The Future Of SOHO

The Bonus Of SOHO: The Home Office Workstyle & Lifestyle

Where will homebased entrepreneurs work in the future, and how will they feel about their chosen work style?

They'll work anywhere they want to-and feel increasingly good about it, surmises Paul Edwards, a home office expert and author who moved earlier this year with his wife and business partner, Sarah, from bustling Santa Monica, California, to quaint Pine Mountain, California.

With high-speed Internet access and a growing acceptance by clients and radio listeners to work with the Internet, the transition was seamless and painless for the Edwards, who produce a radio show, write articles and books on working from home, and are also our new "Start It Now" columnists. "The cable modem and ISDN was the enabling technology," said Edwards, co-author with his wife of the best selling Working From Home, now in its fifth edition.

Note This:
Hot new homebased businesses include coaching, computer consulting, computer programming, elder services, financial advising, security and Webmastering.

Technology will also influence the types of businesses being started. While today's hot homebased businesses are in the professional and consumer services fields, including consulting, cleaning services and building trades (according to IDC), Edwards envisions the hot homebased businesses of the future being those empowered by technology. He envisions coaching, computer consulting, computer programming, financial advisor, computer security specialist and Webmaster being among the hot prospects.

Few can argue the influence the currently robust economy has played on enabling people to launch homebased enterprises. This "economy of abundance," as Edwards has coined it, "has enabled people to have life choices like never before and to alleviate the pressures created by 24/7 [service] and the 60 or 70 hour work weeks that many people have."

But even short of a red-hot economy, people are making lifestyle choices to head home to work, Edwards says. It's a social component, he notes. People want family in their lives. To wit, even an economic downturn will fuel at-home work, he adds. "Economic cycles cause people who may have not been interested before to be interested in work at home," says Edwards. In fact, the client-vendor relationship itself is destined to change. It's what Edwards called "disintermediation," or the removal of layers from the way transactions and business gets done-like insurance agents or other brokers.

"We can all expect what we do, for whom we do it and how we do it to change," Edwards says. "A complicated and complex society leads to tremendous transition."

To find more hot homebased business ideas, check out the 10 Hottest Homebased Businesses For 2000.
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