Businesses that don’t have a traditional store front with signs or neon lights flashing their name or enormous inflatable gorillas on their rooftops may appear at first glance to be at a disadvantage. Two local proprietors maintain, however, the lack of these amenities has not proven to be a problem. If they did have those features they might get a few complaints from the neighbors because they are run from the home.

Jan and Bob Beitel have been in the sign business in one form or another for more than 20 years.

When drivers travel down Highway 395 through Hermiston, they are driving past dozens of signs made by the Beitels through the years.

They have painted the welcoming signs at the entrance to Hermiston and on the Umatilla water tower. The Beitels said working from home has more pros than cons.

“If we need to take off and run errands, we just close up shop and go,” Bob Beitel said. “We have a lot of flexibility.”

Jan Beitel said the demands of working from home are less taxing and more conducive to a relaxed, semi-retired lifestyle, allowing them to work when they want and take as much rest as they need.

“One advantage is we can take a nap if we need to,” she said, laughing. “It gives us a lot more freedom than if we had a shop to attend to with regular hours.”

The Beitels said most of their work comes from word of mouth or past clients needing a touch up. The couple recently gave the “Welcome to Hermiston” sign south of town a fresh coat of paint.

While the Beitels seem to be enjoying their craft when they want and how they want, another at-home business owner in Hermiston is busy trying to maintain the discipline necessary to sustain her bottom line.

While business woman Monica Bauer may not make the products she sells from home, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t put in a lot of time and effort trying to make her time investment pay off.

Bauer sells anti-aging skin care products produced by a biotechnology research company.

Bauer said traditional means of advertising, such as the neon lights or store fronts, are not what it takes to be successful in her at-home business. For Bauer, it is all about will power.

“For me, it’s about having the desire and the discipline to make those calls,” Bauer said. “It’s easy for me because I love to sell. I love people, but I still have to have the discipline to do the work after getting home from my full-time job.”

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