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21 Things to Consider Before Joining a Home Business Opportunity

By John M. Hanevy
Posted Sunday, September 12, 2004

**1-How will you make money with the program?**

Is your compensation based on sign-ups or sales?

**2-How long has the company been around?**

Is this an established company, or a new kid on the block?

**3-What is the product or service that you will be selling? Is it fairly priced?**

You may have the best product in the world, but if the price is too high no one will buy. How does the price stack up against similar quality products? Is there a reason why someone should pay a premium for your product if it is at a higher price? Would you buy the product or service at its current price?

**4-How many products/services are available for you to promote?**

With some affiliate programs you are a reseller of a software package, or an ebook. If the single product stops selling you won't succeed. It is always better to have more than one product to promote. Preferably you want products that you can "backend" to your customers after they purchase your main product. For example, you sell the customer a product then "backend" your affiliate program.

**5-Does the company provide you with marketing aids such as pre-written ads, banners, flyers,and/or websites?**

This will make your job much easier. It's also a lot cheaper than hiring someone else to professionally write your ad copy.

**6-Does the company provide you with any sales data so you can see what the "hot" sellers are?**

This helps you decide what products you should key your marketing efforts on. Advertising costs add up quickly, so the more sales data you can get the better.

**7-What kind of support and/or training do you get? Is there a charge?**

If you are just starting out this could be very important to you. Most programs will have some form of training available, but they may not provide you with a direct contact that you can use to get your questions answered. Find out if they have a bulletin board or a newsletter to help you stay abreast of changes in the program and to get help running your business. Do they provide you with pre-written ad campaigns (written ads, banners), or do you have to write your own?

**8-Who will handle the day-to-day routine stuff--maintaining the website, shipping products, processing credit card orders, following up with prospects, etc.--you or the company?**

These things must be done correctly and in a timely manner or you will not succeed. Your customer must have faith that you have a secure site, that they can always get to your website, and that they will receive their order in a timely manner. Designing and maintaining a website can easily cost you hundreds, or thousands, of dollars a year. Find out if the program you are considering gives you a website or if you have to design and maintain your own.

**9-Are there any membership or sign-up fees? Do you have to pay a fee before you can start earning commissions?**

There are programs out there that require you to pay a membership fee before you can collect any commissions, or you may have to pay a "sponsorship" fee before you are eligible to receive commissions. For example, you may be required to pay a monthly fee before getting access to your store, you may not get certain features of the store unless you pay an "upgrade" membership fee every month.

*10-How do you advance within the program?**

Do you advance after achieving a certain level of sales, or is it based on sign-ups? Do you have to pay an "upgrade" fee to advance to the next level? How difficult is it to move up within the program? You should use the same criteria you use when evaluating a new job when considering a home business opportunity.

*11-Does the company have any "success stories"?**

If the program is "brand new" , they may not have any yet. If it is an established program, then they should have some testimonials. Most programs will post this on their website as a selling point for their opportunity.

*12-What is the company's reputation? Is it BBB listed? If it is, are there any recent, significant, complaints against it?**

The BBB is a respected business organization that carries a lot of weight worldwide, most businesses will be a member--although some early "start-ups" may not be. If they are a member, get the latest report on them and see if they have any recent, significant complaints against them.

*13-Does the company have a "presence" worldwide--is it internationally known?**

How well known is the company and its program? Is it respected? How many countries does the business operate in?

*14-Will your income only be "one-time", or is there a possibility of receiving residual income?**

Residual commissions can provide you with a steady stream of income from your repeat customers. If you are marketing a "one-time purchase" type of product then you will have to make a lot more sales. An example of a "one-time purchase" would be an ebook--most customers will only ever buy one copy, you won't be able to sell them the same ebook next month or next year. An example of a "repeating" product would be multivitamins,the customer must periodically replenish their supply.

*15-Does the company have a bonus plan in place to reward top sellers?**

If you outsell everyone in the program then you should be rewarded! Find out if they have a bonus plan, and who gets the bonus. Is it just the top 10? The top 100? If you are not eligible for these bonuses, are there any other bonus pools that you could participate in?

*16-How will you track your promotion campaigns?
Does the company have an ad tracking system in place that you can use? Is there a charge for this?**

As any marketer will tell you, tracking the results of your ads is VERY important! You don't want to continue spending money on ads that don't work! Alternatively, if you find an ad that is working well, you may want to increase the budget for that particular ad.

*17-How often will you get paid? Do you need to hit a "minimum" before you get your check?**

Some programs will only pay your commissions after you reach a set minimum dollar amount--$50, $100, or more. If your commissions total less than this you can't get your money!

*18-How many members are currently involved with this program?**

There is safety in numbers, very successful programs will have many more members than less successful, or new, ones.

*19-What is your "gut" feeling about the viability of the program? How likely do YOU feel it is that you will be successful?**

If you don't believe in the program, then you will not be successful. It is impossible to sucessfully market something that you have no confidence in. If you have confidence in what you are promoting you will easily see how to market it, if you have no confidence in it then you will be at a loss to describe its benefits to someone else.

Some programs may truly be bad, your "gut" will help you decide which programs to avoid.

*20-How enthusiastic are you about running your own business? Are you willing to "pay your dues"?**

This is a big one. Most businesses do not succeed overnight, they require time, patience, and perseverance to succeed. If you are not willing to spend the time it takes to fully learn about the business marketplace and your opportunity, your chances of succeeding are slim indeed. Rome and IBM weren't built in a day! Your business is a JOB, not a hobby, treat it as a job.

*21-Do you have a "cheerleader"?**
While not absolutely necessary, it is always nice to have someone around who will give you positive reinforcement when the going gets tough--as it frequently does when you are just starting out. Avoid the naysayers at all cost! Remember, a lot of people thought the Wright Brothers were crazy too!

There will always be people who think that you can never succeed with your program, you must not let them influence your thinking! Positive thoughts lead to positive results!

About the Author
John M. Hanevy is an affiliate of SFI, Strong Future International. SFI markets many products for business and personal use. Join their affiliate program, signup is free, no fees, no obligation. (


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