home based jobs

Woman working at home with laptop computer

Where to look for Jobs

Making the decision to work at home based jobs  and selecting a field to pursue won’t be enough to get the ball rolling. Unless you plan on building your own business from the ground up, you will need to know where to go to find home-based jobs and opportunities. There are a number of options out there that can be incredibly useful for helping you launch into earning money at home. There are, however, a few things to watch out for. The work-at-home world is not immune from scam artists, unfortunately.

 

Using Employment Agencies

 

Local employment agencies can be an invaluable resource for freelancers, semi-skilled workers and even those looking for on-staff positions with companies that put at-home workers on the payroll. To find an employment agency that’s worth working with to fuel your career, make sure to:

 

  • Define your interests
    Employment agencies can be rather specialized in the types of positions they handle. Make sure your interests and the career area you plan on pursuing are clearly defined to cut out agencies that might not be able to help you.
  • Research agencies in your area
    Once you know what you want to pursue and perhaps even what fields you want to stay away from, look for agencies in your area that have reputations for helping people in your sphere of interest. If you can’t get recommendations, call local agencies and ask what they handle.
  • Research associated costs
    Most employment agencies charge the employer; not the job seeker. Make sure to check on this before dealing with an agency. It’s no fun to land a job only to discover a cut will be taken off the top!

 

Employment agencies can be invaluable resources for launching certain areas of interest in at-home work. Make sure if this is the path you want to pursue that the agency you work with is skilled in your area of expertise or interest.

 

Franchises Can Be A Dream

 

If you’d rather not invent the wheel to enjoy a home-based business opportunity, working with a franchise opportunity or signing on with a territory-based sales company can work perfectly. Both of these options can offer some big perks when it comes to backing and support, but there are things to consider before signing on the dotted line. They include:

 

  • Recognition
    Whether you’re going to buy into a franchise or just represent a company through sales, make sure the product and/or service is recognized and reputable. Even with growing or new companies, it is feasible to test the water. Just because a company offers franchises for sale doesn’t mean its products or services will be in high demand.
  • Level of support provided
    If you aren’t walking into the venture with a lot of training in place, make sure the opportunity comes with plenty of support. Many franchise companies offer basic sales and business training, for example. Sales companies, of course, should help you develop a plan for selling their products.
  • Your market
    It won’t do you any good to open the 10th exact franchise in a 20-block area. Make sure you understand your market and its needs. This also goes for establishing sales territories. Too much “friendly” competition and your chances for success could suffer greatly.
  • The costs associated
    Make sure you have a very good handle on the costs associated with taking this route. Some franchises are very affordable to buy into, but others can prove incredibly costly.
  • Your interests
    It just doesn’t make sense to set up shop with a company, product or service that you have no interest in. Chances are the effort will fall flat if you can’t get fully behind it. Explore your interests closely and then match them with available opportunities.
  • The time involved
    Some opportunities might sound great until the amount of work involved is clearly understood. If you want to make sure flexibility is retained, having a handle on what is really required to succeed is imperative.

 

The franchise or sales route can be an easier way to get in on a home-based business that has a real chance for success. To enjoy the results and rewards you crave, however, it is imperative to do some research first.

 

Connect With Employment Web Sites

 

Tapping into the power of the Internet can be an excellent way to find at-home work. In the online arena, you will find Web sites that can help you:

 

  • Locate companies that hire at-home workers
    If an on-staff, but at-home job is desired, it make sense to seek out a number of companies around the world that are known for putting telecommuters on the payroll. This can make finding opportunities that pay a whole lot easier.
  • Freelance Web sites
    There are a variety of Web sites that specialize in matching freelancers in a number of fields with hiring employers. While these are generally short-term contract based positions, they can prove to be very lucrative over time. This is especially so if short-term employers keep coming back for more. Freelance writers, for example, can connect with a variety of employers online and find themselves with more work than they can handle if they play their cards right!
  • Sales companies
    If you love the idea of selling candles in a party setting, for example, finding the right company to deal with can be much easier online. Here you will discover a variety of sites that can connect you with the right opportunity.
  • Community sites
    Community listing Web sites often have areas that connect at-home workers with potential gigs. While not every offer out there is legitimate, these sites can be worth the time to look over.
  • Employment sites
    Some online employment agencies deal heavily with telecommuting positions and other at-home opportunities. These can offer an open door for finding opportunities for short and long term employment in a variety of fields.

