At Home Column #16- Big Boss Mum

Most mums will have at some stage, thought of working from home. It’s part of the daily juggle of life with kids – “how do I earn a living whilst looking after my children?!”. Childcare costs a fortune and who wouldn’t want to get rid of the daily commute? There has even been a Love/Hate Travel debate launched recently as so many workers have something to say about commuting!

I remember when I handed in my notice to my full time job to start a business working from home, my colleagues said “how nice, you’ll be able to answer your emails from your garden!”. We were both naive at that stage because I agreed with them! I didn’t realise then that in order to get incoming emails to answer in the first place, as a self employed person you need to ‘get out there’ and ‘hustle’ up some business rather than reactively waiting for emails to come in! The mindset of an employee is very different to that of a self employed worker, and its’ usually only when you have taken the leap that you find this out.

Change of Career
Setting up a home based business is one of the most worthwhile things I’ve ever done, but it has definitely been a rollercoaster along the way! A couple of years into my business I decided to write the book I wish could have existed when I started out and the act of doing this lead to a passion for writing which has produced a second book and taken my career off into a completely new direction that I couldn’t have envisaged when I was at the start. But all the while, I’ve also been at home, managing the kids’ routine and being there for them in a way that would have been very hard to achieve when I worked from 9 – 5.30pm.

It’s never going to be an easy option if you work from home, but if you are a mum considering this for your own family, here are a few tips that might help make the going easier.

1. Use social networking to get your message out! Sites like Twitter and Facebook are free to join and will help you to let people know you are there! To get clients, people have to have heard of you, so pledge to spend a little time each day on this form of marketing.

2. Website design has become easier than ever to achieve and with the new Serif Web Plus x4 software, you can create a professional looking site with no HTML skills! It can be pricey to pay a web designer to create a site, and this little tool practically does it all for you! Serif also has software to help you create designer business cards and leaflets too!

3. There will be times when you are not available to answer the phone but you still need to create a professional first impression with callers. www.dontlosebusiness.com is a telephone answering service that will take care of your calls while you are doing the school run or having a meeting, so you can juggle home life and business more effectively.

4. Create some space for working that doesn’t interfere with the usual running of the home. If you don’t have an extra room to dedicate to office space then earmark a desk and let everyone know this area if off limits! To divide a room for home office use, Spaceslide is a UK company that makes room dividers so you can create a home office in just 3 hours for around £250!

5. Flexibility is key! This works both ways- you will have the freedom to attend your child’s sports day but also you’ll find yourself working evening and weekends to get jobs done! Don’t worry too much about the structure of 9-5. Top work at home Jugglista’s have learned to roll with it and having a flexible attitude will keep your stress levels down!

Are you a WAHM (work at home mum)? Do you want to be in future? Share your comments or any top tips below!



I write a fortnightly column for At Home - the Premier UK celebrity and lifestyle magazine, and this one appeared on their site www.AtHomeMagazine.co.uk a month ago. Do visit At Home and leave me a comment on the post there so they get to see your opinions too!
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About the Author
Nadine Hill is a busy working mum (“Is there any other kind?!”) who has a fascination with time management which borders on the obsessive! She loves to find more effective ways of doing the daily juggle whilst enjoying the journey and has lots of practise through raising her two children, managing her small business, being a best-selling author, running her home, public speaking and finding time to get to the gym! Nadine’s ambition is to help busy mums claw back a bit of ‘me time’ so she shares her tips with at home in these fortnightly columns and her own life stories on her blog- Juggle Mum.
She also micro blogs on Twitter where she is @Businessmum. You can learn more about Nadine at www.NadineHill.com

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