Many real estate agents are suffering financially. Possibly this is you. It is unfortunate but houses are selling much below their value and are staying on the market for months. There are more sellers than buyers and there is no relief to be seen in the very near future.
People are struggling; struggling to pay bills to pay debts. The real estate industry is a tough market to be in right now. Possibly you have been wanting to find a way to get you through.
One of the best solutions is to start a home business. There are many tax advantages and you have the benefit of writing off many of your household expenses at tax time. It is also flexible. Something you can do while still being a real estate agent. Maybe something to tide you over until the economic situation improves or maybe something that permanently creates an income for you. The key is to find the right business. One that is recession proof.
When searching for any home business there are some critical evaluating tools you need.
Want to work from home? Have you considered these crucial evaluating tools?
So you have decided that you would like to work from home. Maybe you want to stay home with your children, maybe you want money for that extra special something or maybe you want to create financial freedom. Maybe you just need to pay your bills and pay off debt. So you know your reasons why. This is a great start but now what?
It is easy to want to jump into the first thing that comes along. Something may sound good on the surface, so you should jump right in, right? Wrong.
There are several key factors that anyone and everyone should consider when deciding on what business would be right for them. Ensuring you have thoroughly researched the opportunity can save you a lot of money, a lot of time, and more importantly, a lot of heartache. I have heard too many stories of people going broke trying to find the right one. I even know someone who has tried 23 opportunities before finding the right one. Can you imagine?
The first key in researching a business is knowing what features you should be looking for in a company. You will definitely need to know the following:
- Is there an established track record?
You want the company to be at least seven years old – successful home-based business companies experience a surge of growth in their first 3-5 years, but most cannot support the increased capital and organizational needs this growth demands to continue their success. Be wary the person who says “this is a ground floor opportunity” or you need to “catch the wave”.
- Is the company financially sound?
You should be able to get access to this information. Another great way to know if a company is legit, is trustworthy and has integrity is if they will let you see their previous years’ income statistics. If they’re not willing to share what their business people make, do you really think they’re doing that well. And I don’t just mean the top earners, find out what the “little guy” is making.
- Do they have a strong management team and company credentials?
Beware! There are some companies out there who are “touting” scientists behind their products that have received their degree by mail order over the internet. Do your research! What is the history of the management? What awards have they received? What does the Better Business Bureau have to say about them?
- Does this company have unique, consumable products that are guaranteed?
There are companies that have only one product. How many of that one product do you think you have to sell to make any money? If this is a luxury item, you most likely won’t get repeat sales from the same person which creates much more work for you. If it’s a hobby, you are looking at the same thing. The product should be something that a person goes through and needs again fairly soon, preferably monthly. These products should also have a 100% guarantee.
- Does this company require that you keep inventory or ‘front end load’?
This is a very fast way to the poor house. I know lots of folks who have garages full of products. You may think it will be easy to ‘unload’ it but it’s not. Make sure the company does not require you to have stock or inventory.
- Is there a low personal production requirement?
Essentially, this means how much of their product