by Shara Lawrence-Weiss

Ten tips for moms who run a business from home

1. Sell something you love and feel passionate about. Are you starting a business based on what your heart loves? I hope so! Passion and perseverance are two key ingredients for a successful at-home business. If you don’t love what you are selling or offering, you’ll quickly burn out.

2. Don’t let worry and jealousy consume you.
Do you worry that others will copy you? Take your ideas? Do you fret that others will see your unique concepts, be incapable of coming up with their own, and trail behind you hoping for dropped business crumbs? Don’t use up your energy on business jealousy! It’s not worth your time.
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3. Don’t copy others.
By definition, if you are copying the ideas of others, you’re already behind in the game. Sit down and free-write ideas, images, words and thoughts. What did you come up with that can be used in your business model? What unique ideas do you have or clever tag lines to use? What nicknames do you recall from childhood that can be put to use now, to the benefit of your business name/model? Do you have cool photos that can go on your site or blog that offer a special perspective? Use every distinctive idea to your advantage and refrain from copying others.

4. Don’t be afraid of the SILLY.
Although you’ll often read serious business articles that offer helpful facts and figures, everyone needs to laugh. Laughter has been shown in research to reduce stress and open the mind to new ideas. Do you feel silly now and again? Use those moments to sit down and write! Don’t let that moment pass you by without taking full advantage of the SILLY. Write a funny list of “What if’s” or “The top ten _____” or “What I’d do differently.” People like to laugh and your article will likely get re-posted and re-tweeted.

5. Network without taking advantage.
There’s a difference between networking (helping each other) and taking advantage of others (“Hey – can you post about me again, please? Thanks!”). Be on the lookout for other moms you can help, assist, answer questions for and so on. Don’t go searching for what you can TAKE. First, be willing to GIVE. Those who give happily, in social media and Online, are far more likely to stay steady, long term. You’ll make friends who will gladly refer you to their own markets, if they know you’ll quickly do the same for them.

6. Don’t forget your hashtags!
So many people forget to use hashtags on twitter. Hashtags are a resource for you so use them wisely. Depending on your audience, you’ll want to use hashtags that fit what you offer/do/sell. I use hashtags like:
    •    #business
    •    #parenting
    •    #parents
    •    #ece
    •    #children
    •    #kids
    •    #songs
    •    #music
    •    #charity
    •    #giving
    •    #moms
    •    #dads
    •    #smallbiz
    •    #wahm
    •    #safety
    •    #crafts
    •    #kindness
    •    and more
Know your market and the hashtags that will most benefit you and your audience.
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7. Embrace your schedule.
It’s not easy for any mom to work from home. When are your best working hours? Before the kids get up? While the kids are in school? While your kids are napping or have a play date? Know your schedule and embrace the moments that allow for the most “focus time.”

8. Child swap, anyone?
Do you find yourself desperate for alone time to work? You just want some peace and quiet to get things done, right? Consider a child swap, high school student or play date!
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9. Get enough sleep.
I know it’s hard to say this for most moms. We never get enough sleep! Sleep, however, is a critical part of business ownership. Sleep deprivation has been shown to limit our thinking skills, ability to carry out projects, answer emails patiently, effectively maintain our anger and much more. Skipping sleep, to get work done, should never be your first choice. You’ll get more accomplished (accurately!) if you are functioning on a decent amount of sleep.

10. Involve your kids.
One of my greatest joys comes from watching my kids help. They can’t always do much but the little things they do bring them so much joy. “I helped mom today!” What small jobs can you delegate to your young kids? What larger jobs can you delegate to your tweens or teens? Older children can earn money helping you and in this situation – you both gain something. You’ll get some help (for an affordable rate) and your child will learn more about healthy work ethic and project completion (along with some spending money). It’s a win-win.

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