If you are a single mom, opening a business might seem like a far-fetched idea to you. You’ve got a lot of hats to wear, and being in a single-income household might mean little free time to work on passion projects. On the other hand, if you are a single mom, starting a business might seem like the only option as you need work that is flexible to your schedule and highlights your strengths.
Now is a better time than ever to start your own business. If you need unlimited earning potential, flexibility, and the option for remote work, being your own boss should definitely be high on your priority list. But “starting a business” is kind of a vague, directionless statement, so let’s put some shape to it.
This is a list of 14 business ideas for single moms. While each of these options would work for someone, don’t be afraid to let it inspire you to think outside of the box too! Maybe you do want to be a Real Estate Agent or an Interior Design Consultant, or maybe you want to do interior design staging for Real Estate Agents.
Whatever your skillset, let this list inspire you to find something that lets you operate in your strengths.
Without further ado, here are 14 business ideas for single moms…
1. Affiliate Marketing
This is one heavily discussed in the “business” algorithm side of social media, but what does it actually mean? And, more importantly, can you actually make money from affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when you create a personal link with a company and any time a customer uses that link to purchase something, you get a portion of the proceeds. For example, let’s say you are super excited to tell people about the Lazy Investors Course you just took. If you created an affiliate link and then your friend decided to sign up for the course, and your mom did too, you would receive a portion of the total cost.
There are different strategies for becoming an affiliate marketer. A common approach is creating an Amazon storefront that you promote through social media. Another strategy is to focus on being an affiliate for high-priced items so that you only have to have a few sales throughout the month and still receive a good amount of compensation.
Big Pro: Flexibility
Potential Con: Inconsistent income
Obviously, this had to be on the list. I’m sure you are thinking “If I had the extra income to own property, don’t you think I would be doing that by now?”. To which I would respond, you are right. I know rental properties have likely crossed your mind a time or two, but I wonder if you have explored all the possibilities. Discussing business ideas for single moms and not mentioning rental opportunities would be a miss.
Starting with the basics, maybe you have a spare room that you could rent out for the summer or all year round. Or perhaps you have a car that you could rent out on platforms like Turo. Maybe you are looking to buy your first property, in which case I would ask you, have you considered owning a duplex and renting out the second side to help cover your rent?
The world of rentals can sometimes feel like a far-off “maybe someday” plan, but I want to encourage you that it could be closer than you think. Once you are in, it’s easier to leverage your assets and snowball into greater and greater income opportunities.
Big Pro: Longevity
Potential Con: Hefty entrance fee
3. Online Tutoring
Online tutoring is a great business opportunity for single moms! There are so many subjects to tutor in, from calculus to Shakespeare to art theory. Another option could be teaching English as a second language. If you want to get started teaching English online, this is a great article that covers the most commonly asked questions.
Online tutoring can offer flexibility for your schedule and for the number of hours you work per week. As your primary business or as a second job, this can be a great way to bring in some extra cash as a single mom.
Big Pro: Flexibility
Potential Con: Depending on your experience, you might not be able to make enough per hour to make this your sole income
I will sing the praises of consulting for all my days. Consulting is a great business option for single moms. Wherever your expertise lies, you can be a consultant for that. (Hint, hint, that’s where Clo Bare was born.)
For example, if you are really good at helping others understand the stock market, the value of investing, and how to make wealth in the easiest ways possible, you might start coaching clients one on one to help them gain control and confidence in their finances. You might even create a course that has gone on to help thousands of clients build wealth and get out of debt.
I know this might sound like a cheeky commercial for the Lazy Investors Course, but I actually want to help define what it means to be a consultant. So often that term gets tossed around and it can feel kind of daunting. I remember when I first entered the business world and I heard that consultants could make good money, but no one could really tell me what that meant or what a consultant even did! So if you find yourself wondering about what it means to be a consultant, this is it. You are helping others overcome obstacles that you have overcome.
You can be a consultant for just about anything you have experience in. Maybe that’s even navigating life as a single mom and some of the best hacks you’ve found that make your life easier. The best part? You get to help others overcome the same obstacles you had to face and use your experience to make a difference.
