13 Business ideas for Stay-at-Home Mums

Being a stay-at-home mom is fun and challenging when dealing with preschool kids, but once the kids are off to school, it can get pretty boring pretty fast. With lots of free time on your hands and no interest in going back to your 9-5 job, you need something to do to kill time, keep you busy and entertained.

Here are 13 business ideas that are sure to keep you busy and bring in that much needed extra cash. What’s more, you can do them from the comfort of your home.

1.  Freelance Writing

The freelance writing field is one that has seen a major boost in recent years with brands seeing the need for creatively written papers to sell their products and good content for their websites. There is an ever-increasing need for writers, and the pay can be anything from $5 to over $1000 per article. How much you charge depends on your credibility and how much you think your writing is worth.

To break into this field, you’d need good writing skills, a computer, and access to the internet. Here’s how to launch your freelance writing career in a few easy steps:

  1. Find your niche: A niche is a field you’re most comfortable writing about. It can be business, health, and wellness, family, relationships, career, etc. When choosing your niche, go for something you know and understand pretty well. You’d be shooting yourself in the leg if you pick technology as your niche when you can hardly operate your iPhone.
  2. Launch a Website: Your website is your home on the internet. It should have samples of your writing, your price list, and contact information as well as what you’re willing to write and in what way (e., ghost-writing or guest posts)
  3. Write a Lot: Put yourself out there, submit guest posts to websites in and outside your niche, this helps build social cred and the more credibility you have, the more you can charge.
  4. Start Pitching: Find businesses that need your services and offer to write for them. Point them to samples of your work on your website and around the web to show that you’re worth the investment. Don’t forget to include pricing.
  5. Post Testimonials from Clients on your website: The best way to advertise a business is by word of mouth, get your clients to attest to your expertise and put the testimonials up on your website, so prospective clients know how good you are.

You can find freelance writing gigs on Upwork, Fiverr, Toptal, Craigslist, 99designs, PeoplePerHour, and Freelancer. They’re all easy to set up, and you can start earning almost immediately.

 

2.  Arts and Crafts

One great business that’s easy to start and needs very little capital is arts and crafts. As a stay at home mom you probably already have materials and tools required for tailoring, crochet, and knitting. Turn this useful skill into a money-making venture by putting up your crafts for sale on sites like Etsy.

Depending on the craft you choose to specialize in, you’d need a few hundred dollars to get started. If you choose to sell online, you’d also need a good camera (your phone already has one), a laptop and internet access.

You can make children’s toys, sweaters, blankets, quilts, baby clothes, woodwork ornaments, etc. The possibilities are endless, and there’s a shop waiting for you on the biggest e-commerce website for crafts makers, Etsy. With Etsy you can make as much as 30 dollars per item and the more time and materials go into making an item, the more you can charge for it.

Etsy was created specially to bring small time craft makers and consumers who want authentic handmade items together. The site is however saturated so you’d need to do a little extra to get people to notice your products. Things you can do to increase visibility and sales include:

  1. Become active on social media: Pay attention to Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, there are markets on those sites just waiting for you to tap into them. You can put up How-to posts on your social media pages and host contests and giveaways to drive traffic your way.
  2. Buy paid Facebook ads
  3. SEO: Search Engine Optimisation involves incorporating keywords (words customers are likely to use when searching for a product like yours) into your Etsy profile, product name, and product description. This makes your shop and your products more visible on Google and Etsy search engines.

There are several options you can explore if you decide to start an arts and crafts business. Choose something you’re familiar with and can do easily to maximise your input and earnings fully.

3.  E-commerce Retail

If you’re not the arts and crafts type, you can break into the online retail world by buying and reselling goods. You can sell old items in your house that are no longer in use, cute fashion items, books, pretty much anything that can be bought.

To get into this gig, you’d need a laptop, a good camera, and internet access. The world of e-commerce is one just bursting with profit, and how much you make depends on what and how you sell. It’s also something that doesn’t require a lot of time so you can do other things alongside it #MultipleStreamsofIncome.

