Juggling childcare and an industrial work life can sometimes be overwhelming for new mothers. Under such circumstances, some women choose to take time off and stay at home for a while. However, this choice does not mean that they need to stop working altogether. In the virtual era of today, almost everything is well-connected and a few keystrokes away. This means that you can work right from the comfort of your own home. Below, we will talk briefly about stay at home business ideas and will break down three lucrative home-based jobs.
WHY WORKING FROM HOME CAN BE A GOOD IDEA FOR MOMS:
Working from home has its fair share of perks because you don’t lose much time in getting ready and there are no tedious commutes. You can build your own work schedule around the other things you have to tend to. It could harvest substantial extra income for your household expenditure. It also means that you can retain your work habits and ethic for when you feel you are ready to return to a full-time job.
If you do find that you are ready to start working or running a business from home, here are a few tips for stay at home business ideas:
Set up a small office at home.
This could be a room or even a corner of a room but it should be the sort of space that takes you into work mode when entered.
Keep your desk and data organized here so everything is accessible. Work from this space and when you are done, leave your work right there.
Set work-time and family-time boundaries.
Know which times of the day you will be spending at your job and which with your family. Try not to mix the two because it can divided focus. It should be effectively communicated to whomever you work with that you have kids and a house to take care of as well and cannot be at their beck and call all the time. Do not work with clients (if your job entails taking on clients) that cannot understand this as it creates unnecessary stress in both spheres of life.
Set up a routine. You would have to navigate work around your children’s schedules. Knowing your day inside out can help you plan your free time productively. You can then tackle tasks accordingly. Time intensive tasks can be delegated to night time or early morning when you’ll be by yourself for longer whereas quicker ones can be done during the kids’ nap times.
Finally, put downtime on the schedule. It is imperative that you factor in time to relax and unwind from your work as well as from your household duties. Do not compromise on this if you want to maintain a healthy balance and prevent burn out.
Let us now discuss in detail, some job ideas for stay at home moms and stay at home business ideas.
If you are an expert organizer, have a knack for easy conversation with people, are creative and quick on your feet and know how to effectively manage stress, event planning is a great field to get into, right from the comfort of your home. An event planner, bearing in mind her client’s requests, needs to decide a suitable venue, menu and theme for an event and handle the invitations all the while remaining within the budget discussed with the client. Most of the work around planning events is done via phone or email and requires no office space, making it suitable for stay at home moms. However, this job does have a few prerequisite skills, or rather inclinations:
It is all about simultaneously coordinating with the client and the vendors that provide the services you wish to hire. There is a lot of communication involved and one must know how to run it smoothly. Since your clients are essentially your customers, good communication will only make them believe more in your service. Similarly, smart dealings with the vendors can earn you discounts and long-standing loyalty.
It is called event planning. You have to organize multiple tasks in a way that the event comes together as a whole. This means you need to know exactly what to do at each specific time. Good organizational skills will help you execute everything smoothly without nerve-racking time crunches.
Awareness of Trends:
If you are into event planning, you should know what is hot. What food people are preferring to eat, what music they want to be listening to, which themes are successful. You need to be well researched on the existing trends to deliver the best to your client.
Flexibility and Patience:
In the end, it really is all about the client trusting that you would be able to meet their specifications and paying you their hard-earned money to do so. To a fair extent, you have to be accommodating to those specifications, putting aside your own biases. It is entirely possible that occasionally, you get unreasonable clients or ones with quirks. Should you sign them on, knowing how to deliver to them requires you to be patient in your dealings. Patience is a big virtue in event planning. Things go wrong. Agreements don’t fall through. Sometimes, deliveries are not on time. In such moments, one needs to know how to keep overwhelming frustration at bay and power through.
Quick Thinking: Often when disaster strikes, you need to make split second decisions. So, the cake got smashed. It is up to you to fix the mess and come up with a timely solution. You need to be quick, creative and resourceful in your damage control.
Pros of Event Planning:
- If you sign a big event, you could earn a whole lot from just one event. Slowly, as you make your name, doing just a couple of events a month can earn sufficient income.
- You require no office space. That means no money is spent on rent or office accessories. You are doing everything from your own comfortable armchair.
- It’s a great outlet for the creative souls. Its multi-faceted so there are loads of way one can incorporate one’s own innovation into this work.
- If you get really good at it, word can spread really fast, of course because of the long list of people attending your events. This can help you gather referrals and ultimately loyal clients quickly.
Cons of Event Planning:
- Bear in mind that this could be a stress-inducing job for people who are not accustomed to multi-tasking, as it does require managing a range of things simultaneously. If you are not good at managing stress then this job might get to you, especially if the workload of the kids and the house is already too much.
- It is not a quiet job. It involves extensive social interaction: long meetings with clients, haggling with vendors. If you don’t like talking to people, this likely will not be your forte.
- It is a time sensitive job. Things need to be done on time, there are people depending on it. If you do not like deadlines or are not in a position to meet them, planning a good event is near unachievable.
How to Go About It?
Assuming you have weighed all the pros and cons and have decided this is a lucrative stay at home business ideas for you, following are some advisable steps to take:
Network. Talk to your friend who threw that great party. Get the number of her caterer. Make connections with vendors so that you can count on their services when the need arises. Networking is what will earn you clients too. Have a business card at ready for anyone you think might be interested in throwing an event soon.
Advertise. Set up a website and profiles on multiple social media platforms. Post great pictures/videos of events you have executed. Reach out through email marketing. Spread the word.
Invest in a good event management software. This would become your best friend, helping you keep organized and in control.
