4 Business Ideas for Single Parents

It is no secret that single parents must be able to divide between their time and priorities to be able to provide for their children, while stay close with them at the same time.

LiveOlive talks to several single parents about types of jobs that are suitable and able to support them financially.

Blogger and Social Media Influencer

Anyone who thinks that social media is not a business is definitely coming from the stone age. Thanks to YouTube and Instagram, we can see many social media influencers that are placing commercial products into their daily lives and generate a lot of money from there.

Driana Rini Handayani, 46, admits that she really loves this job, because she can be flexible in managing her working schedules and have plenty of time to take care of her family and household.

"I can work from anywhere as long as I have an internet connection; from home, on the road, or even when I'm traveling. I don't have to fight the traffic in the morning and go home late at night. For me, this is a perfect job for a single mom," says the mother of two teens who is also an active blogger.

Maureen Hitipeuw, 36, the head of "Single Moms Indonesia" community, says that she often works with companies to promote products or brands through her social media accounts. According to her, the most important requirement to run this business is to have a stable internet connection and a good communication skill.

"Being able to communicate in English would also help. We have to keep updating ourselves on social media, learning about it, and do a lot of interactions online," says the mother of a 9-year-old son.

Business Consultant

Martha Silalahi, 34, has done her business as a PR consultant, Media Relations and Event Management for years and is still enjoying it. Martha, who was voted as one of the "Powerful Women of the Year under 40” by SWA magazine in 2008 says that as an entrepreneur she has a lot of freedom to divide her time between her children, her work, and herself.

In addition to PR consultant, single parents could also try working as a wedding consultant, financial planner, career consultant, and so on, based on their level of competency and experience in related fields.

"First, you have to prepare your mentality and confidence, and then other skills, such as listening to a client's need," suggests Martha.

Baker and Caterer

Being a baker and running a catering business are the most popular choice for single moms, because cooking is something that can be practiced every day and it has become a hobby for many women.

"Before my husband passed away, I was a housewife who cooked, baked every day while taking care of the children. The revenue that I got from this business has supported my family, until my children were all able to graduate from universities," says Rini, 57, a mother of four children who became a single parent at the age of 35.

This business does not require large capital, but it takes diligence and discipline. Rini always wakes up at 03:00 to go to the morning market, start cooking and baking at 04:00 while preparing the kids' lunch boxes, and drive the children to school and make deliveries. She did this for many years, until her children grew up and became independent.

"Now, I just receive orders to make use of my time, besides adding more money to go traveling," she laughs.

[Read: LiveOlive interview with the owner of online catering business Berry Kitchen]

Supplier at Freelance Websites

"I became a freelancer when my business collapsed and I had to start from zero. At that time, I was already a single mom and I needed to support a young child," says Helma, 40, Country Manager of Freelancer in Indonesia. Freelancer is an Australian-based outsourcing marketplace founded in 2009.

According to Helma, being a freelancer would allow someone to generate income, learn to solve problems, build a network, and sharpen skills, even if the projects are totally unrelated to one's educational background.

"In a digital era like today, skills are easy to learn, as long as you are willing to. You can go to seminars, workshops, and deal with projects in order to gain more experience," she says, adding that experience and reputation are two determining factors for someone to become a successful freelancer.

[Read: 4 Great Websites to Find Side Jobs]

Potential clients will see reviews from the previous clients, or even ask for references. Therefore, building a good portfolio will be more applicable than solely waiting for someone to give a startup capital or a part-time job. After a while, you can use the money generated from your freelance jobs as capital to start your small business.

Read also: Career and Finances of a Freelancer

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