Self-employment in the work from home economy is booming. You won’t often see the words “economy” and “booming” in the same sentence, so read that again. Growth in the work from home sector is a genuine trend, and the rate of growth is, itself, growing.

This is in part a legacy of the recent massive disruption to the developed economies. Job security isn’t what it used to be, while the need to earn is. Career opportunities are fewer and farther between. We’re turning out graduates who, twenty years ago, would have walked into good, secure, highly paid jobs. Those jobs don’t exist today. The waged economy, if it ever could, can’t now offer the freedoms – financial and time – available in the work from home economy and that hard reality is becoming increasingly apparent. Those freedoms aren’t just less unattractive than the alternative, they’re proving to be attractive in their own right.

The other great driver of growth in the work from home sector is technology. Technology of itself isn’t new. From its earliest examples of stone tools, through the invention of the wheel around 4000BC, the Industrial Revolution and on to the present day the efficiency benefits of technology have been enormous but they have, at the same time, met with mixed reviews. The Luddites, artisan textile workers in Northern England, began smashing machinery in 1811 because they saw the new technology as a threat not only to their jobs but, by producing an inferior product, to the reputation of their trade. Mechanised efficiencies in farming, fishing, mining, manufacturing and a host of other industries brought huge economic development but they did so at a heavy cost in employment. Electronic technology has been the same mixed blessing. If job security isn’t what it used to be, it probably never was.

And yet we live in the world as it is. The fact is, technology is here to stay. The world is being shaped by the digital revolution. That means, in simple terms, opportunity. For the work from home entrepreneur the effect of digital technology is hugely, massively, positive.

The internet does what technology has always done – it provides efficiency and, through that, leverage. But by comparison with previous technological advances, the scale of that leverage is, well, off the scale. It bends the needle on the leverage meter. Here are just 5 examples:

1 The Internet Allows Access to a Vast Audience

When radio was developed it took thirty-eight years to reach 50 million listeners. Television took thirteen years to reach that audience. Facebook? Six months. More than 3 Billion people now use the internet, and the trend is ever upward. That’s not just a vast audience, it’s a vast pool of potential customers. That’s because the internet isn’t just an information exchange, it’s a commercial exchange on the grandest scale. People buy goods, services and, yes, information online where they used to buy these things in person. You do it yourself.

2 Your Website Works 24/7

Traditional businesses work office hours. Outside of those hours, they’re closed. And when they’re closed, they’re not doing business. In the digital market your office, or your shop, is your website. It’s open and working 24 hours of every day, 365 days a year. It’s working when you’re working but it’s still working when you’re at the cinema, or on vacation, or asleep. You can service your website, and you can service your customers, from anywhere you can connect your laptop to the internet. Which is just about anywhere on the planet.

3 Email Allows You to Communicate, Instantly and Free

Email might just be the greatest marketing tool ever invented. OK it’s not the only tool you’ll need but the essence of marketing is getting your message in front of the largest number of the right people. Build a mailing list of qualified prospects and you’ve got a customer base right there, but your harvest depends on getting your message, and your offer, to them at the right time. With email you can tailor both your message and its time of delivery. You can campaign on a scale untroubled by restraints of cost.

4 The Internet Allows You to Provide More Value for Less Cost

Value is the key to success. The more you can provide, the greater will be your reward. A constant web presence captures prospects, day and night. Email marketing lets you provide those prospects with the value that converts them from “prospect” to “customer”. How to provide value, and how much to provide, is an art but it can be taught, and learned. If I can do it, then, believe me, so can you. And the cost is negligible; web-hosting these days costs single digits per month.

5 Your Business Works on Autopilot

The internet allows you to promote and sell products, services or information to a targeted audience on a scale of your choosing. The whole process is automated (creating the process, however, takes work) and, when properly structured, idiot-proof. If that’s not efficiency and if that’s not leverage then those terms are meaningless.

The ultimate attraction for the work from home entrepreneur is the one I mentioned at the start. Freedom. An internet business brings financial freedom, time freedom and geographical freedom. It doesn’t involve selling your time for someone else’s money. You work when you want, how you want, where you want and your business can do whatever you want. Whatever you’re good at, whatever you’re passionate about, whatever you want to sell, someone on the internet wants some. It’s the ultimate “work smart” option and here’s the thing – it’s open to all. And if you’re attracted by the thought of your own business, there’s never been a better time.

Author's Bio: 

Evan Mitchell is a coach and mentor to new-start and early development entrepreneurs in the digital economy. A highly rated sales and negotiation trainer – with cross sector experience from major corporates to SME clients – he writes on the opportunities for career and personal development offered by the digital marketplace.