Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Now I Need Purple Jammies!

I got a great new pair of purple slippers for Christmas, now all I need are the purple jammies to go with them! Who needs a fancy wardrobe when you work at home. Give me something comfortable to wear and a pot of coffee and I'm good to go!

I hope you have been reading some of the articles I've put here and followed up on the leads that I've given you. There are some really terrific companies out there who can surely use your talents.

As I sit here relaxing, I want to tell you about a great new website I found, which can save you money!  It is called Alice and they have all types of grocery items. I have spent at least the last hour just browsing around their website. What I did is took my grocery list and then compared it to what items they carry and the savings I could get from purchasing from them.  Not only can I save money, but all I need to do is buy 6 items and there is no shipping fee.  Can you imagine what a time saver this can be?  I have two daughters who have 3 children between them who are in diapers. The savings just on those alone is tremendous.

There are products listed that you would use in every room in your house as well as in your office or garage. Even pet foods are there for you cat or dog!

Do you hate the thought of clipping coupons?  Alice does it for you!

I know this post has nothing to do with helping you find a job to work at home, but I just had to share with you!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Think Outside The Box

Amid the economy's many ailments,with numerous companies continuing to cut their workforces,or close their doors completely,there is still some good news that has remained mostly off the radar. The at-home work force is growing at a surprising rate and it is encompassing many new occupations.

The down side of this is that there is fierce competition and this means your odds of landing one of these jobs can vary depending on the skills required by the hiring companies. If you succeed and do get hired, you will probably take a pay cut.

But even with a pay cut, look at the bright side, you are saving gas not having to commute back and forth as well as time traveling on busy roads and away from your family activities.  By working at home you will be saving on costs of wardrobe upkeep, meals out, having to get up at the crack of dawn for a long drive!  You now can walk down the hall to your office, or across the bedroom! You can work in your jammies and no one will ever know the difference.

For companies, home-based employees, independent contractors,and freelancers are helping cut costs and improve their bottom line while at the same time are improving their customer service. Full-time, home-based freelancers, and independent contractors in the U.S. are expected to increase by 200,000 workers to 11 million by the end of 2009, says Ray Boggs, a vice president of IDC, Framingham, Mass., a market-research firm; he sees another 200,000-worker increase in 2010.

Workers are finding that if they are not able to find a job with a company, they are able to create their own by taking innovative action and thinking outside the box about how their skills could translate into working for themselves at home.

There are sites which link clients with skilled freelancers. These sites are also seeing a surge in demand for virtual workers with a widening range of professional and technical skills.

There is a company called Their monthly postings which  include graphic design, software, administrative and other projects, rose to 28,000 in the past 30 days! You might be amazed at what skills you have that a company can use.

Another company who has seen a healthy increase is Monthly hiring on is up more than 40% from a year ago. I am sure that other companies of this type have also seen an increase in workers registering to provide services to prospective clients.

Did you know that there are companies where your skills as a translator can land you a position if you are fluent in a foreign language? Lionbridge Technologies, Waltham, Mass., a provider of multilingual services including translation and product testing, is taking on new freelancers. Go browse their website and look at the different types of services that they offer their clients. Some positions are extremely technical and require high skill levels. But I happen to know that there are some very talented people who are now unemployed that are finding it very difficult to find a position in today's job market who are qualified to fill those positions!

I am going to start making you put your thinking caps on but I need your help. We are going to do some interactive brainstorming! If you have already gotten a copy of "What Color Is Your Parachute" you would know what I am referring to!..... Go Buy The Book!!!!!

I would like some of you who are looking for work, or who wish to make the transition to working at home, share with me some of your different skills. I am not just speaking of the ones you have used in a corporate level but also what I call your passion skills. If you could do any job that your heart desired what would it be? Perhaps you enjoy knitting, sewing, basket weaving or candle making. Maybe it is woodworking, tinkering with cars, sculpting, painting,tooling leather,or weaving on a loom. Think of all the hobbies that you have that you enjoy as well as your "work skills."

Do you want to work full time or part time? Do you like to get up early or prefer to sleep in? Do you like to work into the wee hours of the morning? Okay, so it is now 4:22AM and I am going strong.. I took a power nap earlier today but I am normally up till between 2AM and 3AM.

Let's have some fun while we seriously look at new opportunities to earn you some money!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dress For Success

When applying for a job, even if you are just dropping off your resume, be sure to always dress as if you were actually going in for an interview. Your first impression is so important, so be sure to dress accordingly.

