Are you a mom working outside of the home who dreams of starting her own business?
If so, you’re not alone. Every day, my Facebook group feeds fill with comments from moms looking for home based business ideas that they can easily start.
Everyone has a different reason for wanting to start their own business. Some moms want to spend more time with their kids. Others just want to pursue their passion so they’re happier.
Whatever your reason, there are home based business ideas that any creative mom can turn into their dream business.
Before starting my stationery shop, I explored a lot of other home based business ideas over the years. From freelance writing to tutoring kids after school, I knew I yearned to have my own business even as a child.
These side hustles fueled my interest in being an entrepreneur. They also taught me important skills so I could make the final leap into owning a small business when I was ready.
To find a home based business idea that fits you best, analyze each one carefully. You want to choose an idea that works for you and your family.
Also, consider the financial investment involved to get started and how quickly you can make money. Many home based business ideas, as many business ideas in general, don’t make money quickly. Sometimes not even for the first year or more.
Although passion isn’t always important, you need to make sure your business idea fits your interests and expertise. You’re more likely to stick with it in the long run and see where it takes you. Remember, a business is a marathon.
Before deciding on pursuing a home based business, choose a business model that works for you. With the birth of online businesses, there are lots of different business types to choose from, but not every one will fit the lifestyle you desire for your family.
And remember, your lifestyle needs change over time. I used to be willing to work weekends when we had daily naptimes. Now that the family’s needs have changed, I want to take off weekends so I can spend time together.
There are quite a few home based business ideas that are perfect for creative moms. Most of these have only a little upfront investment and really take your time and energy to get off the ground. As I’ve found over the years, these can be the best kinds of business opportunities for moms.
Here are my favorite home based business ideas that you can easily start from the comfort of your living room.
Upfront Investment – Minimal
When in doubt, and in need of a quick and successful business idea, start offering your expertise as services to others. Everyone is an expert in something these days. You may have many digitally focused skills that others need to run their blogs and businesses.
Whether it’s writing a blog post, making Pinterest graphics, posting on social media or another skill that others don’t want to take the time to do, figure out how you can help other small businesses succeed.
Then, charge them for your time and expertise.
A virtual assistant is the new version of an administrative assistant. But better.
I remember my first job as an administrative assistant. I spent many long hours sitting at a desk and scrolling the internet (usually spending away my paycheck) waiting for someone to need me. There was even paper airplane throwing.
As a virtual assistant, you provide services to other businesses from anywhere. Including your living room. And you get to choose the hours most of the time.
To get started, brainstorm services that you can offer confidently to others. Some ideas include social media management, graphic design, web design, product listing creation, etc.
After you figure out the types of services that you’d like to off, create different packages and pricing for your services.
For example, if you have an expertise in creating brands, you could offer a product with different brand building services. Or if you love writing blog posts for businesses, create a packages for different quantities of blog posts.
But how do I find people to purchase my services?
There are lots of different places to look for your first paying clients. One of my favorites that’s often overlooked is locally. Approach local businesses that you love, Etsy shops based in your zip code, other freelancers that might be too busy to complete their business tasks and even your local co-working site.
You can also tell everyone about your service offerings via social media. Create a Facebook business page and even establish a blog that talks about how you can help their business.
Another idea is to scan job boards looking for potential clients. If you find a job posted that fits your expertise, reach out to them directly. Many of today’s most successful virtual assistants got their start on these boards.
You can even post your service offerings on Fiverr or Upwork and let your clients find you. Or set up a shop on Etsy offering different service packages. Many creatives scan Etsy to find other vendors that can help them.
You can find more tips and tricks to starting your virtual assistant business here.
Upfront Costs – Depends on your business idea
So, it comes to no surprise that starting your own online business is one of my favorite home based business ideas. Especially for creative moms. And if you choose, you don’t even have to remain home based. Your online business can grow beyond the walls of your craft studio or kitchen. Only if you want, though.
I love online business because you can create a product, build an audience and sell your creation. All from the comforts of your living room.
One of my first entrepreneurial ventures at age nine was creating lavender sachets. My mom taught me how to sew these basic fabric bags on the sewing machine and I would fill them with homemade lavender potpourri.
I loved making these bags. The problem, back then, was finding ways to market and sell my bags. There weren’t a lot of places that a 9 year old could go.
In the end, I sold the bags at yard sales, flea markets and my aunt’s gift shop. Sales weren’t high, but I learned the art of creating a product and making a profit from it.
If you have a craft or skill that you’d like to turn into a creative business venture, online business might be the perfect solution. And luckily Etsy’s shop platform makes it easy. Check out our step by step guide for starting your own Etsy shop here.
Upfront Costs – Expensive
Gone are the days when all photos are taken in a stuffy studio space. Instead these photography spaces have been replaced by photographers that take photos in natural settings or at their private studios.
