How to sniff out a home-based business scam

For many of us, entrepreneurship isn’t about renting out office space or hiring employees; it’s about operating a sole proprietorship out of our homes. And some entrepreneurs seek out home-based businesses within an already-existing operation. Examples of businesses like these are sales representative businesses or online home business programs. Home-based businesses like these have their benefits – you’re part of an established brand, you get support from the company and networking events abound. However, not all home-based business programs are as good as they seem. Here are a few ways you can sniff out home-based business scams:

  • Read the terms and conditions on the company’s site very carefully. You may be asked to pay a small fee for the start-up DVD or instruction guide. Be sure you can return the information without incurring even more fees.
  • Look for money-back guarantees or free, no-obligation trials.
  • Look for a contact number. If you can discuss the program with someone directly, then there’s a good chance it’s a legitimate home-based business opportunity. Be wary of people who are evasive about your questions or pressure you into signing up on the spot or paying for more information.
  • Research the company as thoroughly as you can. This can take the form of online searches on messageboards or member blogs, or it can also involve talking with people you know who may be involved with the program.
  • Be wary of sites offering mind-blowing income promises. No business can promise you $10,000 a week for three hours’ work. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your gut feelings!
  • Even if income promises are realistic-seeming, many companies post the income expectations of their highest earners – not the average.

For more information, check out what our GoForth Expert Norman Leach had to say about finding legitimate home-based business opportunities.


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