21 Things to Consider Before Joining a Home Business Opportunity
by John M. Hanevy
**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
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
**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
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
*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
*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
*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
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
*18-How many members are currently involved with this
There is safety in numbers, very successful programs
will have many more members than less successful, or new,
*19-What is your "gut" feeling about the viability of the
program? How likely do YOU feel it is that you will be
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!
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. http://www.ezinfocenter.com/8386234.402/FREE
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