You may have had thoughts of kicking back and enjoying maternity leave with your new bundle of joy. But for many women, it is also the time and breathing space that they need to take the plunge and start working for themselves.
You will need to check the rules on maternity pay and whether you can work during this time both with the maternity leave policy of your company, and the legal rules behind it but many women have used maternity leave as the springboard to starting their own business.
For some women, the venture took off and they quit their job to work for themselves in a way that was truly flexible. Other women do return to work but continue to enjoy running their own business ‘on the side’.
Taking the step
If you are thinking of setting up and running your own business while on maternity leave, before you start designing professional business cards, you need to be uber-confident that you have made the right choice of business.
But coming up with these ideas can be difficult especially if you are unsure what to do. If you do have the business idea ready to blossom into action, then go for it. But if you need some ideas to get your creative juices flowing, here are five business ideas…
Top tip – everyone has a skill or a passion and it may be that turning this into a business is a great place to start. People are always looking for local businesses to support, so don’t hide your creativity away. Let people know you are looking to set up your own business and you may find you get more support and custom than you though…
#1 Sell something
Selling online is much easier than it ever was and with strong selling sites such as eBay and Amazon, you can take products to a global audience. Because you have less financial pressure on you, you can afford to experiment with products to see what is selling and what isn’t.
Many people with successful selling companies always say to ‘sell what you know’ so don’t go too outlandish with your products. You may find yourself in a corner of the market that you don’t know much about.
If you do use eBay or Amazon, take a look at Terapeak to see what is selling and what is popular at the moment. This is a great way to see what is happening now, as well as being to look ahead and being ready when the market shifts.
#2 Rent a room
From Airbnb to Bookings.com, if you have a spare room, it could be a gold mine for you. Renting out your room for one night stays is one option but if you don’t fancy this with a new born in the house, there is an increasing need for ad hoc work spaces.
If you live in a city, for some freelancers, work space can be limited but they don’t want the expense of renting an office. Take a look at how people are making this work—is this something you could offer?
#3 Consultancy business
If you have a few years of knowledge and experience in a particular industry, you may want to consider offering your skills on a consultancy basis.
It can be lucrative work and in many market places, buying in an expert for a day or two is far more convenient and budget friendly than hiring a larger company for a period of weeks etc. It allows a company to be more responsive in dealing with an issue; it also means you get to set your hours and days of work.
Hop on over to LinkedIn and see what others in your field are offering.
#4 Social media marketing
Any company not on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. are missing a chunk of their audience but for many businesses, having the time, expertise and the people to manage and oversee these accounts can be difficult. This is certainly true for small businesses and sole traders who actually may need the power of social media to win them more customers.
For a small investment, they could have you updating their social media channels, as well as responding to queries and so on. There are all kinds of tools online to help you manage and run several accounts across all the various platforms.
#5 Dog walking
This may not be your first thought but if you like dogs, have the ability to control and train them, then frankly offering to walk people’s pooches during the week is a service that has literally taken off in recent years.
You could keep this business low key or, as other dog walkers have found, end up running a canine day nursery. You may laugh but this is a burgeoning market.
Author: Colour Graphics is a leading online design and print agency, who over 20 years and more in business have worked with businesses across all sectors and industries. From dog walkers to successful eBayers, they can help make your new business flourish with high quality promotional materials.