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The Parentpreneur Guide

A Guide for Stay-at-Home Parents Who Want to Start a Business

Starting a business as a stay-at-home parent is a great way to generate income while still having the flexibility you need to care for your kids. It's never too late to establish a startup, as 99designs reveals that 57 percent of "mompreneurs" are 40-plus. That said, juggling child care and a startup — which is basically another baby to nurture — isn't easy. To avoid entrepreneurial burnout, it's important to establish a support network. Read on for more tips on how to become a thriving entrepreneur.

Find a business that suits your lifestyle and your interests

Modern technology makes it easier than ever to run a business from home. Businesstown has a list of more than 40 possibilities to choose from, including eBay selling, social media management, and writing. The key to success is tapping into your existing talents, resources, and interests. For example, maybe you worked as a teacher before you became a parent. A home-based tutoring business might be a great pick.

Create a kids-free work zone where you can concentrate

It's easy for your personal and professional lives to meld together when you're trying to run a business from your home. Try to draw a line by creating a corner that's just for your work. Avoid areas with a lot of foot traffic, like the kitchen or living room. You might put a desk in one corner of the bedroom, for example. Have "the talk" with kids (assuming they're old enough) and explain to them that you will have to focus without interruption at times. When you have to concentrate, set your kids up with a self-motivated activity to keep them occupied.

Write a business plan to guide your startup process

Once you've decided on a business concept and carved out space where you can get your work done, draft a business plan. This will help guide you as you get your business off the ground. A comprehensive business plan describes your product or service, outlines a marketing strategy, provides financial projections, and more. Another advantage of a business plan is that it can help you secure investment to fund your startup.

One of the first steps in your plan is deciding how to structure your business. Will it be a sole proprietorship? A partnership? Consider going the LLC route, which protects your personal assets in case of lawsuits and provides the benefits of a corporation while lacking their complex structure. As an LLC, there are tax advantages and less paperwork is required. By using an online formation service, you avoid paying an expensive attorney to complete the process; such a service also keeps abreast of all your timely filing needs, which negates the risk of costly mistakes down the road.

Grow your business with support from external experts

Once you have the core elements of your business in place according to your plan, you can start attracting customers. If you don't have marketing experience, consider outsourcing this task to a professional. Email marketing is a cost-efficient way to share news about your services or products, for example. You can also hire an SEO specialist to drive traffic to your website. You can find these professionals via work-for-hire platforms, where you can vet pros based on reviews, delivery time, and cost.

Get serious about scheduling work versus family versus ‘me’ time

If you find yourself getting stressed as your business takes off, rest assured that you aren't alone. According to The Independent, working moms are scientifically proven to display above-average stress levels. It's important to take steps to alleviate stress. The Mayo Clinic reveals that chronic stress can hurt your health. Time management is critical. Carve out time in your day not only for work and family but also for yourself. Even if it's just 20 minutes, this is an invaluable opportunity to simply relax and unwind.

While starting a business as a parent isn't always easy, your efforts will be well worth it. Being able to do work you're passionate about while still caring for your family is a dream come true. The above guide can help you realize this vision.

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