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Dawn - edging ever closer to 30, although I still feel like I'm 21. :) I'm married to a youth pastor ('Big G'), and have THREE wonderful kids: a five year-old son ('Little G'), a just turned two year-old daughter ('A'), and our newest little girl blessing, Baby R, was born May 28/07!! They keep me hopping as I juggle them, my WAH part-time job as an accountant, being a pastor's wife, and of course hobbies like quilting, scrapbooking, and blogging!

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Business ideas
I've been thinking a lot lately about businesses I could do from home to make a little bit of money if I decide at some point to stay home and/or homeschool my kids.

Top of the list of course is bookkeeping for small businesses. I think I would enjoy this (well, it would still be work, but as enjoyable as work gets) and it wouldn't take much to get set up. Of course when people in real life found out that I was going to do bookkeeping, there would be a revolt - I'm a CGA (Certified General Accountant, which is like CPA in the States) and therefore would be perfectly qualified to set up a full-service accounting practice (and charge three or four times as much as bookkeeping). But... I don't think I could handle it. I don't feel capable of dealing with all the questions that clients would have, and it would keep me up all hours of the night worrying if I had given someone bad advice or made a mistake and was going to ruin someone financially. With bookkeeping, I am just responsible for record-keeping throughout the year, and then the client would take all the information I had prepared and take it to their accountant for taxes and other financial planning. Much less stress.

My other idea is making custom photo birth and wedding announcements. I have Paint Shop Pro and have a pretty good knowledge of the program, but I would need to get better at it, develop some samples, and probably a website. There seem to be a fair number of sites offering this service, some very professionally done, but I haven't found many in Canada, so maybe that would work to my benefit. It's something that I really enjoy doing.

My main issue with both of these ideas is how to know if there really would be any kind of market for this. I don't know if our area is totally saturated with bookkeepers, or if there's lots of clients just waiting for me to open my doors. ;) I have heard different people at work talking about how there really needs to be more good bookkeepers (which I think I would be) in the area, so I'm assuming they know what they're talking about and that I would be able to get clients. As far as the photo announcements go, I think all we have in this area are the WalMart-type of announcement cards from the big-box stores. But what if that's all people want? We're hardly New York here, maybe people wouldn't be interested in more artsy-type of announcements.

Particularly with the announcements, there would be a lot of work involved (making samples of several different styles, setting up a website, etc.) before I would even open for business. What a waste that would be (both financially and time-wise) if it turns out there's only three people that would ever be interested in such a product. I don't know if there's any way to determine local interest in such a thing before you start. The bookkeeping at least wouldn't be much of an investment beforehand (purchase the latest software, figure out how my organization system would work, and then buy a few office supplies), but still, if I decide to pursue one of these ventures, I would be making the decision to leave my job and stay home, so it's not really an option for it to fail.

I guess I'm just thinking 'out loud' - but if anyone has any insight on starting a small business like this, I would sure appreciate it!

posted at 10:15 AM  

At February 21, 2006 7:20 PM, Anonymous Kristine :) said...

I think about home based buisness opportunities a lot, too, and have the same concerns. Most of the advice I've read suggests starting while you are still employed elsewhere, so that if the business fails, you aren't totally up the river without the proverbial paddle. That would be *hard*, but perhaps easier than quitting and then discovering it's not going to work.

And I have to say, "I hear ya!" on your "Do I even have time to be working" issue! Oy. Me, too! My days are packed and fitting in work isn't easy. Sigh.

I'll look forward to hearing if you take your business ideas further! I think the bookkeeping idea sounds like it might be something that would take off quicker. With the announcements, I'd think you'd really have to sell your wares and build a clientele who would then start recommending you, and it seems like a less "formal" business, you know? More word of mouth, which can take longer. With the bookkeping it seems like you could find a client or two and get things rolling. Just my uneducated-on-the-topic thoughts...

At February 28, 2006 10:33 AM, Blogger Frog Legs said...

I make cards & announcemnets-- but more like "scrapping stuff" type. I sell them by word-of-mouth and in a small shop where I live... it's more for my own amusementt han money though- I work outside the home as well. Good luck to you on whatever you decide to do!


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