Going back to work after the birth of a child is one of the biggest decisions parents have to make and one some of us can beat ourselves up about. There are various arguments for and against but when there are bills to pay there’s often no option – money must be found somehow and work of some kind to supply it.
While the majority of parents who stay at home are still mums, more dads are taking breaks from work to accommodate childcare and many parents manage to put in place arrangements that allow them to share childcare through alternative working patterns. But what about changing tack completely and fitting work in around the children rather than the other way round?
There are many jobs you can do from home, allowing you to earn as well as take care of your children and you don’t necessarily need to have special qualifications to do them – though talent skills and experience will go a long way. These are just five ideas for home businesses that could help you change your family’s lifestyle.
Do you have hairdressing or beauty therapy qualifications? Salon opening hours and wages can make it tricky for therapists and hairdressers to fit enough hours in when they do return to work, so you may have already considered going it alone. One of the most affordable ways to do so is to work from the comfort of your own home during hours when the kids are at nursery or in bed.
In order to do this you will need to inform your house insurer and potentially your mortgage provider, you’ll also require public liability insurance. However, whether you choose to register as self employed or as a limited company, you will enjoy certain tax benefits and of course, you’ll be able to set your own rates, services and working times. Keep your salon area calm, clean and serene by converting your garage or setting up a nail bar in your conservatory or a section of your living room or dining room. Salons should be light, airy spaces to help you work, so encourage free flow of light into your work area by fitting bi-fold doors that lead to a professional looking space. These internal folding doors from Vufold come in real oak veneer to match your home décor.
When you’re at home looking after your own child it makes perfect sense that you may be able to care for additional children, helping other parents to go out to work while enjoying peace of mind in the process. If you already have childcare experience or qualifications this is something you may have already considered, though you’ll still need to go through the official application process, which involves training and inspection. The qualifications required by different local authorities can differ so be sure to check with your local council.
If you’re great with animals, another option is to set up a pet sitting or dog walking service. While you won’t necessarily be able to care for dogs and cats in your own home if you have small children, you could fit walking or visiting in during nursery or school hours. This is becoming an increasingly in demand service that pays more than you’d expect.
Ironing is a task that’s rarely relished but for all those individuals who detest it and will avoid it all costs there are equally those of us who don’t mind a spot of ironing while watching the TV. Offering ironing services to other parents and even small local businesses such as holiday cottages or cafes could help you earn extra money from home. Such services can be particularly attractive if you pick up and drop off the ironed laundry from the client’s home or premises.
You can choose charge a set fee per item with a minimum flat charge, to operate on an hourly rate or create a package service that covers certain items on a weekly basis for a fixed fee. Asking clients to pay on a monthly basis for an ironing package will help you achieve a more stable monthly income and allow for better budget management. There will be an initial outlay for items such as hangers and garment covers along with suitable business insurance and you will need to notify your car insurance providers that your vehicle is being used for business in transit, which could increase your premium. However, with a little promotion you could create a convenient extra income.
Do you run your own business from home? How do you find juggling work and childcare commitments? In your opinion, does it allow you to spend more quality time with your children?