With the cost of daycare on the rise, many moms are opting to open their own home-based business. The pluses to this type of venture are numerous. Working from home offers a mother flexibility in her schedule, the ability to care for her children while also earning money, savings on daycare and other expenses associated with working outside of the home (gas, wardrobe, lunches out), and the ability to make money and contribute to the household expenses.
I have come across some great ideas over the past few weeks as I´ve read more about home-based businesses. Keep in mind that any venture into the business world has its negatives, so while these are not foolproof ideas, they are definitely worth taking a look at if they are of interest to you.
1. Pet Sitting. I pay my pet sitter, a stay at home mom and a college student, $12 per day when we travel out of town. She feeds and plays with the cats, brings in the mail, and takes out the litter. If the cats make a mess, she will clean this up as well. The downside? She works Christmas, Thanksgiving, and all other holidays, because these are when people travel most.
2. Freelance writing. Though the competition is tight, there are positions that can be found online for freelance writers. Subscribe to newsletters or check out freelance writing job opportunity boards. The start up is minimal (all you really need is a computer) and the hours and time commitment are up to you. While you probably won´t become rich as a freelance writer, the extra income might make it possible for you to work from home.
3. Online retail sales. These are popping up all over the place, especially in the area of babies and infants. I´ve seen websites that sell equipment related to breastfeeding, gently used clothes, funky diaper bags and slings, and a multitude of other accessories that you can´t find in regular retail stores. Many web sites offer space for less than ten dollars per month, and if you don´t have a separate building in which you store your clothes and items, you don´t need to pay additional rent on top of your mortgage.
4. Book Keeping. For mothers with a background in accounting, or for those with strong math skills, this side job can offer great flexibility and a nice paycheck at the end of each month.
5. Sales. Many companies are looking to hire moms to sell items such as make-up, jewelry, and candles out of the home. I even came across one company that hires women to host spa parties, which I thought sounded like a fun idea. But before signing up for any of these home based opportunities, research the company. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Talk to moms who have worked for these companies. Search the company´s name online and see what pops up. And never invest a lot of (or any) money up front.
6. Check out www.wahm.com for more information and to chat with other mothers who are interested in or who are running home-based businesses.