As a military mom, keeping yourself busy can be a real lifesaver when your partner or child is away serving. Having things to keep yourself occupied in worrying and stressful times not only helps you to take your mind off things, but lets you have a bit of important ‘me time’ too.
Being a military mom or spouse may also mean that it’s hard for you to have a job in a set location with regular hours, so you need something that’s a bit more flexible. With that in mind, it might be worth considering using your interests, skills or hobbies to make yourself some extra money from home through starting a micro-business.
If you’re a military mom who’s looking for ways to keep yourself busy and earn on the side at the same time, we’ve put together a list of five ideas to give you some inspiration.
Set up a freelance business
If you’ve worked in a particular industry like marketing or graphic design in the past, why not utilize your skills to their full potential and start freelancing on the side? Lots of small businesses rely on freelancers to assist them with tasks such as writing content or designing adverts, especially if they don’t already have an in-house team to do it for them. Freelancing is also highly flexible, so you can fit it around your existing commitments. To get started, all you need is a good internet connection, a laptop/computer and somewhere quiet where you can work at home without distractions. To find clients, sign up to websites like Upwork or Guru, where businesses post jobs specifically for creative freelancers.
Even if you have limited experience, you may be able to get involved with simple business admin tasks like video transcription or uploading data. Create a good online résumé and apply for relevant jobs on a regular basis until you have built up a positive track record. LinkedIn is another a great way to advertise your business credentials and network with other professionals in the area, so be sure to utilize it.
Start a blog
If you’re passionate about a particular topic or subject, why not start blogging about it? Blogs aren’t just online journals these days. In fact, they can be monetized in a variety of ways, and many successful bloggers make a good living by selling ad space or reviewing products or services. If you like writing, this could be a great option for keeping you occupied while the kids are at school.
To create a successful blog, you’ll need to post regularly, at least once a week, and use a range of social media accounts to promote your content. It may sound complicated, but setting up a blog is a lot easier than you think (and also free in many cases). Check out platforms like WordPress or Tumblr to find out more. Starting a blog is an awesome way to vent, be creative, and make money at the same time.
Sell your homemade crafts
If you love to knit or paint, then you can make money by selling your wares online. Websites like Etsy and eBay are the perfect places to sell your handcrafted goods, and you could even consider setting up your own website with an easy to use online store builder. Ecommerce is not half as daunting as it once used to be, and it’s a great way to build up your business and marketing skills. Take advantage of the ecommerce community in order to help you launch your own store.
Tutor local students
If you’ve ever worked as a teacher in the past or went to college, then you could use your academic knowledge to start tutoring students from home in your spare time. If you’ve got an eye for maths and English or if you can play an instrument, you could share your knowledge with those that need it. To get started, use a website like Craigslist to advertise your availability, or sign up to a specialist online tutoring service like Tutorfair. As well as tutoring from home, it’s also possible to teach online using programmes such as Skype, giving you lots of potential to grow your client base.
Become a mystery shopper
Did you know that businesses such as shops and restaurants are willing to pay consumers to visit their premises, test their products and give their feedback? If you’re looking for a way to fill your time during the day or at the weekend, then mystery shopping could be the right option for you. To get started you’ll need to register with a dedicated company such as Market Force. Once you’ve joined, you’ll be sent details of visits in your local area. You’ll then be tasked with heading to a selected store to test their customer service, tidiness, product quality, and so on. You’ll be reimbursed for your purchase, often meaning a free meal or drink, and in some cases, you’ll be paid for your time too.
If you feel like you’ve got the patience and the willpower to persist, then these are all great ways of earning a little on the side by starting your own micro-business. Even though you might not be 100% relying on this income, it’s still important you do something that has a financial or personal return for you. The biggest factor for success is passion. Just follow what works for you.