Getting Started With Your – Work At Home Career
Working at home is often fantasized about as workers sit at desk in their office cubical. If only I could work at home, thinks the new mom at home with her baby.
The retired person thinks about working at home to combat that fixed income and boredom. There are many people, with many different lives and reason that wish to stay at home and still earn a decent living.
With the age of computers and the Internet, this is an option that is now more of a reality than ever before. More and more people are working at home, either for themselves or for others.
The task is finding your fit for an at home job and learning the intricacies of working it. It isn’t all about sitting around in your pyjamas and collecting a pay check.
Working from home can bring about great benefits. The biggest benefit to most is being home with for your family.
You can schedule your work hours around your child’s events. You can be there for the field trips, the school events, taking them to ballet or baseball practice. Working from home, you no longer have to worry about childcare.
You can be there to take care of younger children and not miss those events in their life you may miss sending them off every day for someone else to care for. You will be home to fix those meals for your family, to do the laundry and clean the house. All those things you may not have time for if you are working an outside job.
There is also no more commute. With the price of gas, this is a real consideration for most. There is less wear and tear on your car. You will no longer be driving it to and from work, so your car insurance may even drop, along with the maintenance.
You also will no longer have the time spent in your car, especially if you had a longer commute. If you spent thirty minutes getting to work every day, when you work from home that gives you an extra hour a day.
That hour a day can be turned into other things such as work, cooking, cleaning, or maybe time with your family.
That thirty-minute drive adds up to five hours a week you can add back to your life.
These are only a few of the reasons and benefits to work from home. Now you have to decide what kind of work you want to do. You also have to go about finding that work.
Some people manage to fall into jobs, where others have to look for a while to find the position that is for them.
Whichever category you fall under, know that there is an abundance of opportunities once you learn where to look.
Avoiding Work Online Scams
It is important to note that there are people out there that are only looking to take advantage of those people looking for legitimate work. They prey upon the new person to the work at home scene. They think they can take advantage of them. The important thing is know that they are there and don’t fall for their schemes.
The first thing to know is that you should never have to pay to work. There are many emails and sham companies out there that say that if you buy into their club they will guarantee that they will find you work. They tell you that you will be making thousands of dollars within just a short period of time.
Don’t buy into this. Those who work at home have to work for their pay just like everyone else. No one out there is going to start sending you money just for signing up for a club, service, training or anything else. So close that wallet before you sign up for any of these.
Before you take any option, research that option thoroughly. There are many other people who work from home. Connect with them and ask if it is a real opportunity or a sham.
Check with the Better Business Bureau. They have an online website at http://www.betterbusinessbureau.com If the company is a scam then more than likely there are complaints against them.
Google the business name with the word scam included in your keyword search phrase (example: some company+scam). You will find out if people have been complaining about them as well.
People who have been ripped off and taken in will complain about it. This is a great tool. You will find out many things about a company by listening to what others have to say.
If there is no information on them when you Google them, this may be a red flag as well. Many of these scam companies change their names frequently to avoid just this thing.
There are also jobs out there that will offer to pay you pennies for what amounts to hours of work. While some say that you are still getting money, you need to seriously think about these opportunities as well.
Consider how much your time is worth.
How much do you need an hour to make working at home a feasible option for you? Your time is worth more than two or three dollars an hour.
On the reverse of this no one is just going to hand you money. Don’t fall for line, “Sign up to work for us and you will be making thousands of dollars for by this weekend.” We see this on television ads and infomercials.
Stop and ask yourself if you honestly believe that someone is going to be paying you that kind of money for such little work.
You are going to have to work for your money. While making that big pay check is possible, it is unusual to find anyone that accomplishes that in a short period of time. The person making that kind of money has usually been at their business for at least a few months, if not a few years.
Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right to you then go on that. There are many legitimate opportunities out there.
Doing your research and not falling for the scams is part of the lifestyle for those who work at home. Even after you have found a job, your inbox will be crowded with the scams for working from home. Learn how to sort through them to find the legitimate opportunities.
Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you feel there is something wrong with the offer, don’t take it. Investigate it. Research it. Find three other resources that can validate the offer.
Now that you know about how to avoid frauds, let’s move on to finding that real opportunity out there. And think, you probably won’t even have to dress up for the job interview.
Work From Home
Many people who work from home actually work for someone else. They do their work and collect a paycheck every week. They can be considered employees or independent contractors. Either way they have to follow the guidelines of the company they work for.
