Are you a mom thinking about starting your own business to bring in some extra income or replace your current job? That’s great! Running your own business gives you the flexibility to set your own hours and choose the kind of work that you do—and don’t—want to do. This flexibility is a big part of why moms, including myself, are often so drawn to entrepreneurship to begin with.
What business can I do as a mother?
Whether you’re happily married, newly divorced, or just a single mom, if you’re interested in starting your own business, the good news is there are tons of options out there to choose from. Below are seven business ideas you should consider, including a number that can be done from the comfort of your own home with little more than an internet connection:
- Business idea #1: Bookkeeping
- Business idea #2: Proofreading
- Business idea #3: Postpartum care
- Business idea #4: Graphic design
- Business idea #5: Coding
- Business idea #6: Freelance writing
- Business idea #7: Project manager
- Business idea #8: Resale shop owner
- Business idea #9: Virtual Assistant
- Business idea #10: Blogging
Business idea #1: Bookkeeping
At its simplest, bookkeeping involves keeping track of financial transactions for a business. The work can involve recording financial details, updating various financial statements, and reading over financial documents for accuracy.
If you like working with numbers and want the freedom to work from home, then freelance bookkeeping could be an excellent business idea for you. According to ZipRecruiter, freelance bookkeepers earn an average of $55,094 per year in the US, or roughly $26 per hour. While that's respectable pay, experienced bookkeepers with a mature client base can earn even more: Up to $100,000 per year or more.
All it takes to be a freelance bookkeeper is a computer, internet connection, bookkeeping software, and the skills to get the job done. With the right training, it’s possible to kick off your career in a matter of weeks.
Bookkeeper Launch, an online course launched by Ben Robinson, a certified public accountant, and our recommended bookkeeper training program, takes just 90 days to complete and teaches you everything you need to know about starting your own bookkeeping business, and earn into the six-figures.
Read our review for Bookkeeper Launch.
Business idea #2: Proofreading
More of a words girl than a numbers girl? Freelance proofreading can help you turn your love of reading into literal cash in your pocket.
Proofreaders act as the final set of eyes to review a piece of content before it is published or otherwise pushed out into the world. Their job is to find and correct errors or inconsistencies in text.
Virtually any business that produces content can hire proofreaders. This includes book publishers, magazines, newspapers, websites, advertisers, television writers, grant writers, academics, business owners, speakers, and more. Anywhere you see words out in the world, there’s a good chance that a proofreader was involved at some point in creating it. According to ZipRecruiter, the average proofreader in the U.S. earns approximately $56,762 per year, or about $27 per hour.
Proofreaders need to have an extremely strong handle on language, spelling, punctuation, and grammar. For that reason, many freelance proofreaders who are just starting out will complete some form of proofreading training to learn the tricks of the trade. Our recommended course is Proofread Anywhere, a course specifically designed to teach you how to start a freelance proofreading business from home. Over the course of 40 lessons, you’ll build the skills that you need to have a successful, lucrative proofreading business. Check out our full Proofread Anywhere review.
Business idea #3: Postpartum care
The months leading up to and following childbirth can be some of the most magical, stressful months of a young mother’s life. Growing a child, birthing them into existence, and learning how to care for them takes both a physical and emotional toll on new parents, especially in those earliest sleep-deprived months. Doulas play a critical role providing physical and emotional support to new parents before, during, and after childbirth.
If you are passionate about women’s health or have always wanted to work with pregnant women and newborns, then becoming a doula could be a great career choice for you.
Exactly what a doula does can vary significantly from professional to professional and also from client to client. That being said, doulas often play a role in educating parents about childbirth, making them more comfortable during labor, and providing physical care during and after delivery. More than anything, they act as an advocate for the mother and work to ensure that she has a positive birth experience. After birth, postpartum doulas ensure that a mother is properly healing and adjusting to motherhood, and often play a role in educating the mother on issues of breastfeeding and childcare.
