Time was, work at home opportunities consisted mainly of stuffing envelopes or taking in typing for the local law office. The Internet has changed all that. Now anyone with a computer and decent Internet connection can get in on the myriad work from home opportunities that the Web offers. Of course, along with the unique opportunities the Web has brought, a unique set of perils and pitfalls has come along with it.
So how does the average work at home mom (or dad) figure out what's a good online income prospect? Face it, wherever money changes hands, there will be those that have their own definition of opportunity, and it's mostly defined as how to separate you from your money. This article will help you to recognize the scams.
"I Made a Gazillion Dollars in Two Days - You Can Too!"
If you've been searching the Web for work at home, home business, or online business opportunities, you've seen claims like this. Don't fall for them. Like any other business, an online business takes time to build up. It is true that you can start turning a profit quickly, even immediately, with an online business, because your startup and operating costs are usually lower than more traditional businesses. But it doesn't happen overnight. If you're looking for instant riches, stop reading right now and go buy lottery tickets.
Why Buy A Cow When Milk Is Free?
The single most valuable thing you need to get start working online is information. That's why you're reading this article, right? There are a lot of sites out there selling what is essentially free information. A good example is survey lists. Anybody can get lists of companies that will pay you to complete an online survey, so why should you pay somebody for a list? You'll see articles that tell you not to pay up front for an opportunity. Hogwash. There are plenty of legitimate offers that require some initial investment. A good survey list site will not only furnish you with a list of companies, possibly saving you hours or even days of research, but they will also provide you with tools to make survey submissions and tracking payments quicker and easier. Worth $40 or $50 up front? Probably. Do your homework. There are lots of disreputable sites out there that will take your money, give you an old, outdated list, or some other worthless information, and that's the last thing you'll ever get. Forget about a refund. The good sites do the legwork for you, and support your efforts with tools and good advice. That's worth some investment, especially when you're first starting out.
Separating The Wheat From The Chaff
So how do you figure out what's a good opportunity without wasting time and money? There are sites that investigate online opportunities for you. Club-Tech (http://www.club-tech.com/ ) is a good one. They've looked at dozens of online businesses and list the best ones in several categories. Sites like Club-Tech explain how different online businesses work, and allow you to do some side-by-side comparison of start-up costs and features.
John Guerin is Director of Marketing for Source 1 Media (http://www.s1m.com ), an Internet services and software development company. John has helped to guide many Internet start-ups to profitability.