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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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The Biz Question

I'm a new mother and very interested in working from home. I live in Canada. I'd be interested in data entry, medical billing, or clerical work. I've worked in the customer service industry for 10 years. I have a Grade 12 diploma. I also have an excellent knowledge of Microsoft Word, and I have a working knowledge of Scanners. I also have no money for start-up costs.

So if anyone has any ideas for me, please let me know. I would be very grateful. Tammy

Answer from our Guest Expert Liz Folger of Bizy Moms

Hello, Tammy!

As a Work-at-Home Mom expert, your question is one I receive on a weekly, if not daily basis. I always say the fastest way to work from home -- and to make money from it (the reason we do this in the first place) -- is to use your previous skills and interests, and turn them into a home business.

Dream-Come-True Home Biz Ideas That Work

You mention your interests include data entry and clerical work -- both are great areas to find the home business of your dreams. I'd group these two interests in the same category and start marketing your skills to potential clients. If you have a home computer and the time and skill, you can start your home-based clerical business without hardly any costs.

Medical Billing is Popular, But.....

Next, you mention medical billing. I don't know why -- but medical billing is always at the top of most work-at-home moms' lists. And I'll admit, it was at the top of mine when I was on my home biz search. I don't know what the draw is, however. I think it's called $$$ and lots of it. Some companies also make it sound like it's the easiest biz to get into, but those companies are usually trying to sell you on a medical billing start-up course.

The realities of medical billing are this. It's not as easy or profitable as it sounds. The bottom line is if you're not willing to lay out several thousand dollars to get this type of business started; can't wait many, many months to make a profit; don't have the time, interest or patience to learn all about the medical billing industry; then, medical billing may not be for you.

If you're still interested, I'd suggest you read the book, Setting Up Your Medical Billing Business, Step by Step Procedures for Beginning a Computer-Based Home Business by Merlin Coslick.

The Wonderful World of Word Processing

Many people are starting word processing businesses from their home, so it's a real possibility for you as well. The expert in the field of starting a home-based word processing business is Diana Ennen. She has a book available called, Success from Home: The Wordprocessing Business. You might enjoy her website as well.

When considering a home-based word processing business, Diana suggests you give serious thought about the clients you want to work for. She explains, "Decide on a targeted market and initially focus your marketing efforts in that area. By developing a 'niche' in your field, your reputation spreads quickly and soon you become a recognized expert. Several specialties include: medical, legal or business transcription, resume writing and composing, desktop publishing, manuscript preparing, academic typing, computer tutoring, etc."

Once again, you can look at your past skills and interests to focus on your target market.

More Ideas to Add to Your Work-at-Home Mix

I hear from people all the time who say they have absolutely no work-at-home options available. To them I say, "Poppycock! We all have options." It's just that sometimes we deny seeing them. You may have a creative side that's screaming to be used, but you've never been able to use it in your previous work. Or, maybe you always say to yourself (secretly, of course, because you're afraid if you told others, they'd just laugh at you or throw you in the nut house), "If only I could do that and make money at it!" Well, I've got news for you! What better time than the present to do what you've always dreamed of doing? If you feel this way, get the book, Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood by Marsha Sinetar.

Your first work-at-home goal is to believe that you can be a home business owner. Second, you need to believe there is something you can do from home to make money, and if you truly believe this -- you'll work at it until you make it happen.

Here's to your success!

Liz Folger

Work-at-Home Mom Expert & Author of The Stay-at-Home Mom's Guide To Making Money

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