Wanting to make money online so you can work from home, but aren’t really sure how to choose which business to start? Then you’re in the right place.
What I’m going to do is help you decide which type of side hustle is right for you.
If you’re interested in working from home, I’m sure you’ve seen tons of ways to make money online. Just type it into Pinterest, and you’ll quickly see things like “Make $20/hr answering phones from home” or “Make $50k a year as a graphic designer on Fiverr” or “How to make $50k a year blogging”.
All of these might sound appealing since you can make money from home, and that’s your goal, but if we take a minute to really look at all of the different types of online side hustles, they’re all quite different.
Some are online jobs while others are creating and running your own business and everything in between.
Running a business is very different from answering to someone else in a job setting, even if it is from home.
The last thing you want to do is trade in your 9-5 for a job you hate doing at home.
So, if you find yourself asking “How do I decide on which side hustle to start?” then this is for you.
Figuring out your ideal side hustle type
Before choosing the actual side hustle you’re going to pursue, it’s best to figure out the type of side hustle you’re best suited for first. This helps narrow down the potential options to make it less overwhelming and increases the chance that you’ll actually enjoy the process.
Essentially, it all comes down to your interests, personality, skills and goals for you and your family.
For example, if you really don’t like writing, then starting a freelance writing business isn’t going to make sense for you (even if it does sound lucrative).
Here are some questions you can ask yourself when it comes to choosing your side hustle:
What am I really interested in?
What do I know a lot about (this can be anything)?
Do I like answering to someone else when I’m working? Or do I like calling all the shots?
How many hours do I really want to work?
Do I need the hours to be flexible or can they be set times each week?
How much money do I really want (or need) to make?
In this article, we’re going to talk about the reality of what each option looks like, skills needed for each one, and some aspects you should consider.
With this information, my hope is that you’ll be able to make a better decision about which route you’d like to go to start making money online so you can become a work at home mom.
Side Hustle Types
Type 1: Working from home doing a job or service for someone else
This is where you would be an employee or contractor for a person or a company performing specific tasks they give you. This is probably going to have specified hours or at least deadlines, and the pay is likely going to be hourly.
An example would be a call center rep for Amazon or working remotely for a company.
Another version of this is to offer VA services. While you’re technically doing services for others, you are actually running your own VA business. You decide the rate you want to charge and the clients you will work with so it’s a great way to dip your toe into both of those areas.
Type 2: Running your own local business out of your home
Another option for making money from home is to run a service-based business out of your home, such as an in-home daycare or interior design business.
Another variation that’s flexible but not necessarily out of the home is to do things like driving Uber/Lyft, being an Instacart shopper, etc. These can be great side hustles that are still trading time for money (aka you get paid for each job you accept) but you can choose when you want to work and there really isn’t a boss to speak of.
Type 3: Working from home running your own online business
In this type of side hustle, you are an entrepreneur with your own business that you run from home online.
As a business owner, you’re in charge of how the business is run, how money is made and how many hours you’ll work. There’s limitless potential with income (once you figure out what to do) but the income can be inconsistent and take some time to have it start coming in.
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Skills/Aspects to Consider when Choosing Your Side Hustle
Even though you’re choosing a side hustle, the goal is that you’ll want to transition to making this your full-time business so you can work from home.
There are various things to consider when choosing your side hustle so you can make sure that down the road this business works well as a work at home mom.
Different side hustles are going to have different requirements on your time.
If you’re working for a company, they may require you to be available during traditional work hours except you’re working remotely. It might not be conducive to having the kids around in that situation.
Or if you’re working a job, then you might have to work during certain hours but there’s some flexibility with you getting to choose the hours.
For this, think about how much time you actually have vs how much time you want to actually work. Just because you can put the kids in daycare may not mean you want to do that for example.
Flexibility around kids and family
One of the major reasons I quit my job was because it drove me crazy that if my son was sick or needed me for something, that I had to be concerned with taking time off. Think about what level of flexibility you’re wanting once you start working from home.
Do you want to have weekends off or be free to go to the park on random Tuesday morning?
If you’re not as concerned with flexibility, then an online job would work well. If you’re wanting more choices on when you can work but not have specific hours, then providing services or running your own online business would work better.
While making money online can be simple, not all methods are created equal. If you work a job, you’re likely to make less than if you’re providing your own services. As an online employee, you’ll likely be paid by the hour. With your own services, you can charge more but you’re then limited by how much you can get done in a set amount of time.
The highest income potential is in running and owning a business because you will learn to stop trading your time for money and start leveraging your time and skills to increase your income potential.
Another thing to consider is how fast you need to make money. Do you have a savings already or do you need to make money quickly? This can affect how you structure the business you’re starting.
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Consistency in income
Having a consistent paycheck is something that caught me off guard when I started working from home. Going from a salaried employee with auto-deposit to an entrepreneur hoping for sales to come through online was an adjustment.
Consider if you’ll want a side hustle where you know that if you work X amount of hours then you will get X amount of money in return. Something like an online job or doing Uber/Lyft can be suitable for you.
Or if you’re ok with inconsistency in exchange for more flexibility, then offering services like taking on writing projects for clients or running an online business like a blog or ebay would work well.
Answering to someone else
If one of the reasons you’re wanting to leave your job is so that you can be in charge for once, then you’ll want to take this into account when choosing a side hustle. Not answering to others demands on your time or your performance of the work may be important to you.
In this case, you’ll want to avoid an online job, in-home service, or offering freelance services where you are either directly interacting with a traditional boss or having to answer to client’s needs.
Running an online business can be a great way to be in charge if that’s what you’re looking for.
Kind of in the same realm as the previous one, but ask yourself how important it is that you’re able to make your own decisions in your work.
Do you want to be able to decide how things are done and work to improve them overall? Or are you ok with being told exactly how to do something with little to no input on the outcome?
Your own skills and talents
It might sound kind of idealistic of me, but I really believe that you can make money around your skills or talents. It’s totally possible to make money doing something you love.
So that you don’t end up trading one job your unhappy in for a job at home you can’t stand, it’s important to evaluate your own skills and talents.
If you hate talking on the phone, then perhaps a call center position isn’t right for you. Or if you hate the thought of writing, then perhaps offering writing services or starting a blog isn’t the right fit. Can you make money with those things? Of course, but at what expense if you’re hating every minute of it.
The biggest thing that’s going to help you figure out all the answers that matter most is what are your goals with this side hustle business?
When you transition to working from home, what is your ideal situation going to look like?
Knowing your goals will help you figure out a side hustle that’s going to work well.
When trying to figure out how to choose the “right” side hustle, it can be overwhelming with all of the options online today. But before you get drawn in by the money each side hustle promises, it’s really important to consider these factors when deciding on your side hustle:
There are 3 main types of side hustle options
- Type 1: Working from home doing a job or service for someone else
- Type 2:Running your own local business out of your home
- Type 3: Working from home running your own online business
Aspects to consider when choosing a side hustle
- Time Requirement
- Flexibility around kids and family
- Income potential
- Consistency in income
- Answering to someone else
- Decision making
- Your own skills and talents
- Your Goals
I know it can be a lot to work through all of this, but once you do, it can make a world of difference on the clarity you have with your side hustle choice.
Finding the right side hustle will be easier for you if you know exactly where you stand in each of these areas, and you can decide on the side hustle that’s going to be great for you as a work at home mom.