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Things to Consider Before Starting a Home Business

Single parent business | Guest article | 26 February 2013



Single parents starting up a home business

Many Single parents would love the opportunity to work from home...

Many Single parents would love the opportunity to work from home; and while it is a great way of creating an income and being able to be with your children throughout the day, it can also be draining, stressful and time-consuming. So we’ve compiled a list of eight things to consider before starting a home business:

Commitment

It’s easy to be motivated in the initial phase of starting a home business; the possibility of creating an unlimited income stream from the comfort of your own home, being able to pick your kids up from school, and the flexibility to come and go as you please. However, working from home is a big commitment, one which requires a lot of initial hard work for usually very little income (unless of course you are fortunate enough to just be able to transport an existing business to your home). If you want your business to succeed then you must be in it for the long haul; remember, the business will have its up and downs and you need to be strong to weather any storm.

Compliance

Regardless of the state or country you’re in, you are expected to comply with certain requirements set by the government. Some of the requirements you’ll need to work on may include licensing, adherence to safety guidelines, and sanitation permits, among other things. For better understanding of the different government requirements, you can consult with your local business development organisation.

Finances

This should be your first consideration when thinking about working from home because if you don’t A. have the financials to start a home business or B. have an alternate income to live off for a while, then nothing else will matter. A home business will help save on office space rent, but there are other expenses you need to consider. Business costs can include: licensing/registration of the company, office equipment, inventory, marketing costs and recurring fees. Before spending on set up costs, ensure you have more than enough to help the business survive in its early years.

Market Research

Know the specific type of business, products and/or services you want to engage in. Can you see yourself in the food industry? Will you offer writing services? When you have decided on a service or product, the next question to ask is how can you make your service or product different/better than the rest? Is there a niche out there that is not being serviced correctly? Are there consumers looking for products/services that are not on offer? Who is your target audience, what are the looking for, and can you fulfil that need? How much competition is out there already and are there existing business strategies that you can improve on?

You need to consider these questions before you start running a home business and do you research!

Business Plan

Assuming that you already know the answer to the questions related to your market research, it is now time to build a business plan. A business plan typically includes your introduction, management and financial plans, market analysis, operations plan, and the marketing plan. Moreover, the business plan will help set the direction you need to follow. Also, don’t forget to check on your business plan if you’re feeling lost; it is a great tool to keep you on your business tracks.

Marketing Plan

Having a home business means you may lose potential customers that a typical store would cater to. Never fret, as these days there are many successful start ups which don’t have or need a bricks and mortar component to their business. Think of cost-effective ways you can create awareness of your brand or business. There are various marketing platforms to consider: online advertising, word of mouth, print, tv and radio ads. Whichever you decide you will go with, should align with your objectives, budget and business strategies.

Support

Aside from building your marketing and business plans, it is also important that you know where to get support and guidance. A good option is to seek help from established business-owners who are willing to share their knowledge. You may also consult with local business or professional organisations in your desired industry. These organisations usually hold meetings with other business owners to talk about issues that can help with their business.

Space

You’ll need to consider if you have enough space in your home to run a home business. You don’t necessarily need to have a big space, especially if you’re just starting out, but you should set up a designated ‘work’ space away from anything which may become a distraction (eg: the tv!) One entire room would be the ultimate work area for a home office; you will have enough room for a desk, computer, filing cabinet, printer and any stationary you may need. By having an organised workspace, you’ll function better and you’ll have a higher chance of sticking with it!

Starting a business is no easy feat, however, that should not stop you from fulfilling your dreams. Just be sure that you have taken all these things into consideration and done your research so you’ll be prepared and have a better chance of succeeding.

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What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the

kids

are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.

Centrelink

plays a big part of a single mother's life, mainly because this is where a large percentage of single mums get their finances from. Centrelink are the source from where the

single mother pension

, or as it is otherwise known, the single parent payment comes from. The single mother pension is a subsistence amount, but just the same, it is money to live on, and so it is important, no matter if it is called single parent payment, single mother pension or whatever Centrelink welfare classes it at the time

Often, single mums come out of a

divorce

or defacto relationship only to find that their troubles have just begun, and find that their first step leads them towards Family Law - it's time to engage a lawyer.
There are more than just Centrelink finance problems to worry about, as mentioned before, but also

child custody

issues. Child custody is something that hits right at the heart of

single mums

. If a single mother's ex husband or ex partner has been a domestic violence perpetrator, the mum may be greatly worried about child custody. They worry that their kids won't be safe with their spouse, who has already proven to be abusive because they caused

domestic violence

, which resulted in a divorce or separation.

Even so,

Family Court

will often still order a form of child custody named

Shared Parenting

. Shared Parenting is a form of child custody division of time or parental responsibility between the parents. Mother's often look for a good divorce lawyer to try to avoid share parenting with an abusive ex-spouse after divorce, however in many cases Shared Parenting is still the outcome after the divorce, no matter how good the divorce lawyers have been. They will often settle for visitation at a contact centre or access centre where fathers or mothers are supervised during child custody access.

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