Last Updated: July 28, 2022
The thought of earning a residual income without leaving the comfort of your own home is really appealing and interesting, right? Com'on, you know it is - that's the reason you are here reading this article! Businesses have been moving online for years now - decades, actually, at this point - and the rate at which they continue to move online is only increasing faster and faster as time continues to tick into the future. In fact, many are starting to say we are nearing another "great revolution" of sorts in business and industry, and The Great Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 (or The Great Public Health Sham of 2020, depending on how you look at it, ha, ha!) has accelerated this even further. The Industrial Revolution of the 17 and 1800s saw the creation of urban centers - people leaving their largely self-sufficient subsistence lives in the countryside and moving into cities to work in factories. Now, many are starting to say we are close at hand to another shift of sorts - probably even in the midst of such a shift right now - where business will move almost entirely online; in fact, this has actually all but already happened! Let's be honest! A few decades ago you heard about the "Dot Com Rage" and how business and commerce were moving online. Well, now that has happened and a new system and mindset of doing business that appears to be the new normal and is here to stay for the long haul has been rapidly establishing deep roots for itself globally. Just like the early days of the Industrial Revolution, when people were still sorting out what life was like in their new landscape of factories and wage-slavery, nowadays, for as much as we profess to know about using the Internet these days, people are very much still in the early stages of the learning curve regarding how to navigate, tame, and understand the exploding and ever-changing "Wild West" of doing business online.
The whole point is, there are more and more people each day now who want to invest in an online work-at-home-business and that number only continues to grow - rapidly! To complicate matters, while the number of people who prefer to work at home increases, work-at-home scam schemes, which have been around since long before the advent of the Internet, only continue to grow as well, and easily outnumber the good opportunities out there (just like they always have :) ). Before you decide to start a work-at-home business, there are a lot of factors to consider. Continue reading below to get an idea of what some of those factors might be.
First, really take the time to educated yourself about what starting a work-at-home business entails. The idea might sound all rainbow-and-butterfly-esque to you at first thought, but take the time to look into the "nitty gritty" of what you really will be spending your time doing to get your business up and running and what you will be doing on a regular routine basis once it is up and running.
First and foremost, before you do anything else, check and see whether or not you are allowed to run a home business from your specific property. For example, in my hometown of Pullman, Washington, USA, the City of Pullman tries to encourage home business through their local business laws and ordinances; however, many private third parties have their own binding policies which discourage home-based businesses in many parts of town - such as prolific neighborhood covenants against home-based businesses in many housing developments around the city and restrictions from individual landlords and rental companies where rental properties are concerned (as Pullman is a college town, rental properties abound). The neighboring city of Moscow, Idaho, however, is generally considered more relaxed about their home-based business policies, and, as the result, you tend to see more home-based businesses over there. I'm not trying to "pit town against town" here, I'm just using this as an example of the importance of looking into laws and policies and getting your mindset in order before "pulling the trigger" on your home-based business.
Once you have checked to make sure you are even allowed to run a home-based business from your intended location, go ahead and start checking other business laws! Will you be required to register your business and/or obtain any licenses or permits to run your business? Depending on where in the world you are located and the nature of your business, you could be required to do none of those things or many of those things. Where permits and licensing are concerned, running your home-based business could be as easy as making sure you track all your profits and expenses so you can fill them in correctly on the self-employment sections of your tax form, or it could be more complicated and expensive. The point is, I am not a lawyer and I don't know all the answers, but you do not to skip this step yourself when starting your own business. The reason checking into all applicable laws regarding home-based businesses, registration, permits, and licensing, is so vital as a first step is because these things must be done correctly from the beginning for your business to be legal and above board. If you run into issues with any of these first steps, you are not going to be able to get your home-based business up and running, so get these done first!
Education regarding work at home business start-up can be obtained in various ways. You can search for tips and information from courses and books both on and offline. Videos and blogs could be other sources. Basically, talk your walk and walk your talk. Engross yourself in the world of your industry in ways that feel natural and comfortable (this is key!) to you and start learning about what you should be doing. You can also check with your regional Small Business Development Center's point person. For Pullman, Washington, you can find that information here. The point is - and I have learned this through much personal trial and error - there is no "Business Station" (at least not in the United States) you just walk into in your hometown, pay a fee, and walk out with a one-size-fits-all licensed and registered business that allows you to then just do whatever you want commercially. There are multiple entities you will need to communicate with, interact with, and, yes, pay fees to in order to run your business - this is never a "one stop shop" at one location.
Another way to get a good education about work at home business is to have a conversation with an expert in this field or with a person who's already running a work at home job. These people can share lots of insiders' secrets which can be of great help to you.
After getting education on how to start a work at home business, the next thing that you can do is to familiarize yourself with the various work at home schemes and know what you can do if you become a victim of these scams.
The classic and popular types of work at home scam schemes include medical billings, envelope stuffing, craft work or assembly and many other schemes. These scams may require you to work for many hours without compensation and they don't tell you the exact amount that you'll have to pay. Some work at home schemes may even ask you to spend your money on the things that seem to be useless (and are actually useless to you in the end - they only benefit the scammer's pocketbook!).
A legitimate work at home program informs you about the things involved in their money-making activity. So to help save yourself from scams, make sure to ask these questions to the promoter:
1. What type of work will be expected from me?
2. Will I be given a salary or will my compensation be based on a commission?
3. Who will pay me and how frequently?
4. Do you have a refund policy (for example, if I need to purchase supplies or some kind of "starter kit" from you first)?
5. How much money am I personally going to have to spend in all for set up and ongoing maintenance? (including registration fees, supplies, inventory, possible ongoing monthly fees, etc.)
6. When will I receive my first paycheck?
7. How long has the company has been in the industry? (REMEMBER: it's frequently the non-legitimate "companies" [read: "scams"] that are always changing their names.)
The promoter's answers to these questions will surely help you get a better for for if the work at home program is legitimate or not and if it is suited for your resources, skills and capabilities.
Moreover, to be very sure if the company is legitimate, you can check it out with your local consumer protection agency, Better Business Bureau, and state Attorney General, or these authorities wherein the company is registered. These authorities can also inform you if the company you are interested in has a bad record.
You should also be familiar of the authorities and commissions where you can air your complaints if ever you become a victim of a work at home scam.
If you have already invested money and time in a particular work at home program and, after few months, you find yourself in doubt if it is legitimate or not, talk to the company representative and ask for a refund. Then, inform the highest position you can possibly reach in the company of your plan to notify the authorities about your bad experience with the company. If the company fails to solve the problem, then air your complaint to the following organizations (specific to the US):
The Attorney General's office in your state
The Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov)
The Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org)
Local Consumer Protection Services
Good education can help you get into a work at home business the right way while being informed about scams and help save you from unnecessarily going bankrupted. So if you don't want to end up in a very deep hole, make sure that you are well-educated and have enough knowledge about your target venture before you "pull the trigger", so to speak, and throw yourself wholeheartedly into any work at home business venture.
To better life, better income, and better business!
May you live long and profit well in sustainable, ethical ways!
Better life, better business, better you,
Andreas Philip Gross Enterprises
Ideas, Inspiration, Opportunity
Washington State Certified K-8 Educator, K-12 International Education Consultant, Professional Coach, Proofreader/Editor, Affiliate Marketer, Popsicle Stick Crafter, Print-on-Demand Products Designer, and Webmaster
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