|by Lesley Spencer, MSc; Founder & President HBWM.com Inc.
Starting a home business has become a wonderful and attractive alternative for parents across the country. With the advent of the Internet, email and cell phones, working at home has been a very viable option. No other alternative allows parents the opportunity to create their own hours and work around their children's schedules while earning an income. But before investing in any home business opportunity, it is wise to take appropriate steps to research the opportunity and the company. Unfortunately, there are deceitful businesses ready to take advantage of parent's deep desire to be at home with their children. These steps will help you to avoid potential problems:
1. Research the company and always check them out with the Better Business Bureau (http://search.bbb.org/search.html) located in their city.
2. Ask for at least three references of people they have worked with. Call each person and ask about his or her experiences with the company.
3. Be cautious of any company that asks for money for a work-at-home job
4. Don't be fooled by ads claiming you can make large amounts of money in short periods of time. And be cautious of companies that require you to sign up immediately. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
5. Avoid those “Type from home scams” that claim you can earn “$40,000.00 a year typing from home.” As Diana Ennen, author of Virtual Assistant ~ the Series, Become a Highly Successful Sought After VA (http://www.VA-TheSeries.com) states, “These are usually scams. They promise you a listing of companies looking for home-based typist and normally these companies aren’t even aware they are on the list and seldom need help. Starting a secretarial business at home is a great work-at-home opportunity. However, you need to do it right and start one on your own. Our site offers suggestions at http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com.
6. Get specific information in writing from the company such as how long they have been in business, where they are located (not just a P.O. Box), how many customers they have, what their refund policy is (read it thoroughly); how long it takes to get paid and if there are any restrictions on payments, etc.
7. If you do invest in a business opportunity, use your credit card instead of cash. It may be easier to dispute the charges with your credit card company rather than trying to get your money back from a fraudulent company.
8. Research current scams on web sites such as ScamBusters at: http://www.scambusters.com. Report any scams or fraudulent companies to the Federal Trade Commission http://www.ftc.gov, your state's Attorney General and the National Fraud Information Center, PO Box 65868, Washington, DC 20035, (800) 876-7060.
9. Call the National Fraud Information Center at (800) 876-7060 for information or visit their web site at: http://www.fraud.org.
10. Don't invest in any opportunity that you are not sure about. Instead, find something that you are interested in and will enjoy doing. (Do what you love, and the money will follow.)
About the Author
Lesley Spencer is founder and president of the HBWM.com, Inc. Network which
includes: http://www.HomeBasedWorkingMoms.com, http://www.WorkAtHomeKit.com,
http://www.HBWMcanada.com and http://www.HireMyMom.com (coming soon!).
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