For many stay-at-home dads, the thought of getting a 9-5 job is something that isn’t possible right now. Believe it or not, for many dads, the reason is down to finances. It could end up more beneficial from a financial point of view to not have a job!
Of course, one option, and quite an attractive one is to run a business from home.
You are likely reading this because there is an entrepreneurial spark in you that you wish to grow. Yes, many stay-at-home dads run businesses from their houses. But, have you considered ALL the pros and cons?
Before you embark on such a bold journey, read this blog post in its entirety first! You must know the truth about working for yourself from home if you’re the primary caregiver.
Working from home can be a challenge
So the kids are at school, and you’ve got the house to yourself for a few hours. Hooray! But wait, you have 20 things on your to-do list before you can even begin work! What should you do?
As you can see, it’s not always plain sailing when you have to work from home. Some household chores or errands might need to take priority over your work. Or you might get “the” phone call from your child’s school telling you that they have projectile vomited in class.
Sure, for the most part, you WILL have some time to yourself each day to do some work. The thing is, you need to bear in mind that your work schedule must be flexible.
Running a home business is rewarding
When you have a regular job working for someone else, some things will be out of your control. Is it the same when you become self-employed, and you run your business from home?
The answer is no! As an entrepreneur, you have the power to shape your destiny. You get to decide when to work, what to do, and how to do it.
The Office for National Statistics says that 4.8 million of us started working for ourselves in 2017. That’s a figure that has risen year on year, believe it or not.
When customers buy your goods and services, you’ll soon be enjoying the fruits of your labour. And what’s even better is that you’ve done it all from home!
You will need some startup capital
When a new business gets set up, there will always be expenses to pay. Sure, running a business from home means that your expenditure will be low. But, you still need to pay for things like equipment, advertising and marketing fees, and so on.
While some people manage to start a home business on a shoestring, it’s not for everyone. And that rings true for those of you that need to pay for stock upfront or service charges.
So, what do you do in that situation? If you have some savings, you could always use some of that cash. Of course, if you’ve got no savings, you’ll likely need to borrow the money.
The good news is you can get the cash you need in the form of startup business loans. It’s a form of finance designed with new entrepreneurs in mind (that’s you!).
Before you borrow any money, be sure to calculate how much you need. Having that information in a business plan will help support any loan applications.
Bribery isn’t always a bad thing
As a stay-from-home dad, you have to share your workspace with some small humans. If you have a significant other, they can look after the kids while you work. That’s assuming they aren’t working themselves, of course!
There will be times where you’ll have no choice but to work around your children. You may not want to do any work when they are at home. But, what you could do is “bribe” them so that you get some time to do things!
For instance, you could get them to do some simple chores at home like tidying their rooms. As a reward (the bribe), you could say let them watch a bit of TV, for example.
Outsourcing is your friend
As a busy stay-at-home dad, you will have your work cut out for you. That’s because you will be continually dividing your time between work and home life.
While it’s tempting to do almost everything yourself in the business, outsource instead. Yes, you will have to spend some money to get other people to do things. And, yes, you could easily do those things yourself.
If you outsource some tasks, it frees up a lot of time for you to do other things. At the moment, time will no doubt be a more precious commodity than money!
There are all kinds of things that you can outsource in your business. Examples include:
- Website design and online marketing;
- Dealing with customer sales enquiries;
- Bookkeeping and accounts including tax returns;
- Handling orders (processing them, sending them out to customers).
Cabin fever isn’t always easy to avoid
Working from home can sometimes be a bad thing. If you end up spending most of your day alone, you will feel isolated. You may also lose focus or concentration, even feeling bored at times.
Keeping yourself motivated is a challenge for most people that work from home.
Here are some ideas that can help you stay focused and motivated at home:
- Create a daily list of tasks on paper. You can tick them off as you go along;
- Reward yourself. That is something you could tie in with the above point;
- Have a dedicated workspace. The worst thing you could do is sit down to work with the TV on in the background;
- Give yourself plenty of breaks. Make yourself a cup of tea, take the dog for a walk, basically anything that gets you away from your working area;
- Dress for work. Sitting around wearing your pyjamas might be okay for “duvet days,” but it doesn’t bode well for work!
Spend some time away from your mobile phone
An issue that most self-employed have is they spend too much using their smartphones. They are great business tools, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t keep yours.
Consider spending less time doing things on your phone. There are several reasons why this makes sense. For example, you will concentrate more on your tasks, and there will be fewer distractions in your day.
It’s understandable if you don’t want to turn your phone off or put it in airplane mode. But, what you could do is turn your mobile face down on your desk. That way, it also lessens the temptation to browse Facebook or procrastinate!
Another idea might be to put your smartphone on “silent” mode. Or you could even leave it in another room in your home.
Don’t forget to spend some time away from home too
Sometimes it is a good idea to get away from your house and go work in a different environment for the day. You could spend some time in a cafe, your local library, or even in the park on a sunny day.
If your type of business allows it, consider treating yourself to a day away from “the office” each week. It’s great for motivational purposes, plus it can help with inspiration and creativity.
Even if you don’t own a laptop, for example, you could still use your smartphone or a tablet device. Of course, you may not also need to use a computer in your line of work.
Aside from the above ideas, another option is to hire a desk in your local Regus office.
You might forget to give yourself time off
Do you remember the days when you had a job working for someone else? Can you also recall being able to take days off? The shocking truth is that some stay-at-home dads that run businesses feel they can’t give themselves time off!
It’s crucial for many reasons that you allow yourself some days off. Doing so is good for your mental health, and will do wonders for your family life. Plus, you are less likely to suffer from burn-out.
If you start to find that your free time becomes minimal, you should do something about it. The last thing you want to do is get to a point where you’ve had enough of working and letting it stress you out.
As you will have gathered by now, working for yourself from home when you’ve got kids isn’t easy. But, if you’ve got the determination to do it, being an entrepreneur can be a good thing for you.
It’s important to know that you’ve also got some help from other people should you ever need it. Otherwise, you could find yourself playing “catch-up” with many things in your life.
Be sure to find a way of involving your kids in the business even if it’s something menial like organising paperwork. It will help you out, and they will love the fact that you include them in your work.