Saturday, October 17, 2009

Buyer Beware In The Home Business Market

Remember the old Rocky and Bullwinkle show where every episode had two titles? The title for this article might well be "Buyer Beware or Investigate Before You Invest." (I know, there is supposed to be a pun, but . . . )

We have all heard both phrases so often we go yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever, and then blow them off and ignore what they are trying to tell us. That's often a big mistake on our part. If we do even the simplest of investigations, we could save ourselves a lot of grief, embarrassment, and heartache, not to mention money.

Let me give you a case in point. I won't give you the name of the business advertised because I don't want to give this guy any more publicity. But I will tell you some of what he did and how you could have discovered it for yourselves.

This guy came up with an idea, built a simple (but long) wordy pitch page on which you are made to feel like you have to act RIGHT NOW or lose out forever, registered his domain on the internet, and put up a website. That act RIGHT NOW or lose out forever approach is a big red flag in and of itself. If it won't be around tomorrow or won't be a good deal tomorrow, you should be v-e-r-y wary of it today.

But back to our guy. So far so good. Then he signed up with Clickbank, and is still selling his product as I write this, using affiliates to do the legwork, splitting the profits. That's also OK.

So what's the big deal?

Remember the old TV show The Munsters? Their fictional address was

1313 Mockingbird Lane
Mockingbird Heights, USA

As things would have it, the address this guy gave when he registered his website was . . . . .

1313 Mockingbird Lane
Beverly Hills CA 90210

That address does not even exist!

Why, oh why, oh why would anybody plunk down their hard-earned money, in this case month after month after month because he strings you along with a monthly subscription, to anybody that gives that kind of bogus information when they register a web site? It's like he is making fun of you for being so stupid! Do you REALLY want to do business with somebody who thinks that of you?

So how do you go about checking out such obvious attempts to avoid being located?

To check on where a business is located - or claims to be located, enter the domain name here: . You can see if the web site was registered years ago, meaning they business has been around for awhile, or only registered last week. You can also see if it was registered for several years, meaning they intend to be around awhile, or only for one year which MIGHT mean they intend to take the money and run.

Don't be too quick to make snap judgments on this information. This guy has been around awhile. That doesn't necessarily mean he's honest and legit. It could mean he's just a chameleon, always changing his colors and sales pitch. Also, realize that moms doing business from home might not want to put their family at risk by posting their home address on the internet. The web site may list a post office box as the business address. Play that one by ear. Also, the web site may be registered for a short period of time rather than ten years because the business is just starting out and money is tight. Play that situation by ear as well. A mom starting a home business is going to be totally different than a guy full of hot air trying to make you believe he is a Madison Avenue big shot.

To see if the given business address even exists, go to the USPS web site and attempt to look up the ZIP Code: .

Type the address into Google and use the map feature. This is a great way to tell if the address is the mansion the webmaster wants you to believe it is, a private mailbox place in a suburban strip mall, or if is a dilapidated dump on the wrong side of the tracks.

Is there a phone number? Does it match up with the address? Again, use Google or

We all want to be able to make life a bit easier by having a bit more money. Don’t let that desire overtake your common sense. God gave you a brain and He expects you to use it.

"Buyer Beware or Investigate Before You Invest."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Seven Steps To Starting Your Own Home Business

1) Know yourself. What are your skills and interests? You will neither do well nor enjoy a business that involves something you don’t like or something about which you know little or nothing. You must also have the skills to go along with your interest. You may love the piano and know a lot about piano music, but if you can’t play the piano, don’t start a business giving piano lessons. You get the idea.

2) Decide if you are going to market a product or a service. A product could be a craft that you make and sell. It could also be something that you buy and resell on eBay or elsewhere. I know people who sell tickets, sports trading cards, fabrics, books, antiques and collectibles from yard sales, and home made crafts. They all do well, but only because they work hard and are knowledgeable about what they sell.

A service could be in-home daycare, a cleaning business, mobile or in-home pet grooming or sitting, or teaching or tutoring a subject about which you have knowledge. It would also include totally internet based services such as transcription or being a virtual assistant, or perhaps freelancing writing skills or web designing skills.

3) Is there a market for that? Can you create a market for that? Can you meet a need that is not now being met? Is there a niche market or segment within that community whose needs you can meet? Don’t start a business that does not offer something that nobody wants or does not solve somebody’s problem or meet somebody’s need. Note: people may not necessary think they need or even want what you have to offer. That does not mean you don’t have a marketable product or service. It just means they don’t yet realize they need or want what you have to offer! Think disposable diapers, paper towels, TV Dinners, or even pet rocks!

4) Have or be able to get the necessary equipment. This could include whatever you need to make your crafts or provide your service, a scale to weigh things you need to ship, and of course a good computer with all the necessary bells and whistles. Think your way through this baby step by baby step so you don’t forget anything.

