Working from home, whether as an independent contractor, remote employee, or business owner is not for everyone. This is not to say that others cannot work from home, but not all are interested or have the desire to succeed. It requires a certain level of dedication and determination, as well as necessary skills, experience, and equipment. But we’ll discuss those later! For the moment, I want to explore the different ways to work from home. And not to confuse anyone, I feel Entrepreneur/Business Owner is a more intense level of being an independent contractor, but it’s still in the same category.
Working from Home…Let Me Count the Ways
By definition in the Cambridge Dictionary, remote working is a situation in which an employee works mainly from home and communicates with the company by email or telephone. This can be customer service positions, data entry work, or even health care professionals. There are more companies hiring remote employees to work from home because it is cost-effective, and have access to a wider selection of qualified candidates. Companies like Convergys, Aetna, and 1800-Flowers look to hire remote employees. The positions range from seasonal or temporary to part-time and full-time employment. At times, health insurance companies hire nurse, physicians or individuals with advanced educational backgrounds to work from home. A great way to find companies hiring remote employees, or even freelance work, is FlexJobs.com. It’s an amazing way to get connected with employers and preferred jobs; check out my rundown on FlexJobs here. Another good way to find remote positions are job boards such as Indeed and Monster; enter “remote” or “work from home” in the search box. Although there are a lot of scams out there, this is a good start to finding remote work.
As a general rule, a person is considered an independent contractor if the payer, or customer, only controls the end result or provides a task to be completed; not how it’s done or by what means. Companies may impose a deadline for completing the work, but basically just want it done. For example, an employer may provide training or guidelines as to how the job needs to be completed, the hours that must be worked, or dress code; and may enforce consequences if those guidelines are not followed. On the other hand, a mystery shopper is given a task and specifications of end result, but not how or which tools to use. If the job is not completed, it is simply given to another contractor.
Independent contractors can work in any career field, but they all have at least one thing in common — they offer their services or skills in exchange for payment. A few differences between working as an employee and an independent contractor is that taxes are paid by the individual, benefits are not usually offered, and there is no agreement of continued work. Also, most organizations provide a 1099 tax form indicating how much they paid for services. Independent contractors could also be considered entrepreneurs/business owners, but I’ll explain how to differentiate the two in the next section. There are companies that look to hire individuals for time-sensitive or particular tasks, such as mystery shopping and demonstrating. Check out my post Become an Independent Contractor for more information on these type of jobs and where to find them!
You are the Boss! Just to clarify, I consider a business owner an individual who operates a traditional brick-and-mortar or offers services/products from an established organization like CTFO. An entrepreneur offers his or her own products or services, such as photographers, and examples of online entrepreneurs are bloggers, affiliate marketers, and social media managers.
This is taking independent contracting to the next level because you have much more control over all the aspects of working from home. There are no time constraints or deadlines, you decide how much to work or charge for services, and you must keep track of income and expenses. As an entrepreneur, you are also in control of the products or services you will provide and offer. I have several friends who sell Avon and Mary Kay products and make a decent living with their businesses. *Personally, I love Avon but it seems I have a difficult time selling more than buying! J There are many business opportunities out there! Another factor I feel is different for a business owner is start-up costs. Although most works from home ventures require some form of upfront costs, whether for equipment, gas, or membership fees; it seems considerably higher if you are starting a business for equipment, tools, and/or products. Online entrepreneurs may have to pay for a domain, web hosting, and marketing tools for blogs or online stores. Of course, this is probably the most difficult and challenging level of working from home because you are responsible for all aspects of operating a business; but it can also be the most rewarding! But regardless of how you work from home, it is important to maintain a focused and dedicated mindset—especially for my fellow entrepreneurs!
Knowledge is Power!
When I began searching for ways to work from home, it seemed a little overwhelming because there are so many possibilities out there. After researching and studying, it helped me to classify opportunities I came across and determine if it was one I would be interested in. I also felt more knowledgeable when deciding on business ventures and prepared to weed out the scams and undesirables. Although working from home can be challenging, it definitely has its rewards. Hopefully, this information will help you better understand the different ways you can work from home and which option is best for you!
If you are looking to Work from Home with a part-time; or even a full-time income source, click the link for more information on ways to work from home and what you should know before getting starting.
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