For the work, doulas make good money: $1,600 to $2,000 per birth, or $20 to $50 per hour, depending on how you choose to charge for your services. While doulas don’t currently need a particular license or certification to practice, earning such a certification can make it easier to attract clients. Doulas of North America International (DONA), Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA), Childbirth International, and the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) are all popular certification organizations.
Business idea #4: Graphic design
For moms who are artistically inclined, starting a freelance graphic design business can be a rewarding and lucrative business idea. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), graphic designers earn an average annual pay of about $53,380 per year or roughly $26 per hour. Established graphic designers commonly charge more than $100 per hour, and can earn $100,000 or more per year.
Graphic designers perform a variety of tasks depending on what their clients need. This can include designing anything from logos and websites to business cards, books, magazines, newspapers, ads, images, product packaging, and literally everything in between.
But being a successful graphic designer requires more than just solid art skills. It also requires that you have a solid grasp on design best practices, the specific computer programs used for design, and the business acumen required to handle, manage, and communicate with clients. While some graphic designers learn these skills by completing a degree in graphic design, it has become increasingly common for graphic designers to be self-taught through online courses.
Coursera, for example, offers a number of great graphic design courses that can help you learn what you need to do the job well. Classes and certifications start at $29.
Business idea #5: Coding
Moms with a more technical bent or who are interested in computers and technology might want to give coding a shot. Coders perform the important task of designing, writing, and testing computer code for various applications, from web development to app development, software development, and everything in between.
Whether you work as a coder for a large company or you are a freelance coder, coding is by far one of the most lucrative careers today. According to the US BLS, coders earn an average annual salary of just under $90,000 per year, or about $43 per hour. Better still, demand for coders is only increasing as more and more businesses find themselves needing websites or apps to interact with their customers. And because all you need is a computer and know-how to do the job, it’s possible to do this job from anywhere, including your home.
Before enrolling in a degree program, you might want to consider an online course like those offered by Coursera, which are usually very affordable and high-quality.
Business idea #6: Freelance writing
Freelance writing can be a great career choice if you love to write and want to run your own business. You can make money as a freelance writer either by contracting with clients (there are literally thousands of businesses that rely on freelance writers to create the content for their websites) or by launching and monetizing your own website and blog. Many full-time blog owners earn in the six-figures, or even millions of dollars per year.
New freelance writers serving clients commonly earn between $30 and $60 per hour for their work, but more experienced writers can earn anywhere from $100 to $300 per hour—or more!—depending on their niche, client base, and how efficient they are at completing assignments. Freelance writers monetizing their own websites will often start off making small amounts of money until their site truly starts taking off, but once it is rolling, the money can likewise be substantial.
All you need to launch your freelance writing business is a computer and access to the internet. Well, that, strong writing skills, and a little bit of business know-how.
Business idea #7: Project manager
When a business has a complex project to complete, they turn to project managers to get the job done. Project managers perform a variety of tasks designed to usher a project from planning all the way through to completion. This can include everything from scheduling and budgeting to assigning tasks, managing personnel as they work on tasks, removing roadblocks, communicating with everyone involved in a project, and more.
According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), project managers earn an average salary of roughly $116,000 per year. This amount can vary depending on how much experience an individual has as well as the type of industry they operate within, from a low of around $93,000 to a high of around $140,000 on average. Most project managers work as employees of large organizations, but it is possible to work as a freelance project manager as well, especially for smaller businesses.
Many project managers will earn a degree in project management, with master’s degrees being very common amongst more senior-level PMs. That being said, for those who are first starting out, certificate programs can be a great way of testing the waters and seeing if the work is right for you. They can also be a great way of learning enough of the basics to get an entry-level project management job. Google offers certificate programs that you might want to consider if you think project management could be for you.
Google's project management program:
- No experience or degree required
- Job ready in 6 months or less
- Flexible schedule with 100% of courses completed online
- Certificate upon completion
- Financial aid available for those who qualify
If you think of yourself as a natural problem-solver, consider going for Google's Project Management certificate. Free 7-day trial >>
Business idea #8: Resale shop owner
When it first launched in 1995, eBay was a platform for people to make a few extra dollars on the side selling items they no longer wanted. But in recent years, online resale shops have become a gold mine for savvy sellers looking to launch lucrative businesses selling new and used goods.
