6 Technical Skills Every Work From Home Mom Should Master

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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.

2. Bookkeeping

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.

3. Typing

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.

6. Teleconferencing

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.

Comments

  1. Great tips for starting a home business! Following on Twitter.

  2. Susan Cooper says:

    These are great tips and are revelant to anyone who is starting out. Basic computer maintance is a must when you do not have an IT person at your finger tips. 🙂

  3. Kelly Wade says:

    I can’t imagine how tough it must be for women to take care of a family, a household an run a business out of the house. These are all good tips for those who manage to do it, and really are must-have skills for anyone in business. I’ve been working from home for a little while now and have realized the importance os basic computer maintenance!

    • Yes, there is a lot that goes into running a business and/or working from home. It has great perks though 🙂

  4. Susan Cooper says:

    I so get this. I am a grandmother but the same things still apply when you work from home, just less distractions at times. The one area I could always use some work is Basic Computer Maintenance skills … LOL.

  5. Luckily for us, Moms are use to wearing many different hats.

    And multi-tasking.

  6. One of my main challenges in starting freelancing has been an effective way to keep track of my hours. I invoice via PayPal and also use a standard contract with clients, but I’m still keeping track of my hours in a notebook. Spreadsheets are not my forte, though I suppose I should get busy and dust off my skills in that area.

    • Yes, that can be hard at times. For my work I usually use timestamp to keep track of the exact time I work then enter it into my invoice.

  7. Mary Slagel says:

    Wow. I consider myself pretty tech savvy and there were a few things listed that I realized I don’t remember how to do so well. Great list to get me back up to speed on what I need to learn. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hola BackGrinder says:

    I would add one more to that, and honestly, from my experience interacting with A LOT of stay at home moms I would make it number one, and give it it’s own separate post, or series of posts: professional customer service. If your professionalism and/or your customer service break down people are not going to be happy working with you, if they are still willing to work with you at all. Ever have a rude server in a restaurant, or rude salesperson when shopping for a car? If you are running your own small business you can not afford to be that bad customer service person.

    • That is very true. Customer service is very important in business since you are the face of the company when it’s your own.

  9. Great summary of some things any small home office worker or business will need. Lucky for me I do a lot of this as a job!! I also like to help out people new to the web and blogging so check out my website if you need any help or feel free to shoot me a mail, always happy to oblige.

    Keep up the great blogging and see you on linked in

    ashley

  10. Arlene E. York says:

    The biggest tool is an inquisitive and analytical brain. You have to have computer skills. It’s almost a complete necessity that you have had computer skills, because almost all of the data you are going to need on a day-to-day basis to operate your investigation business is available through proprietary databases over the Internet. If you don’t have those skills, you’re never going to make it. Also, unlike law enforcement who gets a pay check every month, you have to bill the client and keep on top of case files and have to follow through with the paperwork and the electronic filing of that paperwork. If you don’t have computer skills, you’re not going to be able to do that in a more efficient manner. The next thing is that you develop skills for analyzing a problem and know exactly what specific things you are going to need for each individual case. No two cases are the same. You might need photographic skills. You might need electronic surveillance skills. I’m not suggesting that somebody get involved in wiretapping. It’s illegal, but there are certain things that you do need to know how to do, and there are certain times when certain electronic surveillance is legal and you need to know how to do it. You also need to know the laws, to know when you’re able to do that.

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