running a business from home as a parent isn't as hard as you might think

Best Business Ideas for Stay at Home Parents

Regaining Flexibility as a Parent with Business Ownership

If you’re a stay at home parent looking to regain flexibility, business ownership opens doors that simply wouldn’t be viable within employment. Where with employment you are tied in to inconvenient long hours and may be far from where you need to be during parenting, there are alternatives that don’t have to be out of reach for parents. Running a business not only builds an asset for you and your family, it helps you and the community around you to become a greater town.

Business Ownership – What Are Your Options?

If you’ve never been involved with entrepreneurship, the prospect of business ownership can sound scary. Very scary indeed. But that fear mainly comes down to not knowing where to start along with the risks of messing it up and losing money.

Getting into business ownership costs money, yes. But it shouldn’t be treated as an expense, more and investment. Provided you put the work in and make it successful, you’ll soon start profiting.

As a parent, money can be hard to come by if you’re not in employment, so you’ll be certain to be wanting to spend your money wisely. Luckily, home and van based businesses are amongst the most affordable to start. In terms of your options, you can either start up the business alone or invest in a franchise. Starting up alone gives you full control over the branding and your customer reach proximity. But with franchising, your investment gets you a full business package and brand name. Franchising bypasses many risks associated with starting up a business alone.

While the franchising route carries additional costs such as royalty fees, this often has its own benefits (national group marketing, group purchasing power, continued access to the brand and ongoing support). But the investment differences between franchising and starting up alone – aren’t huge for low cost franchises / businesses you can run from home.

Business Ideas for the Busy Parent

Before we jump in to some top business opportunities that are suited for those with a volatile schedule, it’s important to thoroughly explore business opportunities yourself. Because you should only invest your time and money into something that you’ll enjoy doing. It’s also worth noting that many of these types of business are available as franchises, so you cut out reinventing the wheel and can use a proven brand if you wish.

Oven and Domestic Cleaning

Oven cleaning in itself has proven itself to be a stable and profitable trade. Even in saturated markets with 5-6 oven cleaners covering a city, oven cleaning remains a viable business model. The benefit for parents, clients can be booked in around your own schedule. School pickups, or integrating your bookings with your other half or child minder arrangements. Many revenue streams are available- BBQs, AGAs, Cookers, Ovens etc

Even when bookings dwindle, you can diversify your services to other cleaning if you wish. If you don’t enjoy domestic¬† cleaning around the house, cleaning also has growth potential to be run as a management operation – you employ cleaners while taking a hands off approach to running the business.

Investing in an Oven cleaning franchise or business typically cost around 15k – 20k to get fully established. You’ll need a vehicle, a dip tank (for soaking the racks in caustic etc) and training would be handy too. Although it is possible to get started for half of that, using basic equipment and lots of practice if starting up alone.

Typical earnings from oven cleaning are $100 a job. Labour is around 60-120 minutes depending on the appliance. Fitting in 5 cleans a week gets you $2000 a month. Not bad!

Run a Pet Business

Not many business models can say that more than half of your territory are already prospective customers. But this is true of pet businesses in that more than half of households own a pet. There are many ideas for starting up a pet business. From the likes of dog walking, training, cat sitting, to mobile dog washing and pet food supply and delivery. These are usually home and van based businesses, enabling you to work to your own commitments and schedule.

Some of the better known franchise opportunities in the pet sector are OSCAR Pet Foods (food delivery), Dial a Dog Wash (mobile dog grooming, bathing), and Husse – established in Sweden but with franchises globally. Some franchises, like Husse, have varying starting packages to help you get the business of the ground, whatever your budget.

Considerable Potential with Food and Beverage

Not all food and beverage businesses are run from a premises! More and more food and drink businesses are going mobile. There are at least a dozen mobile F&B franchises out there, and the potential is unlimited with your own startup ideas. From Italian pizza van, coffee bike, hog roast, what all of these have in common is they’re all available as franchises. Depending on the business model you choose, startup costs will vary. There are several van conversion specialists out there that will work with you whatever you choose. As a parent, you’ll be able to book customers around the times that best suit you. Or work within school hours.

Looking for more business ideas? Your future is what you want it to be and with constant growing support for business startups and franchises, why not take your first steps into business ownership?

Other Home Based Business Ideas

Many of these business ideas are also available as franchise opportunities and have proven successful as home based or van based startups and franchise opportunities perfect for parents.

  • Mobile Food Ordering Apps – Recruit drivers as a management type business
  • Domiciliary Care – Run a home care agency without doing any home visits yourself
  • Cleaning Management – Manage a workforce of cleaners, scale the business and recruit more cleaners are required, never doing any cleaning yourself
  • Vending Towers – Buy stock, position towers at local businesses, make profit from the stock sold.
  • Web Design – Build websites yourself or outsource the work to a third party, enjoy commission.

The Choice is Yours

If you’re looking to run a business from home, there are many opportunities out there. Whatever your concern, support is available.

If you’re struggling to choose between a franchise investment and business start-up, each has its own benefits. Starting up a business from scratch gives you full control over the branding and direction of the business. It’s a little riskier than franchising because you’re starting off on your own. Unlike with franchising, where you have the support of the franchisor all the way. Franchising usually charges royalty fees imposed by the franchisor. A fixed percentage of your turnover, or a fixed amount each month. This might be seen as a negative, but some brands actually use this to promote the franchise network. For example Franchise Brands UK run TV advertising and national campaigns to promote their franchisees and drive more leads/enquiries. Carry out due diligence and explore each franchise you’re interested in carefully to learn about its pros and cons.

If finance is a concern, more and more businesses are favouring franchising as a more successful route to business ownership. As a result, they’re more eager to lend finance should you require it. The same can be said for vehicle purchasing and leasing.

Almost every country has a franchise association. A membership or authoritive body that upholds regulation within franchising. In the UK, the most trusted is the British Franchise Association. Other countries will have similar setups. From providing training courses, to support contacts, regular free zoom meetings like the Franchisor Power Hour the bfa offers. Similar support can be found within business startup. The Federation of Small Businesses provide useful information and tools to new business owners. From insurance and tax help to employing staff.

Getting into business ownership sounds daunting but it couldn’t be more straightforward now there are so many bodies out there providing help and support. The future is yours!