Fire the Sitter: Small Business Ideas for Stay-At-Home Parents

stayhomemomIn the late 1920s, Dorothy Gerber thought it was impractical and messy for her to hand-strain food for her infant daughter daily. She told her husband to use the company canning business to do the task for her. Decades later, Bill Gates started the $220 billion Microsoft corporation in his garage with buddy Paul Allen in 1975. The rest, as they say, is history. Whether you dream of becoming the next billionaire CEO or you’re simply trying to make a few dollars to put food on the table, there are profitable opportunities for stay-at-home parents.

Get Grants & Loans

Are you a single parent overwhelmed with ambition? Going back to school or starting your own business isn’t inaccessible or unreachable, especially with online education and small business grants. A 2010 survey by Zogby and Excelsior College found that 83 percent of corporate CEOs and small business owners view online degrees in the same way that they view traditional degrees. Moreover, the maximum amount for individual Pell Grants will increase to $5,635 for the 2013-14 academic year, according to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Computer science, graphic design and accounting are just a few areas you might consider since those industries have experienced massive job growth since 2010. These degrees will also open doors for jobs, especially as more companies are adopting telecommuting policies. The SBA (Small Business Administration) offers grants and loans for various business ventures and provides information on other sources of funding. The Single Parent Association of America is another useful resource to refer to while finding capital for your startup ventures.

Freelance Writing

The race for web supremacy has made the search engine optimization (SEO) industry explode over the last few years. Whether companies hire firms to handle their SEO needs or attempt the task in-house, blogging, social media and optimized online content are a major part of the process. Writers are in demand and the opportunities are there for those with that golden grammatical gift. Elance and Blogger advertise writing opportunities that can be fulfilled from your bedroom or at a coffee shop. Craigslist also has a “gigs” section that lists writing opportunities.

Doggy Daycare

Animal lovers can turn their passion into a day job that can also help the community. Stay-at-home parents with fenced-in backyards and a love for dogs are perfect candidates for managing doggy daycare businesses. Potential dog sitting professionals can research the best business credit cards to cover startup costs, including insurance, permits and of course, cleaning supplies. To give you an idea of how much you can profit from, one successful doggy daycare in Florida charges $280 for a 20-day pass.

Virtual Assistant

Busy executives cannot handle all the day-to-day, time-consuming details that come with running a company or a department. Virtual assistants are contracted to help executives with scheduling appointments, updating their social media accounts, and making travel arrangements. Though no formal training is necessary, several agencies offer certification in the field. Virtual assistants can have flexible work schedules and even make anywhere from $15 to $60 per hour, according to

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