If you have an eye for taking pictures, you could establish a photography business. This type of business can be an investment, though, if you don’t have the camera equipment, props, editing software and photography classes to gain more expertise.
After you have the basics set up, work on building your portfolio. Set up your portfolio online for free. This space is where you’ll send potential clients to view your work.
Another important part of your photography business is your social media presence. I find most of my family’s photographers through word of mouth and their Facebook pages.
So, set up a business Facebook page for interested customers to follow. Add photography deals, sneak peeks from recent photo shoots and even tips to get ready for your photo session.
Upfront Costs – Minimal
When I taught in the classroom many years ago, I found freelance writing to be the perfect outlet for my creativity. I’d come home after a crazy day of teaching and write. It made me so happy at the time.
Then, I discovered I could be paid for my writing. This became my first small side hustle and I loved it.
Today, freelance writing has become even more important. No longer are freelance writers limited to magazines or print publications. These days blogs – both big and small – hire freelancers to fulfill their constant need for content.
To start freelance writing, I recommend starting to write. Every day. It can be a journal, a blog or just on scraps of paper. But make sure you develop a habit to write often.
Once writing becomes something that you do every day, explore the different kinds of writing that you like to do. By knowing your writing niche, you’ll be able to choose the best writing jobs for you.
For more information on how to get started for free as a freelance writer here.
Upfront Costs – Minimal
If you pay attention to anything on the interwebs these days, you’ve probably found a lot of articles about making money blogging. It seems to be quite the popular topic.
I think it’s because blogging is one of the most inexpensive businesses around to start. You can actually start a blog for free (I’ll admit not a great money making blog, but you can). Or you can spend a couple hundred dollars and set up your blog correctly.
Some might think this is a lot of money and it’s all about perspective. Before the internet, it used to take thousands of dollars of investment to start a business. The initial costs to starting your blog – purchasing a domain, finding a host and setting up a web theme – are pretty small compared to opening a brick and mortar store. So a few hundred dollars isn’t terrible.
The best part about blogging is it gives you a space to share your expertise and build an audience. A traditional blog starts with writing posts, but usually money isn’t made off of the blog posts themselves.
Instead bloggers make money from advertising, affiliate links, product creation and sponsored posts (on the blog and social media).
Depending on your audience, bloggers can have a lot of influencing power and companies need that these days. Traditional advertising has been shown to no longer work with today’s consumers. But promoting your products through blogs and social influencers does.
If you choose blogging as your home based business idea, be sure to create a business plan before you start. Your plan can be a general guide, but make sure you know how you plan to make money off of your blog before starting.
I’ve seen a lot of bloggers start and stop a few months later because there isn’t any income. But, even sadder, many will continue writing, but not have a plan on how to make money in the coming year. As I’ve learned, even if you love writing, doing it for free after awhile can be exhausting.
Upfront Costs – Minimal to Mid-Level
When I added printables to my stationery shop about six years ago, I had no idea that their sales would surpass handcrafted stationery products within a year.
Printables are very popular these days – seen with Sarah Titus’ shop. If you have a background in graphic design and a niche audience you want to serve, creating a printables business might be a great fit.
You can find out more ways to set up your printables business here. Or if you already created a blog, you could add printables directly to your website with WooCommerce or even build a store on Shopify.
The trick about being successful selling printables is to make sure you’re designing things that people want. I know I could spend hours working on designs, but I’m not always focused on the things that people will actually buy.
Like with any other of these home based business ideas, have a plan going in. Know what you wish to sell, which sales platform you want to use and how you plan to market your business to grow.
Upfront Costs – Minimal to Mid-Level
When I studied for my graphic design certificate, I also added on a web design credential. Unfortunately, I was unable to complete the classes necessary for that credential due to family chaos at the time (having a baby is more hectic than I thought).
But I wish I had. Web design is a great home based business idea. Having worked with many web designers around the world, I’ve always imagined them living a beautiful nomadic lifestyle. I mean why not.
Web designers have specialized knowledge that most of the world doesn’t have, but needs. So, many businesses hire web designers to bring their online shop’s vision to life.
You also don’t need that much equipment to be a web designer. You will need to invest in some design programs and subscriptions, a graphics friendly laptop and good internet connection. But other than that, you can take your web design business with you wherever you go.
Before starting your business, decide on the packages and services you want to offer customers. You can create a blog to drive traffic to these services. Or you can also post jobs and expertise on freelance websites such as Fiverr or Upwork.
I’ve found many web designers grow by word of mouth. Participate in Facebook Groups and other small business forums where members use the services that you offer. Build up trust in the group and occasionally share about the services that you offer. Create a good reputation and you’ll never go hungry.
Upfront Costs – Minimal to Mid-Level
A graphic design business is similar to a web design one. I’m not sure graphic design is paid as well or in as much demand, but these days EVERYONE needs content. If you’re good at making fresh content quickly, then your business will be very successful.
