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Home work?

Lyve Alexis Pleshette (2i Trade Resource) -- In a reversal of the twentieth century migration to huge factories and office complexes, entrepreneurs and employees alike are rediscovering the benefits of working at home.

The stressed-out corporate zombies are leaving behind time clocks, set routines, and impersonal workspaces of a salaried employee's life. There are also people who are starting new careers, housewives looking to earn additional income for the family, retirees not willing to live sedimentary lives, and entrepreneurial types not attracted to the structured world of work. Add to that folks who want to spend more time with their families, plus anyone who wants to "moonlight," and you're looking at a hefty percentage of the working population.

Why are people opting to work at home? Ever lengthening commuting times, rising transportation costs, and changing lifestyles (the desire to combine a career and a family, or simply to escape the daily rat race) are part of the reason. Add in the financial rewards, tax benefits, and more, and it's plain to see that it pays to work at home.

According to the latest Characteristics of Business Owners Survey (CBO), which gathers data on the self-employed and conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Census, the topmost reason people start a home based business is to generate secondary source of income (25.6 percent). Other reasons cited include the need to become their own boss (21.5 percent) and to provide primary source of income (21.3 percent).

The ability to gain control over one's life is perhaps the most enticing aspect of a home-based business. People are attracted to striking it out on their own because of the challenge of being one's own boss and being responsible for one's hours, salary, and destiny. Home-based workers have the freedom to earn and create as they choose, in the comfort and convenience of their own homes. It provides an individual the chance to spread his or her wings and discover new opportunities that may not be possible in the corporate world.

Technology has so expanded our ability to work anywhere that it's actually easier to craft a list of what cannot be done from a home than it is to generate a truly comprehensive list of home-based businesses. The continuing expansion of the services and information sectors and the widespread availability of computers and fax machines have opened the door on a broad array of new home-based occupations. The increasing sophistication of computer and equipment allows more businesses to be operated from home. Businesses such as digital publishing, once the domain of publishing conglomerates, can now be operated on your desktop in the study room.

Generally speaking, though, you cannot run a business from home that involves a huge team of workers, tons of processing equipment, acres of space, dangerous chemicals, controlled substances, massive quantities of food, or heavy machinery. So you can forget about auto repair shops, setting up a sweatshop factory, storing massive amounts of harmful chemicals, and slaughtering livestock.

Otherwise, you can start almost anything in today's phone-fax-modem world of business -- from your bedroom, if need be.

(c) 2001 via 2i Trade Resource

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