Thursday, July 26, 2007

Home Business Opportunities: Earn a Fortune Working Part-Time?

Not likely.

  • Wisdom prevents mistakes
  • Wisdom comes from experience
  • Experience comes from mistakes
That's how I remember a cycling bank sign's contribution to humanity's store of sagacious sayings.

Sooner or later, I figure I'll have made enough mistakes to be wise.

If you haven't seen "business offers" promising thousands of dollars a week through working part-time, a steady income from the privacy of your own home, or financial independence through envelope-stuffing, you haven't been looking very hard.

Envelope Stuffing

I took a look at an envelope-stuffing "opportunity" about a quarter-century back. The newspaper ad seemed promising, and the sales packet they sent was impressive. It also had several square inches of text that described exactly what was involved. If that description hadn't been there, I'd have tossed the packet.

I'm one of those annoying people who likes to look at how much time something is likely to take, how much money it'll bring in, and how often it can be done. I tossed the packet.

The other two "opportunities" worth mentioning involved a business-software company and a craft item distributor.

Business Opportunities and computer sales

The software business had a very well-designed marketing strategy. The company's owner was either among the most likable people I've encountered, or had very good writers. He offered not only software, but computers and peripherals as well.

His sales literature stressed how successful someone could be, using his own experience rather often. Taking a closer look, I decided that his success lay in his ability to sell computers at a bit above the going rate, and that his customers' success stories had involved similar businesses.

Nothing illegal or particularly unethical about the offer, but I declined.

Craft Items

Someone I know tried making money by buying parts, assembling then into a draft doodad, and selling lots of the things back to the parts provider. The numbers looked good, the company was legit, but the person involved isn't the best at making craft items.

The good news is that very little money was lost.

Instead of adding the way I decide whether or not an

The lesson? Some business opportunities are what they claim to be but aren't suited to the person pursuing them, some are a sort of share-the-wealth procedure, and a few actually benefit all parties.

I could describe how I decide which is which, but here's a better idea: Check out How to evaluate a home business opportunity,, eight points that the author calls "a short list of how to evaluate a home business."

The points are basic common sense: a quick review of what to do, and not to do, doesn't hurt now and again.

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