Home based business or Work From Home Job – Which is Best?

Most mums ask themselves whether they can and perhaps should work at home. These questions arise with a need to be more present for their family, to raise their young kids at home, to do school pick-ups and drop-offs… and to make an income!

First, I need to explain something. Work from home opportunities come in two different types: the home based job and the home based businesses. With a work from home job, you still work for somebody else. Your employer is allowing you to work from home (telecommute), but you’re still being remunerated for the time you put in and the work you’re hired to do. With a home based business, you are your own boss, you choose your work, and you get paid profits for the sales or services you generate. With your own business, you don’t get rewarded for the hours you put in, you get rewarded for results, and that implies that if you can generate great results, regardless of the number of hours you worked, you can make an unlimited income.

So which is best for work at home mums? A home based business or work at home job?

There are several things to consider when choosing a work at home opportunity, between a job and a business. Moreover, within the home business category, you have various options: you can start your very own business from a skill you have or a product you manufacture or make yourself. For example you can do personal assistant work, data entry or typing, craft, cooking, teaching, personal training, coaching, graphic or interior design, writing, clothing and fashion, and the list continues on and on. Alternatively, you could start a work from home business opportunity within an existing company, where the company usually provides you with all the products, the systems in place and the support and training you need to set up your home business.

A home based business or work from home job, which will be best FOR YOU?

If you’re undecided whether you should seek a work at home job or home business, firstly you need to consider your personality. If you’re a person who prefers to report back to someone else, who doesn’t like decision-making or being independent, who needs to be provided with a structure with deadlines, agendas, and a definite description of your role, your responsibilities and the activities that you need to do to get compensated, then a work at home job might be for you. In contrast, if you are somebody who’s more self-directed, who likes to call the shots, who’s self-driven and self-reliant, someone who wants to control how much they get paid and has a lot of determination and tenacity, then you definitely can succeed as a work at home mum with a suitable home-based business opportunity.

An added really important criteria is the cost to work from home. If you happen to choose to choose a job, you will need some money to set up your own home office, and some of your expenditures may even be paid by your employer. Starting a work from home business usually is more costly. Depending on the business opportunity, you might have initial costs associated with a membership, using business tools or systems, purchasing or manufacturing products, education, and marketing your business. Remember that in both cases, you can actually get tax deductions. And let me give a word of caution: if you do find a work at home opportunity that promises a huge income with no start-up costs, then you should start hearing alarm bells because it’s probably not a genuine business opportunity.

Working from home can be so rewarding for mums. You are able to do activities during the week with your little ones, take them to playgroup, the park, after school activities, catch up with friends, give them flexibility around their sleep habit and also just enjoy being at home. It is on the other hand a juggling act, just like it would be if you worked in a company setting since you would still have to juggle everything between work, daycare or school pick-ups, groceries, etc. It just means that you can run the schedule that will be just right for you and you’ll be more flexible around looking after your loved ones and doing your work. But for work at home mums to succeed, it demands discipline and organisation.

I hope this helps clarify your options to work from home with a home-based business or telecommuting job, and whether this can be for you. Being a work at home mum myself, my online business gave me the opportunity to bring up my 2 young kids at home, to build my business part time around them, to become my very own boss, and to make an unlimited income. I wish you all the success in working from home, to find a business or work at home job that you can be passionate about, and in achieving the great income and family lifestyle that you desire!

Justine Simard is an online business and network marketing coach. This article was originally published 2011 and has been updated for re publication.