I was just reading a post about home based businesses and after writing the reply realized that maybe my trial and error might be useful to others. Who knows right? Maybe if I share my experiences someone else might benefit.
So, what I'm going to write here is a few things I think you might find helpful on your search to working from home.
I have been working from home since I was 23. Let's just say that a decade would describe the length of experience so far. I incorporated my business when I was 24 also. I'm not here to recruit you btw, so I hope you keep reading. I have tried home based businesses and spent years (literally) searching for the right one. I didn't find it. Meaning not working for a company/group/someone else. So again, I'm not here to recruit you or post my own home business.
What I learned over the years was that the basic truths are just that. True. There is no "free lunch" when it comes to working and making
money. Working from home is no different. So here is my honest advice to you.
Sit down at a time when you can really focus and think, out loud if you need it. Get the good old pen and paper/ipad/laptop/ whatever out.. and answer some questions for yourself. What do you really enjoy? What do you know alot about? The two usually are not mutually exclusive usually.
When you say work from home, what are you really meaning? Home all the time, home based but you're out everyday doing things? Home based but networked to a local company? What capital do you have set aside?
Is changing from working outside the home to homebased going to affect your current finances? If so, what do you have in savings to cover it until you replace current income levels or close enough to them?
Starting a business is never cheap, free, or instantaneous. I don't care what they tell you. It isn't. Otherwise no one would work anywhere else and we'd all be very wealthy due to no overhead and 99.99% success rates.
Do you have a particular skillset or profession? If you already have a passion for something, then odds are the opportunity you'd be happy in might be closely related. Look at the answers to your first two questions and think about this one.
Do you understand that you will have to make your family/roommates/friends etc. understand that you are in fact working? Working from home is not easy. You do have to make arrangements, schedule, take it seriously. So do others around you. You can't do business calls with MW2 blasting in the background or children crying at your elbow. I have kids, and I love MW2. I'm not saying you can't have it all. You just need to be professional when working, parent when parenting, and relaxing when relaxing.
Step Two: Homework
Now that you know what you want to do, how you want to do it, and how much you have to invest in doing it, it is time do your homework. List each opportunity. What they do (sales, mlm, customer service, parties, etc) briefly. Then list the TOTAL cost of start up. Not just the $39.95 membership fee, or $199.99 merchandise pack. But the whole thing you'd have to pay that first month.
Then research the company that is offering the opportunity. The BBB, local chamber of commerce, google (yes... even them.. by reading all the wierd stuff that comes up.. you'll start to see a general pattern) are great places to start.
Finally when you have narrowed down your specific choices, look at the big ticket deal. The money. What will you make, by when, and is it for real? Meaning.. is it a random figure that "might" happen? Is it salary? Is it guaranteed? Is it factual? If someone tells you that you will make 14,376.93 in 23 days you need to know exactly how and get that in writing then if it is such a "sure fire thing".
Be smart about your choices. Many times you will feel like the person you are talking to is doing you a favor, or a really great friend suddenly. Don't buy into it! Be speculative, be hesitant. There is no "offer" that can't wait for reasonable evaluation. A serious business won't need you to DO IT NOW OR ELSE. You have the right to ask questions, be skeptical, ask for references, TAKE YOUR TIME. If suddenly they start "pulling out on you" and acting like it isn't right for you, or maybe they really don't think it's for you.. let them keep talking and IGNORE the sudden feeling of "oh no! I was kidding! I want in! I want in!". Taking the sale away is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It works amazingly on my four year old and certain foods. ;) Be calm, and reassure yourself that the only business you need to be in.. is THE RIGHT ONE. One that fit's YOUR criteria. The only reason I am writing all these questions for you to consider is because I learned, yes the hard way a time or two, that they need to be asked.
I hope you find the opportunity of your dreams. There is so much out there, with a little work you can. **Just always remember if it looks too good to be true, if sounds too good to be true, and you don't have "to work" to do it.. yeah, it probably is.** Listen to that little inner voice, no matter how bad you want to work from home. One day you will successfully be doing it, and hopefully have gotten there with minimal dissapointment.
Hope this helped in anyway!