Working from home isn't just a passing fad; it's a ... that gets stronger each year. ... ... only have a vague notion of "working at home"; they've been flooded with "get ri
Working from home isn't just a passing fad; it's a growing trend that gets stronger each year. Unfortunately, many people only have a vague notion of "working at home"; they've been flooded with "get rich quick" and "be your own boss!" ads and just don't know where to start.
There's a big difference between telecommuting - that is, working at home for an employer - and running your own home based business. Which one is right for you?
WORKING AT HOME FOR AN EMPLOYER ---------------------------------
+ You get paid a steady, guaranteed income for as long as you are employed with the company and do your job.
+ Many employers offer health care benefits. This helps to cover both you and your family's health care needs.
+ If an employer chooses to hire you, training you is part of your job. You're paid to learn the necessary skills.
+ You have a specific set of tasks and responsibilities. You know what's expected of you.
+ Most employees only have to work a certain number of hours per week. If you work more, you are generally paid overtime wages.
- Job stability depends on your employer. Layoffs are not at all uncommon.
- Competition is extremely fierce. Although you *can* find work-at-home jobs online, most of them are offered to current employees with proven track records.
- You must answer to a boss or supervisor. They tell you what to do, when to do it, and often how to do it too. You may not actually have the flexibility that's assumed when you work at home -- you may still have to work 'regular' hours and be available to your coworkers and boss.
- Your income is decided for you by your employer. You are paid a certain amount to do your job, and any raises you earn are also decided by your employer.
- Employers can be very choosy; there are loads of people who want to work from home. Thus some may offer less than competitive wages, or fewer or no benefits at all.
STARTING A HOME BASED BUSINESS -------------------------------
+ You are your own boss. You make the decisions, and answer only to business and to your customers.
+ Lots of variety! You have a hand in everything - you are the product developer, marketer, janitor, secretary, web designer, and bookkeeper, all rolled into one.
+ Income potential is unlimited! You're not restricted to how much the boss decides you'll make. You ARE the boss!
+ You can exercise your creativity and independence. You decide on the type of business you want, in an area for which you have a passion. Business can be FUN, and you have the opportunity to make it "yours"!
+ You have the opportunity to pursue your "dream". You may have a vision that you'd like to see achieved - now you can give it a try!
- You are your own boss. Yes, this can be perceived as a negative as well as a positive! You have the ultimate responsibility for the success of your business.
- There's an element of risk. Every business, regardless of what it is, comes with a risk of failure.
- You provide your own health care benefits.
- Income is variable. Your business will go through both good and bad times, which may make it harder to plan. Plus longer hours don't necessarily translate into more income... at times you may find yourself working long hours just to survive! It also takes time before you begin to turn a profit.
- Long hours! The prevailing myths that home business owners sleep in, watch daytime TV, and generally have a 'relaxed' lifestyle are generally not true. Most home business owners work far more than the typical 40-hour work week.
It takes all types of people to run the world... not everyone is meant to run a business, and not everyone will flourish when working a job. Decide what's right for *you* - and then set out to achieve it.