Work from home opportunities can be categorized into three groups:
Work from home “JOBS”
Work from home BUSINESS
Work from home BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
Work from home “JOBS”
Anything advertised as a “Work from home Job” is synonymous with the word “CAUTION”. There are indeed “jobs” which you can do from home. They are mostly of the telecommute type for local employers. Best source – ask your own employer – ask a friend if their employer has any telecommuting type jobs – check the local papers, or even a local employment agency (be very careful about paying any fee in advance). “Work from home jobs” advertised on the internet are often outright scams designed to get a small registration or certification fee or some kind of purchase from you without any real promise of a “job” in return. Here are a few offers to be especially careful of:
*Assembly or Craft Work
*Taking Surveys or Rebate Processing
Here are some questions to ask if you are considering a work at home job:
1. Exactly what will you have to do?
2. How will you be paid – hourly, piece work or by commission?
3. Who will pay you, and when will you get your first paycheck?
4. Do you have to purchase equipment, goods or products to resell
5. Is there an up-front cost to you like registration or training fee? (Very bad sign)
Finally, when it comes to work from home jobs, my rule would be “Never pay money to get a job”. Like most rules, there are times to make an exception, but only with extreme caution.
Work from Home BUSINESS Prospects are a little brighter here. Many people make a decent income pursuing a business from home.
How? Selling a service you (or others under you) provide, or a product of your own you can sell. You can sell your service or product on-line (Internet Marketing, Ebay, Craig’s List, etc.) or off-line (Classifieds, Direct mail, Consignment, Networking, etc.).
Don’t know what Service you could offer? What are your skills? Here is a short list of skills that lend themselves to working from home:
*Coach/Trainer (nutrition, life skills, financial, personal development, etc.)
*Proof – reader
I could go on, but you get the point. Out-sourcing tasks to someone who has skills they need, or who can do it better and quicker, is a way of life for many small businesses or busy people. How do you market your services?
1. Decide exactly what service you will provide and what you will charge (tip – type in that service into Google search and see what others are offering).
2. Make up your “elevator speech” (a quick pitch you can deliver in 30 seconds when someone asks “what do you do”)
3. Flesh out that “elevator speech” into a sales letter that sells the benefits of your service (not you or your service – benefits for your customer). Hire a copywriter to help in needed.
4. Create a workspace in your home and make sure you have everything needed to deliver first class service at hand and ready.
5. Before you spend any more money or energy, contact your local SCORE chapter and seek the (FREE) advice of an experienced Small Business Consultant who can help guide you to success.
6. Get an internet platform (website or blog) with a capture page, a “contact me” page and information about yourself and your services (and testimonials if you can get some).
7. Advertise in local classifieds – and in Craigslist (your town – I’d direct responses to your site as opposed to your telephone number).
8. Get on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace and learn to market your services on social networks (search the net for FREE information on how to do it).
9. Advertise in Google “Local Business” (don’t bother with phone book – nobody looks there anymore). Hold off further paid advertising until you’re making some money.
10. Make a list of all local businesses (or friends or relatives) that might need your service.
11. Get some business cards to go with your sales letter and get out and talk to people.
Marketing and selling a Product is a little more complex. You are going to have to plan not only how to market and sell, but how to deliver the product and receive payment. And, depending how and where you sell the product, collecting and paying state & local sales tax.
The 11 point list above is a pretty good start, but you will need to add shopping cart to your website and provisions for payment (I’d suggest PayPal). Many people market and sell on eBay. It’s pretty easy – get an eBay account and go to it. And, depending on the product, don’t overlook consignment at local stores and businesses.
Work from home BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES Work from home Business Opportunities generally come from two sources; Affiliate Marketing and Multi-Level Marketing (also known as Network Marketing). Later in this series I will devote an entire article to each of these subjects, but I will highlight some important points here.
Affiliate Marketing – is thought to be one of the easiest ways for a beginner to get into Internet Marketing. You select someone else’s product to sell (check the ClickBank Market Place and you will see hundreds of offers), market it through Internet Marketing, Social Networks, or even off-line methods. You direct the prospects to your website capture page – or direct to the vendors site, where they take over the sales process. If a sale is made you get a commission. The trick is to select a product that is in demand by a lot of people, and is something you are knowledgeable about (passionate about would be better). This can be done by keyword search, but more on that in later articles.
Multi-Level Marketing – is where you select a company (who participates in MLM) and apply to be an Independent Business Owner (that’s the usual term), licensed to sell their products. Most of these companies will provide a website where you can provide information about, and sell the product. Some provide some training and a marketing system.
It is called Multi-level Marketing because you can recruit other people to sell for the company and you will receive a commission on their sales as well as your own.
This fact (and some very complex compensation plans) has given Multi-Level Marketing in general a bad name which is – in many cases – well deserved. “Scam” and “Pyramid Scheme” are names that come to many people’s mind when Multi-Level Marketing is mentioned and this scares off many people from what can be a legitimate (and profitable) opportunity.
The category (legitimate business or Pyramid Scheme or Scam) the company falls into can generally be determined by two things; the cost value of the product being sold, and more importantly the legal definition of a pyramid scheme which has to do with compensation received for recruiting efforts vs. for sale of Product. If you receive the vast majority of your compensation in the form of recruiting bonuses, you’re probably involved in a pyramid scheme.
As with Affiliate Marketing, I will devote an entire article to Multi-level Marketing later in this series on Home Businesses.
Look for the next article in the series;
Home Business 101 – Why Do You Want To Be In Business? HOW BIG IS YOUR WHY?