Stay-at-home parents are often on the lookout for plausible business ideas that will allow them to balance home life with work. But a lot of the suggestions for parents in this situation have to do with e-commerce – I.e., selling products online. And not everyone has the resources to manage an e-commerce store efficiently. Others would rather not spend that much time online.
Since running a profitable business hinges partially on one’s ability to stay motivated, getting into a business that doesn’t feel like your niche is probably a bad idea. Luckily, for all those parents in search of home business suggestions that aren’t e-commerce, there are plenty to choose from.
If you’re looking for something that fits with your busy family life, here are a few suggestions, courtesy of Lauren Design.
Some education-based home business ideas
One option to consider is whether you might be able to teach classes out of your home. For those with experience in education or academics, offering tutoring services could be one way to do this. You could help students prep for tests, or coach them in your area of expertise. Even if you aren’t academically inclined, there may be other kinds of classes you could teach. Art, music, and dance are some popular possibilities. Or if you are skilled in a trade, you could teach more hands-on skills such as carpentry, engine repair, or plumbing. If you have more of a business background, you might be able to offer classes in financial management or marketing – or provide consultation services for newbie entrepreneurs.
Service-related business ideas.
Another option for an in-home business that would give parents a certain amount of autonomy and flexibility is to consider service businesses. This could range from offering in-house salon visits, hairstyling, and massage, to advertising one’s services in pet sitting. If you love taking care of kids and can handle more than your own, you may want to think about opening an in-house daycare center. If both parents can swap their schedules around, another possibility might be to start a business providing transportation or delivery services. Do keep in mind, of course, that for some of these business models, training, licenses, and/or certification will be required.
If you like staying active.
For parents who shy away from e-commerce because they prefer an active lifestyle, think about what business ideas would allow you to keep moving. One of these might be as a fitness instructor or personal trainer. Or, if you like animals, consider a dog walking business. Another fun option might be to start gardening, lawn care, or landscaping business. Some of these ideas might even allow you to take your kids with you sometimes, so they too can stay active out in the fresh air.
Making your business official.
When you start a home business, you still need to think about it the way you would any business, and this includes planning your launch strategically. Draw up a business plan and budget and be sure you have the funding you need. You will also need to consider making your business an official legal entity. Incorporating your business might be advisable as this will give you better liability protection, as well as possible tax benefits. If the process of incorporating seems confusing, a formation service can help you take care of this easily. Once your business is live, don’t stop thinking about it professionally. You will need to have a good marketing campaign, as well as a plan for financial management and accounting.
Protecting your work/life boundaries.
One thing that can be a serious damper on the excitement of business ownership is when it starts to overwhelm every aspect of your life. This is a risk, especially for home business owners. It’s important for you to maintain clear boundaries between work and life so you don’t get burnt out, and so your business profitability does not suffer. You can help protect these boundaries by having both a set schedule and a designated workplace. If you choose a business idea that you are enthusiastic about, and which lets you tap into your talents and interests, chances are you will stay successful and motivated. Plus, you will continue to have the freedom to set your own schedule and spend valuable time with your family.
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