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7 Inspiring Home Business Ideas for Stay-at-Home Moms (or Dads)

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7 Inspiring Home Business Ideas for Stay-at-Home Moms (or Dads)

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: May 9, 2013 Updated: September 9, 2013

Home businessAre you a stay-at-home mom (or dad)? Hoping to kick start an entrepreneurial dream or simply looking to bring in some extra income?

Starting a home-based business is a great way to do this. In fact, 52 percent of U.S. companies operate as home businesses (source) and many of today’s biggest brand names were established by stay-at-home moms – (Dorothy) Gerber, Mrs. (Debbi) Fields, and Julie Aigner-Clark (Baby Einstein), to name but a few. But what types of businesses can grow and thrive in the home environment?

Here are some business ideas and considerations for stay-at-home moms!

Freelancing

Perhaps the easiest form of business to delve into and operate is freelancing. Whatever your skill – writing, web design, marketing, tax advisor, or photography – freelancing affords an enormous amount of flexibility and freedom, and can be started with little cost or paperwork. Many freelancers get their start by approaching a former employer or customer who could benefit from their services, then branch out as their body of work and reputation grows.

Freelancing does have its challenges and requires discipline – you are running a business after all. Common mistakes freelancers make include not setting the business up properly and legally (getting the right permits, or licenses), forgetting to put money aside to pay estimated taxes, and not planning for peaks and valleys in cash flow.  

Check out these blogs for tips and guidance to help you through the process of starting and operating your freelance business:

Become a Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants (VAs) provide a wide variety of “virtual” services to other businesses including administrative, marketing and technical support from a home office. My local window cleaner, for example, uses a VA to answer his calls and manage his calendar while he’s busy on-site. VAs are growing in popularity, too, as firms look to cut costs and outsource administrative functions. If you are organized and have an administrative background, this might be for you. Start with your own connections or take advantage of the services of a VA organization or association who can help you get started and connect you with clients.

Make Money from Blogging

Yes, you can make money by blogging. I follow several stay-at-home moms who happen to be fashion and style bloggers – and it’s their business. If you can write and have a passion for a specific topic or hobby that you know will garner some attention, then this might be for you. Income generation opportunities can come in the form of affiliate marketing and advertising on your website or from companies who ask you to review and blog about their products. Look for ways to get traffic to your website through social media, search engine optimization and by getting involved in the wider blogosphere (networking with and commenting on the blogs of others in your niche).

Start a Creative Business

Whether it’s making gift baskets or offering interior design consultation services, if you have a creative streak and the room to store and create, then why not consider making money out of your talents? Get to know the market and do some planning to identify an untapped niche. SBA has several tools that can help including the Build your Business Plan tool and SizeUp a market and business analysis tool that lets you benchmark your business against competitors, map your customers, competitors and suppliers, and locate the best places to advertise.

Start a Home-Based Bakery or Food Business

Food production from a home is heavily regulated but it’s not impossible. Take Martha Stewart, for example—she famously entered the food service business with a basement-based catering company in 1976. Before you start a home-based food business you will need to understand the rules and regulations that govern the production of food for public consumption in an at-home environment. For example do you need a separate kitchen? What about product labeling? And so on. For tips and insight, read: Starting a Home-Based Food Production Business: Making Your Culinary Hobby Your Job.

Child Day Care

Home childcare businesses offer a potentially lucrative and long-lasting business opportunity. A home environment is often appealing to parents and once their kids are settled (and assuming you are doing a great job), then it’s likely you’ll have that business until they are old enough not to need care.

Of course, this is another regulated business and you’ll need to ensure you comply with state and local regulations that govern issues such as the provision of meals, minimum space requirements per child, and the number of licensed care workers per child. For information on starting a child care business including financing options, licensing requirements, and other regulatory matters read: Starting a Child Care Business? Government Tools and Resources that Can Help.

Start an Online Marketplace Store

If you have clutter that you want to get rid of and like the idea of selling products to an established worldwide network of consumers, consider starting a business on eBay, Etsy or Amazon. You can source products to sell from junk/yard sales or charity shops. If you want to get a bit more sophisticated, then consider buying wholesale or adopting a drop-shipping model. The goal is to find products that are in high-demand and not readily available from other sources. Read more about getting started here: More Than Just a Seller – How to Start a Business on an Online Marketplace.

More Ideas

Other business ideas including a dog walking/pet care business, a travel agent, start a home-based franchise business, event planning, architectural design, or tutoring students!

Whatever your idea make sure you start, structure and operate your business according to legal and regulatory requirements. Check out SBA’s 10 Steps to Starting your Business for the facts.

About the Author:

Caron Beesley

Contributor

Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley

Comments:

It's great to hear someone speak truthfully for a change. What I learn in run a successful business online you will need three essential pillars: a vision, commitment and willingness to learn. Your vision Starting out as a solo entrepreneur this is the first thing you must define, because later on it will work as "the fuel" that keeps you going. You need to be clear about your motives to self-employ.
Great article Caron. I am a part-time work from home dad and I am always looking for additional income streams to add to my business. Thank you for sharing your business ideas.
The idea: For me I also have a couple of ideas but because conditions should not allow my condition is still at a standstill. The idea stems from inspiration to do something clean and safe. But for many people, the thought of not sure that the product is clean and safe with their own kind hand made ​​products. Because of this, I came up with an idea to create a small vegetable growing environment in your family. Growing vegetables in nutrient solution or is something not occupy much space housing area. And I noticed that now when more and improve lives and land increasingly narrow, I think people make their own arrangements in a small corner of the house to another plant will
Great article . One of the key aspects of starting an online business is to find your niche and stick with it, for example , find something that you know you'll enjoy doing and you can reap the reward. The easiest business is one that most people will not say no to , or something that most people enjoy , in other words , find something that everyone likes , loves and you will not have to beg your friends and family to participate in .
When selecting a direct sales business, it's a good idea to select a product you love and are passionate about. When selecting a company to represent for direct sales its a good idea to research what tools they have for helping you setup a website, and any sales tools or software to manage your customers and track your sales. Without this type of support your startup capital will be higher. It's also important to know if the company had any upfront startup fees. I personally have found a great heath/nutrition company to represent. Good luck in finding a company whose products you can be passionate about. It makes a world of difference.   This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.
There are thousands of Work at Home business opportunities to choose from. Before you decide to purchase one you should ask yourself: - Which programs are scam and will rip me offs? - Which program best suits me and will make me money? This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.
I'm not sure how much Etsy costs, but E-bay and Amazon market place fees can run fairly high, depending on how much selling one does. Their are a couple of free (or almost free) alternatives (Ecrater, Blujay). However, selling on a free marketplace means more work as one has to work and find their own website traffic.
I love that you included blogging! Blogging in my opinion is a really great way to create residual income. Great article Caron!   This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.
Whatever you do, just make sure you enjoy it. If working from home gives you the flexibility and time to do other things which you enjoy, by all means go ahead with it. I started out with freelance writing and blogging as a means to escape my 9-5 job in the office as well and I've since moved on to other bigger online projects. Sure, things might start out slow and frightening at the beginning but as Oprah Winfrey once said, "This, too, shall pass."
People may mock MLM but it is by far the best way to gain an income from online than any other. There is always a service that needs to be provided and the service that we deal with is coupons. Did you know that the word coupon is searched for over 1 billion times a day on Google. So in the same vain of thinking that you have wrote, our service offers the chance to use coupons to gain an income and save your household money at the same time. No one can see past a choice they don't understand... (The Oracle from the movie The Matrix)

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