It’s always been my desire (based on my experience of having my mom stay home with me for many years, and a desire God placed on my heart many years ago) to stay at home with my kids (the first one is on the way!). I’ve really come to claim the home as my domain. I enjoy being at home and taking care of my home. I know our family is better off (for us, that means less stressed and more organized) because of the effort I put into creating an inviting, relaxing, well-run home life. I certainly feel like I’ve been called to a stay-at-home mom life.
But the funny thing is that it’s also very obvious to me that I’ve been called to be a working mom. It’s been necessary for me to contribute to the family finances since my husband and I got married, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Plus, I’ve been given (and I’ve cultivated) marketable skills and talents – and wouldn’t it be a total waste of potential if I didn’t use them?
That was a fork in the road that I reached in 2009. It didn’t feel right to be working outside the home anymore (even though my husband and I didn’t have kids yet, I knew I needed to start laying the groundwork for when we did), but not contributing to the family finances wasn’t an option either. So I struck out on my own and began working from home. It’s been a rollercoaster ride, but it’s the absolute best thing I could have ever done for my family.
Over the last several years, I’ve received so many emails from stay-at-home moms who are desperate to find a way to earn an income from home. My heart breaks every time I read one of those emails because I can just hear the sadness in their voices. Wanting to be at home with your kids, and not being able to, must be so incredibly frustrating. This is a cause – helping women who want to stay at home with their kids and still earn an income be able to do just that – I want to put my full weight behind.
Let me be really, really clear. If you want to earn an income from home, you absolutely can. Most of the women I’ve encountered just want to earn a part-time income, so that’s what I’m focusing on in this post, but just keep in mind that a full-time income at home is totally possible too!
So let’s get into some home business ideas. You’ll likely notice that most of these are things you’re probably already doing as a stay-at-home mom! It’s just about refining them and turning them into products and services.
1. Offer your services as a cook and prepare healthy meals for other families.
People are busier than ever these days. And one of the first things that goes out the window when you’re extra busy is meal planning and preparation. That’s where you come in! Offer your services as a cook, take on a few families as clients, and make some homemade, affordable, healthy meals for them weekly. Make sure to take things like allergies and whether or not there’s a law where you live about selling food made in your own home into consideration.
2. Become a nanny, host a very small daycare in your home, or regularly babysit.
Not everyone wants to, or is currently able to, stay home with their kids. And if you ask them, they’ll tell you that finding a good childcare provider is frustrating and expensive. Once people find a childcare provider they like, they’ll do almost anything to keep them. If your home is (or can be) set up to safely host multiple children, think about offering childcare services. Remember to look into things like insurance and acquiring any needed licenses and such before opening up shop.
3. Help plan events like weddings, birthday parties, and community events.
Offer to take some of the details – like making phone calls, checking out venues, doing research on the best pricing, seating charts, etc – off the event planner’s plate, and charge a project or hourly rate for your help.
4. Do some online or in-home tutoring.
Are you a homeschooling mom? Do you have a teaching degree you’re not using? Are you college-educated? There’s a market for you as a tutor! I’d suggest keeping things local (you’ll have a lot better success), but there are certainly online tutoring services you could join. Tap your personal network and let people know you’re available.
5. Be an at-home administrative assistant for a local small business.
Here’s the thing about small businesses – they don’t often have the budget or space to hire full-time employees. So a lot of times, you’ll find not enough people doing too many tasks. Reach out to small businesses in your area and see how you could help them from home. Could you input data? Could you scan files into a program? What about making phone calls? Find and fill their needs.
And psst – I wrote an eBook on how to become a virtual assistant! Perhaps reading that would be a good place to start. Also, I’m a virtual assistant coach and I’d love to chat with you.
6. Write and sell eBooks on Amazon.
You’re an expert on something. Identify what that is, and then write about it. The keys to creating an eBook that sells are finding a problem that you can solve, writing something different (or taking a different stance on a topic), and over-delivering in terms of helpfulness and content. Then, find someone to edit the eBook for you, have the eBook formatted and have a great cover image made, get it up on Amazon, and then tell everyone about it!
7. Make and sell beauty or health products.
A lot of stay-at-home moms make their own beauty products and herbal remedies. Consider selling those things online (like on Etsy) or in-person at community events like local markets. Make sure you know the laws in your state about selling such items.
8. Go to garage sales on the weekends, buy some hidden treasures, and then turn around and sell your finds.
My husband and I are big fans of American Pickers. One person’s two-dollar piece of trash can be another person’s twenty-dollar treasure! Spend your weekends going to garage sales and hunting for great buys, and then turn around and sell those items online (like on eBay or Craigslist).
9. Be a personal travel planner.
If you can hunt down a deal, love details, and are great at Internet research, you could plan vacations for your friends and family!
10. Make and sell furniture and crafts.
If you’re a handyman or you’re crafty, sell your creations online!
The best advice I can give you if you’re looking to earn money from home is to take a look at your interests, hobbies, and skills and figure out how you can capitalize on those. Also, evaluate what you’re already doing – like cooking for your family and taking care of your kids – and see if you could be doing those things for someone else.
Before I wrap things up, there are a few more tips I want to give you:
- If you can’t afford to create a website right now, at least set up a Facebook page. You need to have some sort of online presence people can go to in order to find out more about your products or services. When you’re ready for a website, I recommend Namecheap for domain names, Bluehost for hosting, WordPress to power your site, and StudioPress to make your website look snazzy.
- Get and distribute cheap business cards. If you hand someone something, they’re more likely to remember you and the conversation they had with you. Plus, it makes you look professional.
- When it comes to marketing your new products or services, your first customers or clients will almost always come from your already-existing network (friends, family, coworkers, members of groups you’re in, etc). So focus on those people first, and then focus on other marketing methods.
- If you provide a great service or have a great product, it’ll market itself for you. Just focus on providing a superior service or offering an amazing product.
I’ll turn it over to you now. Do you work at home? How have you turned your hobbies and interests into a small business? What other home business ideas do you have for stay-at-home moms?
Image Credit: antanask