There are many great opportunities out there to work. Many companies only hire people who work from home. They may not even have a brick and mortar office. They may be entirely virtual. Others hire at home workers to supplement their staff.
Your Current Employer
The first place to look is your current job. Think about the task that you do at your job on a daily basis.
- Could you do these tasks at home on your computer?
- Could your employer benefit in some way to having you work from home?
Many jobs can be done at home to the advantage of the worker and employer.
Don’t think because you aren’t a clerical person that your job can’t be done at home. Many tasks can be performed away from the office. Even if your entire task cannot be performed at home, you may be able to telecommute part time.
Approach your employer with an open mind. Do your research beforehand. Be prepared to give them the benefits to them. Benefits to them can be many. They would no longer have to provide you with office space.
Many people who telecommute are more productive without the office distractions. Show them that you can be an independent worker.
You can even suggest a limited trial. This may be a great avenue for both of you. It would let you see if your job is suitable for working at home. It may also give you the opportunity to see if working at home is what you really want. Set up a certain amount of time to try this.
Schedule a meeting with your employer after that time to discuss the trial. At that time, you can work out more details or go back to the original arrangement. This idea will show you both the pros and cons of having an employee telecommuting.
Be prepared to be honest with your employer and yourself. Once you start working from home things may happen that you did not figure into your plan. This happens to everyone. That is where a trial would be another benefit for both of you. Work with them to get through any rough patches.
You may decide you love it, you may decide you hate it.
Whichever way it works out, in the end you will make the right choice for you and your employer.
There are many companies out there that now offer this option Unfortunately; larger companies do not advertise that they allow their employees to telecommute. It isn’t until the interview or until you actually start working for them that you may become aware of the possibilities.
This may be where your researching skills can come in handy. Research the company you wish to work.
Many places on the Internet will tell you if the job you want is one that the company is willing to employee telecommuting. Google the name of the company and the word telecommuting and you may find surprising results.
Don’t be afraid to call and ask. Tell them that you are interested in a position that you would be allowed to telecommute. You can also ask at the interview.
Even if they do not allow you to telecommute when you first start, they may let you once you have proved you are a valuable asset to them.
A very popular work at home position is that of a customer service representative. This has become a viable option with high-speed Internet and secure software. Both inbound and outbound phone workers are needed.
Different companies have different guidelines, so the first suggestion is to do your homework. Google the company you are interested in to see what information you can find. Another suggestion is to join a work at home forum to see what other people have to say. Many of these forums have job specific boards for companies. You can chat to people who are actually working for these companies.
Phone work takes a certain type of person. Inbound calling is the most common. Through software on your computer, calls are routed to your phone or through your computer.
Using a headset, you answer the calls and provide the customer with the service they need. This could be a variety of services, from taking orders from an infomercial, answering question they may have on their phone service, or ordering flowers. Many larger companies use at home customer service representatives.
To work one of these positions you usually have to have a quiet place to work. You cannot have loud background noise. In other words, you can’t have a dog barking or a baby crying in the background. They want you to sound professional and these things don’t give that image.
You also have to have high-speed, dependable internet. The software the companies use requires this. Many companies are now routing inbound calls through the computer. Even those that use traditional phones to answer calls, you are still entering the information on the computers for orders. You do not want the customer waiting while your dial-up Internet goes from screen to screen.
Outbound calls have the basic same requirements, but most have automatic dialers. You will be selling materials or even giving surveys for these types of calls.
Different companies have different pay structures. If you are an actual employee they pay you for the time that you are logged on their software and available to take calls. Other companies pay you for what is referred to as talk time. This is the actual time you are helping a customer. They may offer bonuses and incentives as well.
Phone work, either inbound or outbound, can be a great opportunity for those who want to work at home. There are some positions that are seasonal and others that last all year long.
Some companies will hire you as actual employees and others will hire you as independent contractors.
Writing is a profession that lends itself well to the work at home environment. Magazines, newspapers, e-zines and Internet publishers hire people to write for them. While this is working for someone else, writers are typically considered freelancers or independent contractors.
The Internet is a vast storehouse for knowledge. Websites abound that need the information written in a format that their visitors will be able to take in and use. These companies will hire writers to produce articles for them. They are usually paid by article.
Newspapers also hire writers that work from home. You can contact your local newspaper, regional newspaper or even those newspapers that specialize in certain industries.
