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Girl Talk: Starting a Home Business

Q. I really want to stay home with my baby, but we could use extra money. I have an idea for a craft business but have no clue where to begin or, honestly, if it's crazy to try. My son is only 4 months old! What do you think?

A. As a craftaholic myself, I think having a creative outlet is a fabulous idea, not a crazy one. Anyone who finds a hobby she enjoys stands to benefit both mentally and parentally by indulging in said outlet.

But you shouldn't do this for the money, because there isn't any. At least, not in the beginning. Getting a business off the ground takes money. This is particularly true if you are starting from scratch with no contacts or business training.

But let's say that your handcrafted goodies sell like hotcakes, and you are able to pull in a little extra moola. The bigger kink to work out is how much time you can devote to this venture. While it's true you will be at home with your baby, make no mistake about it: You will be working (probably close to full-time). So you need to think about whether you'd hire a caregiver or, if not, how you would carve out enough hours each day to manufacture, advertise, and ship items, not to mention comparison shop for materials.

If you want to test the waters before committing to a full-blown operation, why not list a few things on eBay.com

Finally, don't worry about your son's age. This is a great time to get started because for the next few months you can still tote him around in a carrier and count on naps. Good luck!

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