Starting your own business has never been more popular than it is today and women of all ages and walks of life are increasingly quitting their old jobs to become entrepreneurs.
And when we talk about business ideas for stay at home moms, the list is almost endless!
The truth is, some moms just can’t dedicate themselves to working full-time as much as they did pre-baby, so they need to find alternative ways to make money that don’t require them to spend 40+ hours a week in an office.
While starting a small business can seem like a daunting task at first, business ideas for stay at home moms can be as simple as working as a freelancer, where you get to make your own schedule and work as much, or as little, as you like.
Of course, any business ideas for stay at home moms that I share are applicable for dads, as well, and all stay-at-home parents who would like to work at home and spend more time having fun with their kids!
1. Selling handmade jewelry
In my circle of mom friends, there are at least a handful of women who are super talented and creative when it comes to designing different things.
They are always the ones to go to when you need ideas for a handmade poster, for example, and they somehow always find a way to create something that looks like it came straight out of Michael’s.
If you have a knack for creating, whether it be designing handmade jewelry, Christmas stockings, or anything else under the sun, you can find a way to turn it into an online business.
Etsy is a great platform for independent designers, where your products can be seen by customers all over the world!
Who knows, maybe your side hustle could turn into a profitable business.
The Etsy guide for beginners will give you all the info you need to kickstart your small business in the best way possible.
You can also try selling some of your items on bigger platforms such as eBay but over there you would be competing with much bigger businesses.
Creating a strong social media presence is also key for every business but especially those that are just coming up.
Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are important for building a following and generating interest for your products.
Luckily, these websites often have very affordable advertising rates, and you can reach thousands of potential new customers with a very small investment.
2. Start a consignment boutique
As shoppers are becoming increasingly aware of the harmful effect that fast fashion has on our environment, a rising number are turning to thrift stores and consignment boutiques to shop for new clothing items, making this another great small business idea.
In addition, such stores offer apparel at much more affordable prices than big brands do, which is another reason why they are so popular, especially in eCommerce.
When you run a consignment store, you agree to sell other people’s clothing items for a cut of the profit – this rule applies no matter if you sell online or in a physical store.
Most of the time, the profit is either split evenly (and I advise you to do this if you’re just starting out) or the store takes a higher cut of the sales, such as 60 percent.
In any case, you will only pay the original owner after you sell their item, so startup costs won’t be as high as they would be if you were paying for all the clothing upfront.
As a rule of thumb, any apparel you sell through your boutique shouldn’t show any visible signs of wear, such as stains or tears.
Doing so might hurt your reputation in the long run and lead to losing customers.
But if you stay dedicated to selling good quality products, your little boutique might just turn into a very lucrative business!
As far as business ideas for stay at home moms go, consulting offers the opportunity of working from home part-time while also allowing you to draw on your previous career skills and connections.
For example, if you used to work as a sales representative in the pharmaceutical industry, you can work as a recruitment consultant on a freelance basis and help others find employment in different pharmaceutical companies.
Alternatively, you can help young job-seekers (especially those that are straight out of college) improve their resumes and cover letters or even organize online courses where you can provide tips and advice to larger groups.
Over time, this might even turn into a full-time job – but one where you are the boss and get to decide your own hours!
4. Blogging and freelance writing
A freelance writing business might seem like a vague idea at first – I mean, what are you even supposed to write about?
This is another area where your past experience comes in.
If you worked as a teacher, for example, you can reach out to educational bloggers or try and find writing gigs on Upwork in this field.
Trust me, there are so many sites out there that are looking for engaging web content.
Another way to make a profit from your writing is to start your own blog, although you should only take this route if you’re really passionate about something and are willing to put in a lot of work before you start to see some payoff.
After a lot of hard work, you might just find that your blog has generated a big enough following for you to start incorporating affiliate marketing into your posts.
This means that if you really love a product, you can write a post about it, link it through an eCommerce website, and if a reader buys the item, you will get a small percentage of the sale.
If you have some serious writing skills and know how to get your point across with just a few words, then a career in copywriting could be perfect for you.
