By Sharon Davis
How would you feel if you had been searching desperately for something, some magic solution to a problem, and come to find out it was right there in front of you the whole time-- you just failed to see it?
For many searching for a way to work from home, this is exactly what they're doing.
There is a common misconception out there that's preventing alot of people from realizing their dreams of working at home. Is it holding you back too?
Time and time again I hear this sentiment, "I don't want to start a business. I just want to do clerical work for a company" or, "I see so many opportunities, but they're all scams because they charge a fee".
Now, before you say "well, isn't that true? Shouldn't there never be a fee?" realize that there is a big difference between a telecommute job offer and a business opportunity. And I hate to tell you this, but companies just don't hire teleworkers to do clerical work for them. There are plenty of telecommute jobs out there, but they are for highly specialized skills that require specific training. If you have a knack for sales, there are no shortage of companies that will hire you to do cold-calling from your home office.
So, that leaves us with two options: To get the training that's required for a telecommute job (programming courses at a local college, for example), or to start a home business.
For some reason, the idea of taking courses or going back to school is usually met with resistance. "I can't afford it" or "I don't have time" are typical responses. But think of it this way: Your goal is to land a telecommute job. All telecommute jobs require specialized training or skills. Doesn't it make sense to obtain the training that's required for the job you want? Isn't it worth investing in some classes if it means that you will be qualified for telecommute jobs?
Ok, so maybe you're not interested in working in sales or becoming a programmer. The other option is to look at a business opportunity. This suggestion is not usually greeted with enthusiasm. And this really is the issue at hand: Why not a business opportunity?
This is where so many people overlook the chance to work from home; the idea that if an opportunity charges a fee, it's a scam. It's a common misconception that stands in the way of many a would-be home worker.
The truth is that almost all business opportunities require an investment. You can't expect to start a business without some expenses, can you? The really exciting thing is that with the Internet, it's possible to start out with a much smaller investment than in the brick-and-mortar world.
The important thing is to be able to discern the legitimate offer from the scams. There are some simple checkpoints that can help you to determine if a business opportunity is legitimate.
--First, look at the product. Is there a product? There should be. The Federal Trade Commission considers a company to be crossing the line into pyramid scheme territory when all marketing efforts are geared toward getting others to sign up. There should be a focus on the product first, recruiting others should be secondary.
--Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been complaints filed and if so, how were they handled. Remember that it's not out of the ordinary for a company to have had a few complaints. It's whether or not they were resolved to the customer's satisfaction that matters.
--Do some research to see if there are any articles/discussions pertaining to the company in question. This can be useful in picking up news articles that could alert you to potential problems (ABC Company Hit With More Class-Action Suits!) or positive feedback (CEO Joe Owner Receives Award For His Company's Philanthropic Achievements).
With effort and determination, business opportunities can be very lucrative. They can also be a stepping-stone to earning the extra money you need to take some courses or to finance your own start-up.
Give the invisible opportunity another look. It may be the key to your office at home.
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