6 Small Business Ideas for Parents That Don't Involve Making Crafts
Reported by: Virginia Cooper
If you're a stay-at-home parent who wants to run a business, you're in good company! According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, approximately half of all small businesses are home-based, and these are not all knitters selling baby blankets and hats on Etsy. Although e-commerce is huge, it isn't everything. Here are six ways stay-at-home parents, including single parents, can successfully run a small business.
6 Small Business Ideas for Parents
If you have design skills, whether they are graphic, interior, landscape, or user interface, use them to create a small design firm, population one. Even though a one-person enterprise may have trouble competing with giant firms, plenty of other small companies, homeowners, and local institutions need small jobs done and would be happy to partner with a home-based designer.
If you know a lot about a topic, you are guaranteed to find someone who knows less than you and wants to learn. You don't have to be an expert to coach others, but you do need to understand your target market. If you have already had a career in a specific field, that's the perfect place to start. Even if you haven't, though, think of something you're good at and that people ask you about, and start there.
If you have an English or journalism degree (or love words), writing is probably your dream job anyway. Don't fall into writing low-quality pieces for low-paying content mills, but do think about building a freelance writing business. If you're always on the road with your family, consider becoming a travel writer who gets paid to write about exotic places. If you're more into technical writing, reach out to local companies to see if they could use your services.
If you know how to clean, mow, or entertain kids, this one is for you. You're more likely to find work when you need it by providing something everyone needs. Bonus points if you have skills and licenses in plumbing, electrical, or heating and air conditioning.
Bookkeeping and Tax Preparation
You don't need an accounting degree to become a tax preparer, although having a head for numbers is required. When it's not tax season, you can help people keep their records straight by maintaining their books.
If you are a musician, you can do some good in your local community by introducing young children to music education. If you relate better to older children or adults, consider giving lessons to those age groups.
Getting Your Business Ideas Off the Ground
Although your overhead will vary based on what type of business you choose, you'll need a few standard things to get started. You may need a business license or permit, your landlord's permission, or a dedicated commercial space depending on where you live.
If you need to raise capital to start your new venture, try to find investors who enjoy backing small businesses. Shares of your corporation may be more alluring to potential investors, as opposed to limited liability company membership interests. Keep that in mind when structuring your company. Although an LLC may be easier to set up at first, a corporation's predictable, well-established structure may help you draw in more investors. Last but not least, remember to check your state's rules for forming a corporation before proceeding.
Though being a stay-at-home parent can be a fulfilling job all by itself, you can satisfy your entrepreneurial ambitions at the same time. Play to your strengths and take the time to properly plan.
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