Home Career Selection
Wondering what business
to start, what business to buy, or whether you should make the
shift from a full-time job to a home career? These top three
FAQs will put you on the right track.
by Paul and
Q: What Business
Should I Start?
to start my own business for some time. But what type of business?
Chances are the
reason you're stumped as to what business to start is because
you're asking the wrong questions. You're probably wondering
what you "could" do, what you "should" do
or what would be "best" to do and are either seeing
no truly appealing option or so many options that it's quite
confusing. To get out of this rut, ask yourself an entirely different
question: What would you like to be doing? Imagine
if you could support yourself doing anything you want -- what
would you do?
In the past most
people had to settle for something more "practical"
than what they would like to do. But in this day and age, the
"ideal" is often the most practical. Changes in the
economy make it possible for people to carve out unique niches
doing rewarding kinds of work that no one would have ever hired
them to do in the past.
Don't limit your
future to outdated ideas of what's possible. Find a match between
the lifestyle you desire, your experience and background, what
you enjoy doing and what people will pay for. We call this process
Your Perfect Work, you can read literally hundreds of examples of
how people are finding such matches. Each month you'll find a
variety of examples on our web site. Like Barbara Allen
who started Mrs. Allen's Shed Stop, or nature recording artist
match and packaging it profitably may involve some experimentation,
but as with any journey, knowing your destination is the first
step to finding a path that will take you there.
Q: Where Do
I Find Reputable Business Opportunities?
"I am set
up and ready to go to work at home. I have a computer, modem
and printer. I have spent a large amount of money recently on
Work-at-Home scams. Who do I contact? Where are the reputable
We regret that
you have lost money on work-at-home scams. All too many people
do. They are everywhere, especially in unsolicited e-mail. The
problem is an all-too-common misunderstanding about how one gets
work to do at home. As far as we know, there are no companies
that charge you a fee and then provide you with work to do at
home on your computer.
The best and
easiest way to begin doing work from home with your computer
is to start your own one-person business in one of the 100+ established
computer-related fields we profile in Making
Money with Your Computer or Making Money in Cyberspace. People
are successfully operating businesses likes these from home all
over the country. They include businesses like word processing,
desktop publishing or information research.
Of course, some
people don't want to start a business from scratch. If that includes
you, you can purchase a franchise like Prime Net Communications
or buy a business opportunity package like Medical Management
Software that enables you to set up a medical billing service.
When you buy a franchise or a business opportunity, you're not
paying to get work you can do at home. You're buying a blueprint
for starting a business along with proprietary knowledge, equipment,
software, etc. and, hopefully, training in how to get started.
Businesses You Can Buy, you will find lists of both franchises and business
opportunities, but there are no approved lists of "good"
companies. You have to personally investigate any packaged businesses
you're considering carefully. In Home
Businesses You Can Buy, we outline three "Fitness" tests you
should do before buying any home business opportunity, franchise
1) The Honesty
Test: Is this a reputable company?
A reputable company,
for example, will have a street address and a telephone that's
answered by a live human being. Or, if they use a voice mail
system, they will return your call or send out materials within
the week. A reputable company will also meet a variety of state
and federal regulations designed to safeguard consumers.
2) The Suitablity
Test: Is this line of work suited to you and are you suited for
others do well after buying a particular home business opportunity
doesn't mean that you will. For example, you need
to evaluate if there is sufficient training included to enable
you to both do and market the business you'll be running.
3) The Market
Test: Is there business in our community that you have or can
gain access to?
there's ample need for a particular business in one community
does not mean there is sufficient business in your
community. And just because others can get clients and customers
in a particular business does not mean you can!
Q: How Do I
Take the Plunge from Part-Time to Full-Time?
I work for is moving out of state. By running on a shoestring,
my part-time business meets our family's needs as well as its
own expenses, and I will be receiving a lump-sum bonus and a
six month severance package. But depending on my business as
our sole income is another story."
In your case,
going from part-time to full-time is more a matter of making
a mental shift than a financial one. Since you are consistently
generating enough money from your sideline business to cover
your business and living expenses, you're well-positioned to
take your business full-time.
You may be assuming
that having a regular paycheck provides greater security than
a self-employment income can. But many people are discovering
the illusive security of a paycheck. Companies merge, purge,
move, downsize and rightsize, leaving employees scrambling to
find a new source of income. In actuality a well-established
business of your own can provide as much -- if not more -- security
than a paycheck.
If you want to
go full-time instead of looking for another job, you need to
develop a new definition of security. On your own, security comes
not from knowing you can rely on a company for a steady income,
but from knowing you rely on your own efforts to generate the
steady income you need.
You've told us
that by operating frugally, you have a steady income from your
sideline business that covers your family's living expenses.
Now think about this: you've achieved this while working a full-time
job! Imagine what you can do with your business once you can
devote all your time to helping it grow! Think of your severance
package as a cash cushion to ease your transition. The bonus
and six months benefits can be your safety net while you put
in added time to boost business.
Now that you
can work on your business full-time, set a specific target for
how much additional business you'll need to generate to replace
your paycheck over the next six months. Then develop a plan for
generating business to achieve that goal. Put in every hour you
used to spend on your job generating more business. Track your
results carefully month by month so you can alter your plan if
need be to reach your goals.
from knowing how successful you've been at building your business
with a part-time effort. If doubts, fears and concerns continue
to plague you, track down their origin. Take action to address
any actual concerns. Get rid of outdated concepts about what
constitutes security. To help shift your thinking, spend time
interacting with and reading about successful self-employed people
who've made this mental shift. Before you know it, you'll be
able to use your own track record of success as evidence that
ultimately you are your own best source of security!
- Paul and
Sarah Edwards are professional speakers, nationally
syndicated columnists, radio and TV show hosts, and the authors
of eight work-at-home books, including Finding
Your Perfect Work, Home
Businesses You Can Buy and Making
Money with Your Computer. They are recognized by business
experts as the nation's "self-employment gurus," and
are interviewed frequently by the print, radio and television
media. To learn more, visit the Edwards' web site at www.paulandsarah.com.