Historically, cottage industry has been considered home-based work, such as sewing, assembling, and light manufacturing. Product based home industry continues to thrive. It’s an important part of  emerging nations economy and has been adopted by the arts. But there’s another point of view. Is cottage industry defined by producing tangible products alone or is providing services part of the cottage industry equation?  We think it is.

Cottage Services

Forbes magazine quoted the US Dept. of Labor Top Ten Best paying Work-at-Home Jobs. The top ten included the medical field, tax preparers, and post-secondary educators, but it also listed several business services, which traditionally have been office-based, that are being successfully managed from home.

Software Engineer – I have a close friend that works in this field, and does it from his home office, quite successfully. He maintains that it’s easier to do his job in his home office without interruptions. And when he needs to brainstorm or consult he arranges meetings.

Financial Manager – My financial consultant works from home. She finds that it gives her more freedom to meet her customers’ needs and her families. She’s not tied to mandatory meetings and seminars that may or may not be of benefit to her specific needs. She can pick and choose what she attends and use her time to be available for her clients.

Writer – I hang with writers. I have three good friends who make their living writing from home; however it’s supplemented with copy editing, content management, marketing, and social media.

Photography – In the last three years two friends have made the leap from being corporate photographers to working on their own. Although both have faced challenges both are glad they made the change.

Public Relations, Social Media, and Market Research – These disciplines and others are often combined to fit the needs of customers. Once again I have several friends juggling this act and doing it successfully.

Graphic Designer – There are several in my sphere of influence who freelance graphic design, some to supplement their day gig—others are out on their own.

Have you thought about Working from Your Cottage?

I’m work from home every Tuesday. It’s when I write. Like my friend, the software engineer, I accomplish more from my home office than I would with the distractions of the workplace, granted, I’m the major source of the distractions. Whether it’s the office or cottage, creative pursuits flourish in a supportive environment. Have you thought about creating your own 21st-century cottage service? If you would appreciate talking with someone who has faced the experience let me know I’ll put you in you touch with my friends.

Photo by Dennis Jarvis / CC BY-SA