Small Home Business Ideas for Moms

Subsidizing the Family Income

Being a stay-at-home mom can have a great impact on the family income, especially if there were two income streams coming in before the children arrived. If so, the first nine months or so after the arrival of the first child would have most likely been subsidized by a maternity leave cheque, but what happens after those cheques stop coming in?

A lot of moms look toward other methods of helping with the household income, even though they have chosen to stay at home with the children. This Hub will list a few methods of earning either a part-time or full-time income while taking care of the children, which is a full-time job in itself.


Childcare

In communities with no formal daycare facilities there are often several "day homes". This simply means your child spends the day in a caregiver's home as opposed to having a babysitter go to your home.

If you are the one providing the childcare, be sure you are aware of the rules and regulations regarding number of children allowed in the home (this includes your own children as well). It is advisable to obtain a copy of the guidelines from your local Family & Community Support Services office, as chances are they will be the go-between for you and parents in need of childcare.

It is not imperative you go through the FCSS office, but I personally advise you do as payment for your services is guaranteed. There is nothing more disheartening than spending a month taking care of someone else's child only to find you will not be compensated for it. If a potential client wants to pay you privately, inform them of subsidies available if they go through the FCSS office. A lot of people are not aware of such programs, and for many families it is a matter of just surviving cheque to cheque. With subsidized services, they may have a chance at actually having some money left at the end of the month.

Rates are not written in stone, and they tend to vary from community to community or province to province. There may be more consistency however, if they are determined by a government agency.

When you are a parent, you are responsible for your own child and your own actions regarding the care of that child. When you enter the field of caring for someone else's child, the responsibility increases significantly. There are courses you will need to take, such as First Aid and CPR. When I operated my Day Home the agency paid for the courses and supplied each Day Home with a First Aid Kit. In addition to the courses, there are forms and waivers to fill out when you are planning a field trip with the children in your care, and security checks to be made. This is an important one, as it assures parents their children are not going to be exposed to high-risk situations.

Do not let any of the rules and regulations dissuade you from caring for children in your home. It is not for everyone, but can be a very reliable source of income while you stay home with your own children. I had both full-time and part-time children in my home, and earned more per month than I did at a job at a local hardware store, plus I had to pay for someone else to take care of my children.

Miniature Sampler

One of the first miniature quilts I made. I was commissioned to make one with the same patterns but with solid colors and black.
One of the first miniature quilts I made. I was commissioned to make one with the same patterns but with solid colors and black. | Source

Arts and Crafts

For the creative person, making items to sell at a local shop, online or out of your own home can be quite lucrative indeed.

There is no limit to the variety of options available. If you like to sew you can make clothes, quilts, stuffed animals, curtains, and more. If you like to knit or crochet you can make and sell mitts, scarves, toques, tote bags, sweaters, afghans, dishcloths, hot pads, etc.

For those who like scrapbooking, utilizing the tools and materials for hand-made greeting cards is also a great way to earn some extra money. Inquiring at local shops could provide you with one or more outlets to sell your cards. Depending on the quality, you could easily charge a few dollars per card and get it. People like to give hand-made cards, but often do not have the time, patience or know-how to do it themselves. If you have a way with words you could make them very unique indeed.



Small Market Garden

The beginnings of a small scale market garden, complete with solar lighting.
The beginnings of a small scale market garden, complete with solar lighting. | Source

Garden Gate Sales

Working from home doesn't necessarily mean you have to be cooped up inside all day. If you have the space and like getting your hands dirty, why not grow produce to sell at markets and from your home?

Gardening is a great way to teach children about where their food comes from. (So many kids today will say "the store" when asked where certain foods come from. It kind of ties in with the idea of chocolate milk coming from brown cows.) In addition to teaching your children about the food they eat, you will also be providing them with a healthier alternative to commercially grown produce. Getting them involved in the preparation, planting, care and harvesting will help them appreciate the work involved as well as earning some extra money as well.

A dear friend of mine has three small greenhouses, and while her kids were growing up she would start seedlings in late winter/early spring and then sell the bedding plants. She also planted a huge garden and would sell the excess produce. The garden and greenhouses helped pay bills while her boys were growing up, and she was able to stay home and enjoy being a mom.

Writing

Do you like to write?

If so, you can earn an a part-time (or full-time) income from submitting articles online or writing website and blog content for clients. The amount you earn is purely dependent on how much time and effort you put into it, and which route you wish to take.

Submitting articles to revenue sharing sites will not earn you any quick cash, but as you build your portfolio and attract the attention of readers, it could eventually provide you with a passive income. If you need to earn money quickly, there are sites such as iWriter and Helium that will pay upon acceptance. The pay isn't the highest, but if you are just starting out it will help hone your writing skills while giving you a bit of compensation for your time.

Another way to earn money writing is to start a blog. Blogging about your interests and hobbies will attract readers and potential clients/customers for services/products you offer or a share of advertising revenue (ads placed on your site via AdSense). You simply offer the reader some valuable information and include relevant product links (Amazon affiliate, for example). How-to articles are always a good choice, as they are evergreen (relevant at any time now and in the future).

If you have a flair for fiction, writing a novel is also a good way to earn some money. With the option of self-publishing readily available, you can begin earning royalties almost as soon as you make your book available to the public. The POD (print on demand) options allow for customers to buy print copies of your book, but you do not have to stock hundreds of them (unless you want to). If writing a book, it is a good idea to start a blog about it so you have an audience ready to buy. Include excerpts from your book in your posts to keep them coming back for more.

