Over 7.8 million women-owned businesses exist in the United States. Whether you’re new to the work-at-home mom game or have been in business for yourself for a while, there are some technical skills you’ll need to learn to be an at-home business success. These technical skills apply whether you’re running a flower shop from your living room or freelance translating on the side.
1. Basic Office Skills
Being able to run your home office is important. Which office skills you’ll need, though, will vary depending on your business. Some work-at-home moms need to know how to set appointments, answer phone calls, desk organization, and file tons of actual paperwork. Others need to have an email management system and know how to manage electronic files. Either way, these basic office and computer program skills are essential.
As a business owner or contract worker, you’ll be responsible for tracking all your business income and expenses, paying quarterly taxes, and more. If your business is relatively simple, you can probably do your own bookkeeping. One easy option is to use a credit card specifically for your business, which helps keep business and personal expenses separate. Using a credit card in conjunction with a simple bookkeeping system will help you track your business income and expenses, both for tax and personal purposes.
Whatever your business, you’ll probably need to do some of it on the computer. So you’ll need to type, and the more quickly and efficiently you can type, the faster you’ll get your work done. If you’re still doing the one-finger key peck, it may be time to take a typing class to brush up on these skills. Many local libraries offer classes in typing and other computer basics for free.
4. A Website Interface
Chances are that you’ll need a website for your business. If you don’t already have one, you’re probably going to want to get on that right away. Whether you’re running a brick-and-mortar business or actively selling services and/or products online, having a website is essential. Even if someone else does your design, you should know the basics of your website interface. WordPress is one of the easiest interfaces to learn, so it’s a great tool for your business site.
5. Basic Computer Maintenance
You don’t have to be an IT pro to run your own business, but you can definitely save yourself time and frustration if you learn basic computer maintenance. For one thing, you should be actively using an anti-virus software, and you might also want to look into an automated backup service. Other than this, learn to troubleshoot basic computer problems so you don’t have to call in the professionals every time there’s a glitch.
If you’ll be working with clients or vendors that you can’t talk to in person, using a basic teleconferencing software is a good idea. Skype is usually fine for one-to-one conferences, but other, more complicated teleconferencing services are good for pulling in more than two participants.
Even if your work-at-home mom business has absolutely nothing to do with the technical side of life, learning these technical skills can help you keep your business running. Having skills like these will help you save money in the long run, since you won’t have to hire a pro to complete many of these basic business tasks for you.