This part 2 of a five-part series on family friendly business ideas that can help you find the best fit for you and your family.

Family friendly business idea: Home-based businesses

Family friendly business ideas
Family friendly businesses can take all forms - there is an option for everyone

Many people find that the best way to balance work and family commitments is to run a business from their own home. This has been made easier with the help of PCs and the internet. Let’s take a look at some home business ideas.

Family friendly business idea 1: Freelance copywriter/sub-editor/proofreader

If you have a publishing or media background, then you may decide that setting up as a freelance copywriter, sub-editor or proofreader will provide you with the flexibility you need to juggle family commitments.

While freelancers generally work to deadlines, you will be able to choose how much work to take on, and what hours you wish to work.

To work as a proofreader you need is a home computer and email address, and assuming you have these, start-up costs are negligible.

Working as a freelance sub-editor is usually in-house, but the work you can do from home will require you to have the relevant software that is used in-house, e.g. Quark Xpress or Adobe Indesign and Photoshop.

Family friendly business idea 2: CV writer

A CV writer prepares CVs and covering letters for clients looking for work. This is ideal for mums who have a HR or recruitment background, as you can offer your knowledge and expertise to those who need it.

Contact may be in person, over the phone or online. You will need to be able to write clearly and succinctly. The market for CV writers is very competitive, so you’d need to do your research to make sure your prices are competitive.

Family friendly business idea 3: Database developer

Freelance database developers design systems that store and manage a data, and will often be brought in for ad hoc projects. This is a skilled home business so you will need qualifications and experience working as a background in database development. It is likely you will need to spend time with the client specifying the project and training staff.

Family friendly business idea 4: eBay trader

eBay traders aim to make a profit by selling goods using online auctions. Tens of thousands of people make a living from eBay while countless others use it to supplement their income.

While you can pick and choose your hours, it can be a time-consuming business as you need to factor in time for answering bidders’ questions, packing and posting goods, organising new listings, as well as keeping an eye on the market and buying your goods to sell but this can all be done around the needs of your family.

The great thing about working as an eBay trader is that you don’t need any formal training to start trading on eBay, but there are courses and books which can help you to optimise sales and profits. The Mothers Who Work Club has video tutorials on how to set up as a trader on eBay.

Family friendly business idea 5: Clothing alteration service

Are you a dab hand at altering clothes? Do you have a keen eye for fashion? A clothing alteration service provides customers with quick adjustments to clothing such as taking in dresses or shortening trousers.

You should be skilled in sewing and working with different fabrics – but you can do short courses to get the skills and knowledge required (and to show your customers that you are competent enough to do the job).

Family friendly business idea 6: Dressmaker

Another one for the fashion-conscious mums is setting up as a dressmaker. Dressmakers provide customers with a personalised service, including measurements, creating the pattern, fittings and finishing. Demand for dressmakers is increasing. Formal training is not essential, but you should have some experience.

Again, if you can do some short courses, this will improve your knowledge, and will give you something to show your customers that you are suitably qualified to do the job.

This is part 2 of a four-part series on family friendly business ideas – if you are serious about finding a flexible way of working, the How to Stay at Home and Earn Money guide.

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