Single parents have the best reasons to become entrepreneurs—their children. Without a supporting spouse, single parents must juggle household responsibilities and earn a respectable income. They need a flexible schedule that allows them to meet their children’s physical and emotional needs. While being your own boss can seem intimidating, many careers offer outstanding benefits and rewards for single parents.
Find Your Niche
Everyone has talents and skills. Before opening your new business, list your strengths. Do your neighbors rave about your homemade cupcakes? Are you a trained cosmetician? Could you work online as a freelance writer? Ask your trusted friends to suggest career options. If necessary, attend a local community college or job-training program to enhance or update your skills.
When choosing a work-at-home career, use your imagination. Find a career that meets a need in your community. Any of the following careers transition well from an office setting to a work from home business.
- Beauty product salesperson
- Business consultant
- Craft creation and sales
- Computer repair
- Day care provider
- Gardener or landscaper
- Health and fitness expert
- Nutrition counselor
- Website designer
If you’ve never run a business it’s natural to have questions on how things should work. Consider hiring an accountant with experience in small business ownership.
Your municipality may require special permits, and you’ll need additional liability insurance. Contact your local chamber of commerce or the Small Business Administration for assistance in determining the licenses or tax paperwork you need.
Investigating financial resources available to single parents is a good idea too. The Small Business Association or your local unemployment office may have additional funding resources for your endeavor.
You’ll need to purchase the items required to perform the services or make the products you plan to sell. Look for online deals or in the newspaper’s classified ads for inexpensive supplies. You can find great deals on desks and office supplies.
If you’re moving into something food-related, considering a commercial refrigerator to keep your supplies fresh and away from your family’s food. While it may be a great idea to make icing in advance for your cupcake business, it’s not so great once your toddler decides to finger paint with the strawberry flavor.
Market your new business
Print business cards and other advertising tools. If possible, barter services with a friend. Your friend can print your business cards in exchange for your services.
Organize your home office
Ideally, your office will include a door, but not every single parent has the luxury of extra space. For your first few months, you may need to designate a corner of your bedroom for business-related paperwork, your contact list and financial records.
Balance your Home and Work
Your parenthood responsibilities often threaten to overwhelm you. Without a partner to provide babysitting or cook meals, you may question the sanity of starting your own business. You will need to exercise creativity in order to create balance.
Work while your children attend school or sleep. Exchange babysitting with a friend or neighbor. Being an entrepreneur gives you the opportunity to be home with your children while meeting your family’s financial needs. This motivational tool lights a fire under your feet and pushes you to find creative ways to balance your home and work responsibilities.
Single parents can become successful entrepreneurs. Home-based business options remain limitless for a creative and motivated single parent. Make the most of your resources when you enter the world of small business ownership as a single parent entrepreneur.