Big Pro: Getting paid for your expertise and limitless potential for income
Potential Con: Getting started can require extra effort, time, and resources, especially depending on your business model
5. Childcare Services
If you are a single mom, childcare is likely at the forefront of your mind. If you enjoy working with kids and want to spend as much time with your kiddos as possible, have you thought about providing childcare to others? It might surprise you how simple it is to start a childcare business. This is a great resource for a free business plan and extra tips.
It’s averaged that the profit margin for a childcare provider is 15%, which is higher than most other industries. Plus, this is an in-demand line of business, meaning you will likely never run out of clients.
Big Pro: Profit margins and time with your kids
Potential Con: There is limited flexibility for sick days, time off, or schedule
6. Virtual Events Coordinator
If there is one space that has taken off since 2020, it’s certainly the virtual events space. Digital conferences, trivia nights, networking mixers, and workshops are just some of the potential events you could help coordinate. If you are tech-savvy and have a mind for organization, this is a great business for a single mom. Being a virtual event coordinator is primarily remote work and would allow you flexible hours to work during nap time and after the kids are asleep.
Another plus to this business? You’ll often get to work on projects you are passionate about and will likely meet some amazing people along the way.
Big Pro: Remote
Potential Con: Getting clients out the gate might require you to build your portfolio for free or for reduced prices
7. Event Planner
Love events but aren’t sure you want to coordinate online gatherings? Have you thought about being an event planner? Whether you partner with a local event planning business or start your own, this can be a creative and fun way to make money as a single mom.
If this sounds like the right fit for you, it could be helpful to find a niche in a specific type of event. For example, if you become a child’s party super planner, it could potentially make your process faster, and, therefore, you could spend less time planning each event so that you can take on more clients or have more time to spend with your family.
Big Pro: Creative and lots of income potential
Potential Con: Event planning can often require weekend and after-hours work, and requires you to be fully present on the day of the event, with little to no wiggle room for sick days and schedule conflicts with your kid’s events
8. Interior Design Consultant
Want something that takes a creative eye but not sure events are right for you? You might like interior design consulting. To get started, it helps to have experience with interior design, even if it’s just your personal experience designing your own space. But if you like to keep up with trends and design theory, why not make money doing something you enjoy?
If you want to start taking on clients, you might want to think about building a portfolio first. A great way to do this is by offering to help friends and family with any project they are working on. Maybe your aunt has been wanting to redo her kitchen since you were in high school. Now would be the perfect time to encourage her to take the leap and offer your services in exchange for photos and testimonials.
Becoming an interior design consultant is a great example of taking a passion and turning it into a profit. As a single mom, it can be hard to juggle hobbies on top of your already full plate. If creating a better work-life balance is out of the question (I get it– sometimes the reality is that we have bills to pay), I am all for finding a way to enjoy what you do.
Big Pro: Having a business that you enjoy
Potential Con: Depending on your experience, it could take a while to get started in this industry
9. Real Estate Agent
Real Estate Agents have the potential to make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Really, the earning potential is uncapped. On the other hand, it is a job that can require lots of time and unusual hours. If you like a bit of a challenge and thrive on a commission structure, this could be an amazing business for a single mom.
The average commission per house for a real estate agent is 5%. Depending on where you live and the prices of homes, that could look like several thousands of dollars per sale. If we say the average home cost half a million, a 5% commission would be $25,000. I can’t think of many other jobs where you have the potential for a single check like that.
To become a real estate agent, you do need to take real estate licensing classes and pass your licensing exam. This typically takes 4-6 months and then there is generally a learning curve for the first year of your business.
Big Pro: Income potential
Potential Con: This isn’t a job that you can eventually automate– meaning if you want to make money, you will have to put in consistent time
10. Personal Chef
Do you enjoy working in the kitchen? There is a way to turn that into a business. Personal chef job opportunities are on the rise and are predicted to keep growing for the next several years. The best part? Being a personal chef does not require experience.
