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: Blogging
- Business idea #7: Project manager
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.
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.
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 Udemy or Codecademy, which are often quite affordable. You might also consider a program like the one offered by Lambda School, which will empower you to earn a certificate in either full-stack web development or data science in as little as 6 to 12 months.
Business idea #6: Blogging
Blogging can be a great career choice if you love to write and want to run your own business. You can make money as a blogger either by writing for clients (there are literally thousands of businesses that rely on freelance bloggers to write 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 bloggers serving clients commonly earn between $30 and $60 per hour for their work, but more experienced bloggers 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. Bloggers 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 blogging business is a computer and access to the internet. Well, that, strong writing skills, and a little bit of business know-how. If you’re just starting out, completing a course like Earn More Writing can teach you important skills such as how to get your first clients, decide how much to charge, and grow your writing into a six-figure business.
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. Grey Campus and Google both offer certificate programs that you might want to consider if you think project management could be for you.
Learn more from our review of FlexJobs, the mom-focused job site with 100% remote, telecommute and work-at-home careers and jobs.
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
How do I start my own business as a mom?
First, have a look at this list of tools for work-at-home careers.
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.
For forming an LLC, we recommend LegalZoom. With LegalZoom, choose a monthly subscription plan and to immediately gain access to 150+ legal forms to help you:
- Form your LLC, S Corp, Sole Proprietorship or other business structure
- Get an EIN
- Form a nonprofit
- Secure your business name
- Protect your ideas and products with trademarks, copyrights, utility and design patents
- Speak with an attorney to help fill out and file the appropriate forms
Get your free 7-day LegalZoom trial. LLC formation starts at $79. A+ rating, BBB.
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.
When it comes to purchasing a domain name and hosting a website, my personal favorite is BlueHost. It’s one of the best website hosting solutions for websites or blogs, starting as low as $3.95 per month for new customers and taking just minutes to get started.
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.