If you are a parent with young children and are not able to go out to work, you might be wondering how you can earn extra income while being at home. The good news is that it’s perfectly possible to do, you just need to be motivated enough to put in the effort.
There are lots of different options for working from home, and some are better than others. If you want a chance to earn an income on a regular basis, that is unlimited in terms of how much you can earn, I recommend starting a freelance business.
Now, you might be thinking ‘I can’t possibly run a business while looking after the kids, taking care of the house and doing the shopping every week’ etc. etc. But actually, the best thing about freelancing is that it provides you with the flexibility to work around those other commitments we all have as mothers and homemakers.
Start your Own Freelance Business
If you want to start a business, but not sure what direction to take, think about what skill you naturally have.
Are your creative? Do you have office experience? Or perhaps you enjoy arts and crafts. You can create a successful home business if you make use of the skills you have. Jobs may come in many shapes and forms. I am a freelance writer, but there are also freelance graphic designers, accountants, virtual assistants, photographers… almost any profession can be turned into a freelance career and business opportunity.
Setting up your own freelance business can feel daunting, but exciting at the same time. My advice is to not get overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once. Just know that each time you complete a task to do with your business, you are adding another brick to something fantastic you are building.
Registering as Self-Employed
If you earn money, you have to declare it. It is the law. If you are freelancing, the easiest way to do this is to register as self-employed as a sole trader. You can do this online at the government website. Even if you earn below the tax threshold for the year, you still need to notify HRMC of your income. This is done by filing in a self-assessment tax return each year.
If you already have a job as well as wanting to work from home, that ok too. You can be self-employed AND employed at the same time.
I’ll give you an example. I work self-employed as a freelance writer/blogger, but I also used to have a part-time job at a school. My school wages were paid by my employer, but my self-employed income is declared on my yearly tax return form.
Once you are registered, you can start making some money my friend!
Get a Website
One way you can attract clients is to have a website where you can describe the services you offer and showcase your best work. One of the cheapest and most reliable web host I have found, and the one I use for my websites, is Unlimited Web Hosting. With this provider, you get to build a website as big as you want, with unlimited web space and traffic, all for £3.99 per month. Other web hosts include Weebly, Squarespace and more. As someone who has had a few different websites, I can honestly say that Unlimited Web Hosting has been the best. (I am not affiliated in any way here either!)
Choose a domain name. This is where things can get a bit tricky, as it is not always possible to get the name you want. For example, webdesigner dot com is likely to have already be in use. You might have to get creative, but make sure your domain is relevant and memorable. You can register your domain name through your web host provider and the cost will vary depending on the domain extension you pick. A domain extension is the .com or the .co.uk, or .uk endings of a web address. The average price is between six to ten pounds per year per domain.
For responsive websites, I also recommend using WordPress. This can easily be integrated with Unlimited Web Hosting, although you can uses their website builder if you prefer. Again, this is all free – unless you want to upgrade your free WordPress theme.
Choose a WordPress theme you like and custom to your preferences. This may take a little time to learn as every theme is different and some offer more features than others, but take your time and have fun with it. Keep your design uncluttered, easy to navigate, and give visitors easy ways to get in touch with you. This could be through a contact form, or displaying an email address.
The pages you should have on your website include one that clearly describes your services, an ‘about’ page so your audience can get to know you and the contact pages as mentioned before. You might also consider adding a blog, to keep an open dialogue with you audience on topics related to your niche. This also helps keep you website fresh, and helps it to rank well in search engine results.
As if you don’t have enough work to do, there is another aspect of running a business from home that you need to get to grips with. Marketing. This means getting your services in from of the eyes of the people who are most likely to use them, and persuading them to choose you.
This might mean sending emails to the relevant people who work for brands you want to work with, or reaching out to people on social media.
Before you can do this, you need to know who your target market is. Try to narrow it down as much as you can. What do they do for a living, where do they hang out, what are the problems they have in terms of your niche and how can you solve them?
Running your own business from home means you have to wear a lot of hats. Being a parent and running a home as well, means you have a lot on your plate! But fret not. Hop on the mailing list and I’ll send you useful tools, tips and stuff to keep you motivated.