Send out queries and clips. If they are interested, they will hire you or ask you to submit freelance articles.
Writers can also find positions writing for e-zines. These are an electronic type of magazine. Found on the Internet these non-print magazines are said to be the wave of the future.
They are becoming vastly popular and more are appearing. Finding one that fits your writing style is becoming more of a possibility. Again apply as you would for a newspaper with a query letter and clips of your writing.
Traditional magazines also hire writers from home. Though again these are traditionally freelancers. Top magazines may be harder to find positions with, but if you are persistent, you will find a magazine to write. Try submitting to several different magazines.
There are many different online places where you can submit your writing for pay as well. Many pay according to how many people read your articles, while some may pay you an upfront payment. Places such as Associated Content, E-How and Hellium are vastly popular for writers.
This is a way to get your writing out there and a way for an author to get clips. You will have to do some self-promotion.
The more people that read your articles the more money you make. More of these places are appearing as the Internet grows.
Writers must keep portfolios of what they have written. Keep a record and copies of your work. Publishers will want to see clips of previously published works. Having clips to show them is part of your resume. The more clips you have the better your chances are of landing that position.
Everyone has to start somewhere though. If you don’t have clips, start collecting them. A great way to get started is those volunteer writing positions, the ones that don’t pay but get you published.
Data Entry, Transcription and Medical Billing
There are companies that hire people to enter data for them.
This is a small market, but one that is very competitive to get into. Typing skills and 10-key ability is necessary.
Companies will give you a typing test before they hire you.
Transcription does take practice and in some cases specialized training. Many companies will hire transcriptionists to take audiotapes and put them into word documents. This takes attention to detail and dedication.
Most companies that hire transcriptionists expect them to have their task done quickly. The sooner you finish a project and do it correctly the more valued you are.
Medical billing is also very competitive to get into. Once you are in and have established a reputation, the offers will be forth coming. A good transcriptionist is in high demand.
This position requires special training. There are college courses for these. You can also get the training working for these positions in house. Once you have the training, it is possible to telecommute or contract for other positions in this field from home.
These are also positions that are highly prone to scams. Beware of any company that wants you to pay for training and then assist you in getting a position.
These companies are more than likely trying to get several hundred dollars out of you, to give you a certificate and then a list of companies that hire transcriptionist and medical billing personnel.
If you are interested in these positions, see if there are classes at your local community college. Inquire at your hospital or doctors office what kind of training they require for their employees in these fields.
It is best to do your own investigation before sending your money off to a potential scam.
Being an independent contractor means that you are self-employed. You work for yourself. Many larger companies use independent contractors to fill their employment needs.
You work for people, but you get to decide who you are working for, the projects you accept and the hours that you will be working.
As an independent contractor, you are responsible for paying your own taxes, maintaining your own workspace, and acquiring health insurance and other benefits.
You will have to keep good records of your earnings to compare to this form.
While being an independent contractor may seem more of a hassle, it does offer many benefits to both the individual and the company. It is becoming a more viable option in the business world today. Independent contractors may also refer to themselves as freelancers.
There are many companies that hire only ICs and freelancers, where others hire them to supplement their own workforce. Freelancers are writers, customer service representatives, virtual assistance, accountants and the list goes on.
Many of the online position you apply for will hire you as a independent contractor. You will sign a contract, but there is usually no long term guarantees that an employee may expect. When applying for a position read the fine print to see if they are looking for an employee or a freelancer.
Weigh the pros and cons of freelancing and decide if it is the type of position you want.
Working For Yourself: You’re The Boss!
Working from home offers many opportunities. There are many businesses out there that will hire at home workers. There is also even more possibilities for those who start their own business and work for themselves.
In the previous chapter, it was mentioned about freelancers and independent contractors. These are people who have struck out on their own but work for bigger companies.
There are those freelancers and independent contractors who work solely for themselves. They may occasionally contract with larger businesses for projects, but they are business owners in their own rights.
This is one of the hottest work at home business opportunities. Virtual assistants are those people who help others run their business. They do data entry, virtual filing, appointment setting and even answer phones.
They perform these entire tasks from their own computers. They may live in the same town as their clients or they may live across the country.
Virtual assistance can specialize or they can work in the traditional clerical jobs. A good virtual assistant often referred to as a VA, is in high demand and usually has 40 plus billing hours a week.
To become a virtual assistant there are courses that you can take online. You can also sign up with agencies that will find you virtual assistant position. You can put up your own website and find your own clients as well.
