'Tis the season for setting goals. The beginning of the year is a great time for setting both personal and business goals as a work-at-home mom.
But, research suggests less than 20 percent of those who set New Year's resolutions actually achieve them. The best way to increase your chances of succeeding at your 2016 New Year's Resolutions? Be specific and detail just how you'll attain that goal. Also, choose something that's reasonably attainable. With that in mind, here are eight resolutions for work-at-home moms. (Just keep it simple, and pick just one or two).
Diversify your income.
WAHMs who own their own business know how scary it can be to write your own paycheck. A great way to reduce that fear and create a more stable paycheck is to add diversity to your income sources. It's a WAHM version of not putting all your eggs in one basket. There are many ways to diversify your income—like adding a second service or product, increasing the number of clients you work with, creating a blog, teaching a class, or selling a physical or digital product. The more sources your paycheck comes from, the less you'll be impacted by a market change or a client's cutbacks.
Raise your value.
If you could earn more money for less work, would you? Consider how we connect value with price—if you are ordering from a new restaurant, which do you think would taste better, a $1.99 chicken sandwich or a $8.99 one? You picked the more expensive one, didn't you? Society often places a value on things based on price—we expect a better taste from a $8.99 chicken sandwich, a better haircut for a $50 one over a $15 one. The same principal can apply to many work-at-home moms, as increasing prices can cause some customers to associate a higher value with them. There is a balancing act between offering a higher value and still competing with the market, but it's a good goal to evaluate for 2016.
Master social media marketing.
Social media is an excellent promotional tool, but it's tough to understand. That's why social media marketing makes a good goal for work-at-home moms for 2016. Learn through taking an online class or by picking up a good book. Then, write down exactly what you are going to do to increase social media engagement—be specific about what social media strategies you are going to implement.
Invest time into long term strategies.
Most work-at-home moms are paid once for their product or service. Residual income is when you continue to earn long after you've completed the work. Creating a blog is a good example. Once your post is live, you will continue to earn money from that post (through either advertising or affiliate links) as long as people are visiting that page. Residual sources often don't pay as much at first, but the continued income is a great way for freelancers to build some stability into their finances. Other types of residual income includes royalties (such as from books, stock photography or music), rental property, and interest, just to name a few.
Learn a new business skill.
Learning is a great resolution and all work-at-home moms should continue to learn new things, no matter how small. Or, make it a resolution this year to learn something big. Learn a new service to add to your business. Find out how to create a better business website. Learn how to be more effective at marketing. Identify an area you are struggling in, and resolve to learn more about it through classes, books, online resources or whatever method you pick up new things best.
Save for retirement.
Many work at home moms get so caught up in building and growing their business that they don't save for the future. But, the earlier you start saving for retirement, the better. Even if it's just a small sum, make it a goal to start putting money aside for retirement this year.
Managing both a home and a business is tough—getting organized is a must for better balance. Organizing your office space and home can help, but organizing your calendar is even better. Make it a goal to plan in both large and small chunks. Start by planning out a few things for the entire year—such as when to run to business specials. But then also organize your schedule on a smaller scale, by week. What days will you tackle household chores? What time slots are for work projects? Organizing your calendar by what you need to accomplish that week is a good motivator to get things done.
Stress less, play more.
Being a work-at-home mom is tough because you can't simply leave the office and forget about work for the evening or weekend. Often, the craziness makes us forget why we work from home in the first place, reading work emails or catching up when we should be taking some time to play with the kids. Taking a break can actually be helpful for business—great ideas are more likely to come to a well-rested mind. After all, even billionaires take a break—consider how Hobby Lobby CEO David Green attributes part of the company's success to being closed on Sundays. If the stress of being a work-at-home mom has nearly done you in this year, make it a point in 2016 to take a break. Reserve at least one day of the week off from work entirely (and no, it doesn't necessarily have to be a weekend), and designate family-only, cellphone free time slots on your working days.
While work-at-home moms should set goals all year long, the beginning of the year is a good time to consider big accomplishments to tackle in 2016.
What's your New Year's resolution this year?