E-commerce has become huge nowadays, partly because the online market has expanded exponentially and partly because websites like Amazon make it very convenient to sell online. For stay at home moms, it can prove to be a low-key, hassle free job prospect that can reap quite a lot of monetary benefits. E-commerce resale usually entails buying stuff from somewhere and selling it online for a profit. You could buy anything, from wholesale to second hand products. If there is a market for it, it will sell.
E-commerce reselling itself does not require a whole lot of skill. Most of your intelligence is used in gauging the market to know what is selling currently and what the market competitive pricing is. Once you have done your research and picked what you want to sell, it is pretty simple sailing from there on.
Pros of E-commerce :
- Once established, this business could be almost passive. All you have to do is maintain effective communication with your vendor to be able to source your product regularly. The rest of the heavy lifting can be done by the site you are selling on. This means minimal work.
- No office is required. Service like amazon FBA can do heavy lifting of warehousing and delivery of your products.
- If your product picks up, there is great potential for earning hefty profits because the online market is always active.
- Reselling is not too time intensive so you will have plenty of time to attend to any household work.
Cons of E-commerce
- Initial investment for this business comes from your own pocket. If you already have a lot of household and child expenses, it might be hard to take out money to purchase inventory.
- If there is a mistake in judgement and the product doesn’t sell, it could result in a loss.
Best Practice in E-commerce business
Find sellers of your product. You could buy from a local producer or from wholesale websites online. If you want to make maximum profit, you want to buy your product for as cheap as possible (without compromising on the quality) so do extensive research on this part.
Find a website you want to sell on.
Services like Amazon or eBay make it awfully convenient to sell. Once you have sourced your product, they do most of the work. With the Fulfilment by Amazon program, for example, you don’t even need to keep inventory with you. You can ship it right to Amazon who will keep it in their warehouse until you receive orders. They will then also pack, label and ship your orders for you! If you do keep inventory, these services will pick up the order from you and ship it to the purchaser. Of course, these services do incur a charge but it is not over the top.
Write good product copy. The key is in eloquent, not overly “salesy” description. Read about good copy writing practices for product descriptions so your writing can augment your sales.
Promote your online store. Effective advertising can direct traffic to your store. Promote your product on social media or through tools like email marketing to get it out there. Make sure you set competitive prices to attract customers.
If you feel like your writing has potential, a widely popular choice for a stay at home job is freelance writing. People hire your services as a writer for their projects. These could be books, websites, blogs, news reports, scripts etc. There is a wide range of topics or styles to choose from.
The prerequisite to this job is writing skills of course. Developing professional writing skills is everybody’s own path. Some choose professional instruction, others learn on their own but if you feel like you got the know-how, you can sell it. Once you are established as a writer, then other things apart from your writing can start generating revenue as well, for example, ad space on your blog.
Pros of Freelance Writing:
- Since you are not writing for one client forever, you get to be creative and experiment with multiple topics and pick a range of gigs. It doesn’t get boring or stagnant.
- You get to choose your hours according to your own comfort.
- There are loads of platforms where you can sell your services and find writing gigs.
- You can earn through ad money on an established blog.
Cons of Freelance Writing:
- It takes time and patience to slowly gather an audience. You will only score loyal clients if you are willing to keep writing even when there are none.
- You might have to do uninteresting gigs to get started off in the early days.
- Writer’s block might occasionally strike which can put work on hold.
How to go about it:
Establish what you want to write about. Is it general or focused content? You could keep it diverse or if there are particular fields you are passionate about, you could pick a freelance writing niche. With focused writing, you could also start a blog and attract a specific audience.
Pick where you want to sell your writing.
There are certain online platforms that are markets for freelancer services. Fiverr, for e.g. is a two-sided platform. It lets you post your gigs/profile so that clients can view your work and decide whether they want to hire you or not. You can sell your writing services or even your blog space for guest posts.
Its better to provide niche specific service on fiverr. For example, sales copy writing for pest control companies. But you have to learn about that specific business in general and especially how they market their business. There are few cool marketing strategies for pest control companies.
Online freelancing marketplaces also allow clients to post their gigs that you can bid for. Signing up for such websites is usually free and any additional services incur charges.
Set your rates.
Your rate which could either be per word or per a group of words say 500. It does not fare well to charge a high fee early on. As you get more and more work, you can start increasing it.
Build your writing portfolio.
If you want to be a writer as a stay at home business idea, start with three to four good pieces to start getting gigs. As you write/publish more, add it to the portfolio. Remember, this is the first things clients will look at. They will hire you on its basis. Its best to invest time in making sure your portfolio makes a good impression.
Promote your writing.
Use social media for free advertisement. Write guest posts on blogs so that your writing reaches a wider audience. If at the start you have to write for free, do it for the sake of getting your writing out there. It will pay off.
Take a writing workshop (if you feel the need). If things seem to be going stale and monotonous, a workshop can really help revive some lost concepts, even if it is only over a weekend. If there is a good one happening nearby, try and attend.
Be patient and keep writing!
This cannot be said enough. Gigs might pour in fast or slow, but your writing should be regular. It will keep you in practice and over time, compound to only good.
In the end, the job you choose to work at from home really depends primarily on how much time you can spare from your other duties and your personal preferences. If you are the social sort who wants to coordinate across different parties and be more involved with the clients, event management is to be considered. If you want to earn extra bucks but with a more laid back, less communicative job, then e-commerce reselling might be a good fit. And, if selling isn’t your cup of tea, try your hand at freelance writing: you might just be surprised!
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