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Welcome to our first guest blogger, Sarah Bull of EconomyMom.com! We're glad to have her aboard The High Roller Blog this month! She contributes regularly to several small business blogs with her knowledge and expertise while helping fellow entrepreneurs. We know many of our readers either work from home or have started their own businesses due to the pandemic. We're sure that this article will have advice that you will find helpful and insightful in your career path.
The Pandemic Brought Challenges and Opportunities for Women
For many women, the COVID pandemic brought new levels of anxiety and stress. Women found themselves working from home or out of work altogether. The pandemic thrust both stay-at-home and working moms into the roles of homeschool teachers. Then, as schools reopened, working women were at the mercy of inconsistent school schedules.
Many women lost their jobs during the pandemic. In families where both partners work, the burden may be easier to bear when one wage-earner is out of work or experiences reduced earnings; however, when a family depends on a single woman’s income, it can be impossible to make ends meet if she loses her job.
Closing Childcare Centers Impacted Working Women
The pandemic's impact on childcare presented another blow to women on several levels. Families that depended on childcare during the workday scrambled to arrange care for their preschool children. Many single women with children had no choice but to stay at home during pandemic lockdowns.
Childcare centers were among the closed businesses. Closing childcare centers also left many women without income, since over 90% of childcare workers are female.
Some women whose jobs went remote during the pandemic were able to maintain their positions at pre-pandemic pay; however, working at home and watching children proved challenging for those with young children who required constant supervision. That situation can be stressful for two parents, so imagine the challenge for a woman who has the sole responsibility for working while caring for children.
Many women continued to work outside the home during the pandemic because they were essential employees in health care, education, retail, and other fields. Often, they endured the stressful toll of long hours away from their families.
An Unexpected Silver Lining
A silver lining that came with working at home during the pandemic is that employers found that remote work did not impact productivity, which meant more opportunities for women to perform their duties from home or coworking spaces, where they could network with like-minded individuals. Opportunities for working online have grown in several disciplines as well, including business, health care administration, and technology. Many of these work-from-home jobs offer competitive salaries and benefits.
In addition to spurring more opportunities for remote work, the pandemic was a catalyst for a boom in businesses started by women. Ventures started by women entrepreneurs include consulting, coaching, retail, and technology businesses. These endeavors can potentially grow into larger enterprises that create jobs for thousands.
Marketing for Success
Women who start online or brick-and-mortar businesses can benefit from marketing plans. Marketing isn't a one-shot activity; it's an ongoing process that keeps customers engaged and eager to return for products or services.
Structuring a Business for Success
Forming a limited liability company (LLC) has advantages, such as protecting the owner's personal assets from business lawsuits and tax benefits. The entity in your state that regulates small businesses can offer information on forming an LLC. Local governments and small business centers at community colleges may also be sources of information. Filling out the paperwork and filing it with the state may seem a little overwhelming, and many people don’t feel comfortable doing this alone. If you’re in that boat, reach out to a formation company like Zenbusiness.com to help you along.
Positive Outcomes for Women
Due to the pandemic, the public gained new appreciation and respect for essential workers, including first responders, health care professionals, teachers, and childcare providers, many of whom are women. Many women also started successful businesses.