I want to share with you a story of exactly how important this is. When my son was a senior in high school, he saw an ad in the paper for a position in the warehouse/delivery department of one of the major department stores in Austin, Texas. He had been working part-time for several years as well as helping in our family owned business from the time he was about 14-15 years of age. So I helped him put together a resume, documenting his experience.

That afternoon he was headed out the door, dressed in a pair of nice blue jeans and a buttondown shirt, to take in his resume and apply for the position. I told him he would make a better impression if he would dress in his suit and of course his response was, "Mom, this is for a job in the warehouse." I told him that was fine, if they asked him when he could start work, tell them you have workclothes all ready in the car, just give you time to change.Reluctantly, he went back and changed into his suit.

When he arrived at the store, he took a seat in a room filled with many other young men, all dressed in jeans and tee shirts. A young woman, came into the room and went over to him and said, "You must be here applying for the position in the men's department, follow me please." So rather than tell her he didn't even know there was an opening in that department, he went ahead and followed her into an interview room. It turned out that the position in the men's department had not even been advertised yet! But because of the way he was dressed, he impressed them. His resume, even though short of retail experience, except for working for a small mom and pop burger place and helping with our family business, where he would occassionally speak with our clients about the products we offered, and his good grades at school and participation in a service organization, was enough experience to get him hired.

Arriving home after his interview he told me he had gotten a different job than he had actually gone in to apply for. It started out at more money than the warehouse positon, he would also be able to earn commissions on his sales over and above his base salary. Besides that, he would be able to get discounts on any purchases he would make in the store.

It doesn't matter if you are male or female, it is always very appropriate to wear a suit to an interview. If you do not have a suit, wear a nice jacket of some kind. I have seen women wear a nice blazer combined with a skirt and blouse, or over a dress to make it look more professional. I have also seen men wear a nice sports jacket with a pair of Dockers or a nice pair of jeans with a dress shirt and a tie. Be sure that your shoes are polished and the heels not run down because you will be evaluated from the top of your head to your feet the minute the interviewer approaches you to shake your hand.

Speaking of handshakes, if necessary, practice shaking hands with someone. Be sure you have a nice firm handshke, not overpowerig to where you are going to crush the other persons hand and not wishy washy like a limp dead fish!

Be sure to make eye contact with the person you are meeting and if he has approached you but hasn't called you by name, introduce yourself, now is not the time to be shy, be confident as you approach them, put out your hand to shake their and say "Hi or hello, I'm John Doe or my name is Jane Doe."

If you find yourself out in the market place looking for a new job after having been employed for many years by your former employer, you are going to find that the interviewing process has changed alot in the last few years. It used to be you could go in, apply for a position and usually walk out employed after that one interview. Not any more! Many companies in larger cities now use a multi interview process, beginning with the Human Resource department interview. They then make their recommendations to the different department heads as to candidates warranting additional interviews in the hiring process. This could be anywhere from 3-4 additional interview steps to go through. You would meet with the department head, then be intereviewd by the person who would be your immediate supervisor. In some companies you will be interviewed by serveral people all at the same time. Those can be intimidating, since you are basically surrounded by chairs filled with people who will be your immediate supervisor,as well as several department supervisors. They want to see how well you fit into the structure of the company and can work with different departments that interact with one another.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Must Have Christmas Gift

We are now into the heaviest part of the holiday season, with Christmas just a few weeks away and then New Year's Eve,the last festive occasion of the year.  For many, this time of year can be depressing under the best of circumstances. Many people suffer from what is called seasonal depression because they are not getting enough sunlight. Combat this by taking Vitamin D or if you can stand the cold (for those of you getting lots of snow and chilly winds) go outside for about 15 minutes a day.

Others become depressed because this is a time of the year when a lot of money is spent entertaining and buying gifts for family and friends. Instead of staying within their budgets and paying cash they end up charging on their credit cards. Don't continue the downward spiral of getting yourself deeper and deeper in debt.

Some people are lonely and isolated from family which brings on depression and sadness. A good way to combat this is to get involved with your community charities and surround yourself with others.

