The business world is changing rapidly to accommodate the needs of workers. With concepts such as flexitime, working from home, and freelancing changing the way many people approach their careers, it's no surprise that running a business from home is becoming an increasingly popular way to earn money.
This new way of thinking about employment has benefited one group in particular; stay-at-home mothers are identifying opportunities to start their own businesses, which, conveniently, can be implemented and run from their own homes. They no longer have to be either stay at home moms or working moms - they can do both.
So, whether you're just looking to make a little extra income, or you're serious about becoming the next top female CEO, here are 12 home-based business ideas for moms to inspire you.
Follow Your Passion
When starting a home business, it can be a good idea to focus on something that you're passionate about, such as a hobby or a pastime - especially if you've got some talent.
Arts and Crafts
Although it may sound like a quirky way to make money, arts and crafts are a huge growth area; consumers are always looking to purchase original, unique, hand-made items, and with the advent of eCommerce, it's possible to ship your handiwork anywhere in the world.
If you have a passion for sewing, painting, jewellery making, knitting, repairing and refurbishing old furniture, baking, pottery, card-making, or bargain hunting, then there is always a potential audience; you could even become a craft instructor and teach others how to explore the wonderful world of arts and craft.
As the quality of smartphone cameras rapidly evolves, it's fair to say that everybody is now an amateur photographer. Mothers, however, have an advantage: they are experts in capturing the most priceless moments.
Of course, what separates photography as a hobby from professional photography is in knowing how to sell your work. Showcase it on social media and develop an online portfolio, build up contacts in industries such as events and the media, and don't be afraid to try and sell your photographs to stock image providers. Alternatively, take a look at our in-depth guide on how to start a photography business.
If you possess an idea that you can share through speaking, or experiences that you feel need to be shared with others, then why not consider inspirational speaking? If you genuinely feel like there is an audience for your story or your concept, then approach local community groups, or ask your local TEDx platform if you can be a speaker.
You don't necessarily have to stand in front of a room full of people, either; YouTube is the perfect platform on which to build a potentially global audience. Remember, mothers - and especially single mothers - are always in a position where their experiences might resonate with or help other mothers, so if you feel passionate about a particular subject, why not share your thoughts with the world?
Alternatively, if you already possess a professional skill set - especially one that's in demand - then you can build your business upon your existing expertise.
If you hold professionally recognised accounting or bookkeeping qualifications, then you can put these to work for other small enterprises and businesses, usually on a freelance basis.
To build and maintain a steady flow of income, you'll need to be a keen networker, but once you have established yourself as a reliable and trustworthy pair of hands, there is the potential to attract a healthy revenue stream.
Graphic / Web Design
If you are a naturally creative person - and you've got a strong portfolio to prove it - then graphic and web design is an avenue worth considering.
As with accounting, your services won't be required all the time, so you'll need to build up a sizeable array of clients; you'll also need to be happy working to the specifications and demands of a variety of different projects. The plus side is that, in the majority of cases, all you'll need is some design flair and the right software, meaning overhead costs will be low.
Writing / Translating / Editing
As businesses begin to understand the importance of SEO-friendly online content, we are approaching something of a golden age for content and copywriters. Whether it's writing for websites, email campaigns, marketing content or social media, talented and technically adept writers are worth their weight in gold.
Alternatively, you may be interested in pursuing more creative or technical forms of writing, such as resume writing, speech writing, ghostwriting, transcribing, technical writing, travel writing or business writing. Essentially, if you can write well, the list of potential opportunities is endless.
If you've got an eye for tone and grammar, novelists and freelancers always need editors to clean up their texts and make sure the content is consistent and understandable.
Marketing / Business Consulting
In the modern business world, many mothers have already built up significant experience in their field before having children; this means that by setting up their own business from home, they already have a wealth of expertise and knowledge.
When it comes to marketing and business, mothers can use this experience to advise others on how to make their business more profitable.
Again, if you have experience in a particular field or you know the skills others are keen to learn, why not pass on your knowledge? Your "classroom" could be home-based with students coming to your home, or it could be an online business with distance learning as the main attraction.
Music / Singing
If you know the notes needed to set up your own business as a musician or singer, then advertise yourself for functions or set up gigs at local nightlife spots. Don't be afraid to put your music out there on the likes of YouTube, SoundCloud and iTunes, either - you never know who might be listening!
Gaps in the Market
Some business ideas might not immediately jump out at you, but there is demand for them nevertheless.
Pet Sitting / Dog Walking
On the surface of it, you might think that there isn't much demand for walking other people's dogs, or looking after their pets while they are away, but it certainly exists. The key is to develop a reputation as someone who is not just good with animals, but, more importantly, trustworthy and reliable. An excellent place to start is by volunteering at local animal shelters, where you can get hands-on experience with the animals and get your name out in the community.
If you enjoy gardening and you live in an area where there are many gardens, then you'd be surprised how many people might be willing to employ your services. Again, you'd need to develop a core base of clients, but there's a reason people put off mowing their lawn and getting rid of weeds; it's time-consuming, labour intensive, and, in a busy world, more comfortable to pay someone else to do it.
If you are a caring and patient person, with the relevant qualifications and background checks in place, then looking after other people's children could be an option.
You'll need to have the physical space and necessary facilities in place, and you'll also have to work hard to earn people's trust and build a good reputation, but if you enjoy being around children, this is a business idea that will always be in demand.
As you can see from this list, your responsibilities as a stay-at-home mom don't mean that you have to give up making money. If you are organised, able to manage your time effectively and willing to do your research, there's no reason why your "momtrepreneur" adventure shouldn't be a success.
Don't forget to take a look at our list of business ideas for women, either!
What other business ideas would you recommend for stay-at-home-moms? Let us know in the comments below.