Copywriting is different from blogging in the sense that you are directly trying to influence people to purchase or subscribe to a particular service or product, which is why experience in marketing is always welcome!
That being said, lack of previous experience doesn’t have to hold you back, as there are numerous online courses you can take to sharpen your skills and make yourself a more appealing candidate for freelance gigs.
Another lucrative field in freelance writing is grant writing, where your job is to write grant proposals for non-profit organizations.
Since non-profits rely on external sources of funding, for them it’s key to come up with proposals that will secure them the necessary funds.
To become a successful freelance grant writer, past experience volunteering or working at a non-profit is always welcome because you will already be familiar with what this kind of work entails.
But there are also numerous online courses to help you get started and you can even check out the courses at your local colleges or universities as many offer classes in grant writing.
As building a professional network is key for every prospective business, I would suggest you to do some volunteer work at a local non-profit (if you have time, of course), which will help you get connected to people that could help you land your first gigs.
5. Professional scrapbooker
Even though our digital devices can store hundreds of thousands of photos and memories, there’s still something special about a carefully designed scrapbook that you can hold in your hands.
They make for a wonderful gift for birthdays, wedding anniversaries, graduations – you name it. Plus, you never have to worry about them getting accidentally deleted or lost in a computer crash!
If you have a knack for decorating and being creative in general, you can try your hand at starting a scrapbooking business.
After all, not everyone has the time (or the talent) to make their own scrapbooks, which makes this a great business opportunity.
To get your business off the ground, I definitely recommend investing in your social media presence where you can generate interest in your product and find your first customers!
What’s more, the costs to get this kind of business up and running are minimal as you can take all of your orders online and ship them by mail.
And when you start advertising your services, make sure to mention that you are a family-owned business, as many people would rather support a small, local business, rather than a giant corporation.
6. Virtual assistant
Working as a home-based virtual assistant is a fantastic way to earn some extra income without having to work full-time or sacrifice too much of your family time.
Virtual assistants, or VAs, can have a range of responsibilities – from entering data to managing and scheduling appointments.
But you can extend your business offerings to much more than that and include, for instance, researching different topics or even project management.
It all depends on what kind of transferable job skills you already have and capitalizing on them.
Specific skills are always more appealing to potential clients as they will know exactly how you can fulfill their needs.
As you gain more experience in this field, you can always incorporate new services and ditch those that just aren’t profitable or don’t attract as many clients.
Having your own website and a detailed LinkedIn profile will also show clients that you’re serious about what you do and will also give them a sense of who you are as a person, in addition to your skills.
As there are many VA businesses out there, a creative website can help you set yourself apart from the rest and make sure that you attract more and more clients!
Apart from marketing your business, it’s also important to decide how you are going to charge your clients!
You will find that many VAs charge an hourly rate while others have a fixed price for a particular service, so it’s worth researching this in detail to decide which model is most appropriate for you.
For any up-and-coming business, finding those first clients is the number one priority.
When you are just starting out, it’s important to decide who your most preferred clients are and reach out to them by email, for example.
Knowing how to pitch your services in the best way possible might take some work and development but once those first few offers start coming in, your business will only grow!
Once you gain a number of clients who can recommend your services to their network, you will find that prospective clients are coming to you – and not the other way around!
Making all those cookies and cupcakes for all sorts of school celebrations and bake sales might have just turned you into a mommy version of the Cake Boss!
A small baking business is one of the best business ideas for stay at home moms with a knack for baked goods who genuinely enjoy spending time in the kitchen trying out different recipes.
After all, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t prefer homemade cookies and sweets to the ones you can get at the grocery store, so you don’t have to worry about a lack of interest in your baking.
But before you get excited and create social media pages for your business, it’s important to decide what kind of goods you will be selling.
You might think that casting a wide net is the safest route to take as you will be able to cater to a variety of tastes.
The truth is, this approach might cause more trouble than it’s worth and will cause you to feel overwhelmed at the beginning since you will have to focus on getting a variety of recipes just right.
My advice is to pick a niche and stick to it! Do you make the most amazing cake pops?