With our present economy, many people are without employment. Hopefully people are being conservative this year.  Talk with family about cutting back on the gift buying, perhaps decide to draw names this year and only buy for one person instead of the many you have bought for in the past. Instead of a gift that you have to purchase, make a homemade handcrafted one instead. Even better, give a gift of service. Maybe make a coupon book with chores that you could do for that person, such as shovel snow, mow the lawn this summer, an afternoon of spring housecleaning, etc.

Over the holidays, many of you will not be actively out searching for employment, but this would be an excellent time to sharpen up that resume, get your list together of the places you wish to apply and organize your search with the anticipation of January 2, 2010 starting with vim, vigor and vitality to find that new job you desperately need.

For those of you who are looking for an actual position in what is now called "the brick and mortar" world, rather than working at home, here are a few tips for you.

* Please either go buy or get from your local library, a book called "What Color Is Your Parachute".  I can't recommend this book enough, it is one of my all time favorites  .....Maybe drop a hint that you would like this as a Christmas gift!  Read it from cover to cover and do all the interactive exercises that are in there. 

You will discover that all of the skills you have used in the past will be transferable to some positions that you may not have even considered up until you do these exercises. This book will open your eyes to many opportunities you may never have considered before.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Are You Suited To Work AT Home?

It seems that it is everyone's dream to be self employed, not to have a boss but to "be the boss." In reality, not all people are cut out to be the boss!

Being self employed, owning your own business, takes a lot of self discipline. When working from home, it is important that you set yourself a schedule for working, just as if you were working outside of your home.  There is that temptation to go start a load of laundry,run the dishwasher, or make that bed.

You need to remember to treat your home business just like you would a regular position where you have to leave home and clock in and out on a time clock!  Granted, you can set your own hours, but when you do, stick to them!

I have worked from home a little over three years now and here are some of the things that I have found to be difficult over the years.

Staying motivated : You have to create your own motivation, there is no one there to pat you on the back and give you an "atta boy" or a compliment now and then. To help with this, set goals for yourself,whether it is wanting to make one more sale today than yesterday, to increasing your paycheck by a certain number of dollars this pay period over last.

Some people enjoy making a goal board, where they take pictures of the goals that they want to obtain. It could be something as simple as wanting to earn enough to buy a new winter coat, something special for someone for Christmas, to a new car or perhaps a trip to Hawaii. Spice up your goal board with both big and small rewards that you want to obtain and as you obtain that goal, remove that picture and put it on a "obtained board" so you can mark your progress.

Working alone day after day is often difficult for someone when they are trying to transition from a position where they interacted with others on a regular basis. If this is something that you struggle with, set aside time during your day to visit with someone either in person or by phone. I find that running across the street to check on an elderly neighbor and chat for a few minutes or calling my daughters to check in on them and the grandchildren brightens my day.

I have a separate room in my home that is my office and I try to put myself into the mindset that once I cross through that door, I am in my work place and to shut out the rest of the world.  I close the door, often turn off the ringer on the house phone, knowing that the answering machine will pick up the call. I go in armed with a cup of coffee and a glass of water, knowing that I will need both since I will be on the phone speaking with people and my throat will get dry.

I do have the advantage of being able to set my own hours and personally, I prefer to work in shorter periods of time than maybe some other people do. I find that sitting for long periods of time bothers my back, so if I work for an hour and then take a break for 30 minutes and get up and stretch, I can maintain that pattern of work for a longer period of time than if I tried to sit for two to four hours straight taking calls.

I am also a person who prefers to work in the mid afternoon to late in the evening or the wee hours of the morning. If I get tired of taking calls, I can work transcriptions, which needs no interactions with the customers, just typing of information, which is great if I don't want to talk with people but still want to work.

Some companies, where you are an independent contractor, have either a message board or a forums section on their website where you can interact with other agents and have a sense of community. I will forewarn you though, just as in all work environments, there will always be those who disagree and are unable to discuss their viewpoints in a mature, adult fashion!  When I see this happening in a particular discussion, I find it best for me personally to just not even read that "thread." To me there is nothing worse than negativity to try to overcome when you are working alone and when you read it, or get into the mix yourself, it may cost you dearly.  It becomes difficult to shrug off and can affect your attitude when dealing with customers later on.

Setting your daily goals: If you are working as an independent contractor, most companies you work for will be paying you by the "talk time minutes" that you are on a phone call with a customer and perhaps extra for any additional merchandise or services that you might sell on that call.  Rather than setting a goal of working so many hours per day (because you might not have many calls during a given time period) I find it best to decide how many dollars I want to earn that day. I will stay on the phones or combine it with doing transcriptions until I have reached the dollar amount that I desire for that day.

