Trying to find my way

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Trying to find my way

Postby Leslie S on Mon May 19, 2008 9:45 am

I am a stay at home mom and I have had the wonderful opportunity to be home w/my kids for 5 years now. It has been great but as the family has gotten bigger we have a need for more income. I have been brainstorming trying to think of something to do from home or a business to start that won't take me out of the house for longer than a few hours. I have a few ideas of things to do but don't know where to start. I like making gift baskets for family and have thought about this but am having a hard time trying to figure out how to make it profitable. For example I made a basket for my mother-in-law and after adding up everything is was pretty high and I just don't know if someone would pay enough to make a profit (does that make sense?). I also thought about an office cleaning business but am unsure where to start as far as pricing and just getting my foot in the door period. I went as far as contacting the small business liason in my area and have the info as far as zoning and business licenses. I think what holds me back from going forward is not knowing things as far as if I get a business license and I don't do any business what do I do about taxes. I am unsure about pricing and all that so it is like I feel like I want to go forward but I am afraid and don't know what to do to kick myself in the butt to get going. :lol: Can anyone help give me the kick I need?!?!? I just know if I don't figure out something I may have to go back to working outside of the home and I would much rather be able to stay w/my kids while earning a little income.
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Postby Kit on Mon May 19, 2008 12:15 pm

Many wahm fall into that same trap...too many options. The key is to figure out what you like to do most not what can you do. ;) We can all do a lot of things but if our heart isn't in it then we will not succeed in creating a profitable business.

If you really like making gift baskets, there are a couple of ways to make a profit. Selling pre-made baskets from an affiliate and buying your materials from a wholesale company are just a couple of ways to make this business more cost effective.

As for the house cleaning business, you would want to do a little research to find out what the "going rate" is in your area. Look in the local newspapers. Check out the yellow pages in your local phone book. You could even call and ask what their rates are. At this stage, I wouldn't tell them you wanted to start a business. However, if you wouldn't mind working for someone else, it might be a great way to find a job in the industry.

As far as I know, and I'm no accountant, if you don't earn any money, there is nothing to pay taxes on. That would be a question you could ask your small business adviser or your tax professional.

Need a little motivation? Here ya go...Where would you be if something happened to your husband or his job tomorrow?

That happened to me. One day my husband decided he didn't want to be married any longer and I found myself jobless with two months worth of bills and $100 in the bank. I hope you never have to face anything like that but we just don't know what will happen tomorrow or even later today, for that matter. Make the choice while YOU can, instead of waiting for circumstances to make it for you. ;)
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Postby Leslie S on Mon May 19, 2008 1:28 pm

Thanks so much for the insight! I like the idea of doing gift baskets because I enjoy putting all the stuff together. I have been looking at some wholesale sites and found one that have some inexpensive baskets that I could use.

I have been brainstorming thinking of how or where to sell them. Ebay crossed my mind but I have sold some stuff on there before and although I have made a little profit, I haven't been that successful at selling. I also thought about making a web site (especially since I see some sites you all reccommend in helping) to put them on.

I know that in the beginning you don't really make much profit and probably won't see one for the first year or more. . . . I think I am a little hesitant because I am afraid to fail. And I know you never know until you try and I should be more positive about things (I am really trying to get better in that area) but w/only one of us working and 3 kids there isn't a lot of extra $$$ left at the end of the month for me to be able to say "oh well I lost some $$$ we have enough anyway". I am trying to focus not on the negative but on the positive and I am setting goals so that by the end of the summer I have some kind of plan going and am taking steps to getting everything in place!
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Postby Mila on Mon May 19, 2008 3:15 pm

I think the beauty of internet business is that you don't have to spend a whole lot to get started. It really depends what you'd like to do but any of the options you mentioned could work with a little effort and time.

I would say give yourself maybe a week or two of just doing a little more research before jumping into something. There are so many products online that offer the world but really don't deliver, so be careful.

Take a look at our how to build a website section and also the business idea section. There's information there regarding gift baskets.

Then ask yourself if you'd rather do something like build an information website and make money with Google Ads and affiliate marketing (if that doesn't make sense yet, just ask)... this is a pretty straight forward way to start online. It's what I did.

Or you can look into starting an actual business right away such as the gift basket business or maybe providing a service.

When I started out, I wrote a list of what I needed from a business. For example, I needed a business I could run from home so I wouldn't need to pay for daycare or babysitting... so I needed something flexible. An information website suited me just fine because it was something I could work on in the evenings when the kids went to bed.

So maybe you can make a list and try to brainstorm exactly what you need from your business including realistically how much money you need to make. It takes a little time to build up a substantial income with an information site so if you need quite a second income right away then you may need to provide a service or do something else that will make you money right away... and you can still build a website around that if you choose too.

And if you have questions feel free to ask :-)
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Postby Leslie S on Tue May 20, 2008 10:19 am

Thanks for the info. I am still brainstorming and looking around at things. I have found that once you really start digging you find a lot of info. and it is a little overwhelming.

I am not sure about an informational website because I don't know what I would say. I like to do baskets and I enjoy the part of looking for the right item for whoever I am shopping for. Other that I don't know what else to say. . .

I am just going to keep looking and try to sort it all out. I think that office cleaning would be more profitable although the baskets would be more enjoyable. I think I would need to be bonded for that. . . that would be the first step? I am not sure. Outside of that I haven't decided what would be the best way to get into that sort of thing. I thought about business cards and calling offices to see if they need a new cleaning service but don't knbow if that would really be helpful. I also thought about making flyers and putting them on some of the new office buildings or dr. offices that are being built/completed and are just waiting for someone to lease.

