Did you know that over 21.8 million people in the United States have income producing home offices and that 25% of home businesses today provide 100% of the household income?
While millions of people are successfully working at home, millions more are struggling through the overwhelming amount of information about working at home on the internet. What’s real? What works? What’s legal? What’s risk-free?
Here are six criteria you should consider when looking into a work-at-home opportunity.
1. Stick with home business opportunities that have been around OVER five years. Most businesses that fail, do so in the first five years. Don’t get caught up in the pre-launch or ground-floor hype. The truth is, a good opportunity is good for everyone no matter when they join.
2. Check that the business has third-party credibility. Most businesses you run into on the web have testimonials, but frequently they don’t offer a way to verify they are real. A good business will have credible third-party references that you can check. Is it in the Better Business Bureau? Is it a member with good standing in the Direct Selling Association? Is it financially secure i.e. rated. Has it received awards or recognition from other reputable organizations? Be sure to verify any claims a business opportunity makes.
3. Check that it has a money-back guarantee that is long enough for you to work the business to see if its viable for you. A ten-day money-back guarantee and even a 30-day money-back guarantee are not long enough for you to test if a home business is right for you. The learning curve takes 2 weeks to a month alone. Check that the guarantee covers your start-up costs (kit) and any other products or services that you purchase as well. Read the guarantee carefully (small print). Many questionable programs have limited or restrictive refund policies such as everything needs to be sealed to be returned or you need to prove you tried to work the business.
4. Consider businesses with quality, affordable and commonly used products or services. Many businesses are known for inflating prices or requiring exorbitant purchasing requirements. Who really wants to buy $100 per month of some odd “wonder” product? The more common your product or service is, the easier it will be to find others who will be your customer. Further, consumable or on-going use products and services such as household products or services offer ongoing customer purchases. Finally, choose a company with more than one or a few products or services to insure that you have something for everyone.
5. Understand the compensation plan. Some payment plans are difficult to read. Others, when you actually sit and run the numbers, are not that profitable. Compensation issues to consider are: 1) In a matrix type business, are you penalized for helping someone start the same business who then grows faster than you (breakaways, you don’t want that), 2. Conversely, can you do better than those who came in before you? 3. Are you paid based on products/services (to be legal) and what is that payment (% or flat rate)? Most importantly, is the plan fair and reasonable? Many business opportunities have lots of hype such as “we’ll do the work for you”, “find 3 and its free”, and so on. In having a home business, you need to recognize that work is involved. You can’t get something for nothing despite what the scammers say. On the other hand, if you are putting in effort and getting results, your compensation should be reflect that.
6. Is there personal support? Just about every program says it has support, but too often that support falls short once you join. You should have the name of a personal contact with phone and email that you can call for help. You should attempt to talk to them directly and get a sense of the company. Is it all hype and phony excitement? Is the person genuine and honest? Do they respond to email within a reasonable time? Do they call you back within a reasonable time? Are they invested in your success? Do they offer online training, tools, support, and resources?
The truth is, working at home is not that difficult if you do your research and find an honest, proven, doable home business. If you do that, the only way you won’t succeed is if you don’t work it. So heed the six criteria for a solid home business opportunity and become one of the growing numbers of people who are working at home!
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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