Want To Start An Online Business With Small Kids? Count These Costs First!

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If you've got some little ones, or maybe even a babe on the way, and you're thinking of launching an online business… then you're in good company.

You'll be joining an entire generation of moms who are charting a new course for their families.

Moms who don't want to just do it the normal way, those who aren't willing to just do whatever the federal, state, or local government says they should. The moms who want to contribute to the well being of their family in a meaningful and tangible way.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you buy from my link I might make a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay. See the full affiliate disclosure here.

So let's dive into how to set yourself up for success.

The “Why”

Start here: ponder, share, and write down your “why.” 

Establish your “why” before leaping into starting your own business online when you have small kids. For some, their “why” is to simply have more spending money. For others it’s to be able to work from home so they can spend more time with the kids.

Whatever your “why” is… be sure to make it clear why you are starting this business adventure. I recommend writing it down in your planning book or on a sticky note on your bathroom mirror. Put it somewhere where you can see it often as a reminder. Trust me… you’ll want the friendly reminder when things get going. 

Share your “why” with the people who influence your life. Your spouse, parents, and friends can positively impact the process of you starting your own business.

Time

Consider how much time (daily) you are planning to give to starting your own business. Consider that while you’re in the process of starting up, it may take longer than the eventual daily grind. Write this down and try to stick to it. You don’t want to get burnt out before you really get started. Know this:  it will be more time consuming than you think.

You will experience fatigue, disappointments, and even fear. Managing your time in a healthy (and planned out manner) can help offset these given trials. Start by writing down how many hours you will spend daily. Also plan what times of day you will be giving these hours. 

Think about when your working hours might be best suited for your family's schedule. This may be before the kids wake up or after they go to sleep. You may also consider working while your kids are napping during the day. Consider your “why” when planning work times. If your reason for starting your online business is to spend more time with your small kids, you don’t want to spend all day on the computer. That would be defeating the purpose. 

Personality Type & Skills 

Be sure to build your business around your personality type & skill set. There are a lot of great ideas out there, but not everything works for every person. A person who doesn’t enjoy meeting new people will have a hard time being happy in sales. Someone who doesn't like sitting still will not last in a business that requires hours of computer time. 

To have longevity in your online business, be sure your own business fits well into your own personal values, passions, and interests. Many people have started online businesses because they are passionate about an idea or product. That passion and value is the driving force in growth and customer acquisition. Without it, their online venture would have been a bust. 

Trust me, when it comes to starting your own business online, you want your personality type and skill set to match your venture. Remember, when mama's happy- everyone’s happy. The last thing you want is to spend lots of time and money investing in a business that doesn't make you happy. Honestly, it won’t last and you’ll drag yourself and your family down.

So, find something that you can believe in, enjoy, and stand behind. Make sure it matches your skill set or ability to learn. You’ll have a blast and benefit your family too. 

Family Support 

When it comes to starting your own business online when you have small kids, family support for your endeavor is definitely something to consider. Undoubtedly, there will be times when you will lean on your spouse or other family members to help with your kids. You may even need to hire a mother's helper.

This may be true especially at the beginning. It’s important that you feel supported and encouraged. You will experience times that will test your patience and endurance. Having support can really make a difference. So, consider your family’s emotional and moral support for your online business. Are they backing you up and encouraging you on your journey? This is so important because this line of work will be hard work for you. And, having moral support is really helpful to both the beginning and longevity of your business.

Many mothers start out with mild support from their spouse. As they are working and getting traction, they often meet resistance. From their spouse who thinks it's a “hobby” or from others who don't understand it.

Be clear about what you want from this business and don't beat around the bush about it.

Compartmentalizing 

How are your compartmentalizing skills? How about compartmentalizing your brain space?

Here’s a truth: working an online business can be mentally consuming… even more than time consuming. Brain space and the ability to compartmentalize can really make or break your ability to successfully have an online business with small kids. The online world has a way of taking up mental space… lots of it. Will you be able to “turn off” the online business in your mind and be present with your small kids? Then, turn it right back on? 

Will you be able to handle a disgruntled customer and in the next second – your needy toddler? Can you look away from your screen (knowing that you have tons of work to do) and play aimlessly on the floor with your baby? Can you hold to the time schedule you have yourself- so you can be present with your family? Going back and forth between the online working world and parenting can become a stressful situation… If not handled with “compartments.”

Consider that you won’t have the drive home to decompress your thoughts before reaching your kids. You won’t have the disconnect between office space and living space. It can become blurry… It’s important to work from the beginning by compartmentalizing what is happening with your business so it doesn’t affect your quality time at home. 

People, People, People 

Starting your own business online is probably going to start with 100000% customer acquisition and people skills. To put it short… you got to love people. And, putting time into people can be exhausting. Consider from the onset of starting your own business online that you will have to carve out time and mental energy to dedicate to customer service… as well as tend to the needs of your small children.

It will be exhausting, mentally consuming, and it may break your spirit… if you don’t love talking with people continually. One of the hardest things about being a mother is the fact that someone always needs you. You’re a commodity… and you're needed. Always… Well guess what? The online world is the same way. Having a successful online business means that there will always be messages to respond to, people to assist, and customers needing you. 

This has the potential to take you down if youre not “ok” with people, people, and more people. This is key: plan the time and amount of mental space you’re going to give to the people of your business. You may find that you also have to plan ahead how much time you spend giving quality time to your young children. This sounds strange to plan time with your kids, but if you’re going to balance both online work and kids… a plan helps. 

The Market 

Many times people get into a pinch after starting their own small business because they don’t fully consider their unique customer base. Let me explain… your market should reflect your inner and outer circles of the people in your life.  As a mother of small kids, your circles probably revolve around your children and your family. That’s totally normal for this time period of your life. So, your business venture should try to jive with this “crowd of people”, if you will. 

This is not to say that it’s impossible to be successful with a service or product that has nothing to do with parenting.  But, it’s certainly easier to offer something that you are currently involved in- to people doing the same. In other words, it’s easiest to talk about topics that revolve around where you are in your life. For example: it would be far easier for a mother to sell personalized baby blankets than extreme scuba gear to a group of mothers with young children. 

As a parent to small kids, your market may look different than a college student’s market. Consider your circles, clientele, and your ability to reach your customers.

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