What Moms Who Work from Home can expect. Here's some advice and observations on the challenges for work from home moms and their families.
Working from home can be both challenging and rewarding. If the situation is handled properly, moms who work from home will find they are sacrificing very little of their "family time" while being able to contribute significantly to the overall financial well-being of the household. However, it is worth noting that not everything will be strawberries and whipped cream, as mom will have to have dedicated time to her "job."
One of the biggest challenges for moms who work from home is actually gaining the respect and support of their family. Sometimes, the husband and children think a work-from-home job is more of a hobby than an actual livelihood. For this very reason, many ventures will fail before they ever have a chance to get off the ground. It is extremely important that mom lay down some ground rules before she begins her new journey.
The first meeting should be with the spouse. Mom is going to have to literally set office hours to ensure that she is able to do her work on a daily basis. Whether it is three hours a day or a full eight-hour workday, she must be left alone while working. That being the case, dad is going to have to do a bit more than plop down on the sofa and watch the tube when he gets home from work every day. It will take a concentrated effort to get him to pitch in with household chores and to watch the kids while mom is working.
Once the schedule is agreed upon, moms who work from home need to sit down with the kids and let them know the deal. When she is working, they need to go to dad when their "emergencies." Dad is in charge while mom is working and save an actual crisis, he should be able to handle whatever comes his way. There will be exceptions, but they should be exactly that if mom is going to get her work done.
The All Important Home Office
When everyone is one the same page, it is time for mom to find a spot in the house that will become her office. Working on the kitchen table or up in the bedroom is setting up for failure. It is important to find a spot that can be set up as an actual office. If possible, convert an extra bedroom into an office or maybe section off an area of the basement where she can work undisturbed. The more the area is made to look like an actual workspace and office, the more likely mom is to have the proper mindset when she sits down to do her work.
Something that many moms who work from home fall victim to is the need to get up and leave their desk when they want something to drink or eat. It is for this reason we suggest getting a small fridge for the new office. In addition, you may want to consider a microwave and some snacks. Leaving the office for any of these reasons is all that is needed to cause a distraction and cut into the workday. If everything is close by, the work will continue to roll and mom can stay focused on the task at hand.
Demands and Flexibility
The next consideration is if mom is going to be working for herself, contracting, or working for an actual company at home. All of these will have different expectations financially and each will need its own mindset in order to be successful over time. For instance, if mom is working for an actual company, as long as she turns her work in every day, the check will be there at the end of the week. If she is working for herself, that may not always be the case.
Working as a contractor is one way to go, but this will often lead to less income than if the person were to go out on his or her own. However, there is some security in the fact that mom will be working for an established business. Even though she will be relying on them to supply the work, if the business has a following, her in-box will probably be full every day if she is turning in quality work. The downside is that mom will probably be making about 40 to 50% of what she actually could be making.
One route to take if contracting is to work for someone else to learn the ropes of the business and have a steady income. As mom learns the niche of the business she is interested in, she can then take a chance and go out on her own. However, she will still have the safety net of the contractor work if her business is slow or taking some time to get off the ground. At this point, some income is better than no income.
The last option would be to actually launch your own business. Be warned that income will be very slow, if at all, in the beginning. If the family is relying on this "job" to produce money right away, this may not be the best route. The good news is that over time, if mom stays dedicated and develops a following, she could make more money than if she were doing two to three times the work as a contractor. The biggest thing to remember here is customer service. Once you have a happy customer, keep them happy and make sure you stay fresh in their mind. If they know you are reliable, they are more likely to remain with your service than they are to take a chance on someone else, even if your services are slightly more than the untested competition.
Yes, moms who work from home can make plenty of money, but it will take dedication and quite a bit of cooperation from her family members. That being said, the business opportunities are numerous and success is only right around the corner. There are plenty of moms who have left the workforce, started their own gig at home, and found that when factoring in no travel, no business clothing, no wear and tear on the car, that they are making far more than they ever would have were they to remain in the general workforce working for someone else.
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