they have an abundance of patience. I think Mercy women make the best Avon, Mary Kay or other personal care sellers! You need to have an abundance of tact and compassion for your customers when you are trying to teach them how to care for their skin and find a look that suits them. Service or Helps The Servant's heart just wants to be helpful. They love to "do things" for others. You will be great at a product that you create yourself. You will be able to stay motivated to complete your projects. Teaching The Teacher wants to share information. They will write eBooks or develop informational websites. Making money from this gifting can be tricky because you are motivated to educate first but it is possible! You can become an expert in your area of interest and promote products related to that topic. Administration The women with a gift of administration can take a good look at a situation and tell you how best to organize and make it work. These gals make great Virtual Assistants or project advisors. Hospitality The woman with a gift of Hospitality loves to fuss with the "froo froo" in life! They make great home decorating demonstrators and caterers. They also make great daycare providers if they enjoy children. These are just a few thoughts to help get you thinking about how you are gifted and how that might help you in a work at home job. Another important aspect to consider in choosing a business is your Personality Type. Are you a take charge Choleric or a fun filled Sanguine? Do you pay close attention to details like the Melancholy or would you rather just relax and go with the flow like the Phlegmatic? I did a special teleclass on this topic – and I’m including the transcript along with this guide to help you identify your personality type and make a smart decision about your business. If you come this far and still don’t know what you want to do to work from home – you could benefit from some one on one coaching. I enjoy spending time brainstorming business ideas with Moms and I am available for telephone coaching. Where Do I Start? Have you picked a home business idea? Do you have a perfect home based dream job in mind? Now it's time to do your homework! Visit websites and see what other WAHMs are doing. But don't copy them; find your own flavor and style. If you have chosen a Direct Sales company, do yourself a favor and take your time deciding who to sign up with. Your recruiter will be your trainer and you need someone reliable and patient! Take advantage of every training opportunity. Go to sales meetings and give their business development suggestions a try. Too many women join a company because they like the product but when it comes time to begin to market the product, they refuse to do it the way that company recommends and they suffer for it. Every woman has her own way of communicating, but the business of Direct Sales has tried and true ways of growing and succeeded and you won't do well if you ignore them. The worst thing you can do is sit back and wait for business to come to you. If someone told you that your Direct Sales business or any other business will just grow on its own, they lied. You will have to promote your product! If there is an original product or service that you are going to launch, you won't have someone to train you, but there is still an abundance of information on the internet about developing a new business. Either way you have got to listen to WAHM Talk Radio every week! You will learn something valuable to benefit you Don't take a wild leap into anything until you have a good grasp on what you want to do. A wise man once told me to "Plan your Work and then Work your Plan." The World Wide Web Will your new business benefit from a website? Yes! Every business can benefit from some sort of website! And please skip the free websites that give you a long complicated web address. It is not expensive to create a simple website these days. If you are going into a Direct Sales company, don't overpay for a company website. Most distributorship companies will give you a sub domain company website for free. If they ask you for money, check with some other WAHMs and get advice about whether it is a good value or not. To begin you will need to register a domain name. Pick a domain name that fits your business and is preferably easy to remember. This can be very challenging! But really take your time with this because once you pick it, it will not be something you will want to change lightly. Avoid goofy spellings, that's been done to death! Do try to incorporate your business name if you can. Do try to get a .com rather than anything else. For hosting, I can tell you exactly where to go: Mom Webs! (In the interest of full disclosure, I own Mom Webs!) But I was a customer before I was an owner – our support staff is second to none and they never get tired of helping newcomers. Check us out here: http://www.momwebs.com You can hire someone to make you a website or you can tackle it yourself. Either way, I highly recommend building your new website with Wordpress. Wordpress is a Content Management System, most commonly used to create a blog. The script is free to use, easy to learn and totally customizable. You can make it do pretty much anything you want it to and you won’t need any expensive web design software installed on your computer system. Website Promotion that Works! The WAHM community is filled with people telling you how to promote your website. Let me start right out by telling you plainly to completely avoid the following: • Banner Exchanges • Traffic Exchanges • Traffic Schemes • Buying Traffic • Search Engine Submission Services I'm not going into detail but none of the above is going to have any real positive effect on your business. It may bring you some traffic, but it won't be buying traffic. You need people to visit your site who are interested in what you have to offer. And if they came looking on purpose, you have the greatest chance of converting them to a sale! So you need to learn how to use search engines to market your website. This means you have to get a grasp of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. SEO when it is done right brings you tons of great traffic and it doesn't cost you a think. PPC brings you incredibly targeted traffic for a per click price, usually quite inexpensively! Both are huge topics and there is a lot of information on the net about both practices that will damage your long term standings with the search engines, so you have to be careful and research before you put anything into practice. This is where I just have to plug MomMasterminds.com. This is my exclusive membership website. I mentor Moms in business and teach them the step by step basics about SEO, PPC and many other important internet marketing principles. This is a paid membership site, the monthly fee is $49.97 but don't let the price tag keep you from checking it out. We offer a 7 day free trial so you can check it out without risk – and if you do decide to stay, you’ll only pay for your membership for 12 months and then you’ll be a lifetime graduate