Then cake pops it is! The same goes if you enjoy making cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, donuts, and so on – one or two items on the menu is always better than a dozen.
Focusing on one recipe only will allow you to perfect it, and give you enough room to experiment and make it your own.
After you have decided what kind of baked goods you’re going to sell, it’s time to figure out a strategy for how you’re going to get your name out there.
You might make the most amazing cinnamon rolls, but that’s not worth much if the only people that know are your kids and your husband!
A good place to start is your extended family and friends, who can recommend your business to their coworkers and friends, or share your social media pages.
On the other hand, don’t underestimate the power of good-old-fashioned newspaper advertising!
While the younger generation might have almost forgotten about reading the paper, many senior citizens still enjoy them and shouldn’t be ignored as a target group.
Another great strategy to apply is to come up with a special. Think “2 for the price of 1” or “buy 2 get 1 free”.
You can also incorporate a limited offer and gift a free item with every purchase, such as a small magnet or keychain – people always love free stuff!
If there is a farmer’s market in your community, I definitely recommend setting up a booth where people can come and purchase your products, and most importantly, meet you!
Believe me, customers are more likely to return and recommend you to others if they feel like they know you, so getting out there and meeting people shouldn’t be underestimated.
To make sure that your returning customers stay loyal to your business, you can always offer them a special deal from time to time, or include a nice gift with their order.
8. Graphic design business
The graphic design industry is developing at an incredibly fast-paced rate, which means that there are many clients looking for quality designers to help them improve their visual identity.
If you already have some experience working as a graphic designer, you might be ready to get your business off the ground.
If you’re still new to the field, however, it’s better to spend some time working as a freelancer before launching into the business world.
While graphic designers who are able to work on all sorts of projects are definitely in demand, showcasing your specialties will help you land more clients who are only interested in one service, such as getting a logo made.
Be prepared to spend a lot of time targeting potential clients, writing pitches, and working on your website.
In addition, you will need to get an understanding of what other graphic design businesses are doing to attract new clients, and if there is anything that you can learn from their marketing strategies.
9. Nail salon
One of the best business ideas for stay at home moms is to begin a nail technician career and get their own salon up and running!
Come rain or shine, nail techs usually have enough loyal clients to keep their business running.
Think about all those weddings and other special occasions that call for a manicure, on top of all the ladies that get their nails done on a monthly basis.
While working as a nail tech from home is not always possible, or legal, depending on where you live and what the specific regulations in your state or country are, it’s a great business idea to consider if you are looking for a new career path.
Still, becoming a nail tech is not as easy as some might think and requires you to put in months of studying and training.
First, you will need to get a certificate at a cosmetology school and then get licensed.
During your studies, you will not only learn the basics of caring for people’s nails but you will also understand how to properly sanitize and keep your salon clean.
After you get your license, you are permitted to legally work as a nail tech.
While it’s important to have passion for what you do in order to be successful, you need to have strong people skills and plenty of patience to really find your footing in this career.
Some nail appointments can last for a couple of hours, during which most technicians chat with their clients, so it’s no surprise that many nail techs become close friends with their loyal clients.
On the other hand, anyone that works in the beauty industry knows just how hard some clients will test your patience with their demands, so it’s important to know how to keep your cool.
Although, as a mom, I’m sure you’re already a pro at keeping it together even when your kids are pushing all of your buttons, so a few demanding clients will be a walk in the park!
While having a good social media presence is key for any business, nail techs can get a lot of attention on Instagram and this is usually the first place a potential client will go to in order to see how good your skills are.
If you’re already Instagram-savvy, then you will have no trouble running a successful page.
Even so, it’s worth checking out some successful nail techs to see what they are doing to keep their profile interesting and engaging.
It goes without saying that building up your portfolio is one of the most important things to focus on in the beginning and if you’re struggling to find clients, you can get the ball rolling with your family and friends.
When, or if, you decide that this career is right for you, you can rest assured that you will never be bored.
Nail trends keep changing and advancing, so there’s always something new to learn!
Thankfully, you don’t need to take any state exams or go to a specialized school to start a photography business! But you do need passion and willingness to work hard.
