No Money, No Credit . What Do You Do

Beverley Williams I receive numerous questions about start up money for home-based businesses. Frequently, people tell me they have no savings, bad credit, no income, young children, etc. And, they don’t know what kind of business to start. In the case of one woman who asked me for help, I advised her with the following:

There are several issues here to address:

  1. Bad Credit and No Money
  2. Finding Your Perfect Business
  3. A Young Child

But this is not a case of three strikes and you’re out. What you will have to do is face the reality of several issues.

First, your bad credit needs to be repaired. If you still owe money and are having difficulty repaying, look in the government section of your local telephone directory for a non-profit organization called Credit Counseling Corporation or something similar. This group will counsel you on how to get out of debt and help repair your credit. They can arrange lower payments to your creditors and sometimes lower interest rates. Depending on the amount of your debt, it may take 3-5 years to get your debts paid off; but, in the meantime your finances will become more manageable and you will reduce your own stress level.

Second, once you have a plan for repaying your debts, commit to putting aside a percentage of what you have left into a business start-up fund. Anything is better than nothing but try to commit to a set amount each pay day, even if it means cutting back on something else. Watching your money steadily grow will give you encouragement.

Third, be realistic in your plans to operate a business and take care of a pre-schooler at the same time. Both require a lot of time and attention. It may still be necessary to have periodic daycare for your child so you can concentrate on your business.

It is possible and best if you start planning your business now. If you are still unsure of what kind of business you are interested in, here are several good resources for you to consider:

1. Books about different kinds of home-based businesses. I particularly recommend “Best Home Businesses for the 21st Century” by Paul and Sarah Edwards that lists about 100 different businesses being successfully run from homes across the country. Also, a book by Lisa Roberts called “How to Raise a Family and a Career Under the Same Roof.” Which will help with the realities of how to do that. These and other books are available at libraries, bookstores and online bookstores for under $20.

2. Call the Office of Economic Development in your city and ask if there is a Small Business Development Center in your area (a division of the Small Business Administration) or, find one at their web site at and click on the link for SBDCs.

3. And, finally, continue to dream and believe in yourself while taking positive action to move all this forward. Being an entrepreneur is hard work but worth all the effort. It takes initiative and determination to start and be successful in your own business. And when you operate that business from your home, you must learn how to balance your personal and business finances, your marketing needs, your work, and your personal life all under the same roof. The rewards are great but do come with a price. Hard work and determination will make your dream of a home-based business balanced with spending time with your child a reality sooner than you think.

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