The fastest way to get your feet wet in the world of online resale is to start by selling your own items online. Once you’ve become familiar with the process and see what people are buying, you can start sourcing items through thrifting or wholesaling.
Successful resale businesses understand which items to sell on which platforms and how to set prices to increase profitability. Different resale shops have different commission models. Here are some of the most popular sites for selling items:
Poshmark: Poshmark is like a social media site for resale. You can like and share listings to help them gain more traction, and people can follow your account to shop for new items you add. Poshmark began as a site strictly for clothing and accessories but has since expanded to include jewelry, children’s toys, art, and home goods. For sales under $15, Poshmark takes a flat commission of $2.95. For items $15 and up, Poshmark has a 20% commision rate. Read our full Poshmark review here >>
Mercari: Mercari has a similar structure to Poshmark. Sellers can list items for free on Mercari — everything from clothing to electronics — and the site takes a 10% fee on each item when it sells. See our Mercari review here >>
thredUP: Unlike other resale sites, thredUP does not have individual seller profiles. Sellers submit their items to thredUP in free Clean Out Kits, then thredUP decides the value of the items and pays out commissions on a sliding scale of 5-80% (commission percentage increases with the value of the item). thredUP only accepts about 50% of the items submitted and donates anything unusable, though sellers can choose to have their unsellable items returned for a $10.99 fee. Check out our review of thredUP here >>
eBay: It’s free to post items for sale on eBay — unless you start listing more than 250 items per month. High-quantity sellers pay a $0.35 insertion fee per listing. In either case, if your items sell, they’ll be subject to a fee between 12-15%, depending on the type of item, plus $0.30 per order.
Business idea #9: Virtual assistant
Don’t worry — as a virtual assistant, you probably won’t have to memorize coffee orders. Rather, most virtual assistants handle tasks like scheduling meetings, responding to emails, managing social media accounts, drafting presentations, and supporting the day-to-day operations of a company or individual. If you can type and have basic computer skills, you can start your own business as a virtual assistant.
Most virtual assistant jobs are remote, offer flexible hours and pay well (depending on your skillset, you could earn between $20 to $75 a year).
As more companies shift to a remote model because of the pandemic, more of these positions should become available. If you start your own business as a virtual assistant, you can pick up multiple clients and market any unique skills you have (like marketing, copywriting, or graphic design).
If you want to become a virtual assistant but don’t have any experience, check out our post on how to market yourself and get started on a lucrative new career.
Business idea #10: Blogging
Most moms prefer to have a flexible career, and work at home at least part of the time, studies find. I get why! When you’re your own boss, own your time, decide how much money you can earn (opposed to a boss telling you what your salary is), you are in control. That is power. Control. Freedom. Joy.
Starting a blog is easy.
First, find a URL, also called a blog address or domain name, and buy it. (My URL is Wealthysinglemommy.com).
In the past, I had good experience with the hosting service, BlueHost, that will help you buy your domain name quickly and cheaply (a few years ago when my site was getting really big and I needed high-end security and tech support, I upgraded to WPEngine as a host. WPEngine is amazing but costs about $3,000+ per year. Start small and cheap and upgrade as you grow).
Find partnerships either directly through the company sites, or through networks like:
To build a successful affiliate blog requires focusing on search engine optimization, or SEO. Spend some time with SEO expert Neil Patel‘s blog and videos to get the basics as well as deeper insight into this critical and frankly complicated and competitive industry.
Bloggers and social media influencer income ranges from $0 to millions of dollars. I recently attended a blogger conference where a few of my colleagues shared their experience in building sites that they all recently sold for between $6 million and $7 million.
What they shared is not highly technical, or complicated. It is what many of us can do, but they were diligent and ran their sites like businesses. It took them years — between six and 11 years, in these cases, but it is possible.