with forever free access! A tried and true marketing practice that will help build your website traffic is Article Marketing. You write interesting, informative or entertaining articles that will appeal to your target market. You place these articles on your website and then also send them out to free content directories to encourage others to publish your content on their websites as well. Every article carries your author bio and website link so this helps to pull your target market to your website and helps with your Search Engine placement as well. To learn more about Article Marketing and how to make it work for your business, subscribe to the free email course at EasyArticleMarketing.com. Be sure to keep listening to WAHM Talk Radio every week because we often talk about ways to drive traffic to your website. Develop your List From the first day that your website is up and running you are working very hard to pull traffic into it. You hope of course that every visitor will fall in love with what you have to offer and buy out the entire store right then and there. The truth is that few visitors make a purchase on the first visit – unless they have search for and found exactly what they’re looking for and even then they may waiver undecided. It would be a tragedy for you to lose that potential customer and there is a way to make sure that you don’t. Every business needs to have a mailing list. The mailing list sign up box on your website is the golden opportunity for a potential customer to say yes to your products and services without taking out their credit card. If they like what they see but just can’t make a decision – they are very likely to drop their email address into your form because they know that they’ll have a future opportunity to reconsider what you have to offer. Your business mailing list may take many forms. There are so many wonderful options to choose from. You can offer weekly specials, or a monthly ezine full of information that your target market will enjoy. You can provide a multi-part email course to teach them something valuable. Whatever you do, every email is another exposure for your business and if you’re doing it correctly – it’s bringing you sales! Setting up a list is easy, I use Aweber.com to host and manage all of my mailing lists. You can have as many as you want to so it’s perfect for the busy online marketer. Networking for Business Growth! WAHMs are my target market since I provide a service to them, so of course I see networking as an opportunity to promote myself. But I see it as a natural extension of my networking, not the sole purpose of it. Networking for the online WAHM should provide a few definite benefits: Learning You learn when you network. You ask questions and get answers. You share ideas and get feedback. Ideas When you are hanging out with other people in your line of business, you pick up on what is working for them and you can put it to work in your own corner of the world. Or, you can spot a missing link by observing what others offer and find a way to fill the hole and meet a need that you wouldn't otherwise have known existed. Brainstorming I love to grab a topic or idea and start to throw it around with some smart women. If you have a business idea you can get some great insights by sharing it with others. Referrals The WAHM you're visiting with may not be your best customer, but they may refer someone to you who will be. Resources I continue to learn about awesome resources online every week. The web is so BIG! No one can claim to know it through and through. So when we network we often learn about something new and oh so useful for our business. Last but not least: Sales Yes, occasionally, you do make a sale from a fellow WAHM. But this is not your focus. Please, if you ever want to make a successful business, set your selling sites outside of the WAHM community! Some simple WAHM community networking rules: • Introduce yourself. Talk more about you than your business the first time around. • Ask Questions. Lots and lots of questions. • Answer Questions. If you know it, share it. • Pay attention to the posting rules and make sure that your sales ads are fitting into the requirements. • Post more than just ads consistently. • Follow links and find new networking opportunities. Ethics, Giving and Balance in Business If I promised you my personal secrets to a successful online business, you may want to know, is Kelly truly successful online? Well I came into my home business with a goal of making $200 a month extra to make ends meet. I exceeded those goals long ago and in March of 2006 I resigned my day job, having more than replaced my full time income. So here are my personal tips for a successful online business: Don't Abuse Your Circle of Influence Please, please, please don't call all of your long lost friends to tell them about your business. I don't care what anyone tells you, this is using people. If they were not important enough to you to talk to about anything else in the last year, they do not need to hear about your new direct sales party plan either. Fair Pricing Honest Shipping & Handling costs, Clear ordering information and a Fair Return Policy. Networking Networking with other business owners is smart. Learning from others and gleaning good business practices is smart. Stealing ideas is not. Giving Giving is a powerful thing. When money is tight and there’s no hope in sight – give something. Help another WAHM. Offer free services or discounted products when possible. Have an attitude of generosity and charity. Lastly, Balance! You decided to explore work at home jobs because you wanted to be home with your kids. Now you have to work at keeping it all in balance. It can be real easy to get in front of the computer or be tucked away in the craft room for hours on end. On the internet, there are always new "opportunities" to attract your attention with promises of extra cash. But each one takes time. If you end up working tons of hours at home - are you really spending the quality time with your kids that you long to? The important thing is to not imagine that "a little more money" will make you happy. Increased income tends to bring increased expenditures despite our best intentions. If you are going to start carving out time to make extra money, make sure that you keep it "extra" and don't add debt that makes it a necessity. The beauty of working at home is that it is something we do in our own time, on our own terms. Remember at the beginning, I told you it would be really important to know why you are starting a business. If you keep your true goals in mind, you’ll be careful about your decisions and work hard to keep the main thing, the Main Thing. ;) Ready to Dig In? This short guide gives you a quick overview of the steps to take to get going with your own business. If you’re ready to go for it, I invite you to grab a copy of my newly published 182 page workbook that digs deeper in all areas. Choose between a real soft cover print version or instant download ebook! The Complete Internet Marketing Moms Start Up Guide Grab it Here!