This is a position that people who have worked in an office setting before do well. Having word processing, excel and data entry skills is a benefit. People hire virtual assistance to do call back and keep track of their emails and appoints. Having these experiences will be a plus.
Virtual Assistants are popular amount Internet markers as well. Being a VA to these entrepreneurs may take a different skill set. Article marketing, WordPress set up and audio transcription would be skill of a assistance to this market.
Real Estate Agents are also using more virtual assistants. If you know anything about the Real Estate market this may be your niche.
Good Virtual Assistants work in the niche that they know. They learn to specialize. They become irreplaceable to their clients. They may have several clients or just one depending on their needs and the needs of their clients.
Virtual assistance need to maintain impeccable records of their time. They usually bill by the hour. Most clients will need to see invoices of how their virtual assistants spent their billed time. You may have to purchase the software to keep track of your hours.
Being a virtual assistant has many rewards. You are working a job at home. You can schedule your clients around the time that you have. Most virtual assistants have more than enough work available to them.
There are many places available on the Internet that offers virtual assistant training. There are also many sites that offer virtual assistant placements. This again is a place to do your homework and protect yourself from scams. There are companies out there that do both of these tasks and are great assets to the potential virtual assistant, or the VA that wants specialized training. Just remember to do your research before reaching for your wallet.
This is a growing field. As it grows it also expands into varied fields and ideas. A basic definition of an Internet marketer is one who has a website and sells information and products from that website.
This may sound like a simplified procedure, but it can be very involved. When you see the ads on television or receive them in your email, more than likely these people are Internet marketers. There is a lot of room here for scams in this field as well.
Internet markers first must have a website set up. You can learn to do this for yourself or find someone to do it for you. This may be where a virtual assistant comes in.
Once you have a website up an Internet marketer must have a product to sell. There is a wide variety of items to sell on the internet. From actual physical products, digital informational products, such as e-books to coaching, product ideas are endless. The problem may be deciding on which ones to promote.
Finding a niche and avoiding scams are the biggest part of Internet marketing. This can be a profitable business for some. It does take a lot of time, especially at first. You have to have dedication and persistence to work this business.
Internet marketers often specialize or find the niche that they can become experts.
There are Internet marketers for just about everything out there. You can be an Internet marketer for work at home moms, people who are looking for healthier lifestyles, investors or even golf players. If there is a market to sell to there is a niche for an Internet marketer.
You can take your expertise in an area, produce a few information products, such as e-books, audios or videos and have your business up and running. Internet marketers need to learn how to get traffic to their sites, they need to learn to build and maintain mailing list.
There are many Internet marketers out there willing to share their expertise and guide the potential new person.
This is a viable option for the person looking to earn an income from home. There is a learning curve. Establish yourself as an expert in your field and you should have luck as an Internet marketer.
This may be one of the oldest work at home jobs there is. Opportunities have increased by leaps and bounds for this type of business opportunity. We have all had experiences with Avon and Tupperware ladies.
Many businesses are now using direct sales as a way to get their product to market.
To name a few of the more popular direct sales opportunities there are Mary Kay, Pampered Chief, Close to My Heart, Mia Bella Candles, Noah’s Ark Workshop and Discovery Toys. This list is small compared to the many opportunities that are out there.
Direct sales are a wonderful opportunity for the right personality. Parties can be held in the salespersons home, in a friends or customer’s home or even online. Most companies now offer websites for the their direct sales where their clients can order directly from the internet.
If you have that type of personality that does well at sales this may be the work at home opportunity for you. If you are a customer of the product already and strongly believe in it, you may have a niche already.
Graphic and Web Design
Many businesses are looking to make their presence on the Internet. Both large and small businesses need to have their websites designed. Graphic and web designers can fill this gap.
If you are a talented graphic designer or have an interest in this area, you may want to pursue this avenue of working at home.
You will have to have knowledge of web design and graphic design. There is software you can purchase to aid you in both of these.
Your local community college may offer classes in this subject, both for degree work and for adult continuing education classes.
This is a position that does not happen overnight. Here again you have to establish a reputation and a client base. You will have to learn the programs and the methods. You will also have to learn self-promotion. Don’t expect to put up a website and have instant traffic beating down your door for you to design their websites and graphics.
This type of business is becoming more popular. Ghostwriters are not just for those who want to be published in traditional publishing houses. The Internet is full of opportunities for the ghostwriter.