How to choose a domain name for your blog
Don’t stress about your domain name. I bought Wealthysinglemommy.com for $3. The address had roughly the terms I was interested in including, which were “mom,” and something to do with abundance / wealth / riches.
“Richsinglemom.com” and other, better, addresses were either taken, or very expensive, and this was a hobby at the time. Back then, “mommy” irritated me — it’s not a word I use in my daily life.
Since then, I have come to accept Wealthysinglemommy.com as a great name for several reasons:
1. It has keywords that are relevant to my blog. If I named my blog “Happycappuccino.com” — that might be cute, but when people are searching on Google or Facebook for information about single moms, it would be harder for them to stumble upon Wealthysinglemommy.com
2. It’s clear. My site speaks only to professional single moms. My target audience connects with my blog name because it says what it is. There are no initials or made-up words, or an unusual name that people wouldn’t know how to spell.
3. It is provocative and memorable. “Wealth” and “single mom” are usually opposites in most people’s minds. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT I AM TRYING TO CHANGE. My blog and life mission are baked into my URL.
4. It is short. OK, Wealthysinglemommy.com isn’t that short. But when picking your blog URL, the shorter the better.
If you are struggling with finding a name for your blog, business, brand, product or service, you can use a naming service like Squadhelp. They use a crowdsourcing contest to obtain a list of ideas for you to choose from.
Tips on designing a successful blog:
When selecting your theme and fidgeting with design, keep in mind these things that I learned (some of them the hard way. You’re welcome.):
Make it personal
There is no such thing as an anonymous personal blog anymore. People connect with other people. Use your real name.
Photo front and center
People want to know who is speaking to them. Again: It’s all about human connection. Don’t fret if you don’t have fancy professional photos like many bloggers do. Just put up an iPhone pic and upgrade later.
Focus on one or two social media
Again, this is where people will find you. Readers have very short memories, so you must remind them of your work where they hang out: On social. Don’t try to be an expert on every medium. Stick to what you know, and enjoy. So if you are on Pinterest and Insta all day, narrow your attention to those. As you grow, you can always branch out. For me, Facebook is my jam, followed by Twitter. I now hire out experts to grow my Instagram and Pinterest — but I only started those a couple years ago.
Make it awesome on mobile
When designing your site, make sure that everything looks and works great on a smartphone. This is more important than how your site operates on a desktop or laptop. At least half of the content is consumed via smartphones, and that figure grows daily. Search engines like Google give preference to sites that work great on mobile.
See at the top and center of Wealthysinglemommy.com the “Get free chapters from my book?” I didn’t collect emails for the first TWO YEARS of blogging. I estimate I missed out on collecting about 10,000 email addresses. Don’t make this mistake! Email is a powerful way of connecting with your audience, including selling them stuff like books and courses. I use email management service Aweber, which is one of the most popular ones, and offers great customer service.
How to quickly grow your blog to 1,000 pageviews per month — and beyond
Once you get your new awesome blog up and running, here are my basic tips for driving traffic and growing your blog.
The blog world is so incredibly crowded. So is the social media feed. There are millions more posts written today than just a few years ago. How will you stand out?
One of the things that have made Wealthysinglemommy.com so successful is that I speak to a very narrow, specific group of people — who no one else was speaking to : Professional single moms. Often, those in social media worry about going too niche, afraid that they will alienate people and not be able to grow. That is nothing to worry about.
For one, if you own a very small audience, you will literally have low or no competition. Second, your audience may be larger than your niche. For example, many of the moms who follow me are not in professional-level careers, but aspire to be. They follow me and buy my books and products, and spend time on my blog. Also, married women have their reasons to read my blog, as do all kinds of men.
Once per week is the minimum. Whatever your cadence, be consistent. But even more important, focus on quality:
Make posts long and useful
You have two masters as a blogger: Readers and Google. Really, they are one and the same, as Google increasingly adjusts its algorithm — or, the rules by which it will favor one blog post over another when people search for topics you write about — to accommodate the reader, and give readers a really good experience.