5) Have or be able to get office space, storage space, or work space. Sometimes the garage, a corner of the extra bedroom or even the dining room table works, but you really need an area set aside dedicated to your business. This prevents personal stuff from getting mixed up with business stuff, keeps your business separate and organized and is essential for tax purposes.

6) You will need at least some start-up capital. Some types of businesses require more than others. Check into what you will need and make sure you have enough in reserve to last until your business is profitable.

7) Enlist support from friends and family. Listen to them and bluntly evaluate what they say, but don‘t let them discourage you. That will require some serious discernment on your part in order to differentiate between the Negative Nellie Nay-Sayers and those who truly want you to succeed but see some serious problems you need to fix before you start.

For a selection of Home Business Ideas carefully chosen for moms who want to make money working from home, visit:

123 I Work From Home 4 Me

123 Home-Based-Business-Works-4-Me

Friday, July 10, 2009

MLM - The Good, The Bad And The Really Ugly

MLM stands for Multi-Level Marketing. It is a long standing tried and true business model based on the pyramid structure. Now before you run off screaming, “ACK - pyramid scheme!” you need to understand that nearly all businesses, governments, and the military are built on the pyramid structure. Businesses have a CEO, a few vice presidents, a few more managers and such on down to all the regular employees. There are decades old BBB-member multi-million dollar companies based on the MLM concept. Countries have a “Fearless Leader” who has advisors or department heads etc. on down to the ordinary citizens. Militaries have a Commander in Chief who is often the “Fearless Leader,” followed by officers of lower and lower ranking and finally enlisted or conscripted personnel at the bottom.

The structure is a sound one. It just means there are fewer units at the top than at the bottom. It is also a stable one UNLESS there is no real product or service and unless it depends ONLY on upper levels bringing in more people under them in order to achieve success and make a profit. Simple math will show you that before long you will run out of people on the planet and the pyramid scheme will collapse.

Any successful business, whether it is mom and pop or huge conglomerate, home based or brick and mortar, MLM or whatever, absolutely must have a marketable product or service. If there is no product or no service, and the only way to make money is to recruit others who pay to get into the opportunity, then you have a classic pyramid scheme. Run away.

-> The Good. So what can be GOOD about a business with a marketable product or service that happens to me MLM? First of all, unless you are the person who started the business, there will be someone in your upline who is supposedly more knowledgeable and experienced than you are, and who can give you guidance, tips and pointers to help you succeed. It is in that person’s best interest to do so, because part of their success depends on your success. Also, as begin to do well, there will be people in your downline whom you can train for success. If you take ownership of your business, believe in your product or service, and are cut out for sales, this could work for you.

-> The Bad. The BAD has a lot in common with the GOOD, and that would be that you have an upline and a downline. Both your upline and your downline can be filled with duds. Your upline may not have a whole lot more experience than you do, so they can’t help you much. They could also be lazy and expect to make money from the work you do without doing anything themselves. Your downline could be a lot like your upline, expecting to make money without having to do any work. These people have been reading too much internet hype. Unless you are willing and able to shoulder the whole load, you might want to find another company or product.

-> The Really Ugly. Some companies have a product that is overpriced and not worth what has to be charged in order for your upline, you, and your downline to make any money. Some companies want to charge you money to buy into the opportunity to sell their product. Some companies put an incredible amount of pressure on new prospects by trying to make them feel they are missing out on a once in a lifetime opportunity if they don’t jump at it right now. Some companies make unrealistic demands as to how much product you have to sell, and if you don’t sell that much to others, you have to buy it yourself. Some companies fail, go bankrupt, and start all over again doing the same thing under a different name. Some companies do all of the above.

So, is MLM right for you? Only you can answer that, and it is absolutely necessary that you leave no stone unturned as you do your research before you make your decision.

For a selection of Home Business Ideas carefully chosen for moms who want to make money working from home, visit

123 I Work From Home 4 Me

123 Home-Based-Business-Works-4-Me

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Just Another Work From Home Scam?

The internet is awash with websites and e-mails offering to show you how you can make money working from home. All too many of these so-called latest and greatest and newest bizopp ideas from supposed millionaire gurus are actually last year’s rehashed and reworked "biz-flops" from people who didn’t make any money on them last year either. Others are never meant to be anything other than just another clever way to separate you from your money, aka "scam" "fraud" or whatever else you want to call it.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to tell legitimate home business opportunities from totally dishonest scams. There are a lot a variables and fewer hard and fast rules than you might think. For instance, some have said never to pay for anything in order to work for someone. That is not true on the internet any more than it is true in the brick and mortar world. It is even less true if you plan to start your own home business.

Conventional employers often ask you to pay for your own fingerprinting, background checks, DMV printouts, etc. Online employers may want a background check. You may need to have certain office equipment that you are expected to provide at your own expense. Some freelance sites allow you to view teaser job offers for free, but if you want full access to everything there is a monthly or quarterly fee. This is legitimate.

However, before you pay anything to anyone, do your homework!

