Recently, I’ve been receiving a lot of emailed queries from mothers asking how they could start working from home. Often, the hope is to quit the regular office-based job and replace the office-based income with homebased income.
I’ll say this straight: If you’re looking to replace your office income with your work-at-home income, you should not be looking for a work-at-home job. You need to start your own homebased business. And it is something you should begin to do while you are still in your office job.
Because often, work-at-home jobs pay much less than a homebased business will. After all, with a work-at-home job, you are just getting a percentage of what your employer gets from the client. If you own the business, you get 100% of what the client pays.
In fact, from my experience, the only way a work-at-home job can equal an office income is if you double your office hours, which means you work 80 hours a week instead of 40.
The downside, of course, is that with a homebased business, you will need to search for clients yourself. But let me tell you this: the process for finding your own business clients is almost the same as the process for finding a work-at-home job you can live with. In both cases, you need to
- search online,
- send a lot of application letters and work samples, and
- activate your social network.
That is why you need to start your search for a work-at-home job or business many months before you quit your office work. It’s no overnight deal.
Perhaps, the reason why a lot of people shrink from starting their own business and look for jobs instead is the fact that a business promises less financial security than a job. It’s true. Client payments get delayed. Clients themselves are seasonal. You need to learn to manage your finances. But whether you have a business or a job, that is a skill you need to learn anyway.
And though a job offers more financial security in terms of regular payments, a business offers more financial rewards in terms of payment volume.
Another problem with having your own business is that your amount of accountability gets magnified. In the case of a writing company, for instance, the writer’s work gets edited and fact checked and proofread before it is sent to the client. If the writer contacted the client directly, the writer would need to be able to edit and proofread his own work and make sure his facts are correct.
If you feel that your skills are not sufficient for you to contact clients directly, then yes, you may need to get a work-at-home job instead of start your own business … but do the job part time, while you are employed, so that your skills can be honed to the point where you can eventually stand on your own.
Then, when you quit your office job, you won’t need to look for a work-at-home job anymore. You can start your own business.