Google’s algorithm updates are a really positive thing that rewards quality writing and good sites — and punishes sites with bad, misleading or scammy content. If your posts and site are easy to use, with good writing with content that helps people, then your blog will be more likely to grow, since your posts will appear higher in searches, and it is easier for people to find them.
One of the things that readers — and therefore Google — prefers, is longer blog posts. Aim for at least 1,200 words per post. This post you are reading is more than 3,000 words.
Make sure the content is easy to read, and broken up into H2 and H3 sections. Learn more about headers in this post from Yoast (which has a lot of great content on blogging).
Just say what the post is about. This is important for SEO (search engine optimization, which is how Google helps people find your site. For example, I use the term “single mom” whenever I can, since that is what my blog is about, and the search term I want people to use to find me).
NO PUNS. If you try to get clever with headlines, you miss opportunities for SEO power. They are confusing and make people think — which no one has time for when you’re competing against — literally — millions and millions of other, straightforward headlines. Plus, puns are horrible. No one appreciates puns except your corny 70-year-old uncle. Again: NO PUNS.
Interact with your readers!
Respond to every comment, whether on the posts or social. This helps readers feel connected with you — you will be surprised how many will geek out that the blog author ACTUALLY responded. You are a celebrity! This also inspires people to return to your site to engage further, share your content on social media, and remember you.
Have a point of view
There is so, so, so much content out there. Who should anyone care what you have to say? If you have something new, surprising, personal, controversial, unorthodox, funny, edgy, sad or jarring, you win. Plus, when you have something to say, big-name media pay attention and interview you. I didn’t get quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Women’s Day and other big outlets by being boring and neutral.
The more you make readers think, the more you piss them off, touch their hearts and otherwise engage with their mind, heart and senses, the more successful you will be.
Connect with other bloggers and influencers
Email other bloggers, and editors at large sites with audience relevant to yours, and simply ask if you can guest post. Do not ask for money, but do ask for a direct link to your blog.
This builds readership and SEO. Tweet your latest post to the big names in your area. Send an email introducing yourself to the hottest podcasters with shared target audiences.
Engage on Instagram posts of influencers whose audiences compliment yours.
Google Analytics is free, easy to use, and has an app so you can stalk your traffic, minute-by-minute, on your phone. This way you can start to understand what posts resonate with readers, what marketing efforts work.
Other resources I use daily: Ahrefs, which helps me understand keyword ranking, Aweber to manage my email subscribers,
Surround yourself with successful people
Your network is everything — not just for landing clients. But for inspiration, finding best practices, sharing good vibes and surrounding yourself with support and, well, success.
Whatever you do, don’t join those mommy blogger groups where women’s goals are limited to income for soccer for their kids.
Think big. Really big. Then think bigger. Because, really, what’s the point otherwise?
To maintain the energy and focus to get big, you need to be surrounded by others with the same mindset.
How to monetize your blog
Once you get some nice traffic going, it’s time to monetize. There are several common ways that people monetize a blog, and I have tried pretty much all of them, with varying success.
I never write about products I don’t really truly endorse and/or use. People follow me because I’m honest. It doesn’t work if I suddenly start promoting sleazy weight-loss programs or multi-level marketing scams.
For example, I really love FlexJobs, the career board for part-time, telecommute, remote and other flexible jobs — a topic that fits perfectly with this site’s mission to close the pay gap and help moms realize their financial and career potential.
I know the founder, and just this morning bumped into a SAHM mom I know while I was working at Starbucks and recommended the site by showing her on my laptop.
See at the bottom of this post how I spell out that links here might make me money? Always include those. If someone pays you outright to write about their product, consider posting that at the top of the blog post.
I have found that readers don’t care if you make money — many are often happy for you — as long as you are honest and give them good information.
What business can I do from home?