Visit the website of the opportunity you are investigating. Copy and paste the website address (url) into the search box on . Look at when the domain name was registered. If it was very recently and only for a year or two, you might want to look elsewhere. If it has been a year or more and the registration expires several years down the road, that is a good sign. If the server is blacklisted, that is not good. Again unfortunately, these are not hard and fast rules.

Type the website name - probably the same name as the offer you are investigating - into your favorite search engine. Add "+ scam" or "+ fraud" (without the quotes) and see what comes up. Also type any person’s name into the search engine with the same two additions and also "+ legal action" or "+ lawsuit." Keep in mind that you may get a lot of results for a common name and you need to check whether any of the "hits" are really the person you are looking for. Check with the Better Business Bureau and look for unresolved complaints. Legitimate businesses do get complaints because it is impossible to please everybody, but if you see a lot of ignored or unresolved complaints, that could indicate a problem.

Type the business or offer name into the search engines with the above additions. You have to be especially careful here because you might get hits for a lot of forums where people are venting frustrations. They may have tried something legitimate thinking the money was going to flow into their bank accounts without doing any work. When that doesn’t happen, they cry "scam" or "fraud" when it may not be at all. Perhaps they tried to contact the offer and got no response. They cry "scam" or "fraud" when the problem is really with blocked e-mails. Some internet service and e-mail providers are not very good at discerning the difference between spam and legitimate communication.

If you are looking at an ebook that has been written to help get you started in a home business, investigate the reputation of the person who wrote the book as well as the people who are endorsing it on the sales page. Have they been around awhile? Have they been at this business awhile? Who else is their name associated with and what kind of reputation do they have?

As you can tell, starting up a home business is not something to be taken lightly. You need to spend time - a lot of time - doing research. If you are a praying person, spend time in prayer. Once you are confident you have chosen the right home business for you, pour your heart and soul into it. Make it work for you!

For a selection of Home Business Ideas carefully chosen for moms who want to make money working from home, visit:

123 I Work From Home 4 Me

123 Home-Based-Business-Works-4-Me

Friday, April 17, 2009

Article Writing: Top 5 Skill In Demand By Businesses And Waiting For You

(How To Cash In While The Market Is Still Hot!)

A recent hiring trend report for February, 2009, from noted that article writing is one of the top 5 skills businesses are outsourcing to freelancers. This is not surprising information coming from Elance as Elance caters mostly to online businesses. Think about it. The internet consists of images and WORDS. The choice of words and how they are used is crucially important.

Believe me, most Internet marketers have neither the skill nor the time to write. That means a lucrative opportunity for people like you with some writing skills.

In addition to article writing, there are other in-demand skills for online ghostwriting, such as copywriting, blogs, press releases, email marketing, white papers and more. The market is wide open for you! There are many opportunities to specialize and actually charge MORE for your services.

If you’ve been thinking of breaking into ghostwriting and doing it quickly, I recommend this Ghostwriter Starter Kit. It will show you:

- How to market your services without spending on advertising
- Where to find clients with deep pockets
- Why and how to put up a professional website
- Which industries are virtual gold mines for ghostwriters
- How much to charge to actually make profit
- How to set yourself apart from your competition
- How to develop your portfolio especially when you haven’t had a single client yet
…and more!

To have a successful ghostwriting business, you need the right tools and strategies - the same ones successful entrepreneurs use. This Ghostwriter Starter Kit gives you the inspirational stories of two successful ghostwriters who earn a full-time income writing from home and includes some great tips on how they do it!

The best part is, because this guide is written for Moms, the price is just right. In fact, you’ll easily earn back the cost of this guide with your first writing assignment.

Check it out for yourself. Ghostwriter Starter Kit

Also check out the Just Add Sweat Home Business Ideas for Women for more great home businesses!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

QUIZ: Are You Ready to Work at Home and Start Your Own Business?

Have you been thinking of starting an online business, but
aren't sure if it's right for you?

This quick quiz that will show you if you're suited for an at home career, what type of business you might set up and additional tips to help you get started.

The quiz only takes a couple of minutes and you can take it by clicking on the title above.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Download FREE Questionnaires For Your Ghostwriting Clients!

Most experienced ghostwriters have had the frustrating experience of writing some articles for a client only to have the client say, "This is not what I wanted at all" or "That's not what I expected."

If you are just a beginning ghostwriter about to take your first client, this is something you want to avoid at all costs. Nobody wants to do all that work only to end up with an unhappy customer.

Ghostwriters all want to serve their clients and serve them well, but that requires good communication by both parties. It's important to gather as much information about your project as possible BEFORE starting.

To help you do this, check out these very handy, fully-customizable ghostwriting client questionnaires.

Now all you have to do is quickly send the appropriate questionnaire to your client and you're well on the way to delivering EXACTLY what your client wants.

The questionnaires come at absolutely no charge, no sign ups or any type of obligation.

Just go to this page to get yours.

FREE Questionnaires For Your Ghostwriting Clients!

Ghostwriter Starter Kit