|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
+ 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
- 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
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.
About the Author
Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical
guide to building a profitable Internet business on a
beginner's budget. Visit her online at
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