Whether you are jumping for joy as your children go back to school or feeling some sadness, you now have the time to think about yourself and your career. We all have responsibilities as mothers. As a full time working mother of three I know the tug of war that occurs between family and work. It’s easy to get to the point of wondering why you are working and what you are accomplishing. Especially if your work environment is one that doesn’t allow you to grow.
Ten years ago I was teaching full time and pregnant with my second child.
I loved teaching but the majority of my paycheck was going to daycare and now with a second child on the way I had to ask myself if my career path was the right one.
I was looking for the ability to set my own schedule. I wanted to be in control of my hours and my income. I had thrown a lot of ideas around until I walked into a children’s hair salon and realized it was a manager based business. I could be the business owner but not have to work in the salon. I knew nothing about hair, I barely knew how to do my own. Although I had no expertise in the hair care industry, I knew I could manage people and after researching franchising I realized buying a franchise was a perfect fit. Franchising is an opportunity to build your own small business without having to reinvent the wheel while having the support of a team behind you. Now ten years later and with eight stores across the Wasatch front my business is able to sustain my family and because of the manager model I’m able to spend my time on other passions.
I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and let’s face it – we are more friendly to the idea of women choosing to raise their children as a full time job. I’ve watched multiple friends leave the workforce and then one glorious year their youngest child starts going to school full time. The brain starts racing, thinking of how productive they will become. For some of us it’s been ten to fifteen years since we’ve worked in our field of expertise. The universe is telling us it’s our turn and the last ten years has taught us that time is valuable and ours cannot be wasted.
How do we fulfill our dreams without wasting our time?
We educate ourselves on all of our options. One option may be small business ownership. There are many free services our state offers in order to help people see their dreams of small business ownership come true.
The SBA Small Business Administration provides a number of financial assistance programs for small businesses that have been specifically designed to meet key financing needs, including debt financing, security bonds, and equity financing. The SBA does not make direct loans to small businesses. Rather, SBA sets the guidelines for loans, which are then made by its partners (lenders, community development organizations, and microlending institutions). The SBA guarantees that these loans will be repaid, thus eliminating some of the risk to the lending partners. So when a business applies for an SBA loan, it is actually applying for a commercial loan, structured according to SBA requirements with an SBA guaranty.
The SBA has three arms that help them assist small businesses throughout Utah. They are SCORE, The Women’s Business Center and the SBDC.
SCORE connects entrepreneurs with mentors to help them build their business with free business advice. Our mentors come from all industries and have the expertise and connections to lead you down the right path. SCORE also provides a number of workshops for small business owners. If you feel a business coach would benefit you a SCORE mentor can give you the advice you need and lead you in the right direction. Mentoring sessions can be scheduled online or over the phone.
The Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center (WBC): Helps Utah women build confidence, create opportunities, and experience success in business ownership. The WBC provides low cost in-person and online training, free individual business consultation, and networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs throughout the entire state of Utah. They believe any woman can start and run a successful business with the right skills, resources, and support.
SBDCs (Small Business Development Center) provide services through professional business advisors such as: development of business plans; manufacturing assistance; financial packaging and lending assistance; exporting and importing support; disaster recovery assistance; procurement and contracting aid; market research services; and healthcare information. Based on client needs, local business trends and individual business requirements, SBDCs modify their services to meet the evolving needs of the hundreds of small business community in which they are situated.
FRANNET is a partner of all of the programs above, providing guidance in the exploration of business ownership through franchise opportunities. If you are an entrepreneur without an idea FRANNET can help. An educational group that will give you an assessment and match you to the franchise opportunities in your community that would best suit you. You can take the assessment for free.
I’ve worked closely with all of these agencies and I have found that many Utahans don’t know they exist. All of these agencies work together to build small businesses in Utah, many of them provide similar services which will allow you to find exactly what you are looking for.
Take a few weeks off, go back to bed after your kids catch the bus. Hit the gym or binge on Netflix and when you’re done have the confidence to go after your next career.