Friday, January 30, 2009

Pros & Cons of Home Based Careers

While there are some great companies and programs out there, it's important to evaluate your needs and desires in a home based career. I see too many people jumping into the first opportunity they see, simply because it promises great income. Money is definitely a major part of our reason for working, but is it the most important? You need to choose the option that will serve all of your needs, not just the financial ones.

How do you know which option is best for you? Consider the typical qualities of telecommuting jobs, home business opportunities and home businesses started from scratch:

Telecommuting Jobs
Pros - With jobs you will usually have less responsibility than a home business, plus a steady paycheck and a structured work schedule. If you are very efficient, organized and "production-oriented", this could be good for you.

Cons - You will have less flexibility and freedom than you would with a home business. You will not be encouraged to "do it your way" -- you will instead need to follow your employer's instructions. Your workload is not guaranteed. Business can slow down and you'll have no work to do, which means no income. If you are very creative and free-spirited, and you want to earn a big income, a job might not be right for you.

Home Business Opportunities
Pros - More flexibility and freedom than a job, more opportunity for larger income, less chance for business to slow down benefit from being part of a team of like-minded people that support you and help you to grow your business. No need to create your own products and marketing materials, as the company provides them for you.

Cons - Less flexibility and freedom than starting your own business, as the company may have restrictions on how you run your business, how you can promote, etc. You may have sales quotas you need to meet, or other limitations. Choosing a company that has been around for a long time may result in oversaturation of the market, while choosing a newer company may result in instability or the company going out of business.

Your Own Company
- Complete freedom and flexibility in the products you create or services you offer, as well as the ways in which you choose to market. No quotas to meet, build it big or keep it small. Set your own schedule and determine your own income. Be as creative as you wish.

Cons - Great responsibility. You are the President, CEO, General Manager, Sales Director, Marketing Manager, Production Manager, Comptroller, Personnel Director and everything else for your company. No one else is there to help or cheer you on.

There are certainly exceptions to the qualities listed above. Perhaps you can find a great telecommuting job that allows you complete flexibility and creative work. Maybe some of the "cons" I listed above would actually be considered "pros" to you, or vice versa.

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