I know I am the only one holding myself back but I have a hard time taking a blind step or moving forward when I am full of uncertainty!!

Many thanks for everyones insight and help.
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Postby lwillard on Wed May 21, 2008 8:01 pm

Fear is such a huge obstacle to most of us. Fear of failure holds people back every single day.

You've got some great ideas and it sounds like you know what you like. As for the informational site and not knowing what to write about, you will when the time is right.

When I first started my network marketing business, I needed a personal website and I wanted to start writing articles. I had the same thoughts. What in the hec I'm I going to say. I'm a newbie and do not have a great deal to say just yet. But then I dove in. I started reading every book, e-book I could get my hands on and as I read I started getting my own ideas.

Take some time and really find your passion. Once you do, be consistent and stay focused.

Know that fear is something we have all dealt with. Success comes within and the first step is believing in yourself.
:D
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Postby Leslie S on Thu May 22, 2008 4:39 pm

Mila
I have been reading up on affiliate marketing. I think I understand what it is but, just to be clear, is it something you use when you are doing and informational website to make some $$? So if I decided to do an informational gift basket web site where I type about how to make one, ideas, etc. that is where I could use ads.

But, lets say I decide to make a web site for a gift basket business where I sell my own baskets, would I use any ads there? Or lets say I open an office cleaning business and I have a website for my business, would I use ads here? And if I can would I really want to have ads for other things when I am trying to sell my own stuff?

My thinking is a little cloudy on the subject and I will continue to read up on the subject. Thank you (and everyone) for helping me out!!
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Postby Leslie S on Thu May 22, 2008 4:45 pm

lwillard
That is so true about fear holding us back. I know I need to stay focused and just go for it. I keep reminding myself that noone is going to do it for me and that only I can make it happen. I have my goals in mind and am going to put it on paper and post it on our inspiration board so I can be reminded everyday!
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Postby Kit on Fri May 23, 2008 6:41 am

But, lets say I decide to make a web site for a gift basket business where I sell my own baskets, would I use any ads there? Or lets say I open an office cleaning business and I have a website for my business, would I use ads here?


You can use affiliate ads in both of these sites. For example, for gift baskets, you could include an affiliate ad for a website which offers greeting cards or boxes and bows (in case they need to ship the gift baskets. ;) ) For the house cleaning, you could join an affiliate program which offers cleaning tools. I know "flylady" has her own duster.

And if I can would I really want to have ads for other things when I am trying to sell my own stuff?


The key to using affiliate marketing is to offer accessory items that your clients/customers would need. Everything on your website should be geared to sell your services/products. But there is no way you can offer everything. For example, you probably can't make and ship your own brand of cleaning products. However, you can direct your clients/readers to someone who can (through an affiliate link) and you still earn money from their purchase. ;)
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Postby Leslie S on Fri May 23, 2008 11:40 am

I see said the blind man 8) Thanks for the help!
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Postby Kit on Fri May 23, 2008 6:13 pm

LOL Leslie, my dad used to say that a lot. Thanks for the fond memory and glad it helped. ;)
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Postby Crystal M on Sat May 24, 2008 5:27 pm

Leslie:
I think you pose some questions that many people have - what do I want to do and what is the best way to do it. As usual the contributors to this forum have given some wonderful insight. I was in a simliar position. I love to cook, people seem to like my cooking, and I had quite a few people that told me they would be frequent customers if I opened a weeknight catering business to provide dinners to moms who either didn't know what to cook or how to cook it. I too looked into the zoning and business requirements and also realized it would be impractical to pull that concept off with my 4 kids. What I'm doing now is providing them with the information so they can do it themselves. It's less risky for me, is less time consuming (somedays!!) and I have flixibility regarding when I work on my site. You might be able to apply the same concept to a site that teaches other people to build their own gift baskets, offers themes and ideas for gifts and could be profitible with ads and affiliate links. Once profitable, you could then offer the additional service of making the baskets for them and shipping. Just the 2-cents worth of thought from a fellow busy mom trying to work from home. I hope you find something you love to do. I love the phrase, "do what you love and the money will follow".
I wish you success with whatever you persue.
Crystal
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Postby Leslie S on Tue May 27, 2008 1:07 pm

Thanks for the helpful info! Everyone has been so nice and willing to help, explain, and give me something to think about! I appreciate all yall being so nice! I am going to look into everything a little more deeper before I take the plunge! I have a little reservation because school is getting ready to get out and all 3 kids will be home and I know it is going to be hard to find the time to focus on everything. On a good note, I told my mom I was seriously thinking about doing it (she is the one who suggested I look into it because I always give her a basket as gifts and she thinks I could be profitable. . . it is always good to have someone in ur corner huh?) and she is cheering me on and would be willing to give a helping hand in whatever area I would need it!
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Postby Mila on Tue May 27, 2008 1:14 pm

Hi Leslie, I just sent you an email regarding Elain Gordon Evans and your housecleaning service question :-)
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Free ebook may help

Postby WAHParents on Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:59 pm

I understand what it is like to be in your shoes. That is why I put together the free e-book:

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I would encourage you to download the book. It will definitely clear your mind and give you the real options when looking to work from home.

Good Luck!

Mindy
Stop by today for the best Online Business Ideas!
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