When you’re a stay-at-home parent, you already have a really significant job. The amount of effort it takes to keep up with young kids is no joke. Many families have gone through this same scenario: When you measure the cost of day care against what you would be making at a traditional job, it just isn’t worth it. You’d be working just long enough to pay to send your kids to spend time with strangers. Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent by choice or circumstance, chances are good that at least once or twice you’ve tossed around the idea of starting your own business to generate a little income. Here are five unconventional business ideas for stay-at-home parents.
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Create Fun Gift Baskets
If you’ve always prided yourself in putting together gorgeous gift baskets that everyone loves, you’ll be happy to know that there are many people looking to buy non-traditional baskets that are assembled with love and care. What about a basket featuring champagne, flutes, strawberry truffles and a feather boa for a bachelorette party, or tiny rubber ducks with little socks, toy trains and pampering treats for mom for a baby shower? This is an easy business to start, and local shops might be very excited to sell your baskets.
Start Your Own Catering Company
Do you love to plan parties and share delicious food with your family and friends? If people frequently refer to your events as spectacular and tell you that you could be a pro, it might be more than just a sweet compliment. Good home cooks who know the important details of throwing parties can make great caterers. Getting into the business couldn’t be easier for those who are passionate about food prep. All you need is some culinary know-how, a few custom aprons to display your logo on, and a hungry client base. Do some research on the need to know info, like prepping food for specific head counts and having the right equipment on hand, and all those friends who love your parties will remember you the next time they have one—and recommend you when their friends do.
Learn Graphic Design
It might sound hard, but if you spend some time watching video tutorials and experimenting in a graphics program, you can learn to do some amazing things. This can include logo design and photo editing, but it can also include the creation of digital printable files like digital scrapbooking paper, clip art and other odds and ends. These are a great passive income source, because you make them once and they can sell again and again. They’re a perfect fit on sites like Etsy.
Play Music For Kids
Do you have some musical talent? Play an instrument? Schools, libraries and other facilities where kids gather often pay artists to provide musical entertainment to kids. It doesn’t take much to learn to strum a few cords, and kids are an easy audience—they love to sing along, and they’ll never criticize your open D tuning. While you might have to start out playing pro bono, once you make a name for yourself, the cash will follow.
Be A Dog Walker
If you love pups, walking dogs might just be the perfect business for you. There are plenty of dog lovers who wish they had time to walk their pooch more, but just don’t. They’re often happy to pay you for the daily service of making sure their dog gets his exercise, and as word of mouth, flyers and Internet ads spread, you can bet there will be plenty of dogs waiting at your door and ready to roll.
If you’re passionate about organic products and ditching sulfates and other nasty additives, soap making is a great small business to get into. The startup costs are minimal, and depending on the nature and quality of your product, your profit margins can be quite high. Soaps featuring essential oils and natural herbs are popular sellers. Craft fairs and festivals are great places to get your name out there, but you can also sell online successfully.
Generating income while also managing your life as a stay-at-home parent requires dedication. However, it’s very possible to create a small business for yourself that helps to keep the household afloat and lets you indulge in something you’re passionate about. Unconventional or not, with focus, drive and belief in yourself, you can make your business shine.