One of the biggest challenges single parents can face is finding a job that fits their demanding schedule while providing the income to help their families thrive. Side gigs offer struggling single parents with the opportunity they need to care for their children and create some extra income.
If you think a side gig could help you, here are some things to remember.
Parents are natural born business leaders
If you’ve been out of the workforce for a bit, you may be worried about whether you have what it takes to run your own side gig business. The truth is, however, that the same skills you use every day as a parent are exactly what you need to make a business succeed. Parents are tenacious, know how to take calculated risks, and are always capable of adapting to resolve problems. Never for a moment doubt your ability to make your side gig become a success.
Another important skill you need to own a business is a knack for planning. Planning is everything when it comes to being an entrepreneur, from drafting your business plan (it’s a good idea, even for a side gig) to setting your work schedule. With the proper planning, you can map out your goals for your new career adventure. Maybe you are just looking to supplement your income, or maybe you want to your gig to become a thriving small business. Whatever your dreams are, write them out and come up with some clear strategies to achieve them.
Start up costs shouldn’t be excessive
When you think about starting your own business, you may be afraid that doing so will interfere with your family budget. One of the perks of side gigs for parents, however, is that there are tons of ways to earn some extra income with little or no initial costs. You can put your skills to use by freelancing accounting, administrative, or organizing services. If you love to hang out with pets, you can even think about becoming a part-time dog walker. Signing up with sites like Rover is pretty straightforward, and getting out for more walks can be a great way to stay active.
However, if you do have your heart set on a gig that involves more startup costs, know that you may be able to access financial resources to help. Crowdfunding can be a simple way to get the cash you need to fund your business idea, and it can be especially helpful if you are creating a tangible product to offer to your customers. However you cover your startup costs, be sure to include an inexpensive home office setup too so that you have a place to focus on your work. Get creative when it comes to your workspace or desk, and look for free versions of software that can keep your business organized.
Your side gig should support your parenting
A side gig is a great way to pad your income if you are experiencing financial challenges, but as a single parent, you definitely don’t want your business to take time away from your family. This is why it is important to come up with a workflow that allows you to balance your work life with your parental responsibilities. Once again, planning comes in handy here, so try to schedule all tasks in your life, from preparing dinner to doing the taxes for your new small business. This allows you to visualize the amount of time you really have during your days and find spaces to fit in the undertakings of your side gig. As you work out your time, you should also leave some space for self-care. More than a luxury, self-care covers the essential steps you need to take to keep yourself physically and mentally thriving. Many working single parents find it easier to practice self-care in the mornings, before kids are awake and needing attention.
As a single parent, you definitely have what it takes to make a side gig work for you. So, get started and see how a side gig can boost your financial goals.
Courtney Rosenfield started her career in the gig economy after several years of enviously watching others do the same thing.
She started Gigspark to be a resource and the first step for people who are looking to join the gig economy, either to supplement their income or as a way to fulfill their dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.