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Family In Kitchen
11 min read

50 business ideas for a stay-at-home parent

Many parents aspire to have a more flexible work-life balance. Starting a business or going freelance is one way to achieve that flexibility, giving you the freedom to use your (often limited) spare time to earn money – without stepping foot in an office. We’ve looked at 50 popular and attainable business ideas for the stay-at-home parent. Start thinking about which might work best for you depending on your skill sets, spare time and the level of flexibility you need.

Artists and makers

Artistic talent shouldn’t be ignored. Go forth and create! 

 

1. Graphic designer

If you have design skills, it’s a great job to be able to do from home and fit around other things. You could start by offering to do some reduced rate work for a friend with a business to build up your portfolio and confidence if you need to. 

“Having worked as a graphic designer in various roles and companies since university, from Amsterdam to New York, we decided it was time to leave behind our respectable jobs with a digital agency in Manchester. It was time to forge our own path as a startup.

“Crucially, we wanted something that gave us our freedom back. Something the confines of 9-5 office life could never give us.”

Kim Farrall, Creative Director at Off Grid

 

2. Tailor 

If you love sewing, how about making or altering clothes for a living? Consider specialising in a certain style or with a particular garment. 

 

3. Crafter

Jewellery, macrame plant hangers, seashell mirrors, candles, stickers, tote bags, the list is endless of things you could make and sell online or at makers’ markets. Think about how your product can be a bit different or personalised, do something you enjoy, and make sure you work out exactly how much it costs you to create and the time it takes so you have a good profit margin.

“I opened up my Etsy shop selling handmade greetings cards in January 2014. At first, I was looking at about 20 or 30 orders a week, all of them handmade. Fast forward two years and I’m doing about that every day. In busy times, I do almost 100 orders every day, which can be a real challenge in amongst trying to juggle everything else.

“I’ve learnt a huge amount in the last two years. From production methods, to wholesaling to a completely different way of marketing to customers. It’s been an incredibly steep learning curve.”

Andy Cordina, Bettie Confetti

 

4. Makeup artist

If you’re amazing at makeup could you do other people’s for special occasions? They could even come to you. Promote your services with videos and tutorials on social media. 

 

5. Upcycling furniture 

Good quality furniture is desirable. People will pay good money for it, especially if you’ve upcycled it and it’s quite easy to get hold of cheaply. You’ll just need some space to sand, paint and store before you sell.  

 

6. Artist 

Original paintings and drawings can be worth a lot and you can also create prints on demand for your work. 

 

7. Florist

You can attend floristry evening courses to learn the basics and then make displays, bouquets, buttonholes and corsages. Dried flowers are really on-trend right now so you wouldn’t even have to worry about them wilting.

“There was no lightbulb moment, but more of a slow-burning desire and years of peering through flower shop windows like a kid in a sweet shop! Always imagining a shop of our own one day.

“Growing up, inspiration came from family members always having flowers and plants in homes and gardens, and that’s what we wanted to bring to many others.

“The opportunity of Wild About Flowers hit us in the face as a take it or leave it moment so we went for it and haven’t looked back!”

Ivy Jean, Wild About Flowers

 

8. Interior designer

Do you have an eye for space planning, style, layout, furnishings and colour coordination? If yes, consider training so that you can advise clients on it and charge them. You could work for private clients or industry, working for yourself for maximum flexibility over your hours.

“I’d always had a keen interest in design, from my early childhood playing with Lego through to school.

“College opened my eyes to a vast array of different design disciplines. Of these, Interior Architecture really took my fancy.

“I embarked on a four year Interior Design degree with a year’s placement where I designed traveling exhibitions for top sporting brands. I learnt during this time how my designs for these exhibitions came alive from pencil to reality. I loved this process.

“Since then I’ve been able to work with some truly great clients designing their homes and business ventures. Many of these clients I still work with today running my own studio, which is lovely.”

Helen Knox, Lewis Knox

 

9. Photographer 

With a love of photography, you could start a business so you have control of when and where you work. Instead of working for demanding clients or weddings where they set the schedule you could do photoshoots for couples, photography classes, city walking tours or take photos of anything to sell online.

