To quit my job and start a small business from home

(23 Posts)
Blablabla1984 Thu 27-Oct-16 22:51:45

I currently have an office job and loathe it!! Too much work, too little money, no appreciation from management.... We've all been there.

My husband has a decent job and pay, our baby goes to nursery full time and my sallary pretty much covers the nursery cost, which I find sad.... I'd rather spend that time with my little one at home.

AIBU to want to quit my job, reduce the nursery days to part time and do some work from home? I feel like that way I'll get to spend more time with my baby and do something I love.

I love cooking. I'm thinking about starting a little catering business from home. Nothing major, maybe just for my town.

Has anyone done this? Am I up for something good or am I out of my mind?

meatloaf Thu 27-Oct-16 22:55:01

I would have loved to have done this. Go for it.

I am a single parent with a super flexible, good paying job. But no career prospects and bundles of stress.

Someone I worked with got made redundant earlier in the year and just did it. She loves it. But hard work... but the job we did was hard work too.

Go for it.

HighDataUsage Fri 28-Oct-16 04:06:27

Before you conmit any money to buying equipment and give up a monthly salary, make sure you research your business idea first. points to consider:
is there a need for the service you want to set up?
* what's your competition like? Are there lots of similar companies offering similar food/services? Lots of businesses fail so it's important to invest time at the beginning on researching target customers, prices etc, business rates, taxes etc.

* If you are using your own kitchen, then you will need food hygiene certificates or similar etc. Talk to your local council about what's required for a home catering business.

* Transport - how would you transport the food and keep it warm/secure during transportation?

* What's your area like? Is it a fairly wealthy area where people have disposable income to spend on luxuries like catered events? There is no point in setting up a business if there isn't a need for it.

*Also, think about whether you would make any profits once you deduct the cost of labour,
ingredients and utilities. You don't want the business to cost you
money instead of making you money.
*what type of catering where you
thibking of?

HighDataUsage Fri 28-Oct-16 04:20:26

posted too soon!

* where you going to take out a business loan to cover your set up costs?

* speak to a business adviser to get a thorough understanding of costs etc.

* maybe go part time at work 3 days a week and dedicate 2 days to your business until you get enough custom. It maybe helpful to have the regular income coming in from your office job at the beginning.

* have you worked in a catering trade before? It might be helpful to get a part time job in a restaurant/ cafe serving the type of food you want to offer in your business. You will pick up lots of tips, information and contacts. Then if you are still interested in running your own business atleast you have industry experience because just loving to cook isn't enough. You need business sense and experience.

user1477282676 Fri 28-Oct-16 04:40:11

I run a small business from home. It's taken me 10 years to get anything even close to a livable income.

I was skating by on bits and pieces for years till I built up a reputaion.

Don't do it unless your partner earns enough to cover you both and is willing to.

My DH basically supported me over those 10 years...now I am finally in a position where I am earning regular money but the stress factor is huge as it's come at a time when we really NEED what I earn.

If a client is slow to pay it can cause nightmares and working from home with children is HARD>

I had to do most of my work at night for a long time when my DC were small....then I was knackered in the day...too knackered to really enjoy time with them.

Bruce02 Fri 28-Oct-16 07:12:35

I own a food type business.

To get it profitable it's taken 2 of us working ridiculous hours for several years to get it earning a decent profit.

At which point I have returned to work. We had a quiet few months and the stress was unbelievable watching the business account go down. I can't live like that. I like to know I will have money coming in at the end of the month.

I decided I preferred employment and have gone back. I also like my independence and prefer being out of the house. I also like having security of knowing I can pay the bills if the business huts a quiet period, if me dh split etc.

Can your dh support you all and is he happy to do that for the next few years while you build it up. It's unlikely to make a profit for a good long while.

It's funny because on a thread yesterday where a man worked part time on a hobby/business and then looked after the kids was ripped apart for being a cock lodger.

I'm all honesty I am glad I did it. But I am glad I don't do it anymore.

SpaceDinosaur Fri 28-Oct-16 07:38:28

I did this. But before babies. Took me 18 months to build up to a livable salary.

I also don't work in catering.

Make sure you research your business thoroughly. Work out all your overheads before you start. You will need your kitchen hygiene assessed for example which for a lot of people means work doing on the kitchen so it hits 5 stars, insurances, advertising and marketing, business bank account, tax/accountant.

Honest to god, starting my own business is the best thing that I have ever done. Incredibly hard work but never been happier.

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Fri 28-Oct-16 07:46:25

I have two small businesses. One of them took three years before I could take a salary. Working for yourself is hard, really, really hard. I wouldn't change it for the world now however the lows are lower than I've ever experienced when working for someone else.

Dozer Fri 28-Oct-16 07:51:14

As PPs say, very hard and hard work to make a profit.

Is it actually a business you want, or to be a SAHM with a hobby type business?

Do you work FT at present? If so other options include a job elsewhere (perhaps in or closer to your desired field) or going PT.

You could do research, business plan etc while still WoH.

As for "just covering nursery fees" there is also the medium and long term to consider.

Would you and your H be OK with him being the sole earner in the medium or even long term?

CheshireDing Fri 28-Oct-16 08:04:12

I wouldn't personally OP (unless you all could absolutely/easily live on DH wage for a very long time).

We have 3 small children (eldest just started school) and when I go back after this last Mat Leave the other 2 will be back in full time nursery again. Full time nursery plus a bit of petrol is basically my monthly salary gone too sad

HOWEVER once DC2 starts school we should be able to start to save again then and if I had stopped work after DC1 I really don't think I would have been able to get back in to my line of work if necessary as I would have been out of it too long in the end.

