For many women moving to Israel, having a job is vital in being able to stay here and live your BIL. Why? Aside from the obvious answer of having some basic form of income, jobs provide an outlet for many wives to do something they enjoy and create order in her day. Many people leave right after Shana Rishona, or even in the middle because many wives feel bored and unaccomplished and cannot wait to get started with real life. That being said, not everyone is cut out to be a ganenet, or work in an office. In addition, not everyone has the schooling experience that may be required for some jobs (see how to continue your schooling here). If you are interested in trying to make the most of your time here, it is vital for you to feel productive. One very popular way of giving yourself that structure, as well as the ability to express whatever talents you have, is to start an at-home business.
But how do I get started?
The first thing to do is to pinpoint a need in your community. For example, you find yourself constantly wondering why there are no normal sheitel headbands in the area. Well don’t stop wondering, start providing!
A business does not necessarily have to be selling a product, but can also be a service. For example, a lot of people tell you how talented of painter you are, and you realize that a lot of women are interested in having female painters paint their walls. Bingo! You just found a need.
Another way of deciding what business you should run is conversing with other people and keeping your ears open. Many times you won’t know of something lacking in the community because you are not yet at that stage. For example, you only have one child at the age of one year and you don’t realize that there is a huge need for a baking chug for children around the age of four. So next time you are shmoozing with a neighbor or are in the park, or even seeing that people keep asking for gymnastic chugs on the WhatsApp group you are on – that might be your big opportunity. One of the most difficult parts of starting a business is finding a need – so once you have done that, you are halfway there.
If you are selling a product there are many logistics that have to be factored in and require serious research. For example, you want to sell women nursing tops (please do, no one does) and you see that the styles that you are interested in are from America. How will you get your stock to come overseas? You have to factor in the cost of shipping and handling as well as the cost of customs. Be aware that dealing with customs is a long and arduous journey. Not only can they detain your stock for days on end, but they can also charge you, at times, more money than the value of what is being shipped. Therefore, it is important to think of creative solutions, such as paying people to bring an extra suitcase, etc. You may also be interested in importing from China. This has the same issues as mentioned above – but generally, if the value is less than 1000 USD than customs do not hold it. Sometimes though, it’s worth seeing if you can get what you need locally.
Additionally, how will it be packaged? If you are selling food, the packaging is one of the most important parts. The packaging must attract the costumers as well as keep what is inside fresh. Will you offer delivery? If you are delivering you may think it’s a great way to get customers but you must also consider how much delivery can cost. It may not be worthwhile to deliver something all the way from one end of Jerusalem to the other. In addition, if its food – you have to ensure that the food does not get overheated when being delivered, so you may need to invest in frozen packs or other insulation delivery options. Where will you store your stock? These all need to be considered.
If you are providing a service, think about what is required from you and factor that into your cost. Let’s say you want to start support groups because you realize that there are no English speaking support groups for women. Firstly, if you yourself are not qualified to lead these groups, then you have to find women who are interested. In addition, you need a place to hold these groups – meaning paying rent. You should also provide water and coffee. It could be you are a talented photographer – but you want to not only provide outside candid shots, you want studio shots as well. It could be to rent a proper studio is too costly for the session price so consider having a pullout studio in your house and invest in some props. Although these are small things, it adds up. It is key to figure out how to give it your all but think outside the box in order to save.