Your Guide to Creating a Small Business as a Stay-at-Home Parent
Raising children is a full-time job and many families elect to have a parent stay at home to take care of their kids rather than relying on daycare or similar programs. However, this can mean giving up an income. Plus, many stay-at-home parents still want to find ways to achieve professional success. One of the best solutions for both these issues is to start an at-home business. This guide can help you take the first steps on your entrepreneurial journey.
Choosing an Idea for Your Business
There are a lot of businesses that can be run from home. Picking the right idea for you is an essential first step. Typically, this should be something that you are good at, can run on a flexible schedule, and can be run as a lean operation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 20% of businesses fail within their first year. This is often related to a lack of funds, so make sure you get the most out of every dollar spent.
These are a few suggestions that may work for you:
- Consulting: Are you an expert in marketing, accounting, or another specialized field? You may be able to sell your knowledge as a consulting service. There are consultants for almost every field imaginable, from business to college applications to wedding planning.
- Freelance Writing: Freelance writing can be a great way to earn some money. It is highly flexible and can be done with just a laptop at home.
- Graphic Design: Do you have a flair for the creative? Working as a graphic designer only requires a computer, some software, and potentially a drawing tablet.
- Music Teaching: Musicians can share their talents with children in the area. Whether you teach while your kids are at school or host lessons in your home, you can earn money doing something you already love.
Getting Your Business Started
Once you have a business idea, start work on your business plan. If you are not seeking a loan or other funding, you may not need a formal plan. However, it is a good idea to at least make an outline for yourself. You should also consider setting up a dedicated space to work in your home.
Next, you need to form your business entity. For many entrepreneurs, forming a corporation is the right option for liability protection. Make sure to check the rules for Texas corporations before filing your documents. You can also use an online service to create one while saving on attorney fees.
If you need financing to buy equipment or to cover other expenses, look into a loan from your bank or an SBA loan. Alternatively, if you know the right person, you may be able to get an angel investment or borrow from friends and family.
Marketing Your Business
With your business established, it’s time to bring in customers. For this, you need a strong marketing plan. You can use word of mouth, social media, a website, and more to grow your business. Tailor your approach to your company. For example, if your customers are local, focus on referral and local ads.
Taking Your First Steps Toward Being a Business Owner
You don’t have to sacrifice your professional life to care for your family. With these tips from Gail Showalter, you can be ready to start your new business and earn a living as a stay-at-home parent. Visit Gail’s blog for more empowering content.
I raised three children as a single mother before I remarried. I have experienced the potholes, pests, and perils of being the single head-of-household. As an educator in regular and special education for twenty years I know a great deal about child development and how to handle kids. I am the founder of SMORE for Women, a nonprofit whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. I'm a Certified Professional Coach and my stories have been published in several books and magazines. My book, Living Learning Loving is available on Amazon.