 

The options for connecting with potential employers in the online arena are almost endless. As incredible as some of the home based jobs opportunities might seem, however, it is imperative to watch out for a few potential pitfalls.

 

Things To Avoid

 

As easy as some locations can make it to find potential at-home work opportunities, not everyone out there is exactly reputable. With this in mind, it’s important to avoid the scammers by taking a cautious approach to any proposition. To avoid problems with at-home work opportunities, freelance contracts and more, make sure to:

 

  • Research companies
    Don’t sign on to sell products for a company without understanding exactly what those products are and what the company’s reputation happens to be. If you’re freelancing, look into the employer’s reputation. Freelance sites, for example, will often offer feedback ratings. For other business opportunities, check with local chambers of commerce or the Better Business Bureau for background information.
  • Avoid ads that promise the moon and stars
    Many advertisements for at-home workers offer a ton of money for a very little bit of work. Others will try to charge you for the opportunity to work for them. Unless it’s a franchise with a buy-in fee, be very wary of anyone who tries to get your cash so you can make money. Also, if work at home jobs sound too good to be true, they probably are. Exercise common sense here and do look into backgrounds.
  • Use contracts
    It can become all too easy for freelancers, for example, to slip on this front. Make sure to get clients under contract, even if it’s for a single, very short-term job. This protects not only you, but also the freelance employer.
  • Opportunities that don’t fit personal plans
    If you’re idea is to work at home most of the time and enjoy a flexible schedule, don’t sign on for a home-based sales position that will eat up 80 hours a week. Keep all your goals in mind when exploring the possibilities out there.

 

Finding employers for many at-home positions isn’t as difficult as it might sound. There are a number of resources that can make the task rather easy.

 

 

Tips For Landing The Job

 

While not all work at home jobs will require interviewing or proposal creation skills, many will. If you’ve decided you’d like to work for a company that hires at-home employees or on contract for someone locally, for example, you’ll want to brush up your interviewing skills. Should you be planning on Internet-based freelancing, you’ll need to know how to present yourself in the best possible light through proposals.

 

Getting A Handle On Face-To-Face Interviewing

 

If you haven’t interviewed for a position before or it’s been a long time, there are some tips that can help you put your best foot forward. To make sure you do the best you can in any interview situation:

 

  • Dress the part
    While it might not be necessary to wear a power suit and pumps for every interview, dress neat, clean and professionally. First impressions do matter.
  • Do your homework
    Be ready to answer a variety of questions both job-related and otherwise. Understand the position, the company and what your role might be before going in the door. Also, it’s a good idea to prepare for anything that might be thrown your way. Plan for a one-on-one interview, but don’t lose your cool if it turns out to be a panel. Just breathe and be yourself.
  • Make eye contact
    This is essential for sending the right message to potential employers. This can help you gain a reputation of being confident, competent and honest – all things employers look for even in at-home workers.
  • Have a home setup well under way
    While you might not need a home office or a good computer setup before you land a position, having plans in the works can give you the edge of initiative you need.
  • Relax
    Try to be as relaxed and confident as possible during any job interview. This will help you answer questions more thoroughly and can also assist you in making a good impression. Even if the position is your “dream,” don’t psych yourself out by thinking it will be the end of the world if you don’t get it. This will undermine confidence and will likely give you a tense appearance.
  • Sell yourself
    Don’t be afraid to bring your qualifications, experiences and strengths to the forefront. Remember, an interview is really a sales situation. Rather than a product or service, you will be trying to sell yourself. Perform the task well and you will land the job.
  • Be honest
    Don’t try to make yourself out to be more than you are. Be honest in answering questions. If you don’t know something, admit it. Stress that you are willing to and capable of learning anything that’s thrown your way.
  • Be realistic
    Make sure you are at least reasonably qualified for a position. If the job demands highly specialized skills and you don’t have them, it’s probably unrealistic to go after the post.

