Stay-at-Home Parents: Fill Your Free Time with a Home Business
Fill Your Free Time with a Home Business
Becoming a parent teaches a person many skills that can easily translate into business ownership. You learn to take risks and adapt based on the obstacles life throws at you. Parenting comes with its share of problems, but with each day you solve them with determination. All of this takes the self-motivation to give 100 percent—even when you don’t necessarily feel like it. Parents are critical of both themselves and their organization (family) but each criticism only serves as a point on which they can improve. Such perseverance in the face of adversity is incredibly beneficial for a business, which is why many parents make for effective and successful business owners.
Stay-at-home parents, which represent about a quarter of the U.S. population, have their hands full when they are caring for newborns and infants, but when the kids grow up and start attending preschool and grade school, stay-at-homes sometimes find they suddenly have free time on their hands. With that time, why not parlay the adaptability and problem-solving skills acquired through parenthood into a home business that contributes to your household finances? Not only will you make some extra cash for your family, starting your own business can be an incredibly fulfilling experience.
Great Business Models for Stay-at-Home Businesses
As the adage goes, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” And while it doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone and their jobs, it’s a pretty good route to take if you’re starting a part-time business at home. If you don’t love the work or feel compelled to pursue it, you’ll have a much more difficult time pulling yourself to your home office every day to get things done. So with that in mind, the best business idea is going to be the one that appeals most to your personal interests and passions. Consider the following:
- Are you an organized person with great communication skills who generally enjoys helping other people? Become a virtual assistant to help businesses and individuals manage their schedules, book appointments, and organize travel.
- Are you skilled at making something with your hands? Sell your unique wares via an e-commerce store, local markets, and social media.
- Are you particularly knowledgeable about a certain topic or subject matter? Give online tutoring a try to help students learn remotely.
Of course, these are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of home-based business options you could start. The point is to get a clear idea of what it is you enjoy or are passionate about, then find a way to monetize it.
Starting a Home-Based Business
While you’ll find there are many specific things you’ll need based on your individual business, there are questions all home-based business owners should ask themselves when first starting out. For one, you need to make sure you are qualified by looking into any permits or certifications you will need to do the job. Furthermore, make sure your homeowner’s association and neighborhood are okay with you having a business at home by looking at zoning restrictions for your house if it’s a business that requires more than just a home office space.
A business also needs some sort of legal structure. As a home-based business, it is likely your sole proprietorship does not need formal documentation, but you can also look into establishing Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Sub-S corporation status. Furthermore, insure your business and its wares by investing in home-based business coverage. Talk to your current provider to see if they can add a rider to your homeowners’ insurance as a way to simplify the process and possibly save money. Finally, master organization and stay on top of business finances by picking a bookkeeping system to keep track of expenses and income. Open a business checking account connected to a business credit card to streamline the process and make it easier to report taxes and apply for deductions.
Is a Home-Based Business for you?
There’s no doubt that parents constantly have their hands full. But once kids start school, there’s a little extra room in a stay-at-home parent’s day to fill. A great way to spend that time is by starting a home business that contributes to household income. A home-based business takes determination, passion, and organization. Thankfully, these skills are a cakewalk for parents already familiar with what it takes to raise a child.
Thank you to Alexis Hall for her input.
Carol Gilles, of the RealEstate Group, has been helping buyers and sellers for over 38 years, including a focus on working with families to make their next move a smooth transition for all in the family. Carol can be reached at 310-864-9738 or Carol@CarolGilles.com