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October 29, 2001
Home Business A Growing Part Of National Economy
by Sherril Steele-Carlin

As more businesses lay off employees, many workers are turning to opening their own home businesses instead of trying to find work with another employer. Joyce M. Rosenberg says in her article "Lost Job Can be an Opportunity in Disguise," online at the Nando Times, "People who work with home business owners say an economic downturn often brings a spurt in the creation of home-based enterprises." That spurt is happening right now, and more home businesses are popping up every day.

With the proliferation of home computers and low cost office machines like faxes and copiers, many people already have the tools they need to begin a business from home. Add a dedicated office space, and an idea of what kind of service or product they'd like to offer, and they can begin a business at home. Instead of traditional business start-ups, which need an office or place to do business, furniture, and perhaps even employees, home workers can begin by using any available funds to advertise the new business and get it off the ground.

Amanda Paulson says in her article, "Americans Make Space for Work, at Home," in the Christian Science Monitor, "Whether it's a deluxe study outfitted with the latest PC, fax machine, and conference phone, or simply a corner of the living room dedicated as a workspace, a rising number of Americans have what they consider to be a 'home office,' according to one recent study."

According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses often begin (and stay) at home. They say 53% of small businesses are home-based. Home businesses also pour at least $450 billion dollars into the American economy every year, and that figure is expected to grow. So, starting a home business is a growing national trend, and can be very profitable.

Some home businesses supply a product, such as a magazine, a newsletter, a resume, or an item created by the owner. Some supply a service, such as consulting, writing, graphic design, or computer programming. Either way, the new business needs to advertise, or network to find clients who need their product or service.

Many articles on starting a home business stress the many benefits of working at home, such as no commute, tax benefits, and many more. According to consultant Jeffrey Moses, those aren't the reasons you should look into starting your own home business. Moses says, "So what is the final, ultimate factor? Simply put: You should start your own business when it will allow you to make your living doing what you truly love, and probably already are doing as a part-time, non-paying hobby."

If you do what you love, you'll do it better. And since you're going to be spending at least 40 hours a week in your home office, and probably more, you should do something you truly enjoy, or you won't last very long in your home business.

Moses also recommends a lot of research into your particular business before you begin, and checking with the Small Business Administration (SBA) for advice and help. You can call them at 1-800-8-ASK-SBA, or visit their web site at:

When starting a home business, there are many factors to take into consideration. To find out more about working at home, and to network with other home workers, visit the Home Business area:

Sherril Steele-Carlin is a full-time freelance writer from Reno, Nevada. She's published numerous articles in print and online publications. She's also the author of the new e-book
"How to get a Life by Living and Working in a National Park."
"How to Break Into Casino Jobs."
Visit her web site at

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