INSIDE: As the kids head back to school, you can earn extra cash with these small business ideas for stay-at-home moms.
That!? Is the school coming?
It’s true. At any time, the children will return to class. And many parents who have been home with their children will start looking for work. Fortunately, the change of season also brings great new home business opportunities for those with an entrepreneurial spirit.
If you’re looking for something new to do to earn some extra cash, try one of these back-to-school themed businesses. You never know, one of them may inspire you to launch your own full-time business in the future.
1. School Supplies Buyer
Do you know what is more expensive than buying school supplies? Buy school supplies with your children! You have to deal with the whining, convincing them that they don’t need those super expensive notebooks or a million boxes of lead for their new mechanical pencils.
It’s so much easier to get in and out without the hassle of bringing your kids. But, not everyone is available to go to the store without a companion.
If you ask, you can find several moms in your area who will be more than happy to hand over your grocery list and let you pick up everything your kids need. This keeps them out of the store and will probably save you quite a bit of money since there won’t be any temptation to throw a few extra items in the cart.
As a local school supply shopper, you can get the best deals. This means you’ll always know where to go to get the lowest prices on the items your customers want. Parents will save time as they won’t be looking for ads or walking aimlessly down the halls. And they’ll save money on supplies with the deals you find.
Be sure to charge parents for this service. If you charge each of them $25 to do their shopping and you can shop for four different parents per trip, you have just earned $100.
To market your business, make connections with other parents in your area. Consider hanging flyers at local stores and posting a notice on Facebook. You never know who will accept your offer.
Many school districts have reduced or eliminated bus services to save money. However, it may not be safe or feasible for children in your neighborhood to walk to school or to the bus stop alone.
If local transportation options have changed recently, you may find some parents in your neighborhood who would love to find someone reliable to drive their children to school each day. Everyone can pitch in to cover their time and gas.
HopSkipDrive is a chauffeured catering service for children with the help of independent contractors. If you live in one of the major metropolitan areas in the US, you can sign up to become a Caredriver on their website. You can earn up to $32 per hour driving kids. Since you will be working with children, you must pass a strict background check before you can begin.
We now live in an image-driven age. You only need to take a spin on Pinterest to see that there is money to be made documenting the first day of school through snapshots. Senior picture time is coming up soon as well. Brush up on your skills through Udemy and check out this list of places to sell your photos online.
To make more money, you will need to differentiate yourself from other photographers in your area. Do you have access to a beautiful natural environment? Do you love creating custom signs and accessories to document important occasions? Let your creativity shine as you advertise your business and take photos.
Make sure you have a solid contract before posting photos. You’ll need to decide what can be shared on social media, whether your customers have the right to do their own printing, and all the other important details. This way, everyone is on the same page when it comes to expectations.
Do you have the patience and knowledge to teach? There will be many students who will need extra help in all subjects. Now is a good time to offer your services as an after school tutor.
Check out this post for a list of sites that help connect students with online or in-person tutors.
It’s also a good idea to check your local Craigslist and newspaper ads for listings. Some school districts hire tutors directly and often advertise in these locations.
For most tutoring jobs, you’ll need to pass a background check and prove your ability in the subject you want to teach.
5. Music Teacher
If you’re musically inclined, why not offer to teach those skills, too? Parents are looking for everything from traditional piano and violin lessons to rock star guitar teachers.
You may decide to offer lessons in your home, in a central location (such as a church or community center), or in the homes of your students. There are advantages and disadvantages to each location, so think carefully before choosing the best one for you.
As a traveling music instructor going from house to house, you will save parents time. They won’t have to worry about driving anywhere or waiting impatiently for the lessons to finish. Most parents will really appreciate this. You will also be able to charge more, to cover your time and miles to get to the location.
6. Cold weather accessories
It may still be muggy and warm in many areas, but it’s not too early to think about winter! Handmade is huge right now. If you have knitting or crocheting skills, you may be able to create a nice side business selling gloves, scarves, and hats. In addition to online venues, you may be able to clean at local vendor events. Those are prevalent this time of year.
Children are always losing their hats, scarves and gloves, so there is always a good market for these items. You can also offer custom colors or create cold-weather accessories that match your local high school colors. Kids can show their school spirit while staying warm.
7. Shipping clothes
In order to make room for all the new back-to-school clothes, many parents clean out closets at this time of year. You can offer to pick up those used items that are in good condition and sell them online or locally for a percentage of the profit.
To advertise this business, ask permission to place a couple of flyers in your local clothing stores. You might also consider placing an ad on Craigslist or Facebook. Social media can be a great way to spread the word about your new business ventures.
If you like shopping, you can also buy used clothes for your customers. Ask them to send you a list of specific items they want, and then as you browse you can keep an eye out for these items. By charging a “find fee” for each article, you’ll earn money while doing something you love. You’ll be saving parents time and money, which is always a good thing.
8. Elimination of lice
This one is kind of gross, but hear me out. Head lice thrive in schools. Kids are always swapping hats, sharing combs, and doing all the other things they’re not supposed to do. And while they do so, the lice are passed from head to head.
Each year, schools send letters notifying parents of head lice outbreaks in specific classrooms or throughout the school. professional lice removal It’s big business these days with companies charging up to $100 an hour. The place of the lice it even offers a franchise opportunity.
If you take precautions, you won’t end up getting lice while helping someone else get rid of theirs.
Another necessary area after an infection is home cleaning. Bedding, stuffed animals, car seats, and much more will need to be properly cleaned to prevent reinfection. If cleaning is something you’re good at, consider starting your own business offering these services. Most parents will pay enough to not have to worry about cleanup after an outbreak.
9. Coffee delivery man
Many teachers would love a hot cup of coffee mid-morning to get them through the rest of the day. But they can’t get out to pick it up, so they’re stuck drinking the mild coffee brewed in the staff room.
You can help solve this problem by becoming a coffee delivery man. Once you introduce your services to the local school, you can pick up orders and payment at a set time each day. You can then place your order at the local coffee shop and deliver everyone the caffeine they need to keep them fueled until the final bell.
Teachers aren’t the only workers who could benefit from this service. Brainstorm companies in your area where workers might be interested in a midday coffee boost.
10. Lunch special
Are you a professional creating cookies decorated like the best superheroes? Can you create Pokémon-themed rice balls and other Pinterest-worthy lunch foods?
If creating special lunches is your specialty, you can create your own business preparing lunches for others. Some parents really want their kids to have a special lunch every day, but just don’t have the time or talent to prepare it. That’s where you would come in. Parents could place their orders with you the day before and you could deliver the lunches directly to the school.
Be sure to get your food handler card and any special permits you need to sell prepared foods. Some states will require you to use a commercial kitchen for these services, so be sure to research what is required where you live.
Here are just a few of my favorite back-to-school home-based business ideas to consider starting this fall. Do you see yourself doing any of these?
Published August 2015. Updated May 2021.