By Jill Hart
Have you ever wished that you could work from home? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 19 million people worked from home (either part-time or full-time) in 2001. Itís a growing trend in our society with the number steadily rising as many people are leaving the workplace in favor of a work-at-home career.
There are four main ways to make working from home possible:
1. Telecommute for your current employer Ė Many employers are beginning to see the benefits of allowing their employees to work from home. If you have a job that would be possible to do from home ask your employer to consider it. More and more employers are allowing employees to telecommute. This is an easy way to work from home while maintaining the security of a stable career. You must realize, though, that working from home may limit you in terms of advancing in your company. Itís important to think through the sacrifices that you may need to make in your situation to work from home.
2. Telecommute as an independent contractor Ė There are many companies that hire independent contractors to do work such as data entry, transcription and customer service from home. This can be an incredible opportunity as long as youíre willing to keep track of your own taxes and arenít relying on the employer for insurance and other perks
There are many benefits to the company also, such as lower wages, not needing to provide insurance, or being able to offer a commission based position. The company may also choose to hire home workers so that they do not need to pay for space to house an office full of employees.
3. Own a direct sales/MLM home-based business Ė Many times these types of home-based businesses are overlooked, but they truly can bring an income and allow you to work from home. However, doing your research before joining a company is very important. Look for representatives of the company to speak with and, if possible, try to find someone who has been a representative for the company, but is no longer. They may be able to share some of the negative aspects of the business with you.
Also check with the Better Business Bureau and make sure that the company that you are considering has a good reputation. You can also go to websites such as CWAHM.com and sign up to speak with current work at home moms (CWAHD.com for dads) who can answer your questions about owning a home-based direct sales/MLM business.
4. Begin your own home-based business Ė It can seem overwhelming to start your own business, but if you start small and have a good business plan it can be a very rewarding decision. You are able to be your own boss, have a very flexible schedule and work only when it is convenient for you.
When considering beginning your own business, make sure that you have found a niche that will allow you to serve customers that no one else is serving. When I began searching for a way to work from home, I spent time researching the different work at home websites available and realized that there was not a place for Christians to network and help one another work from home. I filled this niche with my website, CWAHM.com, and the response has been amazing. If you take your time and find a niche or unique product, you will have a much higher chance at success.
If you decide to begin your own business, you must also check your state and city about zoning laws, licensure requirements, etc. Contact an accountant to find out what percentage of sales you need to set aside for taxes as well as whether or not youíll need to make quarterly tax payments.
Working from home is a big commitment and it can take some time to get started. Itís important to take the time to research what type of at-home position will work best for you. If you would like to telecommute, speak with your employer to see if it is a possibility. If you are looking into a home-based business, speak with others from the company or find a niche that you can fill with your own business. Working from home can be a rewarding choice and it IS possible.
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