One of the great things about being a working mom today is the fact that so many jobs can be done from the comfort of your own home. This gives you the freedom to stay on top of mom-life while still making money. Of the jobs discussed above, the following can commonly be done working from home:
- Graphic design
There are whole MBA programs and startup incubators that will teach you how to start a business, but plenty of entrepreneurs start small, validate an idea, then scale it. Harvard Business School has this useful overview of this process, but here are the first steps to take in starting a business:
- Sketch out a business idea — what is your product or service? Why would it be useful or different than anything else (market differentiation)? Who would use it (target audience)?
- Assess the market size. Perhaps you want to start a floral business, so you would look at other florists in your community and whether they serve the market adequately. Or maybe you are interested in real estate consulting on a national level — what niche would you fill?
- Validate your idea — if you are in the digital space, you might be able to create a quick minimal viable product and drive traffic to it through Facebook or Google ads, or through attention or placement of a trafficked website. Validation may include interviews or surveys with your target customer.
- Assess profitability. How much will the product or service cost? How many of your hours will it take of your time as well as any employees? What is your overhead in terms of real estate, product, advertising? What is a realistic sales price? Then, what is your potential profit (price – cost = profit)?
1. Decide what kind of work you want to do.
The first step to starting your own business is, of course, to consider the kind of work that you want to do. In determining this, you should consider:
- Whether you already have marketable skills that can be turned into a business
- Whether you would be willing to pay for training to gain the skills that you need
- What you enjoy doing
- How flexible you need (or want) your schedule to be
- How much money you need to make
- Whether you want to work at home or in an office
Using this information, you should be able to decide the perfect business for you.
2. Forming an LLC.
A Limited Liability Company, or LLC, is a legal entity that many sole proprietors (i.e., business owners) use to create their business. While it isn’t a requirement that you form an LLC, doing so can bring a number of benefits. Most importantly, it allows you to protect your personal property and wealth from lawsuits that might be directed at your business.
How does Rocket Lawyer help with starting a business?
By creating a legal entity for your business, you can protect yourself legally in lawsuits, financially should your business go bankrupt, save on taxes, raise capital through small business loans and investments, and allow your business to continue on in the event of your passing.
What legal documents do I need for my business?
There are many legal documents and agreements you will likely need for your business, all of these are commonly required and included in RocketLawyer's monthly fee, or on a per-document basis:
- LLC formation
- Independent contractor agreement
- Operating agreement
- Business plan template
- Employee application
- Employee handbook
- Commission agreement
- Leave of absence agreement
- Termination letter
- Trademark registration
- Registered agent services
- Online terms and conditions
- Past-due letters
- Collection letters
- Many more
Do I need a business attorney to start a company?
You do not need a lawyer to start a new company. However, you do need compliant legal documents, and it pays to have an attorney to answer questions and otherwise ensure that all paperwork is filed correctly to ensure a smooth process. It is also helpful to have that professional on hand for your own peace of mind. Starting a new business is a big deal!
Can I find a business attorney on Rocket Lawyer?
RocketLawyer will not assign you your own attorney, but you can email or call a RocketLawyer attorney for free, included in the monthly $39.99 (after a 7-day trial), or a la carte for:
- $49.99 for an attorney answer to a legal question
- 30-min phone consultation $59.99
- If your issue is too complex to be solved in half an hour, you can keep working with your attorney at the pre-negotiated Rocket Lawyer On Call price of 40% off their regular fee, 10% off their flat fee, or $125/hr, whichever is greater. Learn more at our RocketLawyer review, or check out Rocket Lawyer now >>
3. Buy a domain name and launch a website.
The next thing that all modern businesses need is a website. Your website is a place that you can use to attract customers or clients, educate people about the services that you offer, and simply act as a home base for all of your marketing efforts. Nowadays, people expect businesses to have a website. If you don’t, it might be hard to build your business.
Luckily, starting a website is easier now than it has ever been in the past. All you need is a domain name (that is the URL, like wealthysinglemommy.com) and a hosting service and you’re on your way. Once you’ve got those two things in place, you can select a free (or cheap) website template to get started. After your business is firmly established and bringing money in, you can consider a custom design if you want, but in the earliest days your primary concern should be making money.
