How big do you want your business to grow? This is a really important question that most work at home moms never ask themselves. It’s usually one of the first questions I ask new clients as it affects all our discussions from there on.
Recently I was working with a client and she was stuck on one particular issue that was integral to running the business. No matter what we discussed, there wasn’t a solution that worked for her, until finally I asked “Is this problem worth giving up the business for and running it as a hobby?” and she instantly said “Yes”. She didn’t want a business and the associated stresses – she wanted a hobby that she could keep small, easily manageable and be able to pick up and put down as she chose.
However when she had first thought up the idea she had automatically defaulted to thinking of it as a business idea and working towards that. As soon as she realised that she really only wanted it as a hobby, and that having it as a hobby was ok, I could hear the burden being lifted. The relief was evident in her voice and manner immediately.
Having a hobby-business is fine. There is nothing wrong with having a hobby which pays for itself. If that’s what you truly want and intend. You don’t have to have a ‘real’ business, you don’t need to make huge profits. If you want a business that brings in only enough for your family to have a weeks holiday every year that’s great. If you want a business that can support your whole family in luxury, that’s great too. You’re the owner, the choice is yours.
Many work at home mum businesses begin as a hobby and progress to being a business. If that’s you, then at some point you need to stop and look at what you’re doing and decide if this is what you truly want. Do you want this growth? Do you want the stresses – and joys – associated with running your own business? If you do, then go for it! If not, you need to look at how to turn it around and stay small, or look at other options such as selling it as a business, or licensing.
How big you plan to grow your hobby or business is something that needs to be considered very early on. It’s all too easy to be caught up in the whirlwind of day to day activities and never think about whether this is what you intended in the first place. One of the major sources of stress in a home business is the feeling that it’s out of control and taking over your life, and that you have no choice but to continue to try and cope with it as best you can. I know, I’ve been there and it’s sure not fun. But! You do have the choice, you just have to consciously think about what you want and intend first.
Think about it. Is your business the way you intended? Is it what you want? How big do you really want your business go grow? (Hint – the very first answer that comes to mind is usually the correct one!)
Note: check your countries tax laws with regard to the difference between a hobby and a business: In Australia (paraphrased by me and very simplified), if you intend to make a profit then you are considered a business whether you make a profit or not. If you sell items at cost in order to simply buy more materials then it can be considered a hobby – however you still have to keep the paperwork to prove that you’re not making a profit. Don’t be caught on the wrong side of the tax laws through ignorance.
Melinda is the founder of SuperWAHM.com and started the site to share her learnings to help other Work At Home Mums become more independent and able to spend time with their families