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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:

An eye opener for many who thinks that working from home cannot be an eventful one. With the change in economic system there are many opportunities to earn not only good but one can make prospered career, while sitting back at home.
I have had some good luck with blogging and list building combined. Niche blogging can be very financially rewarding as well as personally rewarding if you are blogging in an area you are passionate about. There is much to learn and the money is not instant as some would claim. One should not expect to start making money with their first blog for at least 3 months after starting out. The trick is to keep the content or articles coming and use in SEO keywords when writing to get free traffic to make the business more economical.
Great article!I joined now the community and i am pleased to see how much useful information you can find here. There are plenty of options for creating home businesses. I am a working at home mum and so far i have been able to have a sustainable and profitable business run from home. The key is to choose the right one that fits in your personality. If you are a creative person, you should have a creative business. The big challenge is to conciliate your home business with the rest of the family. But possible and achievable with good organization skills!
Love your article, some great general concepts to help start the brainstorming process. I've had my own home businesses for the past 15 years, from home daycare when my kids were young, to a nutrition and personal training business, but leverage is really the only way you can get into those higher income brackets. About five years ago I discovered the networking industry and it has truly changed my life and the lives of my family. Feel free to contact me to find out more about how to succeed in this industry. I'm representing the world's best tasting and healthiest coffee in addition to a range of cutting-edge science-based health and nutrition products. It's imprtotant to find a company with unique science-based products that YOU can get excited about. Let me know if I can help you in your search for a great home business. All the best, Jackie
Make money by blogging is a very clever way, because the blog to use, does not take much time to create it, less cost. But you have to know the content management posts anymore.
This is a great post. I've also been trying to get my Business from home going. It's been a long learning process, but well worth the time!
In these 7 home business ideas, I would prefer to work as a freelancer or make money through blogging. Virtual assistant jobs are really hard to find. Can you suggest any company that hires virtual assistants without an online interview?
There is always a market out there if you start in the right place. It had always been a dream of mine to own a brick and mortar business to be my own boss. Then I stopped wanting to work and use my brain instead, so I turned to the internet. So many opportunities abound on the web and far too often people are turned off for fear of being scammed. I know I was which is why I'm trying to make it easy, honest, and put some personality into it. To change the sterotype and let the everyday person who needs what this can bring finally reap the benefits. If starting a business from home while the kids are at school :) or spouse is working :( is what you're debating go look into it. There's something here for everyone who's internet money hungry. Look hard enough and you'll find the proverbial needle in the haystack. I did, as did so many others before me, and so many more will continue to.
This is a nice starter list to get the ideas flowing... The best way to start is with your existing talents - what are you already good at that you can make money at? There has to be a buyers market in whatever you ultimately decide to do or else you'll end up with an expensive hobby.
This book has tons of good ideas. All the women in it did it and are successful. I think it was written by a Country Living magazine editor but not sure. It's so helpful and has a workbook in the back to spell out exactly what you need to do to start something. (This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.)

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