Posted in freelance, guest post, small business, writing

Guest Post: Your Guide to Starting a Small Business as a Stay-at-Home Parent

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By Virginia Cooper

Studies show approximately 20 percent of American parents choose to stay home with their kids, which can be rewarding. However, it’s perfectly natural to want goals of your own, and starting an in-home business can provide an additional sense of purpose as well as income.

What Are the Steps to Starting Your Own Business?

Starting a business is easier than you think. Once you have a solid idea, you can create a professional space and legally register your company.

Create a Home Office

You need a space to work without distractions and meet with clients, so creating a home office is a good idea. Having a separate room for work also helps you “check out” when off the clock.

Choose a Business Structure

If you’re a one-person operation, you can choose a sole proprietorship or limited liability company as your business structure. Many entrepreneurs choose LLCs for the benefits:

  • Considered a separate legal entity from the owner
  • Numerous tax advantages
  • Flexible ownership

The process for registering an LLC varies by state, so you’ll need to do research before filing. The good news is, you can do it yourself or with a formation service, so there’s no need to spend money on a lawyer.

Find Funding

Starting a small business requires money for fees, supplies, and marketing. If you have savings, you can tap into those. Otherwise, you’ll need to apply for financing.

Market Your Services

To get clients, you need to put your business out there. Fortunately, there are many marketing techniques small businesses can use:

  • Create a website
  • Post on social media
  • Join local groups

What Kind of Businesses Can You Run From Home?

The key to a successful business is choosing an industry that utilizes your strengths. When running a business out of your home, there are plenty of options.

Freelance Writing

If you have a penchant for the written word, you can use your literary skills to make money. There are many publishers to submit your work to if you write fiction, or you can cut out the middle man by self-publishing. You can also go the commercial route and offer copywriting services. Check out these resources.

Pet Care

Pet lovers can indulge their passion for animal care with dog-sitting services. When owners travel, they trust you to ensure their furry friends have everything they need:

  • Food and water
  • Playtime
  • Walks
  • Comfortable sleeping arrangements


If you have a college degree, you can put it to use through tutoring. Many people find it rewarding to help children conquer subjects they find difficult.

Music Lessons

Parents who play an instrument can make money by sharing their knowledge. You can teach whatever you’re proficient in, but these are the instruments with the highest demand:

  • Bass
  • Piano
  • Drums
  • Guitar

Personal Training

Fitness enthusiasts with at-home gyms can sell their services as personal trainers. You need certification, so do your research first.

Catering and Baking

If you love cooking or baking, you can run a catering business from your kitchen. Since food is involved, you’ll need to acquire the appropriate licenses and adhere to regulations.

Virtual Assistant Services

Parents with office administration experience can offer their services as virtual assistants. VAs can fill many roles, so finding a position that fits your skills should be relatively easy.

Other Industries

If the above jobs don’t sound exciting, there are a wide range of alternatives:

  • Massage therapy
  • Translation services
  • Clothing alterations
  • Transcription services
  • Bookkeeping

Starting an at-home business is an excellent way for parents to stay available to their families while pursuing their passions. With the proper planning and enough determination, you can build a successful company.

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