Internet marketers are one of the markets that hire ghostwriters in abundance. They are looking for people to write the information products they wish to sell. They are looking for talented writers to fill their websites and blogs with information that will drive traffic to their sites.
Talented ghostwriters are in demand almost as much as talented virtual assistants. Finding a niche you can write about and the ghostwriter will have plenty of work.
People like coaches and coaching opportunities are becoming more available. The Internet has opened all sorts of opportunities for coaching. Coaches come in all expertise.
Take your talent and your education and turn it into a coaching opportunity.
Coaching can take place through emails, instant messengers, on the phone or even your home. If you choose to see clients in your home, ensure that you have the proper zoning and licensing to do so.
Many communities do not allow homeowners to see clients in their home. Online coaching is a viable option for those who cannot see clients in their homes. Instead of just your local area the world opens up to you. Clients can come from anywhere.
There are life coaches, diet coaches, love coaches, website design coaches and home school coaches. You can take any talent you have and learn to coach on it. There will be people out there willing to pay for your valuable insight to a subject. You may think of an area that needs coaching that does not yet have coaches available.
This is not an inclusive list of the opportunities available to entrepreneurs. The best entrepreneurs see a need and form their business around that opportunity. Take what you are interested in and use it to the best of your ability to find a business and a niche that you enjoy.
The Internet and computers have opened endless possibilities to people who want to work at home doing what they love.
Coaching opens the possibility for repeat business. Treating a client right and giving them the guidance that they will need, helps you do repeat business. You will also have to promote yourself to secure new clients. Having a website and being available by email is also important.
It should be mention the number of smaller possibilities that are available on the internet as well. Mystery Shoppers, blogging and taking surveys will also pay you money.
While these are not steady opportunities, they are opportunities. There are people who make a living doing just these things. These are the kinds of opportunities that take quite a bit of time and dedication.
Where To Find A Work From Home Job
This may be the chapter you have been looking for since you started reading. Unfortunately, there is no one place. You may find different successes in different places. The key is to keep your eyes and ears open.
One of the best places to look is where other people who work at home hang out. These are the forums. There are many popular ones that are dedicated solely to the work at home crowd. www.WAHM.com is one of the first stops for many people looking to work from home.
On their main page, there are links to telecommuting opportunities and business opportunities. They also have a forum where you can gain information on many different types of businesses as well as ask questions to seasoned professionals.
You will notice that each of these boards has its own voice and personality. Find the one that your feel comfortable with.
There are many others out there as well that will be able to supply you with vital information on your search for a work at home job. They will also be able to help you once you have a job.
There are specialized forums as well. For the Internet marketer one of the most popular sites is www.warriorforum.com where you can learn from Internet marketing gurus. There are forums for direct sales, ghostwriters and virtual assailants as well.
These places will help guide you where to get the skills you need and will help point you in the direction of where to apply for positions.
Don’t stop there. Other places to find positions are plenty on the Internet. There is www.craigslist.com.
This is a great place to find local places that hire telecommuters, or people who are looking for employees that work from home.
There are other sites where you can register as a freelancer and bid on different jobs. www.elance.com www.guru.com and www.getafreelancer.com There are positions for web designers, virtual assistants, programs and many more available on these sites.
Resources for virtual assistance are growing. Some tried and true resources would be www.teamdoubleclick.com and www.workaholics4hire.com These two resources help you find positions. Training can be attained at www.assistu.com.
If you are looking for a call center job the opportunities are there. You will find list on the work at home sites, but some companies are www.apply.westathome.com www.alpineaccess.com and www.liveops.com
The list of companies that use work at home agents grows every day. The best way to keep on top of it is to check out the work at home forums on a regular basis.
This is just a very short list of the available resources that are out there. If you google work at home forums or work at home jobs you will get pages of results.
Keep on the lookout for new resources. While the old tried and true are great resources, we are living in an age where things change at lightning speed. Even after you have secured a position it may be vital for you to stay on top of new opportunities and information.
Your Work At Home Lifestyle
This is an easy adjustment for some and others this is a very new and sometimes overwhelming change. Learning to adjust and adapt is key to working at home.
Work more than one job
One of the things anyone who works from home will tell you is to always have more than one egg in your basket. Many people who work from home have more than one job.
If you have never worked from home or as an independent contractor you may ask why this is important. There are several reasons.
