If you're a stay-at-home mom, you're already juggling the responsibilities of one of the toughest jobs around. You make lunches, drive to piano recitals, attend PTA meetings, get dinner on the table and referee squabbles like a superhero—all in a day's work.
As expert task jugglers, it's not surprising that many stay-at-home moms run their own businesses. Starting a business as a busy stay-at-home mom is no simple task, but with the right tools and a little tenacity, you can do it.
Here are nine tools that are essential for a first-time "momtrepreneur:"
One of the first things you need for your business is a name. Your brand name is one of the most important contributors to your future success. It needs to be memorable, pronounceable, snappy—and available. Using Namecheckr, you can check to see if a brand name and its corresponding domain names and account handles are available, all from a single platform.
As a business owner, you'll likely need more internet speed so you can share large files, host videoconferences and stream videos without any hiccups. You'll also need to take into consideration other family members who may use the internet at the same time. Rather than guess if you have enough, use this Internet speed tool to determine how much speed you'll need to keep your business running smoothly.
Before you launch your website, claim your domain, or create a work server, you need a hosting platform. GoDaddy is one of the most popular options for a reason: you don't need to be an IT guru to set up, connect and run your website and work server. The company also offers 24/7, award-winning customer support in case you need help troubleshooting.
Businesses need an online presence so customers and clients can find them easily. This starts with a website. While there are hundreds of website platforms out there, Wix is inexpensive and quick to use. Within a matter of minutes, you can add content, images and—if you sell products—a shopping cart complete with payment processors.
When you face dozens of tasks with competing priorities, you need a project management system to help you decide what to do first. Harvest is a tool that helps small businesses and startups keep their projects on schedule and on budget. Over time, you can estimate the costs and time of future projects more accurately to improve the profitability of your business.
Running a business requires you to wear many hats, but sometimes you need a hat you just don't have. The freelancing platform Upwork helps you find freelancers and per-project contractors, ranging from app developers to copywriters, for any job you need to get done. You can search for candidates, conduct virtual interviews, assign projects, track project progress, and send payments all through Upwork's dashboard.
Whether you sell products or services, a business can't run without a disciplined financial framework. Freshbooks is a web app that provides Cloud accounting, making it easy to automate invoices, integrate payment systems, collaborate with contractors, manage financial reports and more. By coordinating all of these financial tasks in one convenient spot, you can get paid faster while keeping clean records of invoices and receipts.
It's easy to create multiple email addresses, but what about a business phone number? Instead of using the same number as your personal phone, use Google Voice to get a free US phone number for your business. You can request one based on your cellphone's area code and have that number route to your cell phone or any other phone you'd like.
Regardless of what kind of business you start, you'll likely have to provide and manage a variety of legal documents, from confidentiality agreements to payment terms. So rather than spend a fortune on lawyer fees, use Shake to find free legal agreements. After answering a few questions, you can specify the terms, request signatures in-person or virtually, and voila! You'll have a binding agreement that you can store digitally or in print.
Running a business is an exciting and significant undertaking, and stay-at-home moms are already equipped with many of the traits that make great entrepreneurs. Combine your mom skills with these nine tools and start reaching for your business dreams today.