I was looking on one of the mum groups on facebook today and again saw the post that says “Hi Mums, I need to earn some money at home, what opportunities are out there?”  Of course the poor mum was inundated with multi level marketing and other business opportunities.

There are two challenges with this approach, the first, it’s completely overwhelming and the second, the poor mum would still be going through to do her due diligence on the business opportunity that was best suited to her.

It made me ponder… bringing in an additional income stream can be simple, but there are some things I’ve learnt from my years in start ups to help you evaluate your new mum business venture sensibly.  If you take the time to ask these questions, it will be much easier to choose a business opportunity that suits your lifestyle and is something you can grow and build comfortably and successfully.

Grab a pen and paper or blank screen and answer these questions.

1. What are you passionate about?

No point selling makeup if you don’t wear any and no sense selling nutritional items if you don’t take them.  You first point in bringing in additional income, is to find something you enjoy.  Something that you won’t curse when you are spending all of your down time working on/

2. How much would you like to earn?

Be clear here, don’t just say heaps or as much as I can.  Start with a number, perhaps it’s to replace your income before you had children, perhaps it’s $500 a month to cover groceries or $1000 to have some play money.  Be clear, be specific, it will help as you review your options to see which are realistic to help you achieve your money goals.  Do some projections – best case and worst case to see how long it may take you to reach your desired income level.

3. How much time can you realistically invest?

When you consider how much you want to earn, be logical, start with how much do I need and work back to whats possible with the time I have.  Some business opportunities are going to take a larger time investment to get off the ground.  It’s important to be real and know if you can do it. No point starting and then running out of steam.  Generally every business comes with a cost to get in and get started.  It may be that you need to purchase some stock, set up a website, design business cards or even purchase a thermomix, enjo cloths, makeup, skincare, nutritional item or other MLM product that you use and are considering selling.

4. How much money can you realistically invest?

This is another one to be real on – can you afford to put in the $600 – $5000 to get you started.  This question alone will take out a bunch of options you may be considering.  I love the idea of having a thermomix and getting other people to pay for it, but inviting them over and cooking.  That, for me, is a great day BUT I have a $250 machine that does almost the same thing and I can’t justify spending another 2K just to get in that game.  It’s each to their own and the amount you spend, will also depend on your passion.  I’ve spent $600 on this blog so far and it’s not earning much at all – free product and a teensy amount from adwords, but that’s OK because it’s a space for me to capture and share tips that I’ve found handy as a first time mum.

5. How long before you need or want your investment paid back?

I love this one, I find it a great incentive to set goals around projects. I’m flagging it because many people have an unrealistic view about when they need their investment back.  We’ve just started a business arm to the nutritional shakes we take for energy.  I know that we need to sell 6 packs to cover the cost of the products we use, if we don’t that’s OK we’re using the products anyway.  There is more upside than that, but it’s an easy way to break it down and set some initial goals around what you’d like to achieve.

6. What are the risks? Can you handle them?

Is there ongoing business costs, web hosting, design, advertising, recurring product orders, minimum targets before you get paid.  No one likes a surprise, especially when it comes to money going out.  Do your due diligence, take of your rose coloured glasses, ask loads of questions until you are comfortable there is sufficient upside and limited downside for you to have a go.

There are SO MANY opportunities available for stay at home parents to earn an additional income stream while you spend most of your time with your children. It pays to be smart about what you choose to do.  After all, it’s potentially something you will do it your only down time, so you might as well love it!

To make money, you have to spend money…. ask yourself the tough questions upfront and early before you sign anything, what are we prepared to invest in this opportunity.  If you do the due diligence and it stacks up, go for it.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy the addition income for your family x

If you have a great opportunity that another mum might love, please post a link in the comments.

Note: Please share what it is that you love and enjoy most about it as well as a realistic view of how much you are making each month.  Lets be real and transparent and see if we can build an awesome community of successful, motivated mums x