I have been working online from home since 1998, full-time since 2004. To me, a proven home based business is one that has shown it's ability to overcome obstacles and continue to earn money for it's participants over at least three years.
There are many, many legitimate home businesses online today. From my experience there are literally 100s of ways that you can legitimately earn money online with 1000s of different businesses. It is a fact that most businesses fail within 3 years of starting. This applies to offline and online businesses.
So, the first thing you should do when contemplating joining a home business it to check how long this business has been online. The great thing about the internet is that you can put a companies’ name into Google or any other major search engine and you will find information about the company, usually written by independent observers. The best place to look for this info in on the various online discussion forums.
That said, there is a better way. . .
My advice to anyone setting up a business online is to actually get your own website. To register your own business name, your domain, is less than $10 per year and the web hosting can be bought for as little as $5 per month. This becomes YOUR business. So any work you do on this site or internet marketing to improve it's web presence is going to benefit you longterm.
If you decide to join a different company and market their products or network marketing program, without your own site, you are NOT in control. If this company goes bust, your business disappears with it. Can you see the difference?
I am an affiliate marketer, meaning I almost exclusively market other peoples’ products BUT I sell them from my own site. I market MY site primarily, not theirs.
When you have your own site, for instance a website promoting many different home based businesses - if one company goes down you still have many left to promote from your website. The work on YOUR website you do today will benefit you well into the future.
You will have the power to do as you please with your business and take it in whichever direction you feel is best. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.
In conclusion, the best way to have a proven home based business it NOT to put your faith in any company but take control of your own internet future by investing in your own site.
Mal Keenan is publisher of New Home Business Ideas Newsletter
For a PROVEN Home Based Business You Can Believe in Visit: Proven Home Based Businesses