There are times when I truly will work in my jammies! During the day hours I do dress for work, usually a comfortable pair of sweat pants and a sweat shirt during the days in the winter or a pair of shorts and a shirt in the summer but at night I will work in my jammies! Shoes? To me those are a foreign object! Either socks or slippers or barefoot, depending on the time of year!

As you can see by the time I am posting this blog entry, it is 3AM Central Time and the bewitching hour has struck!  I am off to bed folks....and will be at it tomorrow at 1PM!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Do You LIke to Write?

Many of us who blog are frustrated authors at heart!  We think we have some information that is of interest to others, either as educating someone about a subject or strictly stories that are either serious or humorous in nature.  On the internet there are websites that you can actually get paid to write articles for! What a wonderful opportunity for those of us who want to write either for fun or who may be considering this as a career and earn some money at the same time.

In Notepad or other text editor, make a list of 7 to 10 keywords that describe your blog site. Then, beneath this list, create and write a keyword-rich description of your blog. Save it! You're going to need to copy and paste this information on your applications to paid blogging networks. Trust me, this will save you a ton of time.

Check out the following paid blogging network sites These folks pioneered the "get paid to blog" concept. Besides being the most popular paid blogging network, I've found that they always seem to have the most job opportunities available at any given time. PayPerPost pays bloggers anywhere from $5 to over $200 per completed and approved post. Although Bloggerwave is a smaller paid blogging network and lists fewer open job opportunties, their site is super blogger-friendly and easy to navigate. Bloggers here get paid a minimum of $10 for each completed and approved post. Besides having a "quirky name" you'll like Smorty because they pay from $6 to $100 for each post and they pay-out weekly. A great feature with Smorty is that bloggers are allowed to have multiple blogs so income earning potential is unlimited. The Pagerank of your blog along with a high Smorty smart score determines how much you can earn - up to $100 per post.  Bloggers get paid to review products and services on your site. You control what you review. Payment will vary from $20.00 to $200.00 for each completed review that you post on your site.
Another site you might enjoy writing for is called Sponsored 
      A Sponsored Review is an article you write for an advertiser. You review their products and services and then post the review on your blog. Each advertiser has his or her own requirements. Bloggers can earn anything from $10 to $500+ for each review. If your blog meets their requirements then you can make money blogging in their system.

       Hub is another good site that you can get paid to blog at.

It will be a good idea to apply to as many of the above listed blogging network sites as possible. Your blog may not be accepted or approved by some companies, so you are going to want to have every opportunity possible to get exposure and paid to blog.  

After applying, be patient. Some networks have a fast approval process, while others seem to take forever. This is another good reason for applying for multiple opportunities because of some taking a longer time to approve you.

Tips & Warnings

      Be tasteful and professional - only take jobs and/or opportunities that match and are a good fit for your blog. I would suggest that you stay with subjects that you are familiar with, at least to begin with, unless you really enjoy doing extensive research first so that you will be knowledgeable about the subject you will be writing about. Now some people like to do extensive research which is great, but I have a feeling most people enjoy getting started and earning money right away.... therefore, staying in your comfort zone is important.

      Pay close attention to each network's disclosure policies. If and or when you are accepted to the different paid blogging networks, take the time to read their rules, guidelines, policies and/or requirements! There are often restrictions, where you can only write an article for one site and you can't reproduce it for another, either at the same time or in a given time period. Trust me, you'll be sorry if you don't check out each site's policies because they all vary. What may be acceptable for one is not acceptable to another.  

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope that everyone had a very happy Thanksgiving with family and friends!

I know that this year, there are many who have had their hours cut back at work,or are out of work and are now searching for a new position. The official unemployment rate is 10.5% whereas the "hidden" rate is 17.5%. The "hidden rate" includes those whose unemployment benefits have run out and those who are no longer searching for employment.

With the holidays fast approaching, you may want to consider looking for temporary employment with one of the larger department stores, grocery stores,fast food restaurants,or toy stores. These types of establishments will hire extra help for the holidays and if you are a good employee you may be asked to stay on after the holidays.

Also put your applications in at one of the temporary services where they supply additional clerical, construction help and warehouse help to businesses. During the holidays many companies will hire support staff on a weekly or monthly basis. Often a company will make a permanent hiring decision from using someone temporary through an agency.

