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.
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.