Yes in a ideal work I would spend more time with the children and full time work and children is very very difficult but the extra money once everyone is at school will give us more flexibility with life/doing stuff/saving etc, financial backup if something happened to DH where he couldn't work.

Sorry not very helpful sad

Smellyrose Fri 28-Oct-16 08:09:49

It's hard to run a business and look after a young child so you'all still have to factor nursery costs in to your budget (unless you work in the evenings).

I'm a SAHM, have tried to start a business but don't have time during the day because of the children and don't want to work in the evenings because I want to see my husband and need to take eldest DC to clubs.

badabing36 Fri 28-Oct-16 08:14:08

I want to do this too. Have tried in the past but didn't get far due to zero knowledge of the costs involved and lack of get up and go.

Is your OH on board? Sounds super anti-feminist but everyone in the business classes I took got told it was important (men too). My partner is semi-supportive but can't really get over the lack of security. Plus he wanted me to spend my evenings relaxing with him rather than doing work, and because I'm naturally lazy I always ended up on the sofa too.

Can you go part-time? It would be good to keep getting money coming in every month when you have a toddler.

badabing36 Fri 28-Oct-16 08:16:13

Oh p.s. Do your local council run a business course? I found it helpful, especially on writing a business plan.

expatinscotland Fri 28-Oct-16 08:18:45

It sounds very unrealistic, tbh.

SheldonCRules Fri 28-Oct-16 08:32:45

Your post makes it sound like you think this will be very easy, reality will be very different. It will take years for you to make a profit and the hours will be long and late which is standard for catering.

What you actually want is to stay home, have lots of child free time whilst your husband works to finance that. Not a deal I'd be signing up to if I were him.

NickyEds Fri 28-Oct-16 08:41:53

Your plan sounds a bit unworkable tbh. I started a (much maligned on mn!)craft business and the work load was enormous. I didn't take home a salary for the first year as all profits were reinvested. I did it for 6 ish years and ended up earning ok money but for a lot of work- worth it for me as I loved it but I wouldn't have wanted to rely on it to pay nursery fees etc. I'm a SAHM now and there's no way I could run the business on top of looking after the dc!

Themoreitsnowstiddlypom Fri 28-Oct-16 08:50:36

OP, it's a nice idea, but you need to build client bases, retain them. You need to fit in with them, they won't fit in with you. Profit will come hopefully after a while , then you may take a wage, but it might not be the one you want.
You usually on,y hear from clients if something is wrong, if you are doing work worth appreciating, those clients will recommend you to others instead generating more work for you.
Running a business is a long term thing and the benefits from it a slow burning you need a lot of time and effort to establish yourself, keep it going and then only if the demand allows it Mold it to what you want.
Many business don't end up like what they were intended to be like as the reality is often very different, some don't last as the person doing it fails to accept the shear heard work and time that goes in and they want the good stuff now.
Sorry if I'm putting a damper on it op, but I'm still running a business 7 yrs on, and it's going good, but it's still not how we would like it, yes I'm please with its success, if I knew back then what I know now would I have done it? Probably not. I have got so much from doing it its enlightening but, there is so much to it that people don't realise until there commuted, it could work out well, or not.
If your counting on flexible working for your kids, I think you could be in for a big shock, you have flexibility in many ways but not like that, the work is constant. God I could just keep going here, I'm going to shut it now, good luck in what ever you choose op, just make it an informed and realistic choice.

Greyponcho Fri 28-Oct-16 08:50:54

Other things to consider are what you'd have to pay in tax/NI etc. and pensions, if your current employer is contributing towards yours or not.
Also sick leave, mat leave etc isn't covered if self employed in the way it would be if employed.
I'm not saying don't do it, I'm just saying consider everything before you do

DiegeticMuch Fri 28-Oct-16 08:52:15

What kind of catering? If it's parties, you'll be working a lot in the evenings and at weekends - is DH fine with that? If it's cupcakes/birthday cakes you won't earn enough to keep your DC in nursery full-time, so it might be better to wait until (s)he starts school (assuming you don't want a second baby).

Working from home sounds like heaven when you have a paid job you despise. However, the reality is different.

dingdongdigeridoo Fri 28-Oct-16 09:27:39

Working from home can mean spending less quality time with the kids. It's hard because your mind is always on work, and the income is extremely unreliable.

Catering is about more than making a few trays of sandwiches. It's really hard work, and not something you should get into lightly. And as other posters have said, it's going to get busiest during times such as weekends when you might prefer to be with your family.

Babyroobs Fri 28-Oct-16 09:34:58

A frind of mine tried to do this when her kids were little. She baked numerous cakes in her own home and sold them at markets at weekends. It was incredibly hard work for very little profit and she didn't do it for long. As others have said i think you would still end up paying for childcare as it would be impossible to run a business with a baby around.

myownprivateidaho Fri 28-Oct-16 09:38:09

As others have said you need to decide whether you are doing this as a business or a hobby. If the latter fine but you need to treat the decision as if you are taking time off to be a sahm with all the implications that has for future work prospects, finances etc. If the latter you need to work out a business plan and probably accept that it will be very hard work.

EssentialHummus Fri 28-Oct-16 09:46:58

I would start a "branching project", OP. Set up a simple (free) website, advertise yourself locally as a caterer, and try to make a go of things in the evenings or weekends. You'll find out very quickly whether you're committed to this kind of work, and whether or not there's a market for it.

I left law to start working for myself a year and a half-ish ago. I love it, but it's hard. At a job, it doesn't affect you much if there's nothing to do / if you're twiddling your thumbs for a day or two. When you work for yourself, it means there's no money coming in.

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