Working from Home
by Lecia parks langston, economist
Working from
Home
Working from home—it seems to
be many people’s dream. Women are
especially enticed by the opportunity
to earn money so they can take care
of family responsibilities at the same
time.
But, don’t think that you will get
rich quick! In Utah, only 4 percent
of those who worked at home made
$100,000 or more, according to
a Census Bureau survey. Most (55
percent) made less than $15,000 a
year—even though 65 percent of
them worked full-time.
There are basically three ways to
work from home:
• Direct Marketing—selling
Avon, Tupperware, Mary Kay,
Pampered Chef, etc.
• Running your own business
• As a regular employee of a
company
Direct Marketing
Selling products to your friends, and
their friends, and their friends is one
way to make money working out of
your home. The following web site
offers some ideas on selling for some
of the larger companies: http://home.
ivillage.com/homeoffice/homeoff/
topics/0,,4tn1,00.html
To do this kind of work, you must
love to sell and be very self-motivat-
ed. No one is going to come knocking
on your door to buy your product.
You must know yourself and whether
you will be able to arrange “parties”
and do the other work involved to
make a profit. If you are the shy,
retiring type, this isn’t the job for
you. Often you must do a whole lot of
work to earn your commission.
Running your own business
Starting your own business al-
lows you to pace your work and do
something you love. Since you’re the
boss, you can decide when to work
and when not to work. Taking care
of family matters may be easier. The
resources at the end on this article
can provide you with some ideas of
manageable home businesses.
Remember the returns to a home
business will be commensurate with
the time you spend. Don’t expect to
make lots of money unless you put
in lots of hours—especially in the
beginning. Also, it is a rare home
business that doesn’t require you to
spend some time away from home.
Work at Home Scams
Beware! The National Consumer
League lists work-at-home offers
number seven on its Top 10 list of
Internet frauds. In addition, the
Council of Better Business Bureaus
last year fielded more than one mil-
lion inquiries about such schemes.
The most common scams include
medical billing, envelope stuffing
and “unclaimed funds” processing.
The advertisements usually leave
out the fact you may have to work
many hours without pay or they
don’t disclose all the costs that you
will have to pay. Many work-at-home
scams require you to spend your own
money. There are legiti-
mate opportunities,
but they are very
difficult to find.
Working at home is
not for everyone; be
sure to check the
pros and cons before
making a decision.
22
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