If you’re a mother thinking of working from home, you could soon be part of the one million-strong workforce of mums now running home businesses in the UK. We’ve put together some ideas to help you get started on a home business that will fit around the needs of your family.
Running your own business puts you in control, allowing you to fit work around childcare and set your own hours. If your business is run from home you also reap the benefits of low start-up costs. You won’t have to rent an office and you can enjoy cheap VoIP communication plans like the Vonage Home Business package, designed specifically for people working from home, with no line rental, no installation and no long-term contract.
Of course, the first challenge is to choose the kind of business you’d like to start. We asked some of the UK’s mum bloggers, many of whom are entrepreneurs too, how to come up with that all-important big idea for a home business.
1. Find a job you love
Many mums said that starting your own business is a great opportunity to focus on something you love. Tania Sullivan of Larger Family Life advises mums to pick “whatever you enjoy and wherever your strengths lie”, while Sammie Hodges of One Blue One Pink thinks mums should concentrate on “doing something you love and making it work for you”. Jean, who writes Not Supermum, thinks that starting a home business is a great opportunity for utilising a skill or hobby and turning it into a business.
2. Go creative, go digital
One thing we noticed when approaching mums about home businesses was that creative and digital jobs – such as crafting, freelance writing or social media outreach – are a popular choice. Stacey Guilliatt of Nobody Said it was Easy suggests “a hobby as a paid business, such as sewing, jewellerymaking or crafting”, while Pippa Ainsworth of Red Rose Mummy recommends “blogging, freelance writing or social media management”.
Professional skills are also a perfect basis for a home business. Freelance copywriter Nicki Cawood of Curly & Candid says, “I believe freelancing is by far the best way to work from home. I have run a franchise business in the past, very successfully, but for income and flexibility, offering services with skills you already have is by far the best option.”
3. Think it through before you start
Of course, there are always cons to consider as well as pros. Clare Macnaughton of Modern Military Mother points out that if you run a home business “you never stop working”, while Pippa D of A Mother’s Ramblings warns about making sure you realise the implications of your choice: “I think that franchises are great, but you have to rely on others and I know some that have been caught out.”
Ultimately, while it’s useful to know what works for others, success will depend on picking the right option for you. Bethan Townsend of Plastic Rosaries says, “It’s dependent on individual talents. Some people can be very successful with a business making their own goods or foods whilst others don’t have the discipline. Franchises work for many because there are fees involved and they drive productivity.”