Let’s face it, a good salesperson can make an argument for just about any Home Business… they all have good points. Without naming any businesses in particular, here is my list of what to look for and what to avoid.
Although there are some Home Based Businesses that exist without an actual product to market, I have to ask “How can you sell something that doesn’t exist?” If you want to get together with your buddies and other “like-minded individuals” to dream big dreams, that’s great… but it’s a social club, not a business.
As for those Home Based Businesses that actually have products, you shouldn’t expect to sell them to your friends and relatives. If you believe that your friends and relatives are willing to pay more for a product just to help you succeed in business, you are wrong. Sure, your mother might do it (but she also bought that horrid lemonade you made when you were a kid), but it is wrong to ask your peers to pay more for a product just because it is coming from you… especially in today’s economy.
You also want to make a reasonable profit on the products and/or services you provide. You can sell thingamajigs all day long, but if you only make a few cents on each one you’re never going to become wealthy… even if you add the small percentage you’ll receive by having a bunch of other people in your downline out selling them as well. Find a product where you keep most of the sale price for yourself and don’t give it away to others.
9) Initial Cost
This one is tricky. I put it at number nine because there are some opportunities that are well worth the higher cost of getting involved. If you were to become involved in a conventional “brick and mortar” type business (where you have to buy, build or lease a building) or a franchise (where the franchise fee alone can set you back over $100,000), you’d have to shell out a lot more than even the most expensive Home Based Businesses, and if the profitability is there, the initial cost of a almost any venture can be worth it.
Do you have to take actual possession of the products you sell (that is, IF you are selling any products – see #10)? If the answer is “yes,” then it is a strike against that Home Based Business. With the availability and the low cost of shipping services, if you are a physical link in the distribution chain, look elsewhere.
Does the Home Based Business have a Multi-Level Marketing structure? If so, are your commissions enough that you can actually make money without having hundreds of people in your downline? If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll realize that it’s going to be tough to find anyone who sees the same things in the business that you do… at least for the same reasons… so I’d stay away from businesses where you make a few cents or a couple of dollars based on someone using a product or service.
Do you have to give away any of your commissions to your sponsor? If you do, ask yourself what his motivation will be to help you after he gets his cut of your production. In most cases of the so-called “pass up” programs, your sponsor actually becomes your competition after you have “passed up” your first sale or two… and that doesn’t sound very appealing to me.
Do you get to keep your prospects? In most affiliate programs once you make a sale to someone there is no guarantee that the next time they buy it will be through you. With some of the “online giants” your customer (who buys online through you) becomes a target of their direct campaigns after a purchase! Do you really want to compete with that type of advertising budget? Me neither.
Is the Home Based Business in a market that is relevant in today’s society? This is closely tied to the question of products, but it’s different in the fact that the market around which your Home Based Business is structured should be GROWING (which is rather tough to find in today’s economy). The Internet is growing… the market for alternative energy is growing… the need for affordable housing is growing… if you can find a Home Based Business in one of those areas you will be ahead of the curve.
5) Income Stream(s)
What? You want to make money? Sure it is important, but it comes in at #5 because there actually are other things that are more important. In evaluating the income of a Home Based Business you need to look at not only the amount of income, but also the number of income streams available to you. If you get paid a really high commissionfor selling a widget that only a few people want, it’s important to have a few other whatchamacallits that you can provide them as well. Or better yet, have an entirely different income from another source within the business.
You should also look for a Work From Home Business that will provide you with a residual income. When widgets aren’t selling, nothing will help you sleep better at night than knowing that you are going to get a check each and every month based on work that you have already done.
Does the Home Based Business have a proven system for you to follow? I don’t mean a “here are a couple of books for you to read so you can familiarize yourself with the products (if there are any)” type of system… I mean a system where you have a mentor who will:
- actually walk you through the program
- hold your hand (if you need it) until you are comfortable
- answer your questions
- return your phone calls
- take a real and sincere interest in your success
If you have a system in place that works, and you can just plug into it and succeed… that’s a good thing.
3) Public Opinion
It’s tough not to mention any particular name when you talk about public opinion. Unfortunately, many legitimate Home Based Businesses have gotten a bad rap because of the public perception of what they are. In most cases, the companies who have the tarnished reputation had nothing to do with it getting tarnished! This is #3 because even if you have a phenomenal product, if the public thinks your product or service is somehow inferior (or that they will be forced into sitting through a “business presentation”), chances are that you won’t get close enough to them for them to see that they have been misinformed.
We are getting close to #1, and quite honestly this could have easily been at the top of the list. The best way to sum up this point is to say that if you are going into battle, you will best be served by someone who has been there before. You want to associate yourself with a Home Based Business that has quality leadership. The CEO of the company should be well respected in his or her community, have a proven record of success, and be a reasonably normal person. History is full of people who led by example… find one and follow closely.
Ethics? Absolutely. Your Home Based Business is only going to be as strong as the foundation on which it was built. If the CEO is not of strong moral character, dont walk away… RUN… as fast as you can! Any Home Based Business with which you associate should be based on an “abundance mentality” of people helping people succeed. You need to find a strong mentor who will walk beside you and help you to learn the system; you need someone who will show you what is and is not acceptable; you need someone who will not take advantage of people just to make a sale; you need someone with scruples; and most of all you need someone who truly wants to see you succeed.