• Monday, January 19th, 2009

So many home-based business options exist that it can be hard to choose.  The first decision needs to be whether the opportunity aligns with your passion.  What is your passion? Decide that before moving forward.  Then, find a company in line with your passion so that you will talk about it naturally to everyone you meet.

Most home-based businesses fall into Health and Wellness, Home Products, or Services.  Health & Wellness can be further broken down into Supplements (think Waiora, Juice Plus, Herbalife, Berry Tree) and Skin Care/Cosmetics (think Avon, Mary Kay, Arbonne), among others.

Pros for Health and Wellness:

  1. Given the current health crisis in the U.S., everyone needs to think about getting healthier.
  2. With society’s emphasis on outer beauty, many people are willing to spend big bucks on anti-aging formulas and quality cosmetics to cover up those wrinkles.
  3. Health and Wellness products might be marketed to both personal consumers as well as health professionals.

Cons of Health & Wellness:

  1. Most people don’t want to hear about their mortality. No one wants to admit that they aren’t healthy or that they’re going to be the one of the 1-in-2 people to get cancer.
  2. Although everyone wants to look younger, they may not believe product claims or they may not be willing to pay the additional cost for high quality cosmetics or supplements.
  3. Many people dismiss any health product as “just another juice,” regardless of how great and wonderful the latest product is.

Home Products typically fall within Kitchen Products (think Tupperware, Pampered Chef) and Home Décor (think Southern Living, Longaberger (, Home & Garden).

Pros for Home Products:

  1. Home Parties are fun to do for very social people. Just start booking parties and bucks start rolling in.
  2. You can buy the products for yourself at wholesale prices.

Cons for Home Products:

  1. In this economy, cute home products are likely to end up on the discretionary spending chopping block.
  2. Without a steady stream of home parties, your customer stream may dry up.
  3. Your market is typically limited to personal consumers, not businesses.

Service companies include Sent Out Cards, Ignite, and Prepaid Legal, among others. For service companies, you need to determine if the service is viable and whether or not it has sufficient marketing options.  Is this a service which would appeal to just regular consumers or to businesses as well?  Is this a service that enough people would want or need?

Pros for Service Companies:

  1. No inventory to worry about. Customers typically order and manage the service online.
  2. In today’s busy society, people will often spend money on convenience services in order to save time.

Questions to ask for all companies:

  1. What is the quality of the product/service? Do you/would you use it? Do you believe in it? You don’t want to associate yourself with a sub-par product or service.
  2. Determine if the company emphasizes the product/service or recruiting. The product/service should be strong enough to be sold without the business opportunity. If the company emphasizes recruiting over the product, think very hard about the opportunity.
  3. What is the market for the product/service? Can you target both individual consumers as well as businesses? The wider the market, the better for your new business.
  4. Examine the compensation plan. Is there a realistic way for you to start making money early as well as making more long term? Can you make money working part-time as well as full-time?
  5. How do you advance in the company? Will your efforts be rewarded?

Lots to think about, but you’ll benefit by doing some research before taking the plunge into a new business.  Learn the critical points about product/service, company, and the team you’ll be joining.  Learn to trust your instinct.

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