Monday, January 7, 2008

Work at home

So, I've been doing a lot of research for the past couple of years on work at home opportunities. If some of you have searched for work at home (WAH) opportunities, you already know that there are TONS of them out there. You just have to select the right one.

Yes, there are scams out there. But what I have found is that there are lots of opportunities that are not scams, but many people think that they are. The reason many people look for WAH opportunities is usually because they want to find some sort of "Get Rich Quick" scheme. They want something where they can put in little or no effort and start earning big money. Those types of business opportunities do not exist. Period. There is no such thing as a getting rich quick. And if there were, everyone would be doing it.

The truth about work from home is that you have to think about it as exactly that - work. In a normal job, you are trading your time and skills to do what someone has hired you to do. When you decide to work from home, essentially what you are doing is cutting out the part where someone has hired you, but there is still time and skills to invest in order to start making money. There are tons of opportunities where you can sit at your computer and do something and get paid for it. However, I am here to tell you that it's not that easy. It's just not. It doesn't matter what program, business, or opportunity you have found, there is ALWAYS going to be a great deal of work. In some programs, the work is less rigorous than in others, however, it is still there.

When looking for WAH businesses, many people are turned off by the fact that you usually have to pay for them. There are many people out there that say that if you have to pay for a WAH opportunity, it is probably a scam. THIS IS SO UNTRUE! You have to think about it as an investment. Let me give you an example: If you decided that you wanted to open up your own donut shop, would it be free to start? Would you be able to simply walk into an abandoned building and start making donuts? OF COURSE NOT! There are TONS of overhead costs and other matters that you have to think about: building rent, utilities used, ingredients needed, machines needed, glass casings, etc. The list could go on an on. When you open up your own online business to make money, please keep in mind that just because you may have to pay for an opportunity does not make it a scam, just like opening up your own donut shop would not be a scam. Simply do your research and make sure that your investment in your newly founded company will be as profitable as you hope for it to be. Another way to look at it is that if you're buying your investment from a company, how does the company make money? How are they able make money if they don't charge you to join?

Okay, now that I've given the positives of work at home opportunities, I'll give some of the negatives as well.

Even though, as discussed above, there are lots of opportunities out there and a good majority of them are not scams, the scams definitely do exist too! Here are a couple questions that you may ask yourself if you run into a very enticing business opportunity:

1. Is the company more focused on selling the product or is it more focused on getting other people to join?

If the answer to this is getting other people to might want to make sure that you do some SERIOUS research into it. This does not necessarily mean that it is a scam, but you might have a hard time with it simply because you are trying to sell a product that you are not really that interested in. If you are trying to sell a product, you MUST be interested in it and excited about it in order to sell it. People can tell if you are not really excited about it and you are just doing it because you have to. This is the same concept that is used when a company wants to hire a good car salesman. What makes a good car salesman? His excitement and passion about the cars that he tries to sell. Ameriplan USA is a company that provides a discount insurance plan for people who are unfortunate enough to have full medical coverage. They're product is very good (I have used it myself), but it is very much also focused on getting other IBOs (Independent Business Owners) to join in as well. You pay $50 / month for being a member. In return, you get to use the dental, chiropractic, and prescription medicine at no additional cost. Ameriplan is a good opportunity for those who are prepared to work hard. The way the company makes some of its money is when people sign up and forget about it. When you sign up to become an IBO, you have to submit your bank information so that they can charge it to your account each and every month. This is because most people that join in on this opportunity do not do so well, yet they continuously forget to cancel their membership which results in paying the company a good deal of money before they cancel. So, if you join decide to join in on an opportunity like this, DON'T FORGET TO CANCEL if you are not getting your money's worth out of it.

2. Is this a Multi-level marketing type of business? In other words, when I make a sale, are there lots of people above me that get a portion of my sale as well?

Many people think that Multi-level marketing (MLM) is illegal. I know that this is another positive note, but I have to say it: MLM is NOT illegal. There may be some companies that are doing illegal forms of MLM, but the concept itself is not illegal. Amway, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, PartyLite, and Avon are some of the most well known MLM companies. In fact many of you probably know of at least one person at your work who does this on the side. But the bad part about it is...even though it is not illegal, how many people do you know who have made it big with whichever MLM opportunity they are involved in? These are legitimate companies with legitimate products, but it is not easy to be a rep for one of these companies. It takes lots of time and lots of effort. Some people say that MLM stands for "Many Losing Money." Unfortunately, this statement is somewhat true. The structure of the MLM business model does not really allow anyone at the bottom to ever reach the top. As the market becomes saturated with the product or the number of people involved in marketing the same product(s), the number of people who you can sell to consistently declines. This is just the natural effect of this type of business model. It might work while it lasts, but sooner or later, these types of companies (and not ALL of them) will fall. So, if you are thinking about joining an MLM company, once again, examine the product. Is it something that you would be interested in selling? If not - don't do it. If so, then give it a shot for a while...until you can't seem to find any more people.

Anyway...if you've made it this far in my post - I commend you.

Happy WAH

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