There's another old saying that we've all heard too -
"If it sounds too good to be true it probably is."
Now that doesn't mean that every opportunity out there is a scheme or a scam, nor does it mean that you can't find a legitimate way to work from home and earn the kind of income that would allow you to pursue some of life's passions. So, let's review 8 logical factors that we've discovered are key to identify and separate an honest and legitimate business concept from a get-rich-quick scheme.
You Have to Have a Real Product That Customers Will Really Want and Need Versus The Latest Overpriced Fad Product or Overblown Hyped Product.
For example, there are a lot of home-based-businesses these days selling miracle fruit juices that supposedly heal everything that ails you! How many people do you know that would actually spend $35 - $40 a bottle on fruit juice? And if these juices really did all these amazing things, don't you think that Welch's and other billion dollar company giants would be selling them for $5 a bottle versus $40? It's already happening. Do this for me please, next time you are in Costco take a look and you'll see dozens of these exotic juices for sale at a fraction of the price of the ones the home-based-businesses. People might pay twice as much for a product if it can be proven to be better quality than the cheaper version but not 5 or 10 times as much. I mean, come on, I'm a businessperson looking for a serious business I can pursue, HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK I AM. Overpriced, exotic products with wild claims are usually a red flag for a business of questionable legitimacy. AVOID THESE LIKE THEY WERE THE EBOLA VIRUS
Are The Start-Up Costs Reasonable and Do I Get Value For My Investment?
I say RUN AWAY from any business that asks you to send them money before they will give you the details of what their business is about. Also view opportunities that have large inventory requirements with a great deal of scepticism as well. In this day and age you DO NOT NEED to spend thousands of dollars on inventory, most companies you would want to get involved with drop-ship their products right to your customers for you. Those types of companies may show you people that are earning HUGE checks, but the only reason their check is huge is because they have found suckers that would buy a large quantity of inventory to get a bonus or a status. They are in the business of selling inventory to suckers versus selling real products to real customers. You probably should avoid those deals. There is no need for you to have to stock product, take orders, or make deliveries a GOOD BUSINESS MODEL will take care of these things on your behalf.
Does The Company Behind The Products Have a Money-Back Guarantee?
This is straightforward. Anything less than a 30-day unconditional money back guarantee is highly suspicious (and may even be illegal in some jurisdictions). Good companies will even take back used products for a refund (although it would be entirely understandable if they charged a small restocking fee for this).
What Exactly Do You Get Paid For Doing?
Many people know it is illegal almost everywhere for you to get paid solely on the act of recruiting a new participant into a moneymaking opportunity. You can only be paid when an actual product or service of value is moved to an end-user. There are a lot of companies, especially in the Multi Level Marketing Arena, that walk a fine line with this one. For example, there are several companies that charge you $500 to become a Marketing Representative, which really buys you nothing more than the ability to earn commissions when you recruit other Reps and a "kit" that contains nothing more than manuals and documentation. They may have had their legal team cleverly disguise this payment (for the act of recruiting) as bonuses you earn when you help others recruit... but my question is... what does the $500 actually buy you? Is there any product of real value changing hands here? A closer look usually reveals that most of the commissions being paid in those businesses is being generated from the $500 people are paying to get started. Remember, you can only be paid when an actual product or service of value is moved to an end-user.
Does The Company Have a Track Record?
Every company claims they are successful but can it be verified though independent sources? Check the Better Business Bureau in their home state or province. Do they have a Dunn & Bradstreet Number and rating? How long have they been in business? Are they debt-free? Do they have total quality control of and manufacture their own products. Have they ever been featured in legitimate business publications like Inc. Magazine? (Don't be fooled by companies featured in magazines like Success, Entrepreneur or Home Based Business, as most of these publications will actually "sell" their cover page or feature story to any company that wants to pay for it.) You cannot buy your way onto the Inc. not paying for someone to herald them. It is much more credible when this comes from independent sources.
What Kind Of Training & Support is Offered?
One of the biggest reasons that Franchising has been such a successful business model is because the person purchasing the Franchise from the master Franchisor is buying a proven system of success. I would suggest you apply this same reasoning to any home-based-business you might be considering. Are the people you will be teaming up with already successful? What is their track record? Do they have the blueprint and resources for you to easily duplicate that are provided for a very reasonable or even no cost at all. Stay clear of companies that end up expecting you to invest hundreds of dollars a month for their "systems". It is a sure sign they are making money off the system versus from helping you be successful.
Avoid Businesses That Claim They Will Build It All For You.
Nothing makes me laugh more than the advertisements offering to build your business for you. The reason I laugh is simple. Why do they need you, if they are going to build it all for you? Why don't they just build it all for themselves? The answer is simple. THEY DON'T NEED YOU - THEY WANT YOUR MONEY! I guess people who want something for nothing still get sucked into this offer. And while they may not have to do much, they will always end up paying a lot usually with little or no results.
Find a Product That Replaces Something People Are Already Buying But Offers Better Value and Convenience.
The old saying that you can make a lot of money if you build a better mousetrap is still true today. A great example in recent history of this is the video rental company Netflix. Before they burst on to the scene, no one could compete with Block Buster's buying power. This ensured they always had dozens of copies of the latest releases at reasonable prices and they had a store in every neighbourhood to make it convenient for the customer. But they still had huge overhead with thousands of stores. Netflix came along and made a better mousetrap. Without the overhead of thousands of stores, Netflix could afford to mail videos directly to your home making it cost effective and even more convenient than your local Block Buster video. The product was the same, but the business model was disruptive. So Netflix captured a huge market share almost overnight of a product people were already spending money on. Make sense?
A legitimate business will offer this kind of value and convenience to the customer. So find something they already spend money on, improve the quality and convenience and you'll have a hit that can create long-term sustainable income.
About the author:
Geoff Bennetto has built a global organization of independent marketing reps, all of whom work from home.
Prior to launching his business in 2011, Geoff searched through hundreds of small or home based business opportunities determining what time tested principles separated the legitimate businesses from the fly by night schemes and scams.
Today, Geoff trains and lectures internationally.
Geoff continues to work with his current teammates and new members in order to help them build significant incomes as well, each with their own unique plan to fit their life schedule.
You can learn more about Geoff and follow his blog by visiting http://www.geoffbennetto.com
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