 

Face-to-face interviews can be rather nerve wracking, but there are ways to ace them. The more prepared and relaxed you are, the better you will come across to potential employers. This can give you the edge you need to bump out the competition.

 

Landing An Online Job

 

Interviewing or applying for a job in a virtual setting can be a little trickier. While some positions might also include a face-to-face interview, many do not. This means you’ll often have to sell yourself based on credentials and written communications alone. There are some tips that can help you perform here. They include:

 

  • Prepare proposals with care
    Since it’s very likely that you’ll have to land the job on written materials alone, putting proposals together right will be imperative. Make sure you take the time to update your resume and qualifications, review your proposal and only offer what you can truly deliver. If you’re planning on freelancing, keep your bidding prices competitive.
  • Make yourself available for follow up
    Some freelance employers like to interview candidates on the phone or in chat rooms. Make sure you are available to speak when necessary.
  • Follow through
    Once proposals are submitted, it can be a good idea to follow up with a potential employer and make yourself available to answer any questions. If you’re bidding through a freelance matching service this might not be possible, but in other arenas it can be a valuable habit to get into.

 

Interviewing for a full-time position or even a freelance contract can be a little overwhelming. The more prepared you are for what to expect, the better you are likely to do. With a little confidence, you will make good things happen for yourself.

 

 Setting Up The Home Office Right

 

It doesn’t matter whether you intend to work freelance, go into sales, buy into a franchise or telecommute for a full-time employer, you’re going to find having a home office is a very important consideration. Even if it’s just a closet with its own privacy door, having a retreat can be very important for productivity levels and even sanity.

 

You’re likely to discover you don’t really have to spend a small fortune to set up a home office right. Even on a relative shoestring budget, you can get the tools you need for just about any career field. The basics to consider include:

 

  • A workstation
    Even if you use two filing cabinets with a desk top stretched across them, having a place to set other materials and spread out paperwork can be very smart.
  • Filing cabinet(s)
    It is okay if these are part of the “desk” or stand on their own. Either way, you’re going to need them to keep important files, such as client information, purchase receipts for the business and so on.
  • A computer
    This is the bread and butter for many home-based ventures. A reliable computer with the right office programs can even help with a sales-based franchise. It’s also a good idea to have a high-speed Internet connection. This is especially so if you plan on working as a virtual freelancer or telecommuter.
  • A telephone
    Having a telephone line dedicated to the business is a great idea. While you might not want to do this at the start, consider at least putting a phone in the office.
  • Printer/fax/scanner
    To keep costs low, a combination unit can work very well.
  • A planner
    You’re going to be juggling a lot. To keep up with it all, it is smart to have a calendar or planner to help schedule your days.
  • Basic supplies
    Don’t forget to stock up on other supplies you might need,  like pens, paper, record books, files, invoices, business cards and so on.

 

Setting up a home office is a very good idea for giving yourself the space you need to get your work done. Even a very basic setup can help tremendously.

 

 

Getting On The Road To Success

 

 Unless you’ve decided to telecommute for a company, there are a few things you’re going to want to do to put yourself on the road to success. Selecting a business field to pursue, establishing a home office and even obtaining a little training will not be enough to build up a client list and keep them coming back for more.

 

Whether you intend to open a sales franchise or freelance for contract employers, there are several other moves you need to make to get started right. Advertising, networking and building and protecting your reputation will all become important considerations once you take the plunge into at-home work.

 

Why Advertising Matters

 

Just because you’ve decided to go into business for yourself doesn’t mean clients will start knocking on your door. Advertising is essential for franchises, territory sales, online sales and even freelancing. People simply have to know who you are and what you offer before they will take interest in your products or services. Hanging a sign out isn’t enough.

