In today’s economic climate, earning an extra income as a full-time mother seems to unfortunately be more and more essential. The significant rise in the cost of living we’ve all experienced in recent years, from utility bills to food prices has put some of us in genuine financial difficulty – to the point there are many new mom’s having to work part-time or full-time jobs in order to keep food on the table, when what they really want in their heart of hearts is to be at home with their family.
That said, in recent years, the amount of stay at home moms who are making a considerable income working from their dining room table has grown exponentially; indeed, that song “Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves” rings very true in the current climate of empowered female solopreneurs making vast amounts of money leveraging their skills and abilities, particularly when it comes to craft businesses, such as those found on Etsy.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to make extra money, as a mom, it can often be tempting to get caught up and swept away in the next fad whether that’s an online business model offering wildly unrealistic rewards… a network marketing company which might be credibly but is unlike to deliver a return on your investment for several months, if not years… or even a market research company that promises to compensate you for your time filling in a plethora of forms; to only receive a few worthless vouchers!
The reality is there’s no ‘free lunch’… and if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is. In truth, if you are looking to make a sustainable income as a stay-at-home mom, the best and most reliable way to go about this is to set up your own side business as this way you have complete control. This is sometimes known as a side-hustle, due to the fact it’s a lifestyle business designed to make a bit of extra income rather than a high-growth business that’ll turn you into the next Richard Branson!
This article looks at a couple of creative side hustle opportunities that are appropriate for busy stay at home moms in order to give you some inspiration and then addresses the fundamental basics of what you’ll need in order to set-up shop.
It’s very possible to sell handmade jewellery nowadays on sites like eBay and Etsy. Whether you wish to make the jewellery yourself or important it from cheaper countries such as India and China, there’s a significant amount of profit to be made in selling handmade jewellery. You might want to check out Alibaba.com as a possible supplier for wholesale products such as wooden beads of necklace clasps. The challenge, as with any business, is finding customers, however there’s plethora of options from online marketing to more traditional activities such as attending a local craft fair.
If you’re pretty nifty when it comes to papercraft then making handmade greeting cards can be a pretty lucrative option. Within this, one growing market are companies looking to provide company birthday cards for employees, in order to make them feel valued and recognised. If you can get in with a few large companies to provide handmade greeting cards, or better still, personalised greeting cards this could be a fantastic money-maker as you don’t have to hunt for customers (or spend money trying to get them to find out about you)… it could be as simple as a company’s HR department providing a database with their employees birthdate, and you sending a card on the company’s behalf. This way, the company gets a full service solution, meaning they don’t need to organise any logistics – and pay a flat fee for you to send a handmade greeting card to each employee.
Let’s say it costs you $1 to create the card. You sell the card, and associated service for $5 per employee. You might have to pay an additional $1 for postage and so on; but this is still a profit of $3 per card. If a company has 500 employees – that’s $1,500. Imagine you find five companies that would like this service; that would be $7,500 with no additional marketing costs.
If you’re naturally talented in the kitchen, you’ll be surprised by how much people are willing to pay for a decent celebratory cake. You don’t need anything more than what you probably already have lying about in your kitchen and if you were to consider catering special events such as weddings, engagement parties, and even children’s birthday parties… you can make a surprising amount of money simply baking cakes!
GETTING YOURSELF OUT THERE
- SET UP A WEBSITE OR PLATFORM FOR YOUR CREATIVE BUSINESS
You don’t need to necessarily build your own website, as there are a variety of platforms such as Etsy that do all the hard work for you, and not only do they allow you to tout your wares and promote your products – they also do a marvelous job at connecting you with a self selecting audience who are naturally looking for what you offer. The beauty with having an online marketing platform is that people are coming to you, rather than you having to go out and chase customers.
- GET ON EBAY
Don’t underestimate the power of eBay. It might not be as ‘current’ and trendy as platforms such as Pinterest and Etsy, but don’t underestimate the humongous user base eBay has. eBay is particularly good if you were to utilise your DIY skills and upcycle some creative furniture; just remember to list your items as “buy it now” in order to get the best results.
- LEVERAGE OTHERS
Have you ever been to a boutique hotel and seen some quirky furniture or artwork and wondered where the owners sourced such interesting creations. Many times, hotel owners are working with local solopreneurs in a contradeal where the hotel or restaurant are provided with “free” furniture in return for advertising their business.
In summary, there are a number of ways you can generate money through a creative side hustle but the real challenge is found in getting customers. If you are able to find a customer base that are willing to commission items, rather than you creating items in the hope that someone, one day, will purchase them – this makes for a much more efficient and rewarding business model.