Working at home is a valid choice

whodaman home office

 

Most people know at least one person who works from their home either part time of full time. The Internet and Wi-Fi have made working from places other than a traditional office a reality. As the definition of working continues to change, from 9-5 at the office to results-based efforts, the “where” you work becomes less important. Although hard to track, the number of people who work outside the office is growing fast, and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Yet, employers are still hesitant to embrace telecommuting for fear that without direct oversight; the employee will make mistakes that may have been correctable.

Despite the potential pitfalls, there are more pros then cons for both groups. The employer gets an employee who is happy with their job, so not only are they more productive, but they are more likely to stay with that employer. In addition, the employer (especially if the worker is working from home full-time) can reduce the amount of office space they need, resulting in a cost savings. Also, since they do not commute, the worker can be at “work” sooner or stay later. As an example, if they are working on a project with fellow employees that cross multiple time zones, the stay at home worker can readily adapt to those unique requirements.

In addition, the company can attract talent that may not be available locally.  For the employee, the ability to work from home has numerous benefits. For working parents, it provides them with the opportunity to be near their children, especially in the case of illness or a special needs child. Spouses whose husbands or wives have positions that require constant moving, such as the military, are able to start or continue in their chosen career. Also, employees with mobility problems are still able to contribute to the success of the company. Even if an employee does not fit into one of the categories above, there are still some excellent reasons to work from home.

First, you can save money. Working from home or your local Starbucks cuts down dramatically on the amount and types of clothing (let alone dry cleaning) you need. Working in your pajamas (or more likely jeans or shorts) is certainly cheaper than buying a suit or other dress clothes. If you live in an area without decent public transportation, your gas costs go way down. Even with public transportation, you can save money. Also, you have considerably more freedom. With Wi-Fi becoming readily available, you do not have to stay home to do your work. Why not do research for your project while sitting in Starbucks drinking your coffee?  It takes self-motivation, discipline, the ability to work independently, as well as the right skill set to flourish as an at-home employee. But if you have those talents the possibilities are endless.

The top 5 stay at home jobs are:

1) Virtual assistants: They do almost everything an assistant does, including creating spread sheets, PowerPoint presentation, etc. however they are not in the same office.

2) Medical Transcriptionists: They transcribe a medical professional’s observation into readable text.

3) Remote Technical Support: They perform the same duties as any other tech support personnel, only remotely from home.

4) Teachers and Tutors: Online education is booming, and more classes are taught via the Web every week. Tutors perform all of the same functions as an in-person tutor, but they link up through the Web.

5) Web Developer/Designer: Probably the largest growing sector in the work from home job market is web design/development. Remotely located Web developers and designers perform all of the same duties as their office counterparts.

6) Rochester Carpet Cleaning Company: Even though this is a service based business where you will have to travel to your customer’s house, this is definitely a business you can operate from your home. You only need a small office space and storage for your machine and chemicals. Once your master your new profession and provide great customer service, you will quickly have some of the best carpet cleaning company reviews in the Rochester area. To further expand your services, you can also add upholstery cleaning and mattress cleaning.

 

Starting Up Your Own Business – Is It Right For You?

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, there are an estimated 600,000 businesses that are started annually in a wide range of industries and that number changes very little due to economic conditions at hand. In other words, in good times, starting up your own business occurs because ideas as well as funding flows more freely and, in bad times, increased job layoffs and business closures provide incentives to starting up your own business or to buy other struggling operations and to re-launch them.

The road to starting up your own business varies and it requires a certain mindset and tool kit to survive the critical early days. “The challenge to anyone starting a business today is to understand the steps,” states Mike Green, founder and CEO of Vizitnow3D, an Internet innovation start up in Oregon. “Get your idea vetted. Show it to people you trust for honest feedback. Show it to people in the industry you’re targeting and let them provide you with suggestions and cautions. Establish a team: If you’re planning a do-it-yourself business, that’s OK. Any idea requires a good dedicated knowledgeable and experienced team. There are exceptions, of course. Create a plan: Sure, you can start with a napkin, a piece of paper or even a whiteboard. At the end of the day, you will need a well thought out business plan to your new product or service the best in the industry. Then show it to people who have the ability to vet a business plan. And listen to their feedback.”

The plan and team provide the infrastructure for starting up your own business and it also provides the model to outline the funding to help to build and grow the operation. Many start ups never get beyond the drawing board or they have the funding and no real future. “Put skin in the game: You have an idea, a team and a plan. Now you need funding to get to your first milestone. Dig deep. It starts with you. No entrepreneur can ask other people for money without taking the first risk,” Green adds. “Look for alternative funding sources. Angels help entrepreneurs reach milestones of success, but that funding costs a lot. You have to sell a part of your business. If you have a small local business such as a carpet cleaning company, that will dramatically cut into your bottom line. A preferable approach is to find a customer for your idea. In the vetting stage of your idea, that’s a good time to find out if your target market and potential customers are interested and willing to pay for it. If you’ve done your homework, you will have customers already when you develop the service or product.”

With the many barriers to entry that impact starting up your own business, especially those launched by Black entrepreneurs, some times the major obstacle is closer than you think. “As a journalist-turned-entrepreneur in the digital pioneering space, I have developed an innovative platform upon which content and advertising will create new user experiences. Yet, while I’ve been invited to speak to numerous angel groups who are interested in my company’s idea, I can’t even get an email response, much less a meeting with media,” notes Green. “Even Black media, many of which are far behind the digital technology curve, can’t muster up a reply. But entrepreneurs must be flexible enough to go around obstacles. And we must be patient enough to persist down the path of our passions and persevere. Today, there are so many paths developed and many more are being developed for tomorrow. These paths are tools developed for enterprising entrepreneurs, made available by other enterprising entrepreneurs. In this age of innovation, the biggest asset for starting (up) your (own) business is the spirit of collaboration and cooperation.”