Unemployment is a global problem as many countries still find themselves in the midst of a recession (or are just crawling out of one). That means, competition is high for open positions in almost every field.
Managing a profitable business during a recession is not easy, especially for the self-employed. However working from an office is not the only safe option. Despite the dim outlook, many opportunities for home based businesses still exist. Any task that can be accomplished at home can become a home based business.
Many home based businesses choose to start an online business. Online businesses are no longer limited to virtual storefronts selling a product. Today, home based businesses include blogs about product reviews, political commentary or humor, and are created and owned by a single individual, working from a home office; also, they are pretty easy to make using a free website maker. Social networks have expanded the reach of the party business, allowing the party organizer to sit at a desk while reaching out to potential customers across the globe. Freelance workers are no longer only writers and journalists, but include programmers, web site designers, graders for university courses, editors, publishers and artists. Consulting services for making green choices for the home and business, help organizing and removing clutter, or public relations can also be home based businesses. While sales of physical products are still the most widespread home based business, new ideas are constantly being explored. A quick search will yield pages of results for websites dedicated to ideas for home based businesses and the tools to manage an online business. The possibility of generating income from home is not declining, but growing.
The idea of a home based business has been in existence for centuries. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, most businesses were managed from the home. Farming was not only for subsistence; excess crops would be sold or bartered. Homes produced goods for commercial sale including cloth, lace, medicines, baked goods, toys and other necessities. Workers in skilled trades such as furniture making or blacksmithing worked out of their homes or a nearby shop. Writers would sit at home putting pen to paper creating novels, poetry, newspaper and journal articles.
After the Industrial Revolution, the home based business declined, as machine made products were less expensive and produced more quickly. Yet families still lived above the stores operated on the ground floor, and clothing alterations were still carried out by individuals. In the 1950s, the party plan (or Tupperware Party) opened a new type of home based business, that has expended to the cosmetics and kitchen goods industries. Today, home based businesses still include farms selling their produce, crafters with handmade goods ranging from clothing to home decorations and artisans producing custom work with more detail than mass-production machinery. The methods by which products and services are bought and sold may change, but the home business opportunity will always have a niche in the marketplace.
The exact number of home-based businesses today is unknown. According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor report, there are approximately 18.3 million home-based businesses, while other reports have that number at close to 38 million. Either way, millions are taking the plunge back into home-based businesses, thanks to the ease of working from home through Internet opportunities.