Earning Income as a Stay-at-Home Parent..(part 1)

          Besides saving up for the future, having a baby is quite expensive especially when you can't or choose not to breastfeed. It's never a bad idea to find ways to earn extra money for a backup support system, and most opportunities don't even require you to leave home. Before starting off, you should know that there's no such thing as easy money. All sources of income require some form of commitment or effort, otherwise, it's going to be short-lived. Dear moms, stay at home parents and thriving dads, here are some obvious but promising ways to generate income while you're at home.

SETTING UP A MICRO-BUSINESS

           I know, the first thing that comes to mind is 'putting up a business requires so much money and effort'. Like I've said, no effort no money, but in this case we are not talking about Big businesses. This business does not necessarily have to be expensive, difficult or time-consuming, that's why it's called a micro business. The good thing about this type of business is that you can choose your own pacing, amount of money to start it up with and where you want to set it up. There are two ways to provide items to the public, either you make them or you buy them (resell).

RESELLING

         There are many people, wives and moms mostly, who buy and resell products. The key in successfully reselling such products is discounts and wholesale prices. You can attract more buyers this way since there's no need to overprice your items to regain your investment. Another way to earn better through reselling is buying imported products, preferably directly from a national source. Buying from local stores to resell imported products is not ideal since the price will have been raised already for their own profit. For example, you're going to sell Japanese food; it's best to find a direct seller from Japan in order to sell them at reasonable prices, so customers will prefer your products over local stores' overpriced one.

MAKING YOUR OWN PRODUCTS

            Before setting up a micro business, especially when providing your own products, you need to know first what you are really good at. This is the same core factor in determining which job type would be best for you. You, and only you, can tell whether or not making your own products to sell will be enjoyable or stressful. Here is a healthy tip about that matter; if you see it as more stressful than worth it then don't proceed. It will most likely burn down into failure because any form of work without enthusiasm will result in low quality outcome, something buyers or clients wouldn't like.

ONLINE or a PHYSICAL STORE?

          Today, most parents who nurture their babies prefer to stay at home, especially breast feeding moms. Ideally, an online store will make it easier for you to manage and organize your products and transactions. This is the best alternative if you plan to have a micro business when your baby is still too young to play on his/her own or be left with others. Below are some of the most profitable micro business ideas that might interest you or are quite close to your skills and capabilities:

Selling Baked or Cooked Goods

          No matter what the occasion, food will always get consumed, one way or another. It is one of the basic needs of any human and, if made scrumptious, people will come back for more. If you are extremely good at either cooking or baking this type of micro business is your best bet. The challenge in this area of expertise is cooking in large amounts and repeating the same recipe over and over because of client request. You can offer a catering service or baked goods by order. It's usually ideal for an online food shop to offer service only within the city area or town so you won't need to travel far to deliver your goods or risk spoiling.

Selling Handcraft or Homemade Items

          If you are creative in some way like sowing, jewelry making and knitting, then selling handcrafted items will be beneficial. Setting up a micro business of handicrafts will require not just financial but time investment. You will need to hone your skills first and make enough products to sell before launching your small shop. If you think you don't have a knack for creativity or feels short of it, don't despair there are many homemade items you can sell that doesn't require much creativity like:

  • Perfume, Soap, Detergent - you can actually take courses on making these products. You can also get tutorials online on how to make them more fragrant or effective. The things you need to make them can be found at home (pots, spatula, bottles) and the ingredients are not very expensive at all either.
  • Yarn, Canvass, Felt, Cotton - with cotton there's hardly any work to do but pick them, that is if you have a cotton tree to derive it from. You will only need to wash and bleach away the dirt. Making felt and yarn can also be learnt through special classes that you can find at Tesda. On the subject of canvass making, I got this idea from being a painter. I had a classmate whose father is known for his amazing miniature paintings and in their family, stretching canvasses and priming them is done on a regular basis. To earn extra money, she sold these stretched and primed canvasses to fine arts students. Most of her buyers ordered in advance so she could determine the sizes and how many to make. I can't say that it didn't help her with the daily expense of being a fine arts student.
Professional Services

         Offering your profession to people who are in need of it should only be taken into consideration when you are confident that you can leave your baby or child with a relative, occasionally. The advantage of offering services is that all you need to do is wait for orders or calls at home before doing any work. It also generates larger payouts but less frequently. Until requests are made there is no need for you to leave or do any work. The best way to spread word of your service is online, through word of mouth and friends or connections. Here are some services that you can get money from and make a micro business out of:

  • Photography - Don't worry about the issue of travelling, being a service you won't be required to do a lot of it like in a photography company. The level of work involved is more loose and manageable than having your own company. You should also know your niche for this business. Will you be offering wedding photography, photographs for the press or class pictures? For example, my high school friend once entered the modelling world but soon fell in love with photography. At first she offered her service for aspiring fashion models like her, but now she has shifted to offering Baby Photography. Ever since then she has become popular not just with moms but pregnant women too. Her Facebook page is Lexphoto and you can see her complete portfolio HERE. My baby took part in one of her first baby shoots and I am a proud momma for it. She's not a mom yet, but Lex has a regular full-time job and her being able to book requests despite that indicates a stay-at-home parent can do it too.
  • Catering - The same as selling food and baked goods except this comes in bulk. It's requires more effort and ingredients to pull this off. You might also need an extra hand if you want to make it easier for you, in fact you will certainly need it especially if the catering is for a big occasion like a reunion.
  • Massage Service - It's not uncommon, there are people out there who are gifted with massaging. My college classmate, dorm-mate and dear friend of mine has gifted hands. She knows the points in your body that needs pressure to ease pain and which areas she can poke to make you wince in pain. She can tell which spot is the root cause of sprains and aches and how to provide relief through massage and strokes. My other friend and dorm-mate would constantly request for five minute massages at night after school. If you have this gift, I am telling you a lot of people will want your service. You can offer this service within your town so that people can simply call and send their address and they can have their massage at home. The advantage? Tips and a possible free merienda or snacks coupled with warm welcome and new acquaintances.
WORKING AND/OR EARNING ONLINE

           Should a micro business be too much too handle or simply not in your interest to pursue, then working or earning online is your best alternative. Aside from online selling/business (which falls under setting up a micro business) there are many types of online work that you can find....which I will regrettably have to discuss on a separate post since this one is too long already. In addition to that I am developing a stiff neck from typing and it's almost 2 in the morning. Stay tune and watch out for this topic, for continuation. I hope that the shops and services I referred will be of interest and use for you, dear readers!

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