Book Review: Capsule Reviews of Two Work-at-Home Books
From time-to-time, as we receive career-related and job-hunting books and other resources from publishers, the staff of Quintessential Careers will review them to help you make better decisions about the best books to use in your career and job search.
Here, we offer capsule reviews of two books of ideas for home-based careers.
Mompreneurs Online: Using the Internet to Build Work at Home Success, by Patricia Cobe and Ellen H. Parlapiano, $13.95, Paperback, 320 pages. Perigee, ISBN: 0399527087
101 Best Home Businesses, by Dan Ramsey, $14.99, Paperback, 253 pages 2nd edition. Career Press, ISBN: 156414531X
It makes sense to review these two books together because they complement each other. 101 Best Home Businesses is like the lower-tech brother of Mompreneurs Online. Though published in 2001, 101 Best Home Businesses doesn’t seem quite as computer- and Internet-savvy as you might expect, although Ramsey does include a chapter entitled “How computers can increase your profits,” as well as a similarly titled section in each detailed description of the 101 business ideas he offers.
In contrast, the major focus of Mompreneurs Online is computers and the Internet, and in their introduction, the authors make a strong case for the Internet as a solution for those, especially parents, who want to start a business from home.
Both books offer lots of basics, such as how to identify the best home business for you. Both have strong resources sections. Not surprisingly, most of the Mompreneurs’ proffered resources are Web-based (beware of rapidly changing Web addresses and sites that come and go), while most of Ramsey’s are not.
Both books offer plentiful ideas for specific home businesses to start. The ideas in Mompreneurs Online are all Internet-based, while many of the ideas in Ramsey’s book have little or nothing to do with computers or the Internet (dog breeder, antiques dealer, personal fitness trainer, for example). The format for Ramsey’s business ideas is a little more reader-friendly than the Mompreneurs’ and is broken down into sections entitled: What will I be doing? What will I need to start? Who will my customers be? How much should I charge? How much will I make? How can I get started? and the aforementioned How can I use computers to increase profits? In Mompreneurs Online, the ideas are offered in more of a case-study format, with sections entitled: Job Description, Tapping Skills and Talents, Start-Up Strategy, Tech Tools, Cyber-Challenge, Success Secrets, and Must-Surf Site.
In addition to its material on the basics and specific business ideas, Mompreneurs Online offers chapters on telecommuting, making the most of time and money, building a winning Web site, protecting yourself in cyberspace, staying strong in a dot.com world, and provides links for networking and marketing. It also makes for fun reading with lots of sidebars, success stories, anecdotes, data bits, and quotes.
If you’re computer-literate, Internet-savvy and know you’d like your home business to be Web-based, Mompreneurs Online is the book for you. If you’re tech-phobic and know you don’t want your business to have anything to do with computers, 101 Best Business Home Businesses will offer you more low-tech options. If you’re not sure which way to go, you can’t go wrong by obtaining both books.
Check out all our book reviews in Quintessential Reading: Career and Job Book Reviews.