I believe that at one point or another, everyone dreams of working from home or being their own boss. With the stresses of everyday life and the ins and outs of a regular nine to five job, it is no wonder why many would like to escape the average hum drum workplace and go to work for themselves. Today’s technological advances are making work from home opportunities a true reality for many. However, this also means that there are opportunities for scams to emerge and you must be very careful when aligning yourself with a work at home opportunity. Here are some tips to help get you started and keep you safe.
First and foremost, bear in mind that while we would all like to believe that we can become rich overnight, that is never the case. Financial success is achieved through hard work and experience. If there are ads telling you that you will be making six figures in two weeks, you can safely toss them in with all of the other scam opportunities out there.
Be wary of businesses or people who request that you spend money on starter kits or application fees. A work at home job should be as legitimate to start as going out and getting a job down the street. McDonalds does not charge you a fee to work for them, neither should anyone else. In most cases, individuals that require a sign on fee are usually making their money off of your startup costs. This falls under the pyramid scheme tactics of most work at home opportunities. If you have to pay to get started, it is probably not worth your while.
Along those same lines, be careful of businesses who require that you pay any kind of membership fees or dues. These can be monthly, quarterly or yearly. You would not pay dues to work for a doctor’s office, therefore there is no real reason to be required to pay dues to work from home. The only exceptions are if they are professional association fees. For example, a wedding consultant may be required to pay dues to the American Bridal Associations Club. This is part of her recognition and references, and is not a negatively viewed expense. You should not ever be required to spend a minimum amount of money with any company for which you work, even if you are an independent consultant or contractor. More than likely, your monthly fees are paying someone else’s bills, and most likely that person is the one who recruited you!
If for some reason you decide to go forward with a company that requires you to purchase a starter kit or pay for your own supplies, be certain to ask them what the rules and regulations regarding this purchase are. Ask whether or not you will be able to get a full or partial refund if you decide that this job just is not for you.
Find out if the field in which you are about to begin work at home is actually in need or if the market is already over-saturated. You can not logically make money selling glass beads if 80 other people in your city are doing it too. Do your research and find out if this is something that your area could really benefit from. Ask yourself if there is a need for this type of product or servce. Is the product or service unique? How will you market it and will people really take an interest? If you feel that you could not do well in a field, then keep searching, it is better to feel confident about a new venture before jumping in midstream and being disappointed and possibly losing money in the long run.
Check out a job thoroughly. Investigate all the requirements that go into qualifying for a certain position. Some jobs may require that you have a certificate, license or degree. It is very disheartening to go through all of the work of looking for a position, applying and then finding out that they are turning you down because you do not have a loan officer’s certification. Make sure you do your homework and understand everything that is required to fill a position.
Take your time to investigate all opportunities. Speak with company representatives or other independent persons working for the company and get their opinions on working for the company. Be very cautious of pushy recruiters. Get as much information and ask as many questions as you can and then let them know that you will look over all of the materials and will get back to THEM. Many people will not take no for an answer and may continue to pressure you into making a decision NOW. They may even offer you incentives or try to talk you into doing some of the work right away to see if you like it. They may even bombard you with follow-up emails and phone calls. Be vary wary if you run into companies with these kind of representatives. A good company will gladly give you as much information as they can and will respect the period of time that you need to think about your decison.
Check their backgrounds out. The Better Business Bureau is online now and has a company database that you can search. If there are any negative marks on a company’s record, you will be able to check it out from the comfort of your own home. Pay close attention to the warnings and if the company has no information on file whatsoever, be particularly cautious. This often happens when a company is brand new or when they have just been lucky enough not to have been reported. Many companies also operate under different names. Be sure to ask the representative who contacts you for all names that the business is associated with or works under and do a full BBB search on all.
With the right attitude and the right tools, you can easily weed out the businesses that are out to do you harm. Working from home should be a happy and rewarding experience, not a confusing and anxiety-provoking one! Just be sure to do all of your homework when checking up on potential work at home opportunites. With a little elbow grease and some patience, you are bound to find the work at home job that is right for you.