Friday, November 13, 2009

More Interesting Opportunities


Alpine Access is a call center company that uses customer service representatives that work from home. Employees use their own telephones and computers. The company provides representatives for clients like Office Depot and J. Crew.

• Convergys hires home-based call center agents who provide support in customer service, and also supplies sales agents or help desk staff for companies. There are many locations throught the US where you can work in one of their offices or from home.

 • Extended Presence provides their clients with outbound sales agents and marketing support staff who work from home.

• Internet Girl Friday provides information technology support as well as administrative services for clients nationwide.

• LiveOps provides customer service support for a variety of major corporations.

• Spheris provides support to medical professionals. Their services include medical transcription and clinical documentation.

• Staffcentrix supplies virtual assistants for business clients, including CEOs and upper management of major corporations.

• VIPDesk provides call center support and also offers a home-based concierge service to clients.

• Voicelog provides representatives to perform verifications for transactions done online or by telephone. Many states require changes to telephone service and other remote transactions to be verified by a third party, which VoiceLog provides.

• West At Home also hires home-based customer service agents. They cater to a specific range of industries, specializing in health care and pharmaceutical support, as well as the hospitality industry.

Employees need to meet some basic requirements, including having a telephone and access to a PC. Although the work is conducted from home, interviews for the job aren't always done remotely.

Working at home is a growing and legitimate opportunity, but workers should still beware of any job that asks you to invest money, provide access to a bank account or give up a great deal of personal information up front. These are indicators of a possible scam.

Traditional companies with home-based workers

Some traditional companies also have home-based workers in the mix as part of their overall staffing strategies. Companies as diverse as American Airlines, TDS Telecom, 1-800-FLOWERS, Sprint and Xerox have programs that enable traditional workers to transition to telecommuting or hire workers specifically to work at home.

Aetna is one of the companies that has developed and implemented such a program. "Our telework program started as a grassroots initiative to keep talented employees when there were site consolidations," Aetna Telework Program head Eileen Levin explains.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is another company that is mixing traditional workers with employees who work from home. These home-based employees include medical transcriptionists and nurses who operate the hospital's Advice Line

Don't Forget To Look Down!

As you surf the internet looking at businesses that offer products that you are interested in, be sure to look at the bottom of their page for two areas, careers/employment opportunities and affliliate program.

You might be surprised at what major companies offer opportunities to work from home or even have openings in their "brick and mortar" locations that you hadn't seen in your local newspaper.

The affiliate programs are also important if you plan on doing blogging to earn an income. Many will have programs set up through a third party and you must sign up through them and many will let you become an affiliate directly through their website.

Would any of you also like some tips on how to job hunt where you are not working from home? Please let me know because if you are, I will also include some articles on how to put together a resume, how to do interviews that will help you get employed.

Work From Home Opportunities

Sorry to be so long in posting to this blog, we had a slight interruption..........I have been extremely busy trying to gather the very best information for everyone to take a look at.
There are many opportunities out there and you do have to be careful not to get tangled up in ones that want to charge you money up front.  There are companies that once you have started the hiring process, who will require you to pay a fee to have your background information checked out.  This will usually be about $50-$65 to do a criminal background check and a credit background check.

Here are some opportunities that either I know people who work for these companies or they have been featured on either CNN or Good Morning America. Torey Johnson, who has appeared on GMA many times, is very cautious about reseaching the companies that she speaks about and I feel comfortable suggesting them to you also.

Home-Based Jobs for Americans with Disabilities:
National Telecommuting Institute, Inc.
This organization employs Americans with disabilities who are willing to work as independent contractors This is a good growing company with lots of opportunities.  At problogger you can write articles for them and get paid You can write articles for them and get paid        writing jobs  must have 2 yrs outbound exp.     writers and data entry positions

sylvan learning centers......  onlinetutors     paid to blog,203 This is the Highlights magazine that all the kids in school get and would be a fun place to submit articles to  Have you ever used ehow? Their articles are written by people who have expertise in how to do certain things, whether it is how to make jelly to how to fix a washing machine.

Good Survey Companies They do surveys and you often get to test new products before they come on the market. A nice little "filler" but not enough to support yourself.

GMA Tory Johnson I subscribe to her website for ideas and companies that hire people.

Writing Opportunities
I have to admit I have not had a chance to check these all out so I can't personally vouch for them.