Some work at home jobs are very seasonal. Take for example if you are working for a company that provides customer service for a toy company your busiest time of the year is going to be before the holidays. At other times of the years hours of work may not be as plentiful.
Diversifying your time and talents is a benefit. Those who do call centers may find that writing for others is a good match. If they cannot get hours in the virtual call centers, they can fill their time with writing for pay.
Even affiliate marketers diversify. They may have more than one niche that they aim. They may provide information products as well as coaching.
Learning to multitask is essential. You have to be able to go from one topic to another. When dealing with clients or with companies that you work for, they may be asking for different things at different times.
Being flexible and willing to learn make you a valuable asset to a business and to yourself.
If you are doing more than one job, or are working several task, setting and sticking to a schedule will help.
There are many people who work for more than one call center. They must keep track of the hours they have signed up for each company. If you are working as a virtual assistant, scheduling is important as well. Scheduling task that need to be done and when you need to accomplish them is part of the job.
These are all things that become vital to the lifestyle of the work at home. Learning to balance different task and home life is another skill that needs to be learned. Many entrepreneurs find they work more than 40 hours a week.
This may be good for them. Always keep in mind why you are choosing to work from home. If you want to work from home to spend more time with your family then working that many hours you are not meeting your goal. Find a balance between the two.
The same goes the other way. You cannot sit back and expect your clients or employer to pay you for no work. Working at home is work. You need to get done the task that your employer or clients hire you to do.
If you schedule the entire list of tasks that you need to accomplish in that day, week or month you will better off. This applies for any work that you do, make a list and stick to it.
Establish a Reputation
Your reputation will follow you wherever you work, just like tradition jobs. Overcoming a bad reputation is never easy. Make it your goal to do the best you can do right from the start.
Ensure the jobs that you do are completely done. Do them to the best of your ability. If you are unsure of a task ask. An employer or client would prefer to answer questions on how than to be given a half done project.
Establish a reputation for over delivering. They say to under promise and over deliver. Giving your client more than you promised and delivering it on time or before is a great way to impress and keep a client.
The same holds true working for someone. If you are supposed to log on from five to six, be there early and sign off late. You may think that no one notices, but they do notice.
It is these little things that will give you the outstanding reputation that you need for working at home success. It is the people that constantly over deliver to their clients and employers that are valuable and in great demand.
Don’t Cut Yourself Off
One of the downfalls of working from home is being feeling cut off from the rest of the world. It can seem that you spend your days tied to your computer, never actually talking to another person. This can burn out even the best work at home person.
Work at home forums are a great online place to be social. These people will understand what you do and be able to share the positives and negatives. They are also the people you can go to for advice and guidance when looking for a job, or if you have a job and have questions.
Forums can become virtual water coolers for some. Other places are the social networking sites. Places such as Myspace and Facebook are growing in popularity for entrepreneurs. It is a great place to network and find opportunities.
You can take part in webinars and online classes. These are all great online places that will help you not feel so isolated when you work from home.
These online sources do not replace the need for real human contact. Working from home you need to periodically get out of your home. Some jobs may be more conducive to this than others may. If you are in direct sales you will be able to get out and interact with others. People who work in virtual call centers may have more of a challenge.
Get out and getting involved in community activities, joining a gym, taking classes, volunteering or getting involved in church activities may provide that human contact that we all need.
People will always ask you what you do. Be sure to tell them that you work from home. It is a great conversation starter. People are always interested and full of questions when they learn you work from home. Your Work At Home Office Setup
The home office is different in every home. Some may have a whole room dedicated to only their office needs. Others may find they have a small corner in a bedroom or living room. Still others may find that their office is where ever their laptop is.
No matter where your office is, there are a few essentials that you will need when working from home. When shopping for supplies always keep in mind you are investing in yourself and your business. Buy the best that you can afford. You don’t always have to have top of the line.
Buy quality. Buy equipment and supplies that will last.
The first thing most work at home entrepreneurs need is a computer. For many people this can be an overwhelming processes. Technology seems to change overnight. Knowing what to buy today may be different tomorrow.
Buying the best that you can afford here comes into play. You do not need top of the line, but you will need room to grow.
Going into a store don’t be afraid to ask questions. The salesperson may work on commission so don’t let them over sell you. You may want to take a friend that knows something of computers with you.
You have to decide if you want a desktop or a laptop. How much RAM you have will determine how fast your computer is, along with the processor speed. These are all personal decisions that you will make about your new computer.