4. Start building a client base.
With those pieces in place, you can begin building a client base and making money! Especially when you’re first starting out, don’t be shy about turning to your network, whether on LinkedIn or in person, and let them know about your business. This can be an excellent way of attracting your first clients or customers. As you become more established, you may want to consider running ads online, in print, and on social media. Exactly what makes sense for you will, of course, depend on your business, but these are all proven tactics.
5. Get the right tools for your business.
Thankfully, today there are many affordable (or free!) online tools to help you scale, profit and enjoy running your company.
Instant access to a variety of scalable, web-based tools can drive organization and boost productivity for self-employed moms.
Bestow: Bestow is an A+ rated national carrier that offers term life insurance with no medical exam, guaranteed. Apply online in minutes to get coverage up to $1.5M and payments as low as $10/month. Choose from 10- to 30-year terms in 5-year increments. Ages 18-60 eligible. Check out our Bestow review, and get a life insurance quote in 5 min.
Haven Life: You need disability insurance more than life insurance. Those who do not have disability insurance through a job, including the self-employed, can find individual coverage through reputable companies for an affordable price. Haven Life disability insurance plans start at less than $10 a month for people ages 18 to 55, with monthly benefits ranging from $500 to $5,000 (up to 60% of your income). Available in all states except California, Delaware, Florida, Montana, North Dakota, New York, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
CoverWallet: Get affordable business insurance quotes online in minutes for general liability, umbrella insurance, errors and omission, cyber liability, workers compensation, and much more. Backed by Zurich Insurance Group.
Bookkeeping & accounting
Freshbooks: Cloud-based invoicing/accounting app for the self-employed. Automate invoicing and online payments from clients. Upload receipt photos with mobile app (Android and iOS) and connect to a bank account or credit card to easily track business expenses. Integrate with apps like G Suite and Stripe. Free 30-day trial. Plans start at $6/month.
Quickbooks: At-a-glance financial view of your business. Integrates with TurboTax and ProConnect tax software and Mint money management tool. QuickBooks Online is free for 30 days. Monthly plans start at $12.50/month. Product of Intuit, Inc., BBB A+ rating.
With QuickBooks Online, you can:
- Learn everything you need to know about your business — from profit and loss statements to information about accounts payable and receivable, sales, inventory and profitability.
- Track revenue and cash flow, organize and categorize receipts for tax time, invoice and accept payments, pay bills, and track labor costs and expenses.
The price of hiring an accountant could set your business back anywhere from $50,106 to $60,561 a year, according to Salary.com.
QuickBooks also offers Live Bookkeeping, starting at $200 a month after an initial cleanup fee. You’ll be assigned a dedicated bookkeeper who can help you with:
- Best-practice tips, so your business gets optimal results.
- Ongoing maintenance, categorization, and reconciliation of your books during the month, with reports via phone or video chat.
- Monthly, quarterly and annual reviews and statements.
Wave: Free access to invoicing, accounting, and receipt scanning. Payroll services start at $20/month, and Wave is used by 31 million small business customers in North America. BBB A+ rating.
Dropbox: Store and access your important files with secure, personal cloud storage (online backup service). 30 days, free storage (up to 3 TB of data). Get additional document collaboration tools with a Dropbox Business plan starting at $16.58/month.
Google Drive: Access and share files from multiple devices using this Google mega product. 14-day free trial of Google Workspace. Plans start at $6/month per 25 GB for one user.
OneDrive: Microsoft Office's answer to cloud storage, OneDrive is for document collaboration, sharing, and retrieval from multiple Internet-connected devices. Business plans start at $5 per user/month.
HelloSign: Gather e-signatures for legally binding documents. Integrates with Google Drive for easy file sharing. Free account, with 30-day trials for monthly plans. Pro plan starts at $15/month.
DocuSign: Free account to sign unlimited documents. Advanced document collaboration features available through free trial of DocuSign Agreement Cloud. Monthly plans start at $10/month.