Here are some other options for various assignments: I have heard that this one is very good

Here are some other sites to check out:


virtual publicist
Among them:

    * I have heard good things about this particular company.

on line juror I know absolutely nothing about these listings but have included them because they sounded interesting.

Sites including


pay nominal fees to home-based e-jurors, which may range from $10 to $60, depending on the length of the e-trial. Research all of the sites and read the requirements before signing on to serve.

I personally subscribe to Leslie's website:
The site is free with regular updates on savings tips, work-at-home
resources and more. And it has a 7 day email course that can help
you determine what it would take for you to stay home including
determining how much it costs to work outside the home, what you'd
need to earn from home (if anything), making money at home, and

I hope that these sites are helpful to you in your job searches, I will be adding more information soon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Starting your own business, using your natural given talents

Do you remember that homemade doll that Aunt Sally gave you?  How about the homemade stationery your cousin made for you for your birthday? Or the hand tooled leather purse or belt that your son made for you?  The picture that Grandma hand painted that hangs proudly in your living room?  That wooden wagon or rocking horse that your Grandfather gave you when you were little?

Perhaps you are a person who has natural craft talents that you may not even be aware of yourself that you can sell.

Have you ever given a homemade gift to someone and had them say to you "you really should sell this" or "I can't believe that you actually made this yourself."

As our economy tightens, so does our buying power but also so does our desire to help our fellow countrymen.  There seems to be a big influx of people wanting to "buy American" right now.  They are looking specifically for products that are made here in the United States. They are also looking for items that are basically nostalgic, which bring back fond memories of better times or of their own youth.

I've heard many people speak of "days gone by" and how many of the natural talents that were once taught either in school or passed down from mother to daughter or father to son are no longer done.I know personally that if you asked either of my daughter's how to darn a sock they would laugh because neither of them would have the faintest idea on how to do it. The skills of darning, sewing, knitting, crocheting, tatting, and embroidering have all seemed to but disappeared. How many know how to make homemade butter, jams and jellies, do canning and preserving of food products. How many would have the slightest idea on how to make their own soaps or candles or make your own yarn and do your own weaving? Do you paint, make your own pottery or jewelry? Can you bake a cake, plan a party, make a piece of clothing?

The same with the skills that were passed from father to son, they too seem to have gone by the wayside.  How many young boys know the art of fishing and which type of bait to use, tracking game such as deer or rabbits, how to set a trap or shoot a rifle, gut a fish, dress out a deer or skin a rabbit for food?  Do many know how to tan hides or tool leather goods? A handful, if we are lucky.   How many have been taught the art of woodworking?  Do they know how to use carpentry tools or mechanical tools? Could they build a birdhouse or a bench or fix a car?

I know that I myself am lacking in many of the above skills, especially when it comes to the culinary skills. I hardly knew how to boil water when I first got married!

As a teenager, I knew a young man who was an excellent magician. He started his own business doing magic shows at childrens parties. His brother and a group of friends put together a band and they started playing at parties, weddings and high school dances.

A friend of my mother's came to America from France as a WWII bride and spoke little english, but she was an excellent seamstress and started her own business making and altering clothes for people just by word of mouth, operating out of her home. Her business became so well known, she eventually opened up her own shop. 

What I am trying to get you to do is make you realize that you do have some natural given talents that are saleable.

You will need to do some researching to find out the laws in your particular state about getting a license for your products. Most states will require you to get a business license and collect sales tax from your customers and forward them to the state either quarterly, semi-annually or annually.

If you produce food products, many states will require that you have a separate commercial kitchen to prepare your products, not allowing you to use your own personal kitchen.  You will be required to have a health permit and inspections either by the city or state health department. You will need to get the guidelines for labeling the contents of your products as to the ingredients and calorie content.

When it comes to making clothing, you will need to be sure if making items for infants that you follow guidelines on using materials with flame retardants when it comes to making night wear.   Be careful using licensed materials such as disney prints or college insignia prints when making products for resale. You may be in violation of copyright laws and subject to fines.

If you make pottery goods, you will need to be sure of the properties of the clay, that if making products that will be eaten off of that there is nothing in them that will harm a person such as lead content.

