When the kids are sick, the weather outside is frightful, or your boss is just plain getting on your nerves, the idea of having your own home-based business can sound like the answer to your prayers. And for some parents, it is. According to the Families and Work Institute, 7 percent of parents work from home on a regular basis and an additional 14 percent do it occasionally.
Think you'd like to join their ranks, but aren't sure what you'd do? Here are 10 business ventures that are perfect for the home setting, along with inspiring interviews with enterprising moms who have made this dream a reality.
1. Graphic Design
Sharri Jackson creates custom publications for more than 55 professional associations nationwide, all from the convenience of her home. "It was a long road to this point, but I love what I do," says Jackson, whose career switch from interior designer to marketing enabled her to quit her full-time job and start her own custom publications business. "I volunteer at my daughters' schools; I'm here if they are sick or if there is no school. We swim in the summer and play in the basement in the winter." Sharri makes sure her clients know that family comes first by sending them a picture of herself with her children when a contract is signed.
Susanna D. always thought she worked better independently than for a boss, so when she and her husband decided to move back to their Denver hometown, she took a chance and started her own communications company. She provides public relations services, including consulting, writing and editing. Susanna credits her company's success to her years of experience and the support she got from former colleagues who served as mentors. For moms who have limited experience coupled with the desire to pursue a similar business, she offers the following advice: "Try to use the experience you do have. If you have administrative experience, become an administrative support consultant to other independent public relations practitioners – interview a few to find out what they need. If you've done a lot of parties, find someone who specializes in events and try to help them out. Most of all, ask people you know for assistance. Most people love to help each other."