“Of the aerial filming companies in the UK, we’re really at the forefront, offering heavy lift solutions to lift incredibly large film cameras. We’ve also developed our own solutions for lifting very specialist still photography cameras with our drones. This too has opened a lot of doors.”

Will Glover, Fleye

Foodies glorious foodies

For love of food and feeding people, grab your pen and your apron.

 

10. Chef or Caterer 

Start a pop-up, become a private chef or cater for events. 

“I started the business in London with a friend of mine as we wanted to get into the ‘pop up’ scene and away from working for someone else. A few months into it and he left and I took over full ownership of the business. Before setting The Pickled Fork up I worked as a freelance chef for Mustard Catering. It was whilst working here I realised that I could run my own catering business and make it a success.

“Over the past four years, the business has come a long way in terms of client base and turnover. At the start, I was hosting four pop-ups a month (one in my front room) trying to promote the catering side of the business as much as possible. At the moment I’m doing one pop up a month and the rest is catering.”

Alex Motture, The Pickled Fork

 

11. Baker

Bake special cakes and sell them directly to customers or batch make other homemade items that you could sell at markets or to local cafes. 

“I wanted a truly original wedding cake. So I took a baking class and loved it! I subsequently took many more courses and baked at weekends, but it remained a hobby.

 “I registered as self-employed in April 2012 and started selling at local craft markets. In 2012, I received an email from a buyer at Fortnum and Mason. I submitted some designs and they made an enormous order.

“Nearly four years on, I now run a small bakery production facility and employ a team of staff producing high-end products for quality outlets and corporate clients; it’s great, although there is far more pressure now I have to cover salaries and overheads.”

Nila Holden

 

12. Drinks maker

Are you a master brewer? Perhaps you have a great stash of rhubarb growing in your garden that would make a lovely gin. People will pay top dollar for artisan drinks in beautiful bottles. And it doesn’t have to be alcoholic of course…

“Foraging school trips and weekends away with family and friends tapping birch trees for sap in early spring is something I have been missing a lot having settled in the UK many years ago.

“The starting point was a childhood memory of the silky and refreshing drink, which is called a ‘living water’ locally. The lightbulb moment came at one of sporting events where I still struggle to find a healthy and hydrating drink for my son. I have always found it astonishing to see the abundance of artificial and sugary drinks being sold and marketed to the public and especially the young generation, so TreeVitalise was born!”

Anna Skopets, founder of TreeVitalise

 

13. Wellness expert

Could you advise people about their eating? Support them with achieving their nutrition goals and create (or even provide) meal plans. 

“Nutrition is a hotly debated subject and I love helping people make sense of it.

“I have always known that science, people and food are my thing and I’m lucky that my career combines all three. Running my own business means I have the opportunity to deliver seminars, run workshops, teach budding dietetic students and take part in some media work alongside my ‘bread and butter’ clinical work.

“I chose freelance work, to achieve two things – to enable me to work in the field of nutrition in the way the NHS could not facilitate and secondly to give flexibility for school plays, school holidays and a school pick up at 3.15. Most of the time it all rumbles along quite nicely but there are pressure points and those are the days which are toughest!”

Laura Clark, LEC Nutrition

Marketing moguls

If click-through rates, return on investments and target audiences fascinate you then one of these has your name on it.

 

14. Social media manager

Most businesses these days will require social media management resources and most don’t have the expertise or time to do it in-house. This is where you could offer your services if you can create engaging content and grow followings. 

 

15. SEO manager 

Again, if a business has a website, they should really have an SEO strategy in place to drive traffic to that website. This involves keyword research, creating relevant content and updating information in the back-end of the site. 

 

16. Instagram influencer

Grow your following on Instagram and you could be paid to trial and promote products relevant to your audience. 

 

17. Data entry 

Data entry is an easy job if you’re fast with your fingers and have good attention to detail. Although the service can be bought quite cheaply online, businesses will pay a premium or someone they trust and who complies with all the necessary data regulations. 

