There are a variety of small business ideas that fall in between regular employment situations and self-employment situations.

They are those that involve working for a remote employer from home.

When you work from home, you can control your hours and your work environment. This means that you can add a part-time job to your life if your salary isn’t enough in these tough financial times.

Working from home means you cut your commute…to two seconds! This means you save money on gas.

Customer service and database jobs are the most popular work-from-home arrangements.

On his website (, financial expert and talk show host Clark Howard addresses this growing trend.

According to Clark, “one area [has] proven legitimate over time: becoming a call center worker from your home. Employers like this option because they don’t have to rent office space for you, so it costs them less than setting up a call center.”

In general, it costs employers $31 per each call-center employee. If you work from home, this lowers the cost shouldered by employers to $21.

According to Fortune magazine, about 100,000 people are currently employed within these work-from-home small business ideas. It is projected that, within the next year or two, this figure will triple.

There is a lot of demand for this type of work. JetBlue was one of the first companies to take advantage of the work-from-home call center model.

Faced with the need to cut costs in any way possible, more companies are turning to this home-based model, as well. They include J. Crew and I-800-Flowers.

Clark Howard warns, though, that “a lot of work-at-home offers are scams. One stat has it that for every legitimate offer you may see, you’re going to come across 42 scams.”

So be sure to exercise caution and do your homework on any company for which you’d like to work. On his website, Clark has compiled a list of approved, legitimate vendors that offer work-from-home opportunities.

Working from home allows you the freedom to set your own hours without burdening you with the responsibility of finding your own clients.

The home-based careers they offer are a compromise between regular employment situations and completely independent small business ideas.

If you already own a small business, the home-based model can be a great resource for you. It allows you to outsource components of your business like customer service, human resources, and billing.

Then, when you need customer service representatives, you’ll always have them at your disposal. But when you don’t need them, you won’t end up paying for them.

So whether you’re looking for a job or for employees, keep this in mind.

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