Welcome to Money-Making Stay at Home Moms Series 2: How to Make Money From Home by Starting an Online Business. There are 38+ interviews in this series (see links below interview).
Today we have Alison Moore Smith who will be sharing her knowledge about how to work from home by starting an at home online business. Alison has worked from home for over 26 years so she really knows her stuff! Welcome Alison...
Q. What inspired you to begin working?
A. When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter in 1987, I was also finishing my bachelor’s degree. As the pregnancy progressed, my long-held idea of getting a master’s degree and working full-time came into conflict with the idea that I couldn’t possibly entrust the care of my child — MY child — to anyone else. That inspired me (even though I had sworn from the time I was 13 that I would NEVER stay home with kids) to work from home.
Q. How did you go about starting your business or arranging a work at home position?
A. I developed skills that were in demand. At that time desktop publishing (printing reports, magazines, etc. using special software) was in demand. I began advertising (in a local newspaper classified section) offering lower rates than most companies. The lower rate was something of an exchange for the then very unconventional nature of a home business. Once I produced superior work, I had all the work I could do merely by word of mouth.
This morphed into an online homeschool supply company in 1994 (which I sold in 1997) and then to professional blogging and WordPress setup and custom work for clients.
Q. What are some tips you would like to share with others who are interested in doing something similar to help out financially?
A. Find something you genuinely like to do — and perhaps would do just for fun — and find a way to make money at it.
Q. How many hours does this position require? Is it flexible? Is it consistent?
A. It is completely flexible. I try to be fairly regular on some blogs and to be reasonably available to my clients.
Q. When/how do you find the time to work?
A. I work on my own blogs while I homeschool my kids in the mornings. There’s a lot of downtime between questions and redirection. So the homeschool room is in my office and we work together on our own things. I stop when they need me.
Most of the work for my clients is at night after the younger kids are in bed.
Q. Are there certain tips/advice you'd want to share with others who want to start working like you?
A. Be reasonable about your real skill set. Be willing to learn new skills and to adapt. Be disciplined in your approach. Don't be afraid to charge for your talents. There are a ton of things you can do online. If you truly enjoy doing something like graphic arts, writing, web design, editing, etc. begin advertising/marketing yourself on classifieds, job sites, by word of mouth, etc. Charging less than the competition will usually help get you started. Charge less but deliver quality. That will help you develop a good clientele and get you referrals.
Q. Was training/schooling required for the position? How/when did you complete it?
A. I have a bachelor’s degree in applied business, which helps with the accounting and business side, but the actual work I do wasn’t even an invented technology when I was in college. I have taught myself by reading lots of books and sites and reverse engineering code, etc. If you are interested in starting an online business, start studying and learning all you can about it your niche. There is a wealth of information and training available online or in other forms. You don't have to have an official education in many cases to begin making money online.
Q. Does the income help a little, a good amount, or is it the main source of your family's income?
A. My husband works full time as an engineer. There have been times when my income was primary (such as during business startups, etc.) but most of the time it has been supplemental. Since we don’t generally need my income, it has given me the freedom to work when I want or when we have a particular financial goal that more income will expedite.
If you have any questions please type them below.
Thank you Alison!
Series 33: Tutoring—coming soon
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