 

So, how can you get the buzz you need about your new home-based business? These modes of advertising can help people get to know you and your business:

 

  • Print
    Depending on what you’ll be doing, print advertising can be a great way to go. If you plan on selling products in a particular area, for example, local newspapers can work wonders. Should you want to offer your services as a virtual assistant to small businesses, trade magazines might be able to give you a boost.
  • Online advertising
    Pay-per-click and other search engine driven ads online can work very well for getting online sales sites, freelancer names and more into circulation on the Web.  It can also be a very good idea to establish your own site even for a highly localized business.
  • Free advertising
    One of the best ways to get at least an initial boost is to enjoy the benefits of free advertising. If you’re opening a franchise or territory sales business in your community, send a press release to local media. If you’re going into business online, consider blogging about your experience or field to generate traffic to your web site. You can also write guest columns for others, agree to be interviewed by an online writer or issue Web-based press releases to tout who you are and what you do.
  • Other forms of advertising
    Television, direct mail, radio and other tools of advertising can work well, depending on your budget and the type of business you’re going in. Consider your options carefully, however, as these modes for getting the word out might cost more than you want to pay as a startup.

 

Opening a business isn’t enough to ensure success. Once you’re ready to go, your potential client base will need to know about you. Advertising is a must to drive traffic and business your way.

 

Networking Serves Several Purposes

 

Networking is really just another form of advertising, but it is one that can be rather affordable and effective. When you get into networking, you basically are becoming your business venture’s best salesperson. Plus, this can get you out of the house doing something very important for building your sales and reputation.

The options for networking are a little more extensive than many people realize. Some opportunities that might be worth exploring include:

 

  • Chambers of commerce
    Local chambers of commerce offer an excellent platform for anyone who sells a product or service to get the word out. While chambers can be a little time consuming in the grand scheme of things, they do offer valuable training in return for membership costs and they can help business owners and freelancers enjoy a way to become a valuable part of a community.
  • Networking groups
    Many communities have their own networking groups that offer less in the way of programs and more in the face-to-face time with other business owners that might be in search of products or services. Networking groups might meet weekly, monthly or quarterly. In some areas, you will find general networking groups and even those geared to work at home moms.
  • Online options
    If you intend to sell products online or want to work as a freelance data entry professional, you’ll find that networking on the Web can be very important for your success. To get the word out about what you do, consider joining online networking groups, writing guest or expert articles for web sites and so on. Launching a blog for self-promotions can also work extremely well for driving traffic and interest your way. Using social networking sites can also be an interesting and effective way to create a buzz about your business.
  • Sponsorships
    Launching a sales franchise in a local community and starting out on Day One with sponsorship of an event, sporting team or something similar can spread instant good will. Sponsorships don’t necessarily have to be costly to be effective. If you’re going into an online business, your options might be limited.

 

Networking is not only a vital advertising vehicle for your business, but it can also serve as a nice “distraction” for you. As a work at home mom, you will find getting out and promoting your business is fun, rewarding and offers a very nice change of pace.

 

Opening a business without letting anyone know you’re there just isn’t smart. There are a variety of ways you can get the word out about who you are and what you do. To make the most of marketing, consider taking a multifaceted approach.

 

A Good Reputation Is Golden

 

It doesn’t matter whether you plan on selling products at home parties, you’re going to open a franchise or contract work is right up your alley, you will need to guard your reputation jealously. Build up a good reputation and the benefits of doing so will have a very positive impact on your business venture’s success.

 

Your reputation can impact your repeat business and referrals. If you build great relationships with clients, your business will typically succeed. Fail to do so and you might fall flat.

 

To make sure your reputation is stellar, make sure to:

 

  • Keep your word
    Only promise what you can deliver and do just that. This will help you build up trust with customers or clients. In turn, it can lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth advertising for your products or services.
  • Treat clients with respect
    Customer service is the key to building long lasting business relationships. Treat prospective clients with respect and courtesy and this will pay off.
  • Make sure products or services are on par
    While your professionalism will help you get off on the right foot, it’s your products or services that will continue to sell your business. Make sure they offer quality and value and customers will keep returning.

 

Work at home moms can establish lucrative and successful businesses. If you take the right steps to plan your venture, spread the word and deliver service, your efforts should pay off.