A New Type of Home-Based Entrepreneur
By Richard A. Henderson, Publisher of Home Business® Magazine
Along with personal computer use, the Internet is making the location of where work is done insignificant, and that location is more and more becoming the home. The Internet permits work to be done anytime, anywhere. Almost any job or business task in America's information-based economy can at least be partially done working from home. These competitive benefits of the personal computer and Internet are bringing about a new type of home-based entrepreneur — the “independent/free agent".
The term “independent/free agent” may bring to mind athletes and celebrities, but “independent/free agent" is now being used to describe a whole new category of home-based entrepreneurs who are using the Internet and personal computers to revolutionize the work place.
“Independent/free agents” include freelance workers, self-employed workers, independent contractors, and part-time and temporary workers. These millions of skilled workers are taking on work tasks previously performed by companies’ employees either at the offices or by telecommuting.
The life of an independent/free agent isn’t restricted to full-timers: Most independent/free agents work part-time, usually around other home-based business activities. Becoming an independent/free agent can even be the result of growing out of other endeavors as a home-based entrepreneur.
Any home-based entrepreneurs can use their skills and talents to work as independent/free agents. The independent/free agents’ world is a virtual world, as they use the Internet to find business, perform their contracted work, stay connected with former, current and potential future clients, and provide feedback. Independent/free agents are attractive to companies and business owners because they don't come with the overhead and the strings attached with standard employees such as benefits, payroll, SSN taxes, and general overhead. With independent/free agents, employers pay only for the services they need.
Outsourcing exploded during the 1990s. The growth of the use of independent/free agents is merely the continuation of companies’ transitions away from depending solely on in-house, lifetime employees. Perhaps, one day, companies will literally hire people day-to-day to perform a given day’s specific tasks.
The Internet, combined with outsourcing, means one thing: Independent/free agents are here to stay. More and more businesses recognize their value to allow companies to focus on their core strengths, farm out ancillary functions, and take on projects outside of their current scope of capabilities without having to hire additional employees.
Success as an independent/free agent is highly dependent on: having the right mentality; knowing how to start-up the business; managing money; marketing and branding; carefully signing contracts; and knowing what types of independent/free agent opportunities to pursue.
As an independent/free agent, you can have a profitable and rewarding career — working with a wide range of people and companies, without tying yourself to any one business. HBM