I have been researching and there are many types of Home businesses. I just bought a book by Ewen Chia, “How I made My First Million on the Internet and how you can too!”, and it also has shed some more light on this home business arena. I will, therefore, take some information from this book, from the Direct Selling Association and two other resources on the net, not to mention my own content on how I understand about the different types of home business.
What I am going to share may not be exhaustive… More and more types are out there and more are still being invented.
In this post, I will mention about
– Direct Selling
– Affiliate Selling
1. Direct Selling
The Direct Selling Association (DSA) defines Direct selling as the sale of a consumer product or service, person-to-person, away from a fixed retail location, marketed through independent sales representatives who are sometimes also referred to as consultants, distributors or other titles. This applies more to physical stores but there are also online stores, as we all know.
Ewen Chia stresses the fact that in Direct selling, you are basically selling your own product and handling all of the payment processing, customer service and shipping/ handling/ delivery e.t.c.
How to choose
Be wise; there are many SCAMMERS out there! Some tips for choosing a good Direct Selling Company
– The Direct Selling Association would be a good start. It is the national trade association of the leading firms that manufacture and distribute goods and services sold directly to consumers. They have members from over 220 companies in their register. They also have a Code of Ethics, which makes you feel confident you are dealing with a company which subscribes to an organised regulation.
– The Better Business Bureau is also another good place to check for authentic Direct Sellers.
2. Affiliate Selling
Affiliate Selling on the other hand implies that a company has its products and/ or services, and you sell that company’s products by referring customers to the Seller’s webpage. You do not have to have a warehouse yourself where you stock the goods…. when people are referrred to the Seller’s web site page, they access the products from there and the owner of the product has the responsibility of
-sourcing the product (if available on stock or not)
-after sales support (where relevant)
-probably handle refund requests too.
Let’s face it! There is an absolute advantage in Affiliate Selling for the Affiliate because you do not expend for so many typical tools one needs if they are a Direct Seller.
How to Choose
Well to choose, you must be able to
1- Identify a real genuine Affiliate Selling opportunity from others.
Well, “not all that glitters is gold”, so the old adage goes, and it can never be truer in the home Business arena. You need too study what it is that you will be selling as an affiliate…..otherwise you may be selling just the “hype” and while it could be profitable initially, but the people you sell to entually realise you are “duping” them, and that will probably be the last sale you will make!
I have heard of others termed “Pyramid Schemes”. Apparently, in pyramid schemes, income is generated solely on the process of recruiting others into the pyramid who pay a fee to get in. Sometimes a product or service of questionable value is involved (one that is never retailed to the general public). However, generally what you’re buying is the right to recruit others into the scheme. This is illegal. Also, in pyramid schemes, those who get in first and who are at the top of the pyramid win, while most everyone else loses. (Info courtesy of SFI Mkting Group).
2- Consider Going Concern of the Product Owner
The last thing any Affiliate Seller wants is to establish a steady flow of buyers, start “enjoying” a commission and all of a sudden, the Product Owner disappears from the scene! Imagine what frustration there will be for your customers, your reputation, your commission check!
So Choose carefully! Others make a lot of hype in the initial stages, get you hooked and hyped, makes their sales and recoup their cost PLUS profit and poof! disappear like magic. How do you tell then if a product owner is there to say.
In my opinion;
a) -level of investment
that the owner has made is a sure sign of ‘staying power’! You can see this in say product diversion, website content (depth and intent to inform), improved and enhanced support system e.t.c.
b) -continued investment
Someone who continues to reinvest implies they are ploughing back into the business some of the profits they make. This can be evidenced in more and fresh product listings for an online store, for example, server upgardes, boost of special promotions for affiliates, further enhancements of the business e.t.c.
c) period in business
While other businesses could be starting out and it would be unfair to judge them on this basis, for others this is a litmus test. A company that has existed for a while, and has been growing right in the eyes of many witnesses with documented evidence, can and I am saying CAN (because it is not necessarily a guarantee) be trusted more than none with zero track record (again, here I repeat that other well and strong businesses could just be at start stage, so use other means of “gauging” their going concern.)
d)- Good corporate governance
A business that registers itself with regulators, for example, Better Business Bureau, the Direct Selling Association e.t.c has certainly nothing to hide! They are open to scrutiny and know that they will be beyond reproach because they subscribe to code of ethics e.t.c. and know that they would risk being reported if they did something “fishy”.
e) – Who are their partners
Another sign to check going concern is, “who are they parneting with?” Businesses now cannot exist standalone… they have suppliers of different things! Where possible, do a check on this! Others produce the products on their own… check, for example, if they have FDA approval for foods and medicinal products e.t.c.
Other businesses establish business partnerships with long standing companies, like Sears, Walmart e.t.c, if this can be proven, it could and I say COULD be a sign of their commitment to stay… I am sure for them to link up with such reputable companies, they must have gone through serious due diligence and scrutiny e.t.c.
3- Sell products that give solutions and value to buyers
Are you being asked to be a seller of a product (s) that you know nothing about, you cannot point a finger at, you cannot explain it yourself to someone? Then be on the lookout. When people are wanting to buy something, they want a solution that will add value…. not some vague thing with some promises.
Again, in ignorance, they could buy, but a dissatisfied customer is a killer to any business….. their “word-of-mouth marketing” about the lie you sold them is disseminated so quickly to others and irreversible! A satisfied customers is a good source of positive word of mouth marketing.. they talk from experience and evidence of the value they have derived from the product you sold them.
4- Choose a Product Owner with a Face
What I mean is that there must be evidence that there is a real person behind the business. Examples of evidence of real live people is
– Live Chat (not the automated ones that keep on repeating the same answer when you ask different questions),
– supportline where people respond to you,
– telephones you can reach and talk to real people and not machines,
– discussion forum where other affiliate sellers like you and the business owners or their representatives discuss and respond to issues and many more!
And Yes, if you can, Map them… Google and other tools allow you to use a physical address provided to fnd the exact loacation… and if you or some you know is within the vicinity, let them check it out.
Importance: Technology has advanced…. scammers are out there… they create programs that trigger several actions and you would think you are dealing with real people.
I once nearly made a mistake..not on Home Business though. My sister is a nurse and she had been dreaming of working overseas. There were some recruiters in the UK, to whom we were referred by a “friend” locally. They sent us forms e.t.c. and after doing everything free, even speaking to me on several occasions, they now requested US$ 600, which they said we could pay a third of it. In our desperation to send the money before their deadline, we contacted a relative in the UK to do so for us. Would you know, coincidentally, when we provided him the physical address, he said “that’s right several blocks from where I stay.. I will take the money there”. Alas, he went there, found no office, just a flat with some foreign African nationals known for their SCAMS in that area!
So this SCAMMING is real. Money is hard to come by these days. It is wise to do a clear check before investing in anything.
Ok, so I hope with this post, you are getting more and more enlightened on the Home Business arena.
See you next, when I will explore on “Getting Started in Home Business”.