As a society, we often assume that being a stay-at-home parent means not working. The stay-at-home spouse is said to be sacrificing their career goals for the good of kids, while the “working spouse” pursues their dreams. But despite this stereotype, staying at home need not be an automatic death sentence to your earning years. With a little entrepreneurship and ingenuity, house-bound parents can launch small businesses that generate extra cash and enable them to continue working.

Here are some business ideas that are especially well-suited to the stay-at-home mom or dad:

Child Care

(Christian Church of the Hills)
Seen from a business standpoint, the fact that you are home all day is actually an attractive selling point: to other parents. Most parents are not capable of staying at home, and must therefore put their children in daycare. Why not with you? If your home is large enough to accommodate a few kids during the day, this is an extremely straightforward way to start making money. Simply spread the word among your friends and family that you are willing to babysit.

The best part about running a home-based child care business is that if you do a good job, you will likely be assured of steady income for years – possibly even until the children you watch no longer need to be supervised. Parents are usually reluctant to switch babysitters once they find someone trustworthy and affordable.

Freelancing

(DeclanTM)
Freelancing is a business opportunity that capitalizes on one of the stay-at-home parent’s biggest marketable strengths: flexible work hours. Unlike a structured, in-person job, freelancing is not about regimented schedules and procedures. So long as you hit deadlines and produce good work, the clients who hire you do not care at all when, where, or how the jobs get done. Writing is what usually comes to mind when people think of freelancing, but it is hardly the only kind of freelance work available.

BizAmmo.com offers a list of 150 different types of freelance jobs you might consider pursuing. Websites like ELance.com allow people who need freelancers to find them. Sign up for an account if this type of work appeals to you.

Tutoring

(IK’s World Trip)
If you are especially good at any one academic subject (or several) consider opening a home-based tutoring service. According to Care.com, tutors can charge anywhere from $25 per hour or up, depending on your credentials and expertise. Like freelancing, tutoring is a business whose work hours can be mostly or completely set by you. If you need time off, simply don’t schedule any clients during those times.

You can also turn any room in your home into a learning area rather easily. Any clean, quiet space with a large desk or table will work just fine.

Interior Design

(Mickael Casol)
Stay-at-home parents with an eye towards home fashions can parlay their talents into an interior design business. As an interior designer, you can host clients in your home to discuss their goals. Other than a few trips to their home (to size up what type of house they are starting with), most of the work can be done at your home, including:

  • Looking at wallpaper or paint samples
  • Comparing carpet colors and textures
  • Perusing furniture websites
  • Etc.

The American Society of Interior Designers offers free information, FAQs and other helpful resources to aspiring interior designers.

Catering

(Calvert Cafe & Catering)
If you have a lifelong love of cooking, why not start a home-based catering service? All it takes is a food establishment license in your home state and a kitchen that meets your state (and the federal government’s) health standards. Provided you have or can obtain these things, catering is yet another business opportunity that allows you to work on a flexible schedule and accept exactly as much or as little work as you feel comfortable doing.

For maximum results, go after a specialized niche within the catering world – for example, vegetarian menus or Indian cuisine. By promoting yourself as a specific kind of caterer and delivering consistently stellar service, your name and reputation will spread – and your client base will grow.

Event Planning

(dpstylesâ„¢)
Event planning, like interior design, is tailor-made for the stay-at-home parent. If you consider yourself a “people person” and/or have a lot of contacts or experience at putting events together, this could be an ideal fit. Here are just a few of the major events that people typically seek help in planning:

  • Weddings
  • Graduation parties
  • Bar mitzvahs
  • Speaking engagements
  • Corporate functions

Event planning is similar to many of the business ideas discussed above in that it thrives on word of mouth. Once you obtain your first few happy clients, it becomes easier and easier to drum up more business and increase your cash flow – all (or mostly) from home.

About the Author: Irina Kabigting is Webs’ Social Media Marketing Manager. Get more from Irina on Webs’ Blog and Google+.