Similar to the web design business, choose packages and services you want to offer ahead of time. Make it easy for your customers to hire you.
I recently heard a conversation among college students at a cafe. They were frustrated that they couldn’t get into the graphic design class at their college. Many found that the jobs they were looking for required some design knowledge to be successful.
It seems that graphic design is everywhere these days. Even the average social media user implements some graphic design in their daily postings.
If you have a chance to take a graphic design class, do it. Having some design background will make you successful in any business idea you pursue.
In addition to investing in your design education, you’ll also need specialized computer programs. These can be quite expensive. If you are a student, try to purchase them at a discount.
The other option is to get a subscription. I currently have the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription and I love it. I always have the most up to date version of my design programs and Adobe helps me troubleshoot any issues.
Upfront Costs – Mid-Level
This is one of the yummiest home based business ideas around. And if you have a flair for the kitchen, it might be a great business opportunity for you.
These days not all baked goods are purchased in bakeries. Many at home bakers are showcasing their talents through small baking outlets – sometimes right from their home kitchen.
From decorative themed cookies to elaborate cupcakes, the blandness of supermarket bakeries are in the past.
If you love to bake things for others, consider starting your own bakery business. First, check your state about the laws about the requirements of working in a commercial kitchen.
Some states require independent bakeries to bake out of a commercial grade kitchen while others do not. This can be quite an investment, so research well.
Also, decide on the baking niche that you want to focus on. Think about the kinds of baked goos that you enjoy making and have a natural connection to your story.
An example is my good friend in California who has battled her own health issues for years. Not being able to find treats that she could eat in her local coffee shops inspired her to create her own. She now runs LeMoon Zest Bakery and specializes in gluten free, dairy free and nut free pastries.
When writing your business plan, remember to include the cost of your equipment – even if you’re using your own kitchen. Many bakers need specialized cookie cutters, mixers, ingredients (such as food coloring and sprinkles) and other items.
Also, be sure to price your creations to account for materials, labor and delivery. It’s hard to be successful in business if you don’t make a profit.
Flea Market Flipping
Upfront Costs – Minimal
If you have an eye for vintage (and shopping), then flea market flipping might be a home based business idea to pursue. According to Melissa from Flea Market Flippers, they’ve turned their love for finding things new homes into a full time business.
Before starting a flea market flipping business, you’ll need a little money upfront to get started.
For their latest flea market flipping challenge, they recommend finding an item for $25 or less. You can search your local thrift shop, yard sale or flea market. They found theirs – a chair – for free on the curb.
Next, resell the item. You can use a marketplace such as Ebay, Facebook Marketplace or even a neighborhood yard sale. If you’ve remade an item, a local shop might even purchase it.
Take the profits from the sale of the item and reinvest them in other items to resell.
Keep reinvesting the profits and, eventually, you’ll grow a flea market flipping business.
Upfront Costs – Mid-Level
If you love children and are creative, an at home daycare might be the perfect home based business idea. A past teacher friend of mine just set one up in her home and it’s been the perfect solution for her to work while having small children at home.
Before starting a family daycare, do your research. Find out about the licensing in your state and the initial financial investment to meet all of the requirements.
Also, consider the time investment and what you’ll have to give up to run the daycare. If you have school aged children, you might not be able to attend school functions or volunteer on a regular basis. You also might not enjoy the really long hours and lack of adult contact.
Upfront Costs – Minimal – Midlevel
Another way to share your creativity with others is by starting an event planning business. There’s always a need for great event planners and it’s a wonderful way to build a business around your creativity.
To get started, spend some time volunteering at different events. Get a sense of the types of events you enjoy, the responsibilities of an event planner and what being an event planner entails.
Although you can plan the event from home, event planning isn’t one of the traditional home based business ideas. You will still need to meet with clients and set up the event. These requirements can cause childcare expenses. So be sure to budget those into your business plan before getting started.
You will also need to work on creating an event portfolio. This means planning a number of events and showcasing your work. Putting together a portfolio can take time, but it is key to presenting your experience to future clients.
Another consideration is getting your event planner certification or taking an event planning course. Many are offered online these days, so do your research and decide which education experience matches your needs.
Find out more details to becoming an event planner here.
We live in a great century where technology has allowed creative moms to build small businesses from the comfort of their homes. No longer do all businesses involve a huge upfront investment either. If anything, most home based business ideas just need time – a lot of it – to get started.
When choosing the home based business idea that you want to pursue, make sure it fits your expertise, time commitment and financial needs. Write a business plan so you know how to set up your business, how you plan to make money and how soon you hope to make a profit.
Then, get started. I find the thing that holds business moms back the most is the fear of getting started. Take the first step and the rest will follow.
And remember, the timing will never be perfect. But the longer you wait, the more time you’ve wasted that could have been used to start building.