Anyone can get a professional camera online, but that doesn’t necessarily make them a photographer.
Proper lighting, for example, is really important when capturing the perfect picture and a good photographer will know how to manipulate different factors that result in a beautiful image.
If you’re an amateur who takes every opportunity to snap some pictures with a camera, maybe it’s time to start thinking about turning your hobby into a profitable business.
Thanks to the internet, there is no shortage of online courses that can take you from a beginner to a pro in a relatively short period of time.
What’s more, there are courses that can even teach you the basics of using image editing software like Adobe Photoshop, which will help you add a special touch to all of your work.
As a photographer, there are different ways to make money.
For example, you can start off by photographing real estate or different businesses such as bars and restaurants – these establishments always need good quality photos for their websites.
Many young professionals also need good portraits and headshots for their resumes, Upwork, or LinkedIn profiles, so you can be very successful working in this niche as well.
Of course, event photography, such as for weddings, is always sought after but it might not be a very good idea for a complete beginner to dive head-first into weddings.
Couples usually have high expectations from their wedding photos and you won’t get a second chance to get the perfect shot of their first kiss, making this a pretty stressful environment.
A good way to dip your toes into wedding photography without the stress of having to shoot the photos yourself is to get in touch with a pro in your area and see if he or she would be open to letting you come along and see how they approach this task.
This is also a fantastic opportunity to network with fellow photographers and get some valuable tips on getting your business up and running.
Apart from setting up a website where you will showcase your skills and portfolio, as well as the kind of services you offer, you will need a lot of equipment.
Unfortunately, this kind of equipment is not exactly affordable so you should be prepared to make a substantial investment in lenses, cameras, editing software, and so on.
11. Event planning
While having an event planning business can be quite demanding and stressful, it’s one of the best business ideas for stay at home moms because you can pick your clients and work as much as you would like.
Being organized and having great computer skills is a must, along with being able to juggle different tasks at the same time.
But you also must be able to handle working under stress and be prepared to work on tight deadlines, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
While many event planning businesses are run by individuals with bachelor degrees in a related field, you can also research courses online that could teach you enough skills to land your first clients.
In this field, you could work with many different clients, from couples that are planning their wedding to companies that are organizing an important convention, so you will have an opportunity to get connected to people from all walks of life.
For a lot of kids (and adults!) classroom time just isn’t enough to understand all the important lesson points, causing them to fall behind with their schoolwork and get bad grades.
While studying at home is important, sometimes all it takes to raise that terrible geometry grade is a couple of hours every week with a good math tutor.
So, if you have extensive knowledge in a particular area that you know students can benefit from, and you also have a knack for explaining things in a way that’s easy to understand, running a tutoring business could be extremely successful!
Long gone are the times when you had to meet up and have tutoring sessions in person. All you need today is a laptop and an internet connection!
There are numerous online platforms where you can advertise your tutoring services.
However, the internet can be a double-edged sword in the sense that you will be competing with many other tutors as well, which means that promoting your services in your local community is not a bad idea.
It’s also important to properly describe what you’re offering – general descriptions such as “math tutor” might not land you that many students.
Instead, explain exactly what areas of math you are good at, such as algebra, and your future students will be able to find you much easier!
In addition, you need to decide whether you would like to tutor older students, such as high schoolers or college kids, or if you would like to focus on elementary and middle school kids.
Tutoring younger kids can be a challenge of its own, so it’s best to hold off on accepting them as students until you gain enough experience and can adapt to their learning level.
To sum up
Business ideas for stay at home moms vary as much as the moms themselves and what may be a perfect choice for one mom, could be absolutely disastrous for another!
That’s why it’s important to follow your interests and passions when starting your own business.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it – creating your own company will be hard and it’s going to be difficult for you to find the strength to keep going unless it’s something that you really love doing!
Besides, most people become entrepreneurs because they’re sick and tired of their old job, so it would be terrible to become sick of a job that you created for yourself.
When the going gets tough, having a strong support network of family and friends will help you keep going until you finally find success!
And with perseverance and hard work, success will definitely come.
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