 

18. Paid ads manager 

Paid advertising online via social or Google is another key marketing channel these days. The ad manager platforms can seem complicated to use at first glance but are easy enough to ace by using online guides and with a little practice. 

 

19. Drop-shipper 

If you know how to market a product then drop-shipping could be the business for you. You can start an online shop and do all your marketing without ever having to worry about buying, storing or posting the stock. 

 

20. Affiliate marketer

Another low-risk way of making money is to become an affiliate and send referrals to other brands via your own website, making a commission for every sale that you make.   

 

21. Market researcher 

Help companies gain consumer insights by collecting and analysing data normally by conducting questionnaires or focus groups face-to-face, or over the phone. 

 

22. Email marketer

A great email marketing strategy will involve growing a relevant database and sending them content that they want to receive while it also puts the brand at the forefront of their mind. Free platforms like Mailchimp are great for setting up email campaigns, storing and segmenting data. 

 

23. Press relations expert 

The role of a PR person is to help maintain a positive public image and increased awareness for a brand or person. This is done through relationships with the media, writing press releases, managing PR events and stunts, and it overlaps into social media.

Wordsmiths

It might seem easy to you but it’s not to everybody. There’s a multitude of things you can do if your writing ability ain’t too shabby. 

 

24. Journalist 

Got a good story or know how to find and write one? Freelance journalists sell their stories to newspapers, magazines, and other media outlets. You’ll need to read a lot, write a lot and build relationships. 

 

25. Copywriter 

Copywriters write words for businesses that help them to sell their products and services. This might be for adverts, websites, letters or leaflets. 

“I’ve always loved words. Using them and abusing them is intrinsic to my personality. Creative swearing. Eruditely elucidating. Telling it how it is. Over-telling it for the sake of a good anecdote.

“But I didn’t always know what a copywriter was, or that as a job, it existed. 

“My brother was a graphic designer and had set up his own studio, working with some great clients; some of whom invariably needed copy. I ‘gave it a go’ in my spare time and the feedback was invigoratingly good. By the time I was leaving my education role, I’d already decided that’s what I wanted to be: A copywriter.

“First and most obvious step, is to goddamn write! Write anything at any time. I wrote unpaid reviews for some blog sites (free gig tickets, occasional meals, etc.). I asked everybody I knew with their own business if I could help (got some work on a travel brochure). I researched and made a list of all local marketing, advertising, and design, digital and creative agencies. Volunteered my services to local charities. I called, mailed, knocked on doors.”

Gary Lewis, Gary Does Copy

 

26. Blogger

You can either blog for yourself and try to monetise it by generating enough web traffic to sell ad space or by becoming an influencer. Or you can blog for businesses to keep their websites fresh and up to date with all their latest news.  

“My love of makeup stems from trawling beauty counters on Oxford Street as a teenager with my mum. When I discovered Blogger through Gmail I thought it would be cool to keep a diary of my purchases, after all, I was a beauty junkie with a department store discount to tempt me to buy more!

“Initially, I started a blog to write about topics related to my degree (Human Nutrition) and beauty so I chose a name to reflect that – “frootibeauty”. It then ended up being just about beauty and so I rebranded in March 2016 to just my name, Safiyah Tasneem, as I felt like I had outgrown “frooti”, ha-ha.

“At the moment I mostly work on content/blogging at night when my son is asleep as I am busy with his routine in the day or I just feel guilty if I spend too much time on my phone/laptop. It’s also quite distracting when a four-year-old only wants to play with you and doesn’t understand the concept of “work”!”

Safiyah Tasneem 

 

27. Author 

They say everyone has a book in them. That might be a non-fiction ebook, a children’s book or a novel. You can make money from all of them and self-publishing means that you don’t have to wait for a publisher to choose you. 

 

28. Translator 

Translators convert text from one language into another so it goes without saying that you’ll need a really good grasp of at least two languages for this role. 

 

29. Transcriptionists 

Transcriptionists touch-type audio recordings, like interviews, into text and can typically type 50-80 words per minute. 

 

30. Researcher

Writers and journalists often need researchers to help them investigate subjects they are looking to cover. You’ll need to be thorough and be able to think critically.

