Tips for Effectively Working a Home Based Business from a Not-So-Much Stay at Home Mom…

Introduction by Dawn.  Written by Guest Blogger, Debbie Reichert.

If you stay at home with your children, do you ever wonder if there is a way to make some extra money? But you aren’t sure how to do it? I know when I had Jackson I tried to wrack my brain for ways to make enough money to stay home.  Unfortunately, law school debts were there, so back to work I went.  I definitely needed Debbie around to show me how to work from home effectively :).

When we were thinking of this topic, Debbie immediately popped into my mind.  She is probably the most successful work from home mom that I know. I have loved to watcher her manage family vs. career, all while being able to remain home during the day while simultaneously rising through the ranks of Willow House.  Thanks so much to Debbie for sharing these wonderful tips with us today!

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I’m a stay at home Mom….kind of.  I have the great pleasure of being home with my two sons, Andrew (4) and Alex (6) every morning and help get them ready and off to school.  I pick them up from school, get them their after school snacks, we play and then it’s off to soccer practice, home for dinner and ready for bed!  Whew!!  It certainly doesn’t leave a lot of time for my two part time jobs, one as a group fitness instructor, and the other as an Independent Design Consultant with Willow House, a direct sales company.  But the fact that I can work about 75% of my businesses directly from home is a BONUS!!  So I will share some tips for you that I’ve learned over the past 2 ½ years from running my own home based business, and maybe it can help you if it’s something you have ever considered.

 

So, here are my Top 10 Tips:

  1. Have a designated office space with specified office hours.  One of our bedrooms in our home is set up as an office and that is where I do all of my work.  It can be entirely too distracting to try and work anywhere else in the house, because of all of the other “things” you will see that need to get done.  Think about it, if you were at an office outside of your home, all of these things would have to wait until you were home, right?  Also, by having specified office hours (maybe even a separate phone line) you don’t create the feeling of being “on call” all of the time.  For me, I work when my kids are in school, or during their TV/quiet time, and then again in the evening after they go to bed.  These may not be the normal office hours, but they work for me.  That is the beauty of owning your own business…..you can work when it is convenient for you.
  2. Be a professional.  Just because you work from home in your sweats (okay, just because I work from home in my sweats) does not mean you shouldn’t present yourself in a professional manner, by having appropriate business cards and a good looking, user-friendly website.  I suggest Vistaprint for your business cards and many other office supplies.  It’s very affordable (oftentimes free) and a great resource for home based businesses.
  3. Consider childcare.  Although I currently am NOT going this route, I do think it is a fantastic idea for those home based business owners that want to get away from the “hobbyist” route and into the more entrepreneurial route.  It can certainly be difficult to work from home with your children invading your office space……Excuse me a minute, KIDS PLEASE GO WATCH SPONGEBOB WHILE I FINISH TYPING THIS SENTENCE!!!!  Okay, I’m back…sorry for the interruption…..You get the picture.  If hiring a babysitter for a few hours a week makes sense to take your business to the next level then it should certainly be an option to consider.
  4. Maintain structure.  You may not have a boss standing over your shoulder watching your every move, but you should act as if you do.  It can be hard not to catch a little daytime TV (by the way, did you SEE Dr. Oz today…great topic….I digress….) or throw in a load of laundry, but it’s imperative to stick to your to do list.  Anything you don’t get done today, will need picked up first thing the next day, just like in good ole’ corporate America.
  5. Get involved with other home based business owners and network accordingly.  It will create leads and a new circle of friends and potential future customers.  It’s a proven fact that home based business owners would much rather prefer to purchase from other home based business owners!
  6. Use social media.  Let’s face it, it’s the present and the future!  So facebook and tweet away and jump on LinkedIn.  Facebook has completely changed my business in a positive way.  It’s a great tool if used correctly and I’m certainly still in the learning stages.  I do feel very strongly about keeping your Facebook business page and your personal page as separate as possible.  However, your business is certainly a HUGE part of your life, so certainly there are times when these two things will co-mingle.  It’s up to you to figure out just how separated you want to keep the two.  Use your best judgment on this.
  7. Advertise your business.  I’m not saying that you need to take out full page color ads or buy expensive advertising on social networking sites.  But think about what you can do to push your business forward in a fairly cheap manner.  The best way to do this….. TALK about what you do!  Everybody that I meet and come into contact with knows that I am a Willow House consultant, and I make sure to bring it up in as many conversations as possible.  Why??  Because I love what I do, I enjoy sharing what I do and I want to succeed and reach my goals.  Have those big stickers made up with your business name and number on it and put it in your car window.  I did…I mean seriously, my minivan is just NOT THAT COOL, so do you honestly think the sticker matters at this point??  Be proud of what you do!
  8. Stay consistent.  You will get out of your business what you put into it.  It’s imperative to work a little, or a lot, everyday on your home based business to get out of it what you want.  Especially if direct sales is your calling…it’s not always easy, but oftentimes it is so very rewarding!
  9. Have goals and motivate yourself.  No longer are you going to receive an annual review from your boss telling you what a great, or not so great, job you are doing.  Nope, it’s all up to you now.  So you need to be responsible for yourself.  Set goals, and try your best to follow them through.  Keep a list of the goals that you want to obtain handy and in view so that you can refer to them periodically.  When I am working on certain sales numbers or an incentive trip, I post pictures all around my desk reminding me of these goals that I have put into place for myself.  That said…once a very large goal is reached, go DIRECTLY to step number 10.
  10. Take a break and maybe even celebrate!  That’s right, if it’s 2:00 in the afternoon and you want to catch a late lunch and a movie, then do it!  You’ve earned it and you’re the boss so nobody can tell you no!

Have fun, best of luck in whatever you choose for your future and by all means visit me at www.debbiereichert.willowhouse.com for all of your home décor and jewelry needs…..shameless plug, YES…….Did I mention I’m looking for a few good people to join my team? 😉  Thanks for the read and have a great day!!

 

 

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