Writing nonfiction can be more lucrative than fiction, especially when it comes to DIY and Self Help books. Here again, blog about it to attract followers. If your followers like what they are reading on your blog, they will most likely buy your books. Make the content interesting and entertaining; use photos and videos whenever possible.

Copywriting is also a good way to earn money. Businesses will pay well for advertising copy that brings in customers and sales. If you have a "way with words" you can easily earn a modest income by securing a few clients and providing them with copy that sells.

Summing it Up

When you are a stay-at-home mom you will want to have flexibility, so working around your own schedule is often more productive than trying to fit customers in when your child is napping. Chances are if you have an appointment set for when your child usually naps, they may decide they don't want to nap after all. The appointment cannot be cancelled last minute and you may end up with a grumpy child and a grumpy customer. Do what works best for you and your family and everyone will remain happy.

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Comments 28 comments

leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

These are great ideas - I've obviously chosen the freelance writing as a way to supplement income. I hadn't thought about selling produce from a garden - that is very clever!


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Thank you! I am aiming at diversifying myself; I just need the weather to co-operate and about 24 more hours in each day. :)


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia

You are lucky to have the FCSS program, we don't have it over here. Some of the stay at home moms here, bake cakes for the local restaurants. They are contracted to supply certain numbers/types of cakes on a daily basis. Your cakes have to be good and you have to do the delivery..that could be a problem for some moms.


chipped teacup profile image

chipped teacup 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

I'm not a mom but these are still very good ideas to bring in some more cash from home! Nicely written, thanks for a great hub. :)


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Thank you! Yes, I can see delivery being a problem for some moms, especially for those with babies. I like to bake, but can't see myself being committed to doing a certain amount each day.

Childcare is a nice option as children then have someone to play with, and share their toys with. This is especially important when raising an only child. That is not to say all the toys should be shared, but it teaches children to get along with others.


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Thank you! Some of the ideas are, as you say, great for bringing in some extra money as well. Before I had children I would spend hours each day crocheting or making other crafts, then would sell them at local markets and craft fairs. I wish we would have had the power of the internet 20 years ago; I would have been much further ahead as I could have sold to a wider audience. :)


CassyLu1981 profile image

CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

I did the child care for 3 years! It was the best business I could have done. I got to stay home with my kids, have a cirriculum to follow for teaching, and my kids met lots of new friends this way. It's great to have the routine and everything like that too. Wish I was still able to do it (and I probably will in my home again one day) but right now just is not the time for us. GREAT hub! Love all the ideas :) Voted up and shared!


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Thank you very much! I enjoyed it as well, and missed the income when I had to quit. I did better pay-wise with my part-time kids than my full-time kids, as the rates were (and probably still are) higher than full-time.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California

Great ideas. Love it when a mom tries to stay home with her kids.


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

I enjoyed staying home with mine; there was a time when I did have to go to work, but paying for childcare took up most of my cheque. It was then that I decided to become a Day Home Provider again (had been one when my son was a baby).


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

Great ideas! I had thought of most of these, but had never considered the idea of selling plants from one's garden- that's great!


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Thank you! It pays to have friends who do things I haven't; although this year I do want to try to sell some produce out of my garden.


meloncauli profile image

meloncauli 4 years ago from UK

I enjoyed reading this article. Well written and informative. There's also good old auction selling :)


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Thank you! Yes, there is; I hadn't thought about that one. :)


krsharp05 profile image

krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

Great ideas. I especially love the gardening idea. Very well written. -K


Kathy Atkinson profile image

Kathy Atkinson 4 years ago from East London.Cape Province.South Africa

I am always looking for new ideas. Thanks for the well written article.

Kathy Atkinson www.homeearningrports.com


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Great suggestions and ones that are simple to build with minimal start up costs. Thanks for posting.


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Thank you all for your kind words. When making the decision to work from home it is usually out of necessity so starting up with minimal cost is imperative.

@Kathy Atkinson - I have left your comment, but for future reference please do not post links in the comment section of any Hubs. Thanks!


wynnestudios profile image

wynnestudios 4 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

Hey, I think these can me for dads too. ;o)


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

They most certainly can be! There are many stay-at-home dads as well, so just because it says "moms" it doesn't mean they can't apply to either. Thank you for bringing up that point. :)


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

Great hub, brsmom. These ideas are very practical and can be great ways to make money. When I was a kid, my mom had a full-time job, but as she was so good at knitting, she also made stuff like sweaters, purses and socks, then sold them at her friend's store.


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

It is good to know she was able to supplement the family income by selling her knit items. It is good when a person has a local outlet for selling their crafts, as market and craft fair fees can quickly add up. I found it is more feasible to pay a few dollars a month for my items to be exposed to the general public every day than it was to pack it from market to market.


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona

Good ideas for all of us, brsmom! I too like the gardening idea. It's unique, and if you have the available land and the time, I'm sure there would be great demand for home grown produce in most any community or neighborhood! Voted up, useful and interesting!


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Thank you! There is one farmer in a neighboring community who grows the best carrots I have ever had, and he supplies local grocery stores. By the time mid-March rolls around the local grocers are back to getting their carrots from California; apparently everyone loves them.


Joy M profile image

Joy M 4 years ago from Sumner, Washington

I've thought about the gardening idea but we never have surplus. Oh well, at least my kids are eating lots of fresh fruits and veggis.


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

That in itself is a good thing Joy M.Plus, just think of the money you are not spending on produce in the grocery store. It does have its advantages even if you are not directly making any cash from it.


Kathy Atkinson profile image

Kathy Atkinson 4 years ago from East London.Cape Province.South Africa

Hi, Sorry about the website Link. Thanks for leaving my comment.


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

@ Kathy Atkinson - no worries. Have a great day!

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