With the economy taking a downturn, many couples find they need two incomes to run their household and maintain their lifestyle. But for some parents, returning to work is often not an option, whether for personal or financial reasons. Fortunately, many businesses can be operated from home and can bring in some extra cash. Here are some proven business ideas for stay-at-home parents.
Freelance writing is a great opportunity for stay-at-home parents, as you only need a computer and internet connection, as well as a bit of creativity. You will end up writing on a variety of topics, but it is a good idea to start by writing about subjects with which you already have a good deal of interest or knowledge.
It is a simple business to set up with very little overhead, and it also gives you lots of flexibility to create your own work schedule, if you adhere to your clients’ deadlines.
A specialized variation on freelance writing is grant writing. Grant writers usually work for non-profit organizations and companies to generate funds for research and development, and it can often be a more lucrative writing business.
There are an enormous number of different types of grants that companies need to apply for, but most businesses won’t have an in-house writer to assign the grant writing projects. Grant writers generally do not need any special qualifications, but it is a good idea to do your research, learn some specific grant writing techniques and source funders.
Like freelance writing, freelance editing allows you the freedom to work at your own pace. However, you may need a little more specific knowledge of grammar and referencing types, depending on the kind of editing work you find.
You will need to understand the different types of editing, such as developmental editing and copy editing. However, if you have a good eye for detail and a thorough knowledge of English grammar, freelance editing can be a successful and rewarding stay-at-home business.
Websites are essential for any business, but often business owners don’t know how to construct or maintain a website. A website consultant must possess the ability to manage web content, so an understanding of SEO and a knowledge of links and affiliate programs is necessary. A basic understanding of graphic design, copywriting and marketing is also desirable, however, as your business grows, you could always opt to outsource these tasks to other freelancers.
A transcriptionist is required to transcribe audio, and in some cases, video tracks. There are several specialized transcription niches, such as legal and medical transcription, which are more lucrative than standard transcription services.
Though you don’t need any specific qualifications for the job, most transcription companies have minimum typing speed requirements and require you to undergo tests to assess your suitability.
If you plan to make this your primary source of income, it’s worth it to buy some specialized equipment for the job, such as noise-canceling headphones and a transcription pedal so you can pause tracks without stopping typing.
Virtual assistants have become increasingly popular as big businesses try to cut unnecessary costs. A virtual assistant performs many duties including administration, marketing and social media, and in some cases, technical support. You will need to be an incredibly organized person because you will be dealing with multiple schedules and clients daily.
Bookkeeping from your home is a great business idea for qualified accountants. However, you do not have to be a certified accountant to work as a bookkeeper, although you will need to have the appropriate knowledge and bookkeeping software.
You should focus on advertising your services to small businesses in your local area, because they generally can’t afford to keep a permanent bookkeeper on staff. Then build up your client base until you have enough clients to create a full-time workload.
Companies are always in need of graphic designers to create visual content for websites, posters and advertisements. A formal graphic design qualification is a bonus if you want to become a freelance graphic designer. Many of the fundamentals of graphic design can be learned online, and graphic design software is becoming increasingly user-friendly.
Tutoring can be done from your own home, you can travel to students’ homes or you can work remotely, so it offers some measure of flexibility. Depending on the subject matter, you may need to have a college degree. Or, you may have a musical passion you can share, so you could be a vocal coach or piano instructor.
However, some tutoring jobs, such as remote English tutoring, require only that you have a fast internet connection and good conversational skills. Many ESL students are simply wanting to practice their English with a native speaker.
Blogging has fast become a popular form of communication on the web. Anyone who has a passion for something can blog about it. However, it does take some time and dedication to monetize your blog.
You will need to find a niche in which to write, and dedicate time to networking with other bloggers in your niche. You will also need to familiarize yourself with affiliate marketing, and various techniques for increasing your blog traffic.
There is a huge need for childcare facilities as more families have both parents working outside of the home. Home daycare and after-school care can be an excellent way to work from home while spending time with your own kids as well.
Though you may not need a formal qualification to be eligible to operate a childcare facility, most states require that operators undergo some sort of training, and you will need to get licensed.
If you are handy with a sewing machine and have a creative mind, a custom sewing business can be a great business venture for a stay-at-home parent. There are a variety of niches that you could delve into. However, for a more lucrative business, it would be a better idea to diversify the services that you offer.
Unfortunately, this kind of business has some relatively high start-up costs and overhead. One way to keep your overhead low is to source to a reliable wholesaler that caters to your niche market. For example, if you are interested in hand embroidered t-shirts, you can cut down materials and labor costs by purchasing wholesale blank t-shirts online.
Another creative venture that can turn into a great money-making business is opening an online store selling handmade goods, such as jewelry or natural skincare products. Natural skincare products are cheap to make and can be sold with a high-profit margin, as the trend for natural products is currently booming.
If skincare isn’t your passion, there are a myriad of other handcrafted items that you can sell online through marketplace platforms like Etsy. Candles, jewelry and printable artwork are also popular items on these kinds of online stores.
Depending on the layout of your home and yard, you may be able to teach your passion to others. Many Pilates instructors, soccer coaches and others offer private instruction. Just make sure your certification in your field, as well as in CPR and first-aid, are up-to-date.
For culinary-minded people, catering can be an excellent way to express your creativity as well as make some great money. Just be aware there are rules and regulations governing how you use your home for a hospitality business. You may need a second kitchen dedicated to the catering business, which could mean that the start-up costs may be prohibitive.
You will also need a way to transport your goods to your clients. Consider these situations before beginning your business.