Recoverit: Be prepared in the event of a disaster. Recoverit allows you to recover essential data when you've lost files, photos, videos, audio, emails, and more. Supports recovery of 1,000+ file formats on 2,000+ storage devices with a 95% recovery rate. Free version recovers files up to 100 MB. Subscription plans start at $79.99/year. Protect your business with Recoverit >>
Backup and recovery
Backblaze: Cloud-based backup and recovery. Free 15-day trial, $6/month thereafter. Unlimited data backup. Recommended by Macworld.
Carbonite: Comprehensive file, photo, and data backup and recovery solution for small businesses. Unlimited cloud storage, per computer from $3.50/month, billed yearly. Free 15-day trial.
iDrive: Protect your business devices including PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. Ransomware protection. Up to 5 GB of backup for free. Business plans start at $74.62/year.
Google Docs: Free word processing solution. Create, collaborate, and share content from anywhere. Real-time editing.
OpenOffice: Free, open-source business productivity suite featuring word processing. Create spreadsheets, presentations, and drawings. Linux, Windows, and macOS.
Grammarly: Free writing assistance tool. Automated grammar checker and plagiarism detector. Makes suggestions for word choice and phrasing to improve readability. Sharpen your business content and emails. Add to your browser or download for integration with Microsoft Word and Outlook. Premium plans start at $12/month.
Adobe Spark: Part of the Adobe Creative Suite but also a free, standalone graphic design program. Synced on mobile (iOS) and web. Pro plans start at $9.99/month.
Canva: Free online graphic design interface with easy-to-use templates to create social media graphics, invitations, menus, posters, resumes, business cards, and more. Try Pro free for 30 days. Plans start at $12.99/month.
Aweber: Create newsletters and automate email campaigns. 30-day trial. Plans start at $19/month.
MailChimp: Free email marketing for up to 2,000 contacts. Multiple marketing options and templates. Plans start at $9.99/month.
Acuity Scheduling: Organization tools for work to automate your availability for clients. Free with paid plans starting at $15/month.
Calendly: Free scheduling platform helps clients and colleagues view your availability and book time for calls and meetings. Paid plans start at $10/month.
UberConference: Cloud-based video and teleconferencing system. Free plan with up to 10 participants. Paid plans start at $20/month.
Collaboration and project management
Trello: Collaborate, communicate, and track team projects. Free version has unlimited planning tools. Business plans start at $5/month.
Basecamp: Track up to three projects with 20 users and 1 GB of storage for free. 30-day free trial of Basecamp Business, $99/month thereafter. Great product, best suited for larger orgs.
Monday.com: Track time, automate workflows, and view project status on one platform. Start for free with unlimited users and project boards. Plans start at $8/month per person.
Slack: Popular cloud-based collaboration space is like a private group with tasks. Integration with more than 1,500 business tools and apps like Dropbox and Google Drive. Tech-savvy users can create internal apps in Slack to streamline information flow. Free basic plan. Premium plans start at $8/month.
Bottom line: What is the best business for a woman to start?
There truly is no one-size-fits-all approach to deciding which business to start. Choosing the right business for yourself is all about figuring out what you love to do and how you can make money doing it.
There are three key questions to ask yourself when you’re thinking about starting a business:
- Am I passionate about it?
- Do I have the skills or knowledge to run it?
- Can I make money doing it?
If you answered yes to all three, you’ve found your match. But whatever business you decide to start, you can’t run it successfully without a top-notch website. A website is the primary way you can communicate the value of your business and build trust with the people who will become your customers.
Whether you’re happily married, newly divorced, or just a single mom, if you’re interested in starting your own business, the good news is there are tons of options out there to choose from, many you can do with little more than an internet connection.
One of the great things about being a working mom today is the fact that so many jobs can be done from the comfort of your own home. This gives you the freedom to stay on top of mom-life while still making money.
There are four steps to get started: 1. Decide what kind of work you want to do. 2. Forming an LLC. 3. Buy a domain name and launch a website. 4. Start building a client base.