Another helpful piece of advice is not to buy on your first trip to the store. Tell yourself you are just looking and comparing. Find out what options there are and at what prices. Take notes. Go home and compare what you have seen. Check out those Sunday sales flyers.
Making an informed decision will help you purchase a computer that will last you as long as possible.
Most people who work from home use the Internet in some form. Many rely on their Internet access-to-access work sites, communicate with clients and to manage websites and sales.
There are many forms of Internet access and many speeds available. A few years ago the only option was dial-up. Now available there is dial-up, DSL, Cable and Satellite. Many of these companies can give you varying speeds of high-speed connections. What you may need depends on what kind of work that you do. If you are working in a call center, you will want the high speed connect of DSL or Cable.
You may be able to get the faster option. If you are in direct sales you may just want access to look up items and to see your website. You may not want the fastest out there.
You will still need something that is reliable. You will always want your clients and potential clients to be able to reach you through your website and email if they choose.
Depending on the task that you do for your work at home job, the software you will need will be different. Call Centers provide you with the software that you will need.
If you are working as a virtual assistant, you may need to purchase programs such as Microsoft Office, Quicken or others.
Read reviews and ask questions before you purchase any additional software. It can be costly and there may be less expensive alternatives available.
Many communities have adult education classes on how to use the more popular software packages. This may be worth your time. The more efficiently you can use the software and tools the more valuable you become to your clients and employers.
Have you ever found yourself searching for that perfect keyboard? The one that is going to increase your typing speed or productivity? A mechanical keyboard lets you search, type and browse the internet, your favourite books and music, or any of your other favourite things with speed and accuracy. The best part is, the more you type, the better the keyboard gets to know you. Here’s a list of the Best White Mechanical Keyboards
Working from home has become a growing trend as companies have increasingly allowed remote work. Additionally, the great resignation had led to a whole new wave of entrepreneurs. The laptop that you choose to work from home is important. You need to balance performance and battery life with the form factor of your ideal laptop. You need something that is portable and functional, but also affordable. Here’s a list of some of the Laptops for Working from Home.
A Quiet Place to Work
While you may not have a room all to yourself, it is still important to have a place to work. If you are taking phone calls for clients, you will want a space where there are no outside noises. While some noises you can’t control, the garbage truck outside for example, there are those noises we can control. TVs, Stereos and radios may have to be turned off.
If you have children around explain to them the importance of being quiet while you are on the phone. While very small children may not understand older children may enjoy helping you work by being quiet or taking care of a smaller sibling.
If you are not taking calls or doing work that involves the need for quiet, you still may need that space. Find an area in your home that you can call your own. Find a place where you feel comfortable and can do your task.
Having your own space set up with your computer and anything else you need to work will help you stay organized and focused when you work.
Some work at home gurus even suggest that you place pictures in your workspace to remind you why you are working from home or pictures of the goals that you have.
Pictures of your children and family or of that vacation spot you are saving money for will inspire you to get your work accomplished.
For different jobs this list will vary. A virtual assistant will need different supplies than a coach would need.
You will need some form of record keeping. While some like to keep all of their records on their computers there are still some out there that like to keep the paper trail.
Keeping records is vital for any work at home position. You will need records of hours, earnings and receipts for supplies bought. You can choice to keep these in a filing cabinet or in a filing box. Whichever that you choose, just make sure you use it.
You may need a printer. There are many options out there for printers. Technology updates are changing constantly. Find one that you like and do your research on the printer. Find one that meets your needs. Remember you will also need printer ink and paper.
You may want to stock your home office with all the traditional office supplies, you may want to very minimalistic.
Whichever style you choose, remember that you are working from home, ensure that you have everything that you need to get your job done and get it done well. Remembering The «Small Stuff»
Little things that need to be done to make your work at home life as easy as possible also need to be looked at.
Everyone has to pay taxes. If you are lucky enough to be an employee who is allowed to telecommute than your employer will withhold your federal and state taxes as well as social security and other withholdings. If you are working for yourself or an independent contractor, taxes are about to become a real life application to you.
You can pay your taxes in a number of ways. Many people who work from home, that are responsible for their own taxes, pay quarterly. Others set aside the money and pay at tax time once a year. It is a personal choice that will depend on your circumstances and how much you make.
Hiring an accountant to help you sort through your tax issues can be helpful. Remember that you work for yourself. If you are spending hours or even days figuring out your taxes then you are taking time away from work that you could be being paid for. It is well worth the investment of hiring an accountant to keep track of your taxes.
