As a full-time “Stay At Home Mom” for 13 years, I’ve found that we’re all looking for the easiest ways to organize our lives. So why, then, do we add a business into the picture? Most of us need extra income to meet the rising prices of consumer goods in today’s economy. Some of us need anything to get some adult interaction. The rest of us have a variety of other reasons why we’re trying to run a business while raising our children.
Assuming that you have already decided on the focus of your new business venture, you should know that getting a good start is important. Let’s consider a few factors that will help or hinder the organization. Flying by the seat of your pants usually doesn’t work.
Family is one of the largest factors. Are they for or against having a business set up in the home?
Step 1: Have a family meeting discussing how it will affect everyone or how it will make them feel. Ask questions such as, “How would you all like to be a part of a family business?” or “Would you like to participate, or would you rather pick something else to do that will not disturb mom while she is conducting business?”
You have to come up with questions for your particular family situation. This is a VERY important first step. If you don’t have family support, your business will not be very successful. So think this through. I do this a few times a year with our family, due to changes everyone goes through as they grow up, or our circumstances evolve and change.
What if you don’t have a choice but to start an in home business? You should still have a family meeting, just make a list of different questions to answer and issue to discuss with everyone, such as, “We have to do something to help pay the bills. This is our only option as I see it. So we’re all going to have to pitch in as a family,” or, “I’m starting a new business. You will all need to do (fill in the blank) to participate . . .” Also, have everyone give an opinion of what they think would be helpful or what they could do to pitch in, even if it a small child who can only empty your office trash two times a week. What a big help!
Furniture is at the top of my list this month. If you have the right setting and a place for everything, then you’ve won half the battle.
Step 2: Make a list of what furniture you THINK would help you have a place for everything, i.e. bookcases, drawers, (plastic bins in our home), desk, etc. Think it through by looking at everything you have or will have to store. Will you have inventory? Will you need to have a shipping area? What will you need to store your shipping supplies? Would a large file cabinet work better than a bookcase? Go to your nearest office store, look around and take notes on things you like or that may make your life a little easier. When we penny pinch, sometimes we regret it later. So figure out how much less stress you will have if you spend the money now to do it the best way the first time around. Otherwise, you’ll end up like me with a house full of many containers you don’t need, but really like having around just in case. (I thought I would use them ::::wink::::)
Step 3:Decide on the hours that will work for your clientele, your family, and yourself. If you’re a home-schooling family, you’ll have to schedule business hours during a time that won’t interfere with school. A family whose kids are in school during the day has more flexibility in this area. Again, this should also be included in a family meeting. There are many choices, one of which could be a few working hours during the day and a few at night. Just a suggestion.
Step 4: Make that important list of supplies needed and a wish list of things wanted. Once you get these lists together, it’s time to go shopping!
Step 5:Take the family shopping for your new business supplies. What’s more exciting than starting a new adventure as a team?! For those of you who would prefer not to take the whole family with you, have them get the house ready while you go shopping. You get the picture? Keeping them involved will keep them happier!!!
Step 6:Get the family together to help put everything together and organize. When families buy new things together, everyone gets excited! And seeing the completed work is so rewarding that everyone will feel the heat of the moment. Now, sit back and take stock of what you’ve just accomplished and feel proud.
Side Note: I had to go back for more containers.