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Create Cash Flow from Home

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Nada Jones, author of 16 Weeks to Your Dream Business and co-founder of says it's not too late to build your own business.
money falling into a home
It's no secret that tough economic times are upon us, and with the "hap, hap happiest time of the year" around the corner, more and more stay-at-home mothers are contemplating whether going back to work is the answer to staying afloat.

Alas, it's been years since your last job. How can you possibly compete with a gap in your resume, an economic downturn that has the market flooded with qualified candidates, and college graduates willing to work for less than what it would cost to hire a nanny?! What's a gal looking for a little extra dough to do? Start dreaming, that's what!

Forget about getting a job. This is your chance to finally get that business idea that's been brewing in your head onto paper and ready for prime-time. While some would say this is a less than opportune time to launch your entrepreneurial dream, we say becoming your own boss is the best way to bring in an income consistent with your qualifications and economic needs while keeping a flexible schedule that suits your family.

Here are a few key tips for "good launching in bad times:"

1) Rely on the past: When cash is needed immediately, starting a business that requires two years to bring in revenues is not going to solve your problems. Stick to a business in the sector you came from. Position yourself as an expert consultant, and capitalize on your professional history. For example, if you were a public relations executive in your former life, launch a small boutique agency out of your home.

2) Be a solution to the problem: When times are tight, businesses as well as consumers are looking for ways to cut back just like the rest of us. Be a solution to these tough times by offering your services at a lower rate than the competition. You are likely to have less overhead and can offer to do equal work for less money. Companies and consumers who are often loyal to brands and services in more stable times can't afford not to save a little, and you may be the answer to their cost saving needs. For example, if you want to become an esthetician, offer an in-home service to clients. The money you will save on overhead will translate into lower pricing -- and what customer doesn't want to pay less for good service.

3) Recession-proof your idea: If you are starting up in this climate, consider business ideas that can weather the ups and downs of Wall Street and Main Street. Don't start a business that relies on consumer discretionary income. Instead, consider a business that is essential regardless of the economy. For example, launch an after school childcare program in your home. You can grow or downsize as you desire, and you will be offering an invaluable service to working moms and dads in your area.

4) Get creative: Look for businesses you can align yourself with based on a similar demographic, and bundle your products or services. For example, if you want to open a flower shop, look for wedding coordinators and event production consultants with a similar sensibility to bundle your services with. Create promotional materials with all of your numbers and link to each other on your websites. Share client lists and create a referral program amongst one another.

5) Get connected: Don't forget to network! Go to industry events and get to know people in the world you want to become part of. If you are re-entering your previous field, contact your former colleges and customers to rekindle old professional relationships. For example, go to your local chamber of commerce and offer to sponsor or speak at a networking event specific to your area of expertise.

Talk about turning lemons into lemonade, or should we say ginger into gingerbread. What started out as a way to put a little jingle back in your pocketbook may just have provided the opportunity and motivation you've needed to turn your holiday blues into a life-changing solution. Good luck to each of you as you begin the amazing journey of launching your dream.

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Leeanna Largin March 29, 2011, 5:15 PM

You are a very clever individual!

Glennie Kindig March 30, 2011, 6:03 AM

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Williemae Kuklis April 10, 2011, 6:02 AM

Hello. excellent job. I did not expect this. This is a great story. Thanks!

chicken pox infants April 10, 2011, 8:13 AM

I appreciate, cause I found exactly what I was looking for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

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