Running your own business as a mum can be a great way to keep working, doing something you enjoy (hopefully!) and make it work around your family. You might have had an idea tucked away in the back of your mind forever, a dream you’ve always wanted to pursue that you’ve kept in check for “one day, when the time is right…”. Or maybe you’re thinking about working for yourself for more practical reasons, but are not really sure what to do. Or perhaps you have so many bright ideas buzzing around you can’t decide which one to choose! Whatever your scenario, if you’re thinking about starting up a business or working for yourself from home, here are some questions to ask yourself to help work out whether your idea is one to pursue or not.

Is it a skill you are good at already?

Life’s hard enough already without making it harder for yourself! Doing something that you already know and are already good at is often the simplest way to start a new business. You’ll feel more confident as you’ll be in your comfort zone, and, since you won’t need to spend your time learning a new skill, you’ll have more time to spare to develop other aspects of the business, or on your family life.

Is there a need for it?

Have you really spotted, where no one else has, that ever decreasing gap in the market? Or could it be that your bright idea is offering a solution to a problem that doesn’t need to be solved? Maybe your business idea has been tried before, and fizzled out because there was no real demand for it. Make sure you do your market research to test this, or your new business will end the up the same way.

Are other people doing it already?

This can work both ways. If they are, it can mean there is a demand for it, but then of course increased competition! So you’ll need to weigh up whether there’s room for another similar product or service in the area you’re looking at, and think about the ways you can differentiate yourself to make sure you get your share of the market. How can you do it better and differently; who – and where – else can you expand your business out to?

Does it get you excited?

Last but by no means least – if you can do something you enjoy and get paid for it too, then you’re on to a winner! This is not necessarily the same as choosing something you’re good at; if you’re good at something you’re more likely to enjoy it, but sometimes people choose a particular path because it’s familiar and easy, rather than what they really have a passion for. You’re more likely to make something work if it lights that spark in you – it makes it easier to get out of bed in the mornings for one thing! But a word of caution – your dream may not be everyone else’s, so try not to lose sight of your customers or market demand in all your excitement.

If you’ve worked through all those questions, you’ll be in a much better position to draft your business plan, so good luck, you’re well on the way!