Working at Home – getting started

Many moms earn money in non-traditional ways.  Moms are great at being creative, multi-tasking and thinking outside of the box to find solutions.  And moms are often motivated to improve the financial situation of their families – by necessity or desire.  For as many different WAHMs out there you’ll find a different way of working at home.  The Work at Home Reality series highlights several of these  moms.

If you’re already working at home, great! I hope offers you some creative ideas, inspiration and tools to help you do what you already do. If you are starting from scratch, let’s get down to basics and offer you some ideas.  Here’s a video that might be a good starting point:

Now, as you get started, here are a few basics to consider. This list is in no way exhaustive an is only meant to spark questions you might need to as and get you moving in the right direction.  You’d be surprised how different each state is when it come to some of these things!  So do your due diligence!

  1.  Employment vs contracting vs self-employment.  Will you be working for someone else and enjoy the benefits and restrictions of employment?  Will you work for yourself and contract out your work to clients?  Or will you work for yourself selling others’ products or your own?
  2.  working for yourself?  Sole proprietorship, incorporation, partnership?  If you do work for yourself, what type of tax paying entity will you be?  Look into the differences between sole proprietorships, corporations (even if it’s just you), and partnerships.  Each has pros and cons and each handles money and taxes differently, which affects your bookkeeping and filling.
  3. business license, Tax IDs and taxes.  What is required in your municipality to do business?  Do you need  license?  Do you need to collect sales or gross receipts taxes on your particular products and services?  Do you need a Tax ID number?  Will you need to file self employment taxes.  Each tax situation is so different, so I HIGHLY suggest looking for a tax professional when you do start making money.
  4. startup costs.  Maybe you have everything you need.  Maybe you need a start-up kit from a company. Maybe you need to upgrade your technology.  Maybe you need some training. Or some wardrobe improvement.  Or products in stock.  Or a website.  Save your receipts for tax time!
  5. finding time.  Because moms don’t have a ton to spare.  HOW are you going to make this happen?  Naptimes?  Childcare help? Evenings?  Early mornings?  Subscribe at the top or bottom of this page and you’ll get ideas on how to maximize your efficiency!

Still trying to come up with ideas on WHAT to do?  Click here for Productive Mama’s list of prescreened opportunities.

Direct sales allows you to begin earning immediately.  But if you already have a skill you can do as a contractor OR on your own as a consultant, definitely consider offering those services.  Ask yourself what you have done in your professional life and how you could offer that on your own. Think outside the box!

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