How moms can find opportunities to chase business dreams - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

How moms can find opportunities to chase business dreams

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(ARA) - While raising children, many women find themselves looking for a solution in which they can work, while still being involved in their child's life. This may be one of the reasons for the rising trend of successful "mompreneurs" - women starting and running their own businesses, often from home.

There's no need to choose between being a parent and running your dream business. Female entrepreneurs have been phenomenally successful in the recent past, with more than 8 million women-owned businesses in the United States.

This trend doesn't seem to be a blip on the radar; in fact, women entrepreneurs are poised for continued growth over the next few years. Women entrepreneurs in the United States will create more than 5 million new jobs by 2018, which is more than half of the new jobs the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to be created over that time, according to the Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute.

When women do make the leap to start their own businesses, research shows that they may be more successful than their male counterparts. The Institute also found that female small business owners may succeed because they are more engaged in strategic facets of their business, more committed to creating opportunities for others, and more customer-focused than their male counterparts.

Becoming a mompreneur is exciting, but your dream business won't start itself. BizFilings, an online incorporation provider, offers the following business tips for mompreneurs, both aspiring and current.

Start a business that lets you follow your passion. If you plan a business around a hobby or something you enjoy, work can be fun, and you may not mind putting in the extra hours it will take to make your endeavor successful. BizFilings has helped over a million entrepreneurs start a business, and has incorporated businesses large and small, from fabric stores to Facebook. Starting your business gives you the freedom to choose your dream job or something that lets you spend more time with your family.

* This past year saw continued growth from "digital moms," or women bloggers, turning their blogs into businesses. If you have a blog, you can draw revenue from companies who agree to advertise or promote their products or services on your blog, turning something you love into a successful business model.

* If you have a soft spot for our four-legged friends, consider capitalizing on the millions people spend each year on their pets. Start a pet care business for busy pet owners who don't get a break in the day to take Fido for a walk. If you'd rather take your pooch to work, opening your own pet store (or pet bakery, a rising trend) can give you that flexibility.

* Starting your own bakery or restaurant may seem daunting - but a food truck presents a unique opportunity to break into the food industry. Food trucks are popping up in cities nationwide, with Americans embracing the trend of mobile eating. Serving everything from crepes to cupcakes and sushi to sandwiches, this trend may be perfect for food-fueled entrepreneurs.

Create a business plan that works for you. This can be one of the most important first steps to starting a small business. Business plans aren't tailor-made - everyone considers different things to be important. Use the Small Business Administration to help you write yours by visiting your local chapter or by using the resources available on www.sba.gov.

Consider incorporation to protect your family. When you're starting up a business, you may have to rely on your family's savings to get the business off the ground. Incorporating your company can protect your family's assets and savings by providing a layer of liability between your business and your savings. If anything goes wrong, your family's home, vehicles and even your child's college fund could be at stake - but not if you've incorporated.

Incorporation can also grant you a better financial foundation when getting your business off the ground. Women are more prone than men to finance their business on credit cards - a risky gamble that often backfires with bad credit and steep interest charges. Getting a loan from a bank is a much savvier business decision, and incorporating your business can be a crucial factor in showing the bank that you take your business seriously.

"If you have a dream business, we'll incorporate it - it's that simple," says Karen Kobelski, mother of two and a member of the leadership team at BizFilings. "And as a supporter of mompreneurs, we help our customers pick the business structure that's right for them and their family."

Becoming a mompreneur can have many benefits other than spending more time with your kids. Working from home can come with its own set of tax breaks, as long as your designated home office meets certain specifications. The government also provides specific programs to help women entrepreneurs, including grants and loans as well as specific contract work not available to other entrepreneurs. To find out more about government assistance for entrepreneurs, visit the SBA's website, www.sba.gov.