Starting a Home-Based Business: Is It Right For You?

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Imagine typing on your computer while sipping coffee in your pajamas and slippers. This picture does not appear so bad. In today's society with advanced technology, more and more people are able to work from the comfort of their homes. Not only are self employed people working from home these days, many employees are as well. According to the American Interactive Consumer Survey, in 2003, 23.5 million employees worked at home during business hours at least one day per month. This number has increased nearly 40% since 2001.

Home Business Ideas
Want to be your own boss, but don't know what opportunities are available? We have compiled a list of possible home businesses that cover a wide variety of interests.

1. Bookkeeper: As a bookkeeper, you can help small business owners manage their finances.

2. Secretarial services: Many start-up companies and entrepreneurs are in need of a secretary but do not want to hire one full time.

3. Mailing services: Mailing services could include stuffing, addressing and stamping envelopes for various businesses.

4. Caterer: If you are a gifted cook, you may want to offer your services to local businesses for meetings. You may also consider catering parties and events.

5. Web designer: Companies need to have websites and if you know how to design them, you can stand to make a lot of money.

6. Graphic designer: As a graphic designer, you could create brochures, posters, business cards, etc. for small businesses.

7. Day Care: If you love children and your home is child safe, you may want to start a day care.

8. Event Planner: As an event planner, you can oversee events for small businesses as well as for individuals.

9. Medical Billing: Doctors frequently employ individuals to help in medical billing

10. Freelance writer: If you are a good writer, you may be able to make money by writing freelance for various publications. There are many great websites that offer information regarding freelance writing.

11. Internet Auction Business: EBay and Yahoo Actions are just a couple of the large Internet auction sites. If you have items to sell, you can make a bundle by utilizing Internet auctions.

12. Tutor: Help children and adults with their studies. If you are well versed in math, grammar, etc. you can make extra money while helping others.

13. Music Lessons: Offer your expertise as a musician by teaching individuals how to play a musical instrument.

14. Credit Consulting: Help people with their credit and financial situations by working as a consultant.

15. Seminars: If you have a particular trade or expertise in a subject you can make money by teaching seminars.

Benefits of Working from Home
Working from home can be both rewarding and challenging. If you have children, the biggest benefit of working out of a home office is being available to your kids. Even though you will be working hard, you can still keep an eye on your children and be at home when your kids are done with school. You may be able to cut back on day care costs and arrange your work schedule around your children's activities.

Working from home allows for flexibility. If you are self employed, you are able to set your own work schedule that best fits your needs.

Working from home also cuts back on costs. For example, if you have been driving ten miles to and from work, you will not only save on gas, but also car maintenance. You may also see lower dry cleaning bills. If you are self employed, having a home office means lower overhead costs, which can be vital if you are just starting your business.

If you use your house for business purposes, you may be able to reap some great tax benefits. Contact your accountant to find out if you are eligible for any write-offs associated with your home office.

Drawbacks of Working from Home
There are also drawbacks associated with working from home. When you work out of a home office, it is sometimes hard to separate your work and family life. Many people who work from home tend to work too much. It's tempting to work long hours when your office is only a few steps away.

Some people who work from home have a hard time staying focused on daily job duties. It is easy to get distracted. Working from home requires discipline. Discipline is needed to stay on track with your daily work activities.

Another major drawback of working from home is the isolation you may feel. You will not have the usual interaction with people that you would have if you worked in an actual office.

Working from home is not for everyone. Evaluate your specific situation and working habits to decide if choosing to be home based is the right decision for you.
Home Businesses
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