You’ve seen the ads. They’re everywhere…and they’re tempting.
Start your own business! Work from Home! No Boss! Work Part-Time! Make $15,000 your first month! Easy Money! Get Rich Now! Which are legit? Which are scams? Then, what about those infamous “pyramid schemes"?
So, you’ve decided that it’s time for a change. You’re likely in one of two groups.
1. You have a decent job and income, but absolutely no free time, whether it’s to spend adequate time with your family or to pursue any other interests. Even if you had the time, you’re just too tired!
2. You’re in a job where you just cannot make ends meet and want to supplement your income for starters.
You’ve heard the saying; JOB stands for “Just Over Broke". Is this you? You want a business of your own…one that gives you flexibility. But you’re not a natural-born salesperson. You don’t want to get scammed. You don’t have any money saved…how can you, with 2 rapidly growing kids? So, how do you decide? There are SO many options.
Fact is, lots of them are legitimate businesses. Some people make money in each of the various home-based businesses. It’s really not different than any other type of business.
Although just a beginner, here are some hints I’ve learned already:
1. You must overcome your fear of sales. This may take practice. Realize that all businesses are sales-driven. If sales didn’t take place, there wouldn’t be a business. If you’re doing something that is not sales-related, it is a JOB. You’re working for someone else who is generating sales, taking care of tasks so your boss can focus on making more sales. Even if you decide to walk dogs or mow lawns as your business, you still have to get the clients to be able to generate your sales (income).
2. Do your research. I know that when you start your research, it becomes even more confusing. You’ll find there are hundreds more options than you first thought. Many seem to advertise similar benefits and compensation structures. Keep researching. Yes, it’s time-consuming, but better than spending months and cash on a new business only to discover that it’s not what you thought it would be.
3. Choose a business that excites you! If you decide to sell Avon because a friend approached you about it, but don’t care for or know their products, how successful do you think you will you be in representing the products? I chose a business that is travel-related because I love travel and thought it would be a blast!
4. Choose a business with a compensation plan that is quite motivating and seems achievable to you. This depends on where you’re starting. If it doesn’t seem achievable to you, you’re not likely to put forth the effort to achieve those results. If someone tells me I can make $50,000 in my first month in business, I don’t believe it. Seems like hype. Perhaps this is my mental block. I’m sure some people have done it, but I don’t see myself doing it…yet. I love certain Avon products, but I’ve never met or heard of anyone making the kind of income I’d like to achieve. Maybe some have, but I’ve just not been exposed to them. Several years ago, I got involved in a multi-level marketing business…loved the products but became frustrated with the reliance on a non-productive down-line for income. This ruled out MLM for me. Others are great at keeping their down-line pumped up and producing. My sponsor was one of those people…high energy. Her income was exceeding $100,000 a year at that point. We all have our own idea of what a great income is, so you have to decide what yours is and build from there.
1. Research the established training and marketing of the company. These should be proven systems. Don’t believe it just because it’s in their marketing copy. Ask lots of questions about the support and information you’re supposed to receive. Spend time studying it. If you can’t access this information until after you sign up, walk away. The company I chose has daily conference calls where I can ask questions and get updated on changes. I didn’t use this in the very beginning, and now realize that I lost out on a lot of valuable time and information. Plan to USE the systems.
2. Check the BBB. If there are a bunch of complaints about the company, pass on the opportunity. Keep in mind however, that some complaints may be on a particular representative, sponsor or director, not the actual company. I found this to be true. Remember that everyone involved is self-employed, so you want a sponsor who has a reputation for providing the support you’ll need.
3. Check forums or online message boards. Do a search on the “company name- forums", or “home based business forums". You may find some complaints about any company, but if you’re seeing a large percentage of positive comments, it’s a good sign.
4. Ask your contact or sponsor about their own success in their first 6 months as well as specifics of what steps they took to succeed. In particular, ask them about their first couple of sales.
5. Plan to spend some money. Starting a home-based business is probably the cheapest way to get into business for yourself, but that doesn’t mean free. If you’re already telling yourself that you don’t have the money to start, you aren’t likely to be successful. You’ll spend too much time making excuses.
ALL business success takes determination, energy, daily initiative and focus. There is a learning curve. The key is to start. Take the step. I’m just starting, but am determined that this will now be my life. And for me, it has to be fun!
Michelle Porter, Coastal Vacations Associate
My first goal is to make dream vacations and financial freedom a reality for each of us!