Yesterday, you came up with ways you can make money using your skills, interests and passions. Today you’re going to learn how to research your ideas to determine if any are viable for working at home.
1) Is there a market for your idea? – Are jobs available in your area of interest? Search the major job sites like CareerBuilder, Monster.com and Craigslist to find out. To determine if your topic will make a good business, search Google’s Keyword tool to find out how popular the idea is. Type in your word and do the search. The results are the number of searches on that term, as well as related terms over the last month. If many people are searching your topic, that means there is a large market. BTW, this tool can help you identify niche markets that you can create products or services for.
2) Is there an existing supply? What is your competition? Use your keyword(s) on your favorite search engine to find the number of websites that are providing information, products or services related to your keyword.
3) What do the existing resources offer? Some websites may use your keywords, but offer something completely different. Others may be doing exactly what you want to do. Study those sites to learn more about their products and services, how they market, to whom they market, and figure out how you can be different (and better).
4) Study the opportunities. If you’re looking into a business opportunity, franchise or direct sales company, you’ll want to include research on how long the company has been in business, what do you get for your money, understand the compensation plan, check for a refund policy, read any further policies and restrictions, and get feedback from other resources.
5) Study the employer. If you’re looking for a job, research the company to learn about the industry and company specifics. Take time to understand telecommuting overall to avoid work-at-home scams. Most people get caught in scams because they don’t fully understand work-at-home jobs.
6) Research what is involved in getting started. What steps need to be taken? What do you need to learn more about? What expenses will you incur? Where can you find answers to the questions you’re going to have as you pursue an idea?
Take time to research and study all the ideas that interest you so you can determine if it’s a viable idea and what it would take to get started.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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