How To Work From Home And Start A Home Business

by Stacey Doyle on October 19, 2008

You may want to start a home business or a side business. Or you may want to telecommute to save on gas. Those who’d like to work from home may find these resources worthwhile.

work from home resources, home business
Photo by Squirrel Dude

Why work at home? The reasons are varied and many. You can save significantly on transportation, child care and clothing costs by doing so. With these basic costs in mind, you can save anywhere from $200 to $500 weekly by taking your work home, and in addition, you could earn an income if you’re planning to establish a home business. What’s not to like? 🙂

So what do you need to be able to work at home effectively?

“Work From Home” Requirements

Set Up A Good Work Space

Whether you’re building a sustainable home business as your main source of income, trying to develop a side business, or simply wanting to telecommute, there are a few requirements you’ll need to address:

A quiet place to work. You need a designated office area to give your work the serious attention it deserves. A work space can be a closet, designated corner, basement or garage. If you can, avoid working on the busy dining room table if you’ve got other family members sharing the space (and surface) with you.

You’ll need some basic equipment. You must have a telephone, computer with Internet access, copier and printer to work at home. Depending on your job responsibilities, you may need additional equipment such as a fax machine, digital camera and web cam.

Self-motivation is key to success. When you work at home, there is no boss nagging you to get stuff done so you’ll need to be self-motivated to accomplish your to-do list.

Creating a work space and getting motivated cost little more than an investment of time and effort. Basic equipment may cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 to get started. If you spend an average amount of $1,000 to set up your home office, you’ll earn back your investment in less than four weeks with what you save by working at home. Not only that — there are additional tax benefits you may qualify for with the proper set up!

Work Out A Plan

If you already have a job (like most of us do), you may broach the subject of telecommuting to your superior. Talk to your boss about the benefits of working at home. If you present your argument in a clear, concise fashion, you’ll justify this change. By letting your boss know how much money and time you’ll save this way, there’s a good chance he’ll warm up to the idea of a telecommuting plan. Who can say “no” to increased productivity and an improved bottom-line?

If you can’t convince your boss about this option, you can still start your own freelance home business. If this is the avenue you plan to take, be prepared to work two jobs at once… so be prepared to be busy. As your freelance enterprise takes off, you may decide to quit your day job and work for yourself.

For the Freelancer: 6 Work From Home Resources

Here are a few good online resources for those interested in developing an alternative income stream:

Elance — At Elance, professionals bid for projects and are chosen based on their qualifications, ratings and reviews in the Elance system. Free basic memberships are available to beginners, while higher monthly fees are charged to individuals, and small and large business providers. No matter which membership plan you choose, you pay a 4 to 6 percent commission on all jobs secured through Elance. Programmers, administrative assistants, writers and a variety of other workers can find freelance work through Elance.

iFreelance — Much like Elance, iFreelance is a bidding website for various professionals based on qualifications, ratings and reviews. Providers only pay about $4 monthly to participate in the service and no commission is paid on jobs secured through iFreelance.

Mechanical Turk — Also known as “artificial artificial intelligence” (is this a typo?), Mechanical Turk is an Amazon web service, payments program and marketplace for work where you can find all types of odd jobs. From rating websites to writing content, there are hundreds of small jobs offered in real time at Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Payments are made through your Amazon payment account. The terminology on the site may be a bit technical, but this is certainly one way to get extra work when you need it. You can get more background on Mechanical Turk in this Wikipedia entry.

HomeJobStop — For a small one-time fee of $18 to $24, you have access to this job data bank forever. The listings are fresh and there are plenty of updated job opportunities for all types of home workers at Home Job Stop.

Dot Com Mommies — For a decade, Stacy Perez has advised work-at-home moms and dads about the best ways to generate income and find work. The Dot Com Mommies is a reliable source for the latest information about work at home opportunities and scams you should avoid.

Hire My Mom — A nicely designed web site established and run by an enterprising mother, Hire My Mom is another site dedicated to match you and your talents with various work at home projects. For $29.95 quarterly or $99 annually, you can become a member and receive a list of projects that may be a fit for you. The downside? The membership fees for job / project seekers are a little on the high side, and their site seems to target “mom professionals”, though they don’t exclude anyone from joining their network.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jessica October 25, 2008 at 7:23 pm

thanks stacey, I’m about to take the plunge into home-based work and can use all the resources I can get!

2 Christopher Holdheide November 3, 2008 at 6:08 pm

Great post on the blog carnival I left a trackback to my blog.

3 SVB November 8, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Cool Stacey! Your post made it to the Political Calculations short list! 🙂 Congrats.

4 Muni November 27, 2008 at 6:43 am

When working at home, it can be very easy to become distracted and let other tasks interfere with what you want to accomplish. Just remember to stay focused on the goals you set for your work from home, home business and you will be successful.

5 Arvin Kelley December 5, 2008 at 11:39 am

You have a nice blog here Stacy. This would really help a lot of your blog readers. As for me, I have been working as a home-based business man for a couple of months now. And what you have written here are all true. A lot of work-at-home offers are merely scams and they are all over the internet today. With my experience, I can tell that working at home is really worth trying. Now I am enjoying benefits that I never had when I was still working on my past job.

Arvin Kelley
We are happy!

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