People pleasers

Making people happy, taking care of them and teaching them are the keys to all these jobs.

 

31. Personal trainer 

Personal trainers write training plans and take people to do exercise to help them to reach their fitness goals. This might be in a gym or outdoors, one-to-one or in a group. It could be a boot camp style class, a buggy running club or simple exercises at home for the elderly.  

 

32. Childcarer 

If you’re already looking after your own sprog, you could also offer to take care of somebody else’s at the same time. 

 

33. Online trainer 

Online training is a growing industry and you can train people in absolutely anything via videos, webinars, ebooks, podcasts and emails. 

 

34. Life coach

Life coaches can counsel, support, consult and give advice to people on a vast range of personal issues to help them accomplish their goals. 

 

35. Business mentor 

Business mentors support people with specific or general problems, helping to get their business out of ruts and to achieve their potential. 

 

36. Virtual assistant 

VAs are PAs from a distance. They can help people to run their lives or businesses by taking on day-to-day admin tasks like scheduling meetings, marketing, travel arrangements, research, preparing reports and event planning. 

 

37. Event planner

If you love organising a party and you can think of every last detail then event planning could be a job for you that you could easily do remotely. 

 

38. Customer service assistant 

Many businesses outsource their customer service requirements now. You could take phone calls, emails, answer social media messages or be behind a chatbot, all in the comfort of your own home. 

 

37. Airbnb host

If you’ve got a spare room you could become an Airbnb host and even if you haven’t, you could manage it on the behalf of someone else who has. Whether this is just sorting out their listing, taking photographs, managing bookings, meeting and greeting or cleaning. 

 

38. Elderly carer 

Elderly people have a variety of needs that you could help with. It could be cooking or cleaning, DIY or dog walking, or just a bit of company.  

 

39. Travel planner

If you’ve been on a fair few holidays or seen a lot of the world, you could be the perfect person to advise and book trips for others. 

 

40. Hairdresser 

Hairdressing is easily done from your house or the house of the client and you could plan appointment times to suit you. 

 

41. Tutor 

Tutors often help children to pass their exams with some extra hours of learning after school. But you could tutor anyone on anything if there is a demand for it. 

 

42. Pet sitter or dog walker

Pet sitting, feeding animals while people are on holiday or walking their dogs are all activities that could be done knowing that you wouldn’t necessarily have to be there at 1 o’clock on the dot (for example) and you could potentially take your child with you. 

“Being from the countryside, I had never heard of professional dog walking. My cousin suggested it when we were brainstorming business ideas so I looked into it. I had only planned to start it as a little side-earner while I set up a “real” company.

“It soon became apparent that there was a huge gap in the market for a proper dog walking service in London.

Since then, we’ve grown a huge amount. I now have a team of 20 full-time employees, seven new vans on the road and we walk around 180 dogs per day.”

Joe Thomason, Green Dog Walking

 

43. House sitter 

Looking after somebody else’s house while they’re away could be done with a child. 

 

44. Cleaner

Being a cleaner could give you flexible hours or you could set up your own business and employ others or outsource the work.

Business brains

Do you love to spot trends, surround yourself with inspiration and find yourself thinking big? Then you’re destined for entrepreneurialism.

 

47. Franchisee

Do your research and become a franchisee or buy an existing business so that you’re largely already set up to just run with it. 

 

48. Sell designer products 

If you have a passion for designer items then you could start a business selling them. Sought after items are easier to make money on, especially if you can source them cheaply (second-hand ‘like new’ with labels). 

 

49. eBayer 

You can sell anything on eBay. Start small and just sell your own unwanted items first. 

 

50. Become a partner 

Two heads are better than one, not to mention two pairs of hands and if the other person has children too then you would understand each other’s needs and could support each other. Maybe you could even set up a child or family-targeted business? Or share childcare costs while you work. 

Download: How to start a business in 20 days ebook

We get it. There’s a lot to think about when you’re starting a business. That’s why we’ve created this free eBook that will provide you with a focused and 100% manageable action plan.   

From budgets to social media, our how to start a business in 20 days eBook is your smart guide to getting your business up and running. 

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