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Building an Empire From Your Living Room: A Business Building Guide for Dads

Rome was not built in a day - as the saying goes - but it was likely mostly built by men while the women were regulated to minding the home and raising the children. Fast forward a few thousand years and women are now among empire builders and many men are choosing to look after the home and children. A Pew Research report in 2012 showed that 16% of parents at home were men, and that number is steadily rising.

The Big Why

Why does one parent choose to take on the stay at home in the first place? While some men and women decide they want to spend more time with their children during the initial growth years, the decision is often due to money - Rising costs and everything from insurance to gas to childcare can prove to be taxing, even with two incomes in a household.Care.com found that, on average, American families spend a minimum of 10% of their annual income on childcare, with some families spending as much as 25% of their earnings on childcare services.

Take Jessica and Trevor - Although both spouses worked in the finance industry when their first child was born, Trevor opted to stay home with their son and since is his wife was recently promoted and earning a higher salary. It was a decision that began as a temporary fix while they found suitable childcare, but the arrangement worked so well that Trevor decided to remain in that role. That was five years, two kids, and a major move to another city ago and Trevor is still happy to be the house dad.

Recipe for Success

The idea of starting a business from home may seem far-fetched, but 61% of home-based small businesses were built by men. The initial idea of a home-based business might conjure images of cosmetics, clothing, more candles, But many service-centered businesses (i.e. accounting, web design, computer repair) Can easily be operated from the home.

If you already have an idea for a business, then you are off to a good start. If you are searching for a business idea, it is a good idea to think about your skills and your hobbies - what do you enjoy? What are you good at? Do you see a need somewhere (at home, in your neighborhood, in your community) that you have an idea to fix? The goal is not to create new and novel, but useful. In short, how can you improve on the wheel?

The Nitty Gritty

Suppose you already have an idea for a business - congrats! Now what, right?

  • Craft a focused business plan - this will be your roadmap as you build your company and a vital tool to present to potential investors (including banks).
  • Create a name for your business. Even if your business is based on a service you provide (like accounting), you still need to give your new company a name.
  • Look into getting an EIN (federal tax ID) - this number is how you and your business will be identified to the IRS. ADD CONTENT
  • Research your business structure options - which works best for you? You may also want to look into the need for a registered agent.
  • Find out if your business needs any additional permits or licenses.

The idea of starting a business can seem overwhelming, but most of the major corporations began small (Flickr, Microsoft, Cisco, Amazon). And it was not always smooth sailing, but the founders also did not give up. 

As Michelle Zatlyn (co-founder of CloudFare) once said, “People don’t take opportunities because the timing is bad, the financial side [is not] secure. Too many people are overanalyzing. Sometimes you just have to go for it.” 

Ready to Start Your Business?