When starting your very own business, be sure to put together a good business plan. Launching your own business without one is like a ship without a rudder and a sail.  Depending on how tightly you structure the business plan will help keep your business on target, help you reach your goals and be the sail to your business ship. Also having a good business plan is an asset if you need to go to a lending institution to apply for operating capital.  They can see your projections in black and white of what you feel the potential profits are for your business over a period of time. You should have figures together for years one through seven as this is when most new businesses will fail if they are not capitalized properly or structured soundly.

I guess what I am trying to say is what might sound like a wonderful idea on paper could not turn out so well if not thoroughly thought out and researched ahead of time but if you have done your homework and it all looks good, proceed ahead and launch your dream business.

Reference Resources:  Check your public library for books on how to sell your crafts, Amazon Books and Borders Books also carry a nice selection of books on the subject.
Check the Internet for articles.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

So you want to work from home?

Oh how so many of us dream of working at home, in our "jammies" and slippers. It really can be more than just a dream and become a reality! With today's economy and more and more people being laid off from work, searching for new employment is becoming more difficult since many "brick and mortar" companies are not hiring right now.

There are all different types of positions available to work at home and luckily a wide variety of people with the skills to fill these different positions.

Perhaps you like Customer Service or Sales, while others like to do transcriptions and data entry.

Lets speak of some of the requirements needed before you start working at home.

First of all, you must be self motivated, first and foremost!

You need to enjoy working independently. Many companies allow you to set your own schedule working as an independent contractor, while others you are considered an employee and will need to work a set schedule that you have agreed upon.

A quiet place to work is a must. If you have children, working while they are at school, down for naps or in the evenings when someone else can watch them or they are sleeping is important.

You need to have a fast computer with at least 1 GB of memory to work for most companies.

You will need to have DSL because dial-up or satellite connections will not work for most companies.There are a few exceptions on the satellite, but none that I know of will allow you to use a dial-up connection.

A good headset. Many prefer Plantronics but search for one that is comfortable. You can find both single ear and dual ear headsets. Be sure to get one that is noise canceling!

You will need a separate land line (one connected to the wall) with which to work. It can not have any additional features such as call waiting, caller id, call forwarding or voice mail.

Many people are now using cell phones as their primary phone line which is fine but you will need this secondary line to work from home. I personally use AT&T and my basic phone service runs about $18 per month. I also use the base package DSL which runs $25 per month.

Be prepared to submit a resume along with your application.
Most companies will charge a small fee, from $30-50 to do a background check on you once you have passed the initial screening process.

Most companies will be giving you on the job training in order to work for their company. Some will be self paced, with tests or quizzes at the end.

Many companies will continue to have ongoing training, in the form of meetings on the internet through what is known as web-ex or where you dial in for conferences for additional training and assistance.

Most companies have mid-management personnel who will be your contacts for assistance in performing your job.

Working as an Independent Contractor

There are many advantages as well as some disadvantages to working as an independent contractor. The one thing that I like about it is that I can set my own hours. Being one who does function well at 8AM, I prefer to start my work day later and am willing to work into the wee hours overnight. I like the ability to take breaks and go do something else and not be tied into a work environment for a steady 8 hours each day. There are also times when I can work 10 hours or more in a given day while on other days I might only be able to work 1 or 2 hours.

As an independent contractor, I am not tied into a 40 hour work week. I can work more or less as to my choosing.

You will be responsible for all of your own taxes, filing a 1099 form. You do have the advantages of writing off your home office and any products and equipment that you purchase in performing your job. You can also write off a portion of your actual home's expenses, such as heating, cooling, the office phone, etc.

Work At Home Employee

With this type of position, the company you work for will be supplying you with a W-4 withholding form and they will be picking up part of the tab for your withholding allowances and they will also be withholding your share from your paycheck.

You are usually limited to a 40 hour work week and you work according to a schedule that the two of you have agreed upon.

Starting your own business from home

Many types of skills are adaptable to you starting your own work at home business.

For instance, someone with construction background could start their own home renovations business, work with banks or mortgage companies to repair repossessed homes for resale.

Someone with medical background could be contacting doctors or hospitals about outsourcing medical transcription or medical coding, processing insurance claims for them.

Good organizing skills could be used to assist someone get their homes organized or their businesses organized.

Of course you will need to check with your state regarding proper business licenses and bonding that might be required.

Where to start looking for work

Here are a few of my favorite websites to go to to look for work. They have listings of many companies and they screen them well to be sure they are not scams. Which is Work At Home Mom and one of the first sites I visited when I started working at home

These will get you started in your job search

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