Keeping records of earnings and expenses is part of paying taxes.
Remember when working from home you can deduct part of your house and utilities if you have a dedicated business space. This is where an accountant may be helpful in sorting out what you can and cannot deduct on your taxes.
There comes a time that everyone needs health care. You may not like to think about this, but it is important that you do, before you need to.
Those with spouses that work outside the home may have coverage under their policy or may be able to be added to their policy. Inquire into this option.
There are companies that specialize in health insurance for individuals that work from home. You will need to compare the prices, benefits and the terms of this health insurance. They vary from state to state and from company to company. Things to consider are deductibles, premiums and the levels of coverage.
If you have children policies may be offered through their school for health care or at the least accident insurance. Look into these options as well.
Other options are joining associations that offer medical insurance, such as the National Association for the Self-Employed and the American Association of Home-Based Businesses. There are also Medical Savings Accounts that could be options for those in good health that are self-employed.
The good news is that you can deduct a portion of the money you pay for health insurance on your taxes. See your accountant or the IRS website for more details on how much and how to qualify.
Life insurance is typically a benefit when working for a company. It is important to those who work from home as well. They still have people who depend on them and will leave things behind such as mortgages and bills. Life insurance is not for you, but for the people you will leave behind.
Many companies offer life insurance. If you are in good health, you should be able to secure insurance without too much trouble. You will want to shop around. Read the fine print. Do not sigh anything until you are sure it is exactly what you want.
Even those who work from home dream of retiring. Opening your own retirement account and saving is important. Many banks and investment brokers will help you in this regard.
Set up goals. Many people view working at home their key to retiring early. If this is your goal you may need to be aggressive in your retirement savings and investing.
Find a company that will help you invest and that will guide you to your goals. Stick with those goals.
We all need these. Working from home may not be as secure as working for an outside company. Having a savings account to fall back on is vital to everyone. The rule of thumb is to have enough in your saving account to equal three months salary. While this may seem a lofty goal for those just starting out, it is a goal. It may take you a while to get there, but will offer you security when you are there.
This may seem like a strange subject to be addressing when working from home. Your choice to work from home may be based on your desire to be there for your children.
There comes a time when you have to have childcare so you can work with a client, to take phone calls, or just so you can finish up a project at the last minute. It does not make you a bad parent to find childcare.
You may want to consider a mother’s helper. This is someone that comes in to your home and helps you with your children and with housework. This may be once a month, once a week or as often as the two of you work out.
Having someone that you can call on to help with your child is a security. It will avoid that last minute panic of trying to find someone. Find someone both you and your children are comfortable with.
Working from home is a dream to many people. It is become a reality to more people every day. If this is your dream you can see its reality.
Working from home is work. You have to put effort into it to be able to see any reward. It can be very rewarding; it can also be very frustrating. Learning to take the highs with the lows is all part of learning to work from home.
In closing, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you search for your perfect work at home job.
- Don’t quit your job.
The best way to start working from home is to supplement the income that you already have. Once you have built up a client list and have income coming in then you can consider quitting your job.
- Work more than one job or diversify.
For more security many people who work from home, work for more than one company or have multiple clients. This will help assure you that you will always have work and income coming in.
- Be social.
The best way to get jobs in the online word is through word of mouth. You may get that tip that someone is hiring or that someone else is looking for a talented virtual assistant. Networking with other work at home professionals may be your foot in the door.
- Learn when not to work.
Many people who work from home tie themselves to their computers and cell phones. They lose contact with family and friends. Remember why you are working from home. Learn when to turn it off and enjoy life.
- Keep impeccable records.
As with any job these are your lifelines. You can use these to refer back to client work you have done before, hours you have worked and for tax records.
- Learn to outsource.
Hiring someone to do your taxes, design your website or do the odd jobs will give you the freedom to make your business prosper. Outsources to other work at home professionals also helps you support your community.
- Don’t give up.
If working from home is your dream keep in mind it is going to take a lot of hard work. No one is going to hand it to you. There will be up times and down times. Learn to work through them and towards your goals.
- Don’t fall for scams or try to scam anyone else.
Investigate any job possibility for potential scams. Remember that if it sounds too good to be true more than likely it is.
Working from home gives many the freedoms to enjoy life. Take that freedom and make it your own!
To your work at home success