How to Make Money at Home

5 Ways to Get Your Business off the Ground

1. Do your homework. Ask potential clients and customers what they need from a business like yours, and how much they're willing to pay for it. Research the competition in your area, and figure out a way to set yourself apart.

2. Check legalities. Call your state, city, or town government to see whether you need licenses or permits to operate.

3. Make connections. Network at women's business groups, professional organizations, and online work-at-home-mom sites like hbwm.com and mompreneursonline.com.

4. Line up childcare. You can't expect kids to nap reliably or play quietly at your feet while you work. Explore budget options like drop-in programs, mother's helpers, and trading off with friends.

5. Create a business plan. Write down your goals, your earning expectations, and the hours you're available to work. Understand that it may take a year or more to become profitable. For business-plan help, go to sba.gov and score.org.

Copyright ? 2006. Reprinted with permission from the June 2006 issue of Parents magazine.

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