You can sell on Etsy, eBay, Craigslist, Amazon, Shopify, BigCommerce and others around the web

4.  Blogging

Over the years, blogging has turned out to be one of the more lucrative online businesses. Mummy blogging is all the rave right now; people are in dire need of motherhood hacks, and as a mom, you already have the content they want. If you put enough work into this venture, you can turn it into a profitable business in a really short time. You can post ads for businesses, sell eBooks and resources and even host trainings. All you need for this is a computer, writing skills, and access to the internet.

Set up a blog with WordPress yourself for as low as $100 (costs for the domain name and hosting space) or hire a professional to do it for you. Hiring a web developer can cost you north of $500, but it’s a worthy investment for the money-making machine you’re about to acquire.

5.  Childcare

As a stay-at-home mom, this is your daily routine. Take it to the next level by turning it into a profitable business. You can invite working moms to leave their preschool kids with you or pick up older kids from school and care for them till their parents get out of work.

You’ll need a licence for this though, it’s one thing to look after your kids or occasionally watch over your neighbour’s kids, but once you want to make a business out of it, the government has to be involved. You’d also need lots of space, toys and other playtime paraphernalia, mats for naptime, food for the kids and a spacious car for school runs. You can charge parents per hour for each kid and extra for toddlers.

6.  Virtual Assistance

If you have experience with administrative roles, this is the perfect stay at home job for you. Businesses are constantly looking to save money by outsourcing traditional secretarial roles. As a virtual assistant, you may be responsible for tasks like taking calls, organising calendars, bookings, sending and responding to emails, organising travel, etc. All of these can be done from the comfort of your home with zero hassle.

Potential clients include freelancers and start-ups so if you know any, offer your services for a fee. You can find VA jobs on Upwork, Peopleperhour and other freelance sites.

7.  Transcription

Transcriptionists are in high demand; medical practitioners, lawyers, and seminar speakers need transcription to help them keep records for future reference. Transcription involves typing up the content of audio or video files and can be done easily from the comfort of your home.

A few things you’d need to break into the business are:

  1. A computer and internet access
  2. Typing skills: To succeed in this business, you’ll need to be able to type at least 65 words per minute with at least 98% accuracy. You’ll also need to type using proper grammar and punctuation marks and be able to identify which word is used where homophones creep in.
  3. Equipment and Software: There is a good amount of available software specifically made for transcriptionists. While you can use MS Word, you won’t get premium functionality as with transcription specific applications. These have better autocorrect features, shortcuts, hotkeys, and other features that make your work faster, easier, and more accurate. You’d also need a foot pedal to pause and resume typing and control speed and a good quality headset.
  4. A quiet room
  5. Choose your niche: To have a successful career as a transcriptionist, you’ll need to have a niche. It’s easier to transcribe when you’re familiar with the field, so decide if you want to be a medical, legal, or general transcriptionist.
  6. Enrol in a course and get proper certification. This will give you more credibility

You can find transcription work on Fiverr, TranscribeMe, GoTranscript or by offering your services to businesses and professionals.

Note: Although you can get work without certification, having a certificate, especially for a specialisation, gives you credibility and a competitive edge.

8.  Teaching

Teaching is a very broad category, and the possibilities are endless. If you love to impart knowledge, this might just be the field for you. What’s more, you don’t have to teach school work. Here are a few things you can specialise in:

  1. Tutoring: You can teach basic subjects to students who need some extra help or become a home-school teacher. You’ll need a degree in Education for this.
  2. Music: If you have some musical talent and the required instruments, you can give music lessons right from your home. Though Piano lessons are the most popular for kids, you can teach any musical instrument.
  3. Arts and Crafts: If you enjoy working with your hands, you can turn it into a moneymaking venture by teaching arts and crafts to kids. You can teach drawing, painting, sewing, crochet, etc.
  4. Cooking: Turn your kitchen into a culinary school by offering cooking classes to kids and adults. You can teach your students to make basic meals, bake or even create culinary masterpieces.

Whatever you choose to do, teaching is one field where you can’t go wrong. It requires little to no capital, and you can charge as much as you want. You can also teach online courses and get teaching gigs with sites like Tuteria.

9.  Photography

Freelance photography is another great business venture. It can be expensive to start up, but it is highly profitable. You can specialise in wedding photography, fashion photography, or event photography amongst others. You can also sell your pictures to stock websites or publications; very good photos can get you as much as $1000.

What you’ll need

  1. Photography skills: You can take a course in photography and photo editing.
  2. Camera and camera equipment. This can cost up to 10,000 dollars.
  3. Software like Photoshop and Lightroom for photo editing.
  4. Studio space (optional). You can always photograph outdoors, but certain fields require a studio space. You can fashion a room in your house into a studio if you have space.
  5. A website to display your photos: This serves as a digital portfolio. You can also make use of Instagram and Facebook.

If you decide photography is the one for you, you should keep in mind that you may not see your profits for a while. Also, consider getting an apprenticeship with an already established photographer.

10. Makeup Artistry

Becoming a makeup artist is another way to generate income from your home. You’ll need some professional training (which can be gotten for free on YouTube) and in some areas, a cosmetology licence.

What you’ll need

  1. Makeup skills
  2. A makeup box with makeup and makeup supplies, including a variety of foundations, eyeshadows, lipsticks, and more. Your supplies will include various brushes, sponges, exfoliants, wipes and many more.
  3. A website and advertising to get yourself out there.

The business can be operated right from your home. Your clients can come to you, or you can offer home service at an extra cost. To make some extra money, you can sell makeup and makeup supplies.

You can also add hair styling to your list of services offered so your customers see you as a one-stop shop for their beauty needs and you can make some extra cash.

11. Catering

If you love to cook and derive joy from feeding people, turn your passion into money by starting a catering business. Here’s how to start:

  1. Decide what you want to specialise in, i.e. small events, parties, cocktails, desserts, etc
  2. Get the required licences and permits
  3. Create a menu: stick to dishes you’re comfortable cooking. Try to work in vegetarian or vegan options for clients who don’t eat animal produce. When you’re done working this out, host a party to test your menu on your family and friends.
  4. Contact vendors that can give you discounts or sell at wholesale prices
  5. Buy professional cooking equipment
  6. Find a space: Some jurisdictions prohibit people from selling food from their home kitchens so you may need to rent a space. Instead of getting your own space, some kitchens allow people to rent their space for hours or a full day.

Before you go into this, you may want to consider the costs carefully. Running a catering business requires costly kitchen equipment, a van, and staff. This can get pretty expensive, so you want to be sure you can afford it before starting out.

12. Freelance Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategic approach to marketing that leverages sharing of valuable information in the form of articles, eBooks and videos to draw attention to a product and effect sales. In recent times, this has become a go-to method of marketing for brands, and content marketers are in high demand.

To get started you’ll need:

  1. A niche: As with everything else in the freelance world, finding a niche would make it easier for you to give your best on jobs.
  2. Ability to create quality content
  3. Marketing Skills: To be a content marketer, just knowing how to create content isn’t enough. You need to know how to market a product to generate leads successfully. You can take a free course online on content marketing.
  4. Knowledge of keywords and SEO
  5. Knowledge of ROI tracking

Content marketing is one of those fields that don’t require a lot of capital but requires a lot of knowledge. You need to understand the inner workings of the internet and the psychology behind consumer behaviour as well as be able to create quality content that stands out. This looks like a lot, but it’s pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it plus a career as a content marketer can earn you a five to six figure salary.

13.  Gift Basket Service

Gift baskets are always in demand, and not everyone has the time or talent that goes into organising one, and this is where you come in. Running a gift basket service is a simple and not so costly way to get busy. So, if you like giving gifts and know how to shop for the perfect gifts, this is the one for you.

Here’s how to start out

  1. You’ll need a business name, registration, and any necessary permits. It’s best to cover all the legal stuff upfront.
  2. Find suppliers that can get you goods you need –e., wrapping paper, ribbons, baskets, and gift items– at low prices.
  3. Prepare some gift baskets as samples for your clients and take high-quality
  4. Set up an online store using Etsy, Shopify or other e-commerce sites and select your delivery service.

Setting up a gift basket service is one of the cheapest ways to go, you can start your business with as little as $300. It’s also easy and doesn’t require a lot of time and effort.

Conclusion

Keep in mind that whatever business idea you choose to explore, your earnings depend on how committed you are to making your business work. Also, choose a business that fits your lifestyle and won’t totally overhaul your daily routine.

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