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Nine Legitimate Home Business Options for WAHMs

The Internet and the classifieds in women's and parenting magazines are filled with home business opportunities. Many try to entice you with the ideas of working from the comfort of your home, suggestions that it's easy, simple and that thousands of dollars per week can be made doing virtually nothing. Envelope stuffing, making money with your phone or home computer—you've seen the ads. Some are obvious scams, others, it may be harder to tell. So what are legitimate ways to work from home?

Telecommuting/Flex Time
This may be the best option for moms in traditional jobs who want more flexibility. Many companies are increasing their telecommuting (or telework as it's called in the United Kingdom) and flex time options. Discuss the options available to you with your boss and human resources dept.

Freelancing/Consulting
For many moms, working freelance (or as an independent contractor) is an option that can allow for a smooth transition from keeping your day job or being a SAHM to becoming a full-time WAHM. As a freelancer however, you'll have to find and manage clients and handle your own marketing and public relations. You'll also have to keep accurate records so that 1099s are properly filed at tax time. The beauty of freelancing however, is that it can work for a variety of creative professionals such as writers, editors, and graphic designers and for other professionals such as accountants and tutors. Among the options for freelancers writing, editing and blogging have become popular ways for WAHMs to earn a living. Be careful though, avoid article mills and be skeptical of companies that pay low wages or don't seem to have any editorial standards or quality control. Regardless of your field, if you have the experience and knowledge, chances are you can parlay them into a lucrative freelance or consulting career. Freelancing or consulting can also lead towards becoming a mompreneur and completely running your own WAHM company.

Virtual Assistants
Among the hot, new professions for WAHMs, being a virtual assistant (VA) allows you to take your administrative and organizational skills and put them to work for someone else while earning a living. Some VAs handle traditional business administrative duties such as book keeping, managing client lists, and handling affiliate programs. Other VAs specialize in niche markets such as podcasting and other new media and social media.

Direct Sales
Not to be confused with multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes, direct sales include companies such as Arbonne , Creative Memories, or Lia Sophia where you are an independent consultant for another company's products or services. Many WAHMs start this way, often part-time as a hobby or for some extra cash, and turn it into a full-time career later.

Home Parties
In 1948, Brownie Wise, an innovative mom working for the Tupperware company started it all, and ever since, the home party has been one of the lucrative options for moms who work from home. Home parties have evolved in the last sixty years and include everything from gourmet food to lingerie.

Product Testers/Reviewers
Many companies will pay you to test and review their products and services. Be sure to research these companies carefully and the terms of working from them—such as whether you get to keep the products, and whether you're required to give a favorable review. While this might not work as a full-time WAHM career option, for some, it has proven to be lucrative.

Childcare
Another work-at-home option is providing childcare. Be sure to check on your zoning restrictions and local and state law requirements for running a daycare or childcare center out of your home before embarking upon this WAHM venture.

Petcare/Doggy Daycare
Like childcare, petcare such as grooming or short-term "daycare" may also be a WAHM option. Again, it is important to check all of your local and state requirements for this field.

Medical Transcription
Medical transcription can be lucrative for those who type fast, understand medical terminology and can type from physician's audio dictation. Accuracy is important because the transcriptions go into patient records. While a medical background is not necessary, familiarity with medical language, equipment, abbreviations, drugs and procedures is. Some training may be required to become a medical transcriptionist, and it is important to do thorough research of medical transcription courses to avoid the medical transcription education scams that are circulating.

These of course, are not the only options for legitimate WAHM careers, but they are ones where you are least likely to be the victim of a work from home scam, and are recognized as "real" jobs. Many of these careers also have guilds and professional organizations associated with them, where you can network, mentor or be mentored and continually work on your professional development, all of which increase your chances for success as a WAHM.

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