One of the most difficult parts of working at home is determining the best option for you. Many people start wanting a work-at-home opportunity that is fast, free and profitable. Hopefully, you’ve moved past that phase and recognize that work-at-home is work, not licking envelopes or processing emails. At that point, you need to find options that fit with your skills, experiences, interests and passions. Then finally, once you have some ideas, you need to research to find out if your ideas are viable. Here are some tips to research your work-at-home options.
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 idea will make a good business, search SEO Book Keyword Tool to find out how popular the idea is. (SEO book is free, but you’ll need to register.) Type in your word and do the search. The results are the number of searches web surfers perform 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? Are companies hiring for what you can do? In a home or online business, what is the 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. Competition is a good thing in business, because it’s an indicator that money is being made.
3) What do the existing resources offer? What schedule and salaries do the jobs offer? What duties are involved. In a home or online business, research websites using your keywords to see what they’re offering. Study the 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. In a job, research the company. Not only are looking to make sure it’s legit, but learning about what the company does and who it’s target market is, you can tailor your resume to the job to increase your chances of getting hired. If you’re looking into a business opportunity, franchise or direct sales company, 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) 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? (Even in a home job, you may need to invest in something like a headset or software.) 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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