In the past, I have featured a ‘real life’ story of a mom in business here and there (kind of my own version of a reality series on this blog). Starting next week, I am going to be sharing these type of stories on a more regular basis. Real world accounts of actual moms getting their groove back, and sharing their inner most feelings with you (some of them will be very RAW).
I am excited about this because it is YOU, as moms and readers, that I hope to inspire while always sharing candidly about the reality of Staying Relevant as a MOM and Finding our Groove. Sometimes it is glamorous, sometimes not so much, but the Rewards are often SPECTACULAR! ~ Rachel
Today, Nellie Akalp, Founder of Corp.net, an accomplished entrepreneur and mom, and role model for many women is here to share her version of ‘The top myths about starting a business.’
Are you thinking of starting your own business? The idea of controlling your own schedule and career is incredibly powerful. Not to mention breaking out of the daily commute and working from the comfort of home. While working for yourself has some great benefits, the lifestyle isn’t for everyone. If you’re thinking about diving into self-employment, make sure you’ve thought realistically about these 5 myths:
- Freelancing means not having a boss
On your business card, you are your own CEO. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have to answer to anyone. In reality, you’re going to have many, many bosses ⎯ your clients and customers. Just as you might work to please your boss at an office job, you’re going to work just as hard, if not harder, to meet the needs of your clients. And if they’re not happy, you’ve lost a sale or billable work. Of course, there is one major difference. As a self-employed business owner, you are in complete control over whom you choose to take on as a client or customer.
- Working from home means less work
Typically, entrepreneurs find they need to work longer hours than their office counterparts. In fact, some business owners trade in the 9 to 5 for 9 to midnight! Of course, you do have the freedom to work in your pajamas (as long as there are no video conferences). When you’re working from home, you also have the flexibility to throw in an errand or two midday, but you’ll also need to contend with blurred lines between your personal and work time. Many entrepreneurs find themselves checking email late into the evening. Be disciplined with your work time, make time for yourself and your family ⎯ and most importantly, make sure you’re doing something you love.
- I can watch my kids while working from home
Let’s face it. No matter where you live, childcare is not cheap. I’ve spoken to countless women who want to start their own business in order to spend more time with their kids and save on childcare expenses. There’s no doubt that the ability to work from home and control your own schedule is a blessing for many mothers. However, you need to be realistic about the situation. How will you create a definite line between ‘mommy time’ and ‘business time’? You may need to bring in childcare for a few hours a day to let you concentrate on a conference call or project. Or with older children, you can create an ‘office’ (even if it’s just a corner of the room) where you can’t be disturbed.
- I don’t have to worry about the legal stuff
Too often, female entrepreneurs consider their ventures too small to worry about forming a business structure. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Even the self-employed writer or family run catering business should consider how to incorporate a business or form an LLC. First and foremost, the LLC (Limited Liability Company) and Corporation protect the owner’s personal assets from any liability of the company. That is, if your company happens to be sued, your personal assets (i.e. property, savings accounts) are shielded from any judgment. In addition, federal income tax rates can be lower for corporations than for individuals. And as a corporation, you may be entitled to additional deductions that are not available to you as an individual.
- I need a lot of money to start a business
If you don’t have access to tons of capital to invest in a business venture, you probably shouldn’t consider launching a manufacturing company with lots of overhead and expensive product inventory. However, it’s more than possible to start a business with just a small investment ⎯ for example, service-based businesses or virtual ones (like blogging or freelance editing). Be realistic about your financing, and remember it’s okay to start small!
Make no mistake. I don’t want to deter any budding entrepreneur from following her dreams. I believe that women-run small businesses will fuel the economy’s recovery. Starting and managing your own business can be incredibly rewarding. However, starting your venture with the blinders off and a realistic set of expectations is your best chance for success.
Nellie Akalp is a passionate entrepreneur, small business advocate and mother of four. As CEO of CorpNet.com, an online legal document filing service, Nellie helps small business owners form an LLC or incorporate a business in order to start and protect their new business ventures the right way. To learn more about Nellie, watch informative videos and see how she can help your business, please visit here.