Being a personal chef can often look like food prep, grocery shopping, and making simple meals. There are tons of busy people looking for ways to make their life smoother by cutting down on the time they have to spend in the kitchen but want the option of a home-cooked meal. And that’s where you come in.
Gather a document of your favorite recipes and practice your knife skills, this can be an amazing business for single moms who like to be around food. Plus– you might find clients who are open to you bringing your kids with you while you work or let you prepare the food at your home and deliver it on your own schedule.
Big Pro: Creative and flexible
Potential Con: Inconsistent income
11. Remote Music Lessons
Did the idea of tutoring interest you, but you didn’t want to go back to your high school textbooks? Do you know how to play an instrument? Remote music instructors typically earn $30-$40 an hour, or more depending on their experience.
If you love music and have an interest in helping new musicians sharpen their skills, this might be an excellent opportunity for you to build a business out of something you love to do! With the help of social media and email marketing, finding clients has never been easier. And thanks to Zoom, this can all be done without you having to leave the comfort of your home.
Big Pro: Remote
Potential Con: Marketing
12. AI-powered Resume Services
Do you have a knack for helping others communicate their skillset in a way that grabs recruiters’ attention? Why not use the power of AI to help you speed up the process? With resources like ChatGPT, writing is faster than ever, especially if you have an eye for editing. If you are looking to start a business as a single mom, building resumes might be the right solution for you.
A great way to go about this is through social media promotion and word of mouth. Create a few examples and start posting to your social media channels. Offer to help a friend and get their feedback. Use your network to spread the word.
Bonus Tip: Where is a place that everyone goes when they are looking for a job? LinkedIn.
Big Pro: Flexibility
Potential Con: A service like this will require some strategy about how you will gain clientele and could look like some extra effort put in that goes without pay, especially in the beginning
13. Customized Home Workouts
Are you interested in fitness and already planning your next month’s workouts? If you’ve already done the work, it’s likely that someone would love to pay you so that they don’t have to.
Digital downloads, training videos, and more! There are so many ways to sell your workouts and help others achieve their fitness goals.
With something like this, it’s important to be clear about your level of training. Meaning, if you aren’t a certified fitness professional, make sure that it is stated. BUT– that doesn’t mean people will be less likely to buy from you, especially if you have seen results from your methods. Transparency is key, but don’t let a lack of certification stop you from sharing the knowledge you do have.
Another option is to be a gym-accountability partner. Half of what people are paying for when they pay for a personal trainer is the accountability that comes with having someone you have to meet at the gym every Wednesday at 3:00 pm. However, not everyone can afford a trainer all the time. Why not offer to help keep clients accountable for less than what a personal trainer would cost?
If fitness is your passion, there are tons of ways to make a business out of the knowledge and experience you already have.
Big Pro: Lots of different avenues to generate revenue for your business
Potential Con: If you want to help design individualized fitness programs, it could be beneficial to work toward proper certification
14. Mobile Hair and Makeup Services
I think it’s an incredible superpower to help others feel beautiful on their special occasions. If you have an eye for hair and makeup, this might be the time for you to turn your passion into a business. Did you know that the average wedding hair and makeup costs $300?
There are other occasions when someone might require mobile hair and makeup services as well, like proms, graduation, or photoshoots. With more women owning businesses than ever before, there has been a rise in headshots and stylized content shoots, and who is going to do their hair and makeup?
Connecting with local entrepreneur groups and photographers is a great way to build your business and expand your network. Plus? Depending on the age of your children, it’s not uncommon for kids to be permitted on set. Who knows, they might even get inspired seeing your work and start their own business one day.
Big Pros: Creative and easy to get started
Potential Cons: Competitive
There are ways for you to start a business as a single mom and there is a good chance that being your own boss might help single-parenthood go a bit smoother. If you need the ability to be remote or have flexible hours, there are so many options for you. Take a look at your strengths and your passions, and I would bet there is almost certainly a way to make money from them. No job comes without cons, so try to choose a job that the cons don’t outweigh your pros.