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Ideas to achieve a values-based business practice

About our Guest Expert Cheryl Demas, Founder and Editor of WAHM.com

Cheryl DemasWith the demands of a new baby and a 7-year-old who had been diagnosed with diabetes, Cheryl Demas decided in 1994 that it was time for her to stay at home with her two children. But in Cheryl's mind, staying at home didn't mean giving up a career that had included 11 years working at Honeywell and CableData and a degree in mathematics and computer science. Intent on finding a way to put her skills as a software engineer to work, Cheryl began surfing the Internet for work-at-home opportunities.

After wading through the work-at-home scams and schemes, Cheryl launched a web site design business, but at the same time, she felt the pull of creating a site where she could post her thoughts about starting a home-based business. "I wrote about my home business experiences and the transition from being a working mom to an at-home mom." Cheryl says. "I soon heard from women from all over the world who were in the same boat: women who wanted to be home with their kids, but wanted to work and make money too."

So WAHM.com was born.

From her home in Folsom, CA, Cheryl has built a web site that draws more than 2 million hits per month and, with advertiser support, makes money. Sponsors and users aren't the only ones giving WAHM.com recognition. The Go Network gave WAHM.com its best three-star rating, one of only 16 women's magazines to receive such a rating. USA Today featured it as a hot site of the day and Better Homes & Gardens remarked, "Mothering is working at home, of course, but WAHM.com is for women holding down two jobs: as a parent and as a stay-at-home breadwinner." Cheryl has been featured in BusinessWeek, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, Forbes, The Chicago Sun Times, and many other publications.

In addition to running a booming web site, Cheryl decided to share her experiences (and expertise) in juggling the demands of being a WAHM and starting a home business. In 2000, her book, The Work-at-Home Mom's Guide to Home Business, was published.

Cheryl and her husband, Mike, have two children, Nicki, 14, and Dani, 6. If you'd like to contact Cheryl, you can visit her web site.

Cheryl's Answers

I'm a stay-at-home mother of 2 small children... and am looking for a way to make some extra money without going to work outside of the home. ... I've had the idea of making baked goods and selling them to businesses in the local area for quite some time now.... but I don't know where to start. Do I need a professional kitchen like caterers? If anyone has done this themselves, or has done research on the subject, I would appreciate any input - whether positive or negative - on the subject. Thank you! -Angie-

I'm interested in buying a maid service franchise, but I have some ?'s. ... I have the $$$ to do this but I'm kind of scared to get in over my head! Can anyone give me some advice on how to get more information on this subject?

I want to start a baby business. I have no idea where to start and how to make it happen! I know that I'm going to make baby outfits, baby keepsakes and possibly a baby book. .... Any help I can get will help me more than you know.

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