By Jodie Lynn
I recently read an article about women having to choose between the home and the office. I know that there is an area in-between the two of these that is the work-at-home movement. I am very interested in this but have no clue how to avoid scams. I would love to be a work-at-home parent to have more family time. Which ones do you recommend and are there any books or websites that you would personally recommend?
Choose a business in which you have a working knowledge as a result of your education, work, hobby, and/or volunteer experiences. Make sure there is a potential market for your proposed idea. Here are some places to go for free or low-cost business startup counseling: Women's Business Center www.onlinewbc.gov or Small Business Development Center www.sba.gov/SBDC. These centers offer free or low-cost business startup counseling and seminars. SCORE www.score.org offices also offer free counseling and business planning. Visit these sites to search for their centers/offices nearest to you. If you want to perform work-from-home for another company, be very careful of home-business scams. Do not send any money for information. To check the legitimacy of a home business opportunity, see the Better Business Bureau's site, www.bbb.org, the Federal Trade Commission provides advice on avoiding scams, www.ftc.gov and see www.fraud.org for The National Fraud Information Center that offers updates on the latest frauds and scams. I have two books that might help as well, "The Self-Employed Woman's Guide to Launching a Home-Based Business," Crown Publishing Group, $14.95 and "The Self-Employed Woman's Guide to Launching a Home-Based Business," Crown Publishing Group, $14.95. - Priscilla Huff in Sellersville, Pa.
Moms working from home can structure their businesses and their schedules around their children's and family's needs while still bringing in an income. There are many good work-at-home opportunities, but there are many that are more often scams than not. I suggest that you review our Tips for Avoiding Scams at HBWM.com to help you not fall victim to scams. You can save large amounts of time and money by defining your strengths, interests, skills and passions. I believe defining those and researching different types of opportunities that fit those unique traits will dramatically increase one's chances for true success in their home business. I offer a "Mom'sWorkAtHomeKit" that is helpful when trying to make a work at home decision. Please see my site for more details. - Lesley Spencer, Director, www.HBWM.com in Austin, TX
From Jodie: Everyone is interested in one way or the other about the possibilities and earning potential in starting a work-from-home business or situation. If you have children underfoot, it's a lot harder than people tell you it is. Be sure you have adequate childcare available or things will not go as planned. It is quite stressful and can ruin home life, family time and even your self-esteem. Keep your day job until things get off of the ground and even then, it will require well-organized time to succeed. Your success should be seen in making money, feeling good about what it is you are doing and most of all, a balanced life. I am not saying it cannot be done. I am saying everyone in the family will be affected by it and you need to know up front about the heartache and hard work it takes. If you do not have a home computer, it is much harder to make decent money from home. If you are going to work for a "home business company," ask questions and check them out before signing a contract. Read books from the best well-known work at home experts, Paul and Sarah Edwards.
I also personally know Lesley Spencer and can guarantee she is above board with her "Mom'sWorkAtHomeKit"...it is what you need to make the final jump in working from home and I have implemented some of the suggestions in my own plans straight from the kit. Visit her site www.HBWM.com and check out the volumes of help she offers moms trying to make a life-altering decision. Another source that moms will love is www.InternetBasedMoms.com where my new friend web savvy Alice Seba offers plenty for beginners as well as seasoned work at home moms. She is one gal you must check out! Listen to www.WAHMtalkradio.com for incredible interviews with my pal, Kelly McCausey.
Can you help?
I have a 3-year-old daughter who is always upset because she thinks I do not want anything to do with her. I have been trying to open my business and work from home. Her mom works outside the home and I am responsible for her during the day. What should I do?
What baby books do you recommend for dads-to-be?
Please share your tips and help other parents. Send them -- or other parenting questions -- to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Rd., Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Send e-mail through our www.ParentToParent.com Web site.
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