Main Content

Back to Blog List

  • 30 January 2014
  • Erika Sivils

The Stay-at-Home Mom's Guide to Running a Small Business

Staying at home with the children or pursuing a career are no longer the only two options available to mothers. A Catalyst survey reports that 10.1 million businesses in the U.S. are owned by women. This mom's guide to working from home provides tips on juggling work demands and household needs. Adding elements of structure and flexibility into your home and work life can reduce your stress, increase your efficiency, and help your concentration.

Keep a structured schedule

Keeping a predictable schedule can reduce anxiety and increase work stability. Early morning and evening hours offer valuable quiet time to work. Use downtime such as nap time or play dates to work on projects and deadlines. For important projects that require high amounts of concentration, such as billing and invoicing, try to allocate enough time to finish a set number of invoices without interruption. When the children are awake, let them help with household chores or run a few errands together. Updating company social media pages, drafting replies to emails, and conducting online marketing are some other projects that can be done while supervising children.

Dedicate a work-only space

Keeping a degree of separation from work and home life can alleviate the overwhelming feelings that come with trying to attempt too many projects at once. Find a space that is a work-only area and let the family know that it is also a no-interruption area. Consider the amount of noise around the work space. An area that has high traffic or is noisy can be distracting. Also, find an area for breaks that is a work-free zone.

Set some ground rules

Maintaining consistency and firmness while establishing ground rules is crucial in maintaining a stable balance between home life and work. If younger children stay at home, explain when it is okay to interrupt work time. Keeping the rules simple and consistent aids children in remembering and understanding guidelines for work time. If your job requires you to make phone calls, tell children what activities are acceptable during a phone call. Keep work-related items off-limits and out of reach of small children. If work inventory is kept at home, keep the area locked and inaccessible to children. Maintaining an organized inventory is crucial when working from home in order to keep up with what products are in stock.

Call in help for important deadlines

If children are at home during the day, try to find a friend or relative to call when important deadlines are coming up. Having another stay-at-home mom friend to switch off childcare days can clear the schedule for extra work productivity. Even hiring a babysitter to stay in your home with the children can provide less interruption and peace of mind knowing that the kids are being taken care of. Calling in help allows time to meet clients outside the home or a chance to network with other professionals at events.

Leave enough time to take breaks

Leaving deadlines to wait until the last minute creates more pressure to work continuously without resting. Keeping a busy work schedule may seem like the best way to get tasks accomplished, but breaks are necessary for continued work productivity. Instead of working on projects at the last minute, schedule enough time to work at a steady pace with breaks. Spending time with children during breaks helps the children refocus, but it is also important to take personal time during breaks. Allow enough flexibility in your schedule to work around children getting sick or having to take care of household issues.

Working from home requires a strong commitment to both your home and career. A mom's guide to working from home successfully requires keeping boundaries and setting goals for both household and work projects. Flexibility and scheduling extra time to complete tasks is necessary for moms who work from home.

Back to Blog List