It’s the dawn of a new decade. If small business in the 2010s is famous for anything, it’s the rise of the work from home small business. Some say the economic hardship of the late noughties and slow recovery is responsible. Others suggest it was the availability of new technologies: Cloud, social media, and always-on internet. Either way, this decade is likely to see this trend continue with the entrepreneur parent leading the way.
We Are Now in an Age of the Parent-Run Freelance Business
Always-on internet, cloud technology and the meteoric rise of social media have all played their part. It is cheap and easy to grow a large audience without massive financial investment. It is not in doubt that the home-based entrepreneur is here to stay.
It’s proving especially attractive to new parents. This group craves better work-life balance and time off to care for children when sick. There is a long list of jobs to work from home that the world is a potential gold mine for new parents. From online tutoring to digital marketing consultant, virtual assistant, and graphic designer; if you have a skill, you can make a success of a small business. Your family commitments and work need never clash again. The nature of your entrepreneur parent freelance business means you can work hours and days that suit you.
Entrepreneur Parent Statistics
Clearly, the ability to work from home or anywhere else has fuelled the number of people doing so. This increase has been going on for 20 years. It is mostly women in the driving seat, and middle-aged people are the most likely group to do so. The phenomena is so common among new mothers that it has a term: “mumpreneur”. However, the term has come in for criticism for many reasons.
According to research from a business insurer:
- Just 49% of entrepreneur parents did so because they felt they would be better off financially.
- The most cited reason (20% of respondents) set up a small business from home is to spend more time with their children.
- 16% of new mothers who started a business did so because of childcare costs.
- 14% said they started a freelance business because they wanted to be their own boss.
- 12% said they had a lifelong ambition to start a new business.
All statistics came from a survey by Direct Line for Business.
Is a Home Small Business for You?
New start-ups are most common among people in their 40s and 50s. These fall into two broad categories. The first is new parents with a young first child using their career experience to develop entrepreneurial skills. They favour balancing the free time around childcare. The second group consists of parents with older children. They may be ready to re-enter the full-time workforce but choose not to do so. They favour the freedom they have come to enjoy.
At one end of the scale, a young first child-parent who has some spare time at the other end older parent whose kids are older and they are almost ready to return to work parent but don’t want to do so.
Some benefits and challenges to consider
- The more work you have, the more you will earn
- You have the right to reject work for any reason
- You set the hours – there is no need to stick with the 9-5 unless it works for you
- You will sometimes struggle to find clients, often for months on end
- Some parents will put their work-life on hold when children require the most commitment. This includes before they start school and during the holidays. It also means when they are sick.
- Don’t forget that you yourself will also get sick and need rest and recovery time. Freelancers do not get sick pay
- There is no holiday pay so you must also factor this in
Is It Worth It?
Despite challenges, parents are making a success of their home businesses. Home entrepreneurs report higher job satisfaction and better work-life balance which outweigh these drawbacks. Your first step is to decide what type of business you want. If you’re a new parent considering starting a home business, here are some great ideas on how to get started.
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