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Moms to the financial rescue: work from home!

    Today in The Miami Herald, I wrote about moms who work from home, not just for flexibility, but because it's the best way right now to contribute to the family budget.

LesleyPyle05     I interviewed Lesley Spencer Pyle of Home Based Working Moms and asked her for some tips for those moms who either want to start a business from home or work for an employers. She also operatesHome-BasedWorkingMoms.com and HireMyMom.com.

Here are some tips from Lesley for starting a home business:

  •  Spend time thinking about your strengths, your experience, your interests and most importantly, your passions. What are you good at? What are you passionate about doing?
  •   Consider your previous work experience and skills.
  • Check out some books on home business ideas such as: 101 Best Home-Based Businesses for Women by Priscilla Huff or The Best Home Businesses for the 21st Century by Paul Edwards
  • Take some time to decide which type(s) of businesses listed best fit your unique personality, passions and experience.
  •  Once you’ve come up with at least one business idea that meets your needs, consider the viability of the business,  your competition, how you will differentiate yourself.
  •  Develop a business plan
  • Commit yourself to work at least 6-12 months with the possibility that you won't make much income until your business becomes somewhat established.

 Lesley cautions that it takes dedication and balance to start and grow your business without neglecting yourself, your faith or your family. As your business grows, it demands more time so it is important to have a plan. You may need to hire outside help for childcare, your housework and/or hire an assistant. It is important to keeptrack of where you are spending your time so that you keep your priorities in order. Bottom line is nothing should be as important as your faith and your family.

 Additional Resources:  www.sba.gov – SBA’s Small Business Planner and  www.SCORE.org – offers free business counseling

    Lesley also gave me 10 tips for avoiding scams if you decide to work from home for an employer:

1. Research the company and always check them out with the Better Business Bureau. Also check them out with RipOffReport.com and do a search online using the company name and any other information you have to see if you can find posts from others who have worked for or interacted with the company.

2. Ask for at least three references of people they have worked with. Call each person and ask about their experiences with the company.

3. Don’t be fooled by ads claiming you can make large amounts of money in short periods of time.

4. Before you invest in a business opportunity, get specific information (in writing) from the company.

5. Try to use your credit card instead of cash if you invest in a business opportunity. That way if you do want a refund, it may be easier to dispute the charges.

6. Be cautious of any employment opportunity that asks for money (such as money for “job” instructions, to test your printer, to see if you are qualified or for an application).

7. Research current scams on web sites such as ScamBusters and Safe From Scams.

8. Contact the National Fraud Information Center or (800) 876-7060 for information.

9. Report any scams or fraudulent companies to the Federal Trade Commission. Also contact your state’s Attorney General and the National Fraud Information Center, PO Box 65868, Washington, DC 20035 or (800) 876-7060.

10. Don’t invest in any opportunity that you are not sure about.

I hope these tips help. Let me know how your work at home arrangement is going for you.