R.W. asks from Collegeville, PA on March 22, 2009
Your Thoughts on a Photography & Chocolate Home Business?
I am a nurse that can't find a flexible neonatal nursing job that isn't all nights or weekends. My husband has long hours and travels, so 12hr shifts are difficult. I have 3 middle school boys & 2 dogs to care for. I presently am working as a fill in RN in the neonatal nursery at Doylestown, as it is flexible, but I haven't worked since January. I can't find anything in my area of nursing that works & would really like a change anyway. I dread orienting somewhere again. It is so stressful. Plus I have to work way more than I can fit in my life, during training. I just can't keep the home life together. I have 12y twins (1 hyper & 1 with mood disorder & my 14y has mild dyslexia and needs more help then most with school).
I am not trying to get business. I am new to the area & don't have many friends to ask this of. I am looking into some ideas to earn money for my daughter art college tuition (she is living my dream). I am considering adding a home chocolate business to my present home party business. How interested do you think gals will be about this. It is Dove Chocolate Discoveries. Has anyone been to one of these in this area. I could do home parties, kids chocolate parties, fundraisers and gift baskets. What do you think? Is this a good idea?
Also, I have always dreamed of starting a photography business. I would like to take portraits of mainly babies, kids, and families. I would like to take outside photos, as the lighting is so greatl I have a beautiful yard to use. Do you know of anywhere around here that is a great location for outside photos? What kind of rates have you paided for portraits. I am clueless, I only do my own kids portraits. Also, what do you think about my taking portraits of premies in the hospital for parents? These babies can be in the hospital for months & can't get portraits done like many people do with young babies. I would also like to take pictures in infants in homes.
Your thought are appreciated.
C.W. answers from Philadelphia on March 24, 2009
Hi R....Not sure about the home businesses. Sounds like a lot of work and it seems that our economy is flooded with people trying to make a go of home businesses, but best wishes if you do decide to pursue!! Just wanted to suggest private duty nursing for you for chronically ill infants. There are a lot of infants at home on ventilators who need nursing...check out www.bayada.com They are a great company for whom to work! Take care!
K.K. answers from Erie on March 22, 2009
Is your home party business working out for you? I have seen the commercials that say to start a home business to suppliment the bad economy, but because of the bad economy I don't go to parties like that anymore. I'm sure it's quality stuff and good chocolate but i see that as a luxery that i can't afford. Just my opinion. Might depend on the people in your area.
I love the idea of photographing the premie babies though. That is truly terrific and unique.
I'm slightly aquainted with 3 people who have started their own photography business in teh last year. I'm sure if you googled photography you would find some galleries of photos or websites for businesses in your state. you could inquire about rates and maybe even find a mentor. When you start you could set a low fee for the "session" and the people could develop their own prints until you get up and running. Win, win.
Just a half baked idea, but since you have the nursing training, couldn't you see if any of the mom's need sort of like a nurse/nanny for the first month they bring their babies home? Or does the Visiting nurses association have positions where you would travel to the babies homes to check on them and the parents. that way you'd have better hours, it might be a paycut but you could do that until your other businesses are built up.
Good luck it's great to see people with passion looking outside the box. Our paper just had an article about women starting their own businesses. Pretty impressive.
That reminds me you might be able to get a small business loan, or see if a local college or hs class could help you create a business plan, or advertising ideas or something along those lines. I've heard of schools doing that as a class project benefits them adn you.
sorry for rambling I'll be interested to see what other ideas/opinions you get.
L.T. answers from Pittsburgh on March 23, 2009
Kay K and I must have been sharing the same brain waves. I had the same question about home party businesses (if people really are spending less money right now, are these businesses lucrative right now?)and working as visiting nurse. (My son needed a visiting nurse for awhile at age 2 1/2. Our regular nurse was excellent with kids, but she had a vacation planned. As nice as the sub was, she wasn't as skilled with kids and the visits didn't go as smoothly. I think a kid-friendly visiting nurse is a huge asset.)
That being said, I think both of your ideas are creative and unique and I think you would be able to find interested customers. Sorry I can't help with outdoor locations or pricing - I live on the other side of PA and I'm a bit of a penny pincher. But if you are looking for inexpensive ways to get your name out there maybe try teaming up with local consignment stores, offer to do a fundraiser with the local PTA, seek out mom's groups to set up a "mom's night out" and contact local OB/GYN offies, clinics and maternity wards to offer your services to them and/or give them info to distribute to new moms.
E.T. answers from Allentown on March 29, 2009
In september, I started working for Home & Garden Party. The company recently purchased Home Interiors (they were going bankrupt) and now we are called Celebrating Home. I absolutely love it. I have a 2.5 year old daughter.
I am having very high parties lately. My average went from around $350 in september/november to $450 this past month (march) I have heard women at the parties say that they have not gone out shopping for themselves for so long that they are going to finally get something for themselves. Also, since more people are spending time at home, they want to make it look nicer.
Another area that this business is working for me is through fundraising. We offer a great fundraiser program, and organizations ALWAYS need money, especially in times like this. I really do feel that party plan is recession proof. Also, you put out so little money to get started that if it doesn't work out, you are not really losing anything. I made my money back from my profit on my frst party. Also, with my company (besides getting paid an awesome cash commission), you can earn certificates towards supplies and even the money back that you spent on your kit.
I can't say enough about it. If you, or anybody reading this would like to know more about Celebrating Home, please go to www.celebratinghome.com/sites/erintoth. If you like what you see, please click on "see my story" at the top for my contact infomation.
PS. A little about me, my name is E., and I am 25. I am able to stay at home wth my 2.5 yr old daughter, which is awesome! We live in the Lehigh Valley area. I have been engaged for about 4 years...the wedding will come one day..lol. I am also only 3 classes away from graduation from Kutztown with a bachelors in Psychology. I have decided to take it slow, and only take 1-2 classes per semester.