Thursday, June 28, 2007

Home-Based Businesses: Your Computer and Opportunity

The rapid expansion of the Internet has made the world a smaller place. With billions now connected to the information superhighway, the internet is poised to explode as the business medium of the new millennium. Many of the barriers to international trade are now disappearing, and today it is possible for people from different parts of the globe to interact, connect, and go into business together.

Because the Internet has grown so quickly, opportunities to make money within its framework have increased as well. If you have a computer, an internet connection, and perhaps a few business ideas, you can make money on the Internet. There are a variety of ways you can go about this, but if you are just starting out, you might consider becoming a freelancer.

A freelancer is someone who does not work for any specified company or employer. He finds and engages in work on a project-by-project basis and receives payment in generally the same way. A freelancer does not receive a stable salary; however, he may have certain advantages over salaried employees. For instance, freelancers are often free to choose which type of work to engage in, and how much time and effort they will put into it.

The freelance work market is relatively easy to get into; there are almost no barriers to entry. You can join a few sites (many of them are free), scan the jobs and projects they have available, and basically choose the ones that you think are promising. The difficulties only really arise when you are working on the project itself: make sure you pick work that is well suited to your natural abilities and capacity for work. If you are a certified accountant, for instance, do not make the mistake of taking on a project on web design. (Unless of course you are equally proficient in that area.) Remember that even though you are a freelancer, when you take on a project you are working for somebody else, and it is your responsibility to give your employer the best you can give. If you finish your assignments promptly, chances are high that you will be contacted again when more work needs to be done. Past employers may even recommend you to their own contacts if your work is truly of outstanding quality.

Never forget that being a freelancer actually means that you are running your own home-based business. You will have to find your own work, negotiate your own terms, hound down payments, and pay your own taxes. You are self-employed; therefore the success of your business depends entirely on you. Be sure, then, that you do all that you can to help yourself succeed. Scout for your own opportunities. Never stop learning, especially about things that pertain to your particular field or profession. Advertise your services. Build your own networks. But most of all make sure that the quality of your work is worth its weight in gold. That is the best form of promotion; and in the long run it will make all the difference in your career as a freelancer.

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