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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 27, 2016

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!


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. 

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. 

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


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


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)
This is great information. One of the key challenges for many is knowing exactly what they want to do and why. Sometimes, but the best types of home-based businesses for stay-at-home Moms and/or Dads are those that are based on the tasks they find themselves doing on a regular basis or that they like to do. For instance, if someone likes grocery shopping, perhaps becoming a shopping service is the way to go. That way they get paid for doing something they like doing anyway. Just a thought. Thanks, again, for the article.
This is a great list of ideas. Another great idea is to become a Life Coach, Business Coach, Career Coach, or basically any kind of coach.
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


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