18 Responses

  1. Reply
    Niles Pritchard
    May 12, 2011 - 03:48 PM

    The people I am an Independent Business Owner with, Conklin, are a great source of, not only money saving products for home AND business, but a great organization to become a part of. For more information on how you can join the Conklin team go to my website (www.nilespritchard.webs.com) or call me direct at 559-840-6976.

  2. Reply
    fernando
    May 13, 2011 - 12:32 AM

    I actually do have another site that is for tutoring for math and this blog has given me an idea or two lol. Mom is not a stay at home mom , but i am a stay at home son so these blog was pritty useful lol

  3. Reply
    John Smith
    May 13, 2011 - 08:13 AM

    Hello Webs
    Plz Show my Site on Webs blog
    my site name http://www.yoursbooks.webs.com

    Thank you

  4. Reply
    Candy A.
    May 13, 2011 - 12:36 PM

    I am a skilled private duty care assistant and I have my own website (http://www.help-at-home.biz) to promote my services. I work on my own schedule and I can choose my clients whom to provide my care.

  5. Reply
    Umm Hasan
    May 14, 2011 - 02:29 PM

    Hi, i run my online store from home, i find it keeps my overheads down, plus i can work the store in the evening when the kids are asleep. I can answer emails on the go with my blackberry, thanks to technology i do not have to be tired to a desk to keep in touch with my clients, update facebook, blogs etc

  6. Reply
    Derwyn Ravello
    May 14, 2011 - 04:43 PM

    Wow, thats pretty cool, I use other methods but this is a good idea, thanks webs!

  7. Reply
    Buxster
    May 14, 2011 - 07:56 PM

    Interesting! :)

  8. Reply
    MAKE Waves
    May 15, 2011 - 08:04 PM

    this gives a lot of useful ideas! thanks webs! http://www.computerzombies.webs.com

  9. Reply
    Thelma
    May 15, 2011 - 08:48 PM

    Hi all,iam a freelance proofreader,mainly on architectural drawings and others.please feel free to visit my site. http://www.ricoproofread.webs.com proof reading fee as low as $2.00. Iam available 7 days a week. Hoping to hear from you soon. Thelma

  10. Reply
    Thelma B
    May 16, 2011 - 05:58 AM

    Hi webs, please view my website http://www.ricoproofread.webs.com
    I am a architectural drawing proof reader looking for clients of any discipline.

  11. Reply
    George
    May 16, 2011 - 06:23 AM

    That’s a very good list of business ideas for stay at home moms and dads. I beleive that there is always a way to earn an income regardless of who you are or what your circumstances may be. Check my site for legitimate ways a stay at home parent can make money with a computer and internet access. http://ways2earnincomeonline.webs.com/

  12. Reply
    JW
    May 16, 2011 - 09:04 AM

    this was very interesting info. Good job :p

  13. Reply
    Laura
    May 16, 2011 - 07:15 PM

    Your ideas looks great, really interesting here in Spain, We are not so much avanced, but we need this type of ideas, and try to do them real!

  14. Reply
    Darlene
    May 17, 2011 - 10:37 AM

    Hi, I’m Darlene and my website is http://www.dwrpoetry.com My website is mainly dealing with poetry. You can make money working from the comfort of your home, writing poems. Each poem can be framed to your liking. I write poems for every occasion. My first book “Journey Within Thee” can be purchased through my website. Check it out!

  15. Reply
    floral
    May 18, 2011 - 03:20 PM

    good info…i appreciate!!

    Legit Earning
    http://freelegitearning.webs.com

  16. Reply
    Ally W
    Sep 11, 2011 - 02:27 PM

    I believe Affiliate marketing is the way to go. Although there are many options, once you get used to this whole process, it’s just a matter of kick back and relax!

  17. Reply
    michelle
    Jun 19, 2012 - 07:40 AM

    Home-based food business, is probably the best solution (except of the local regularities which you need to take care of).

    A chocolate business can be a sweet and successful decision.

    http://www.start-chocolate-business.com

  18. Reply
    katie
    Jul 22, 2013 - 07:31 PM

    I found a great company that focuses on living a natural and healthy lifestyle. While being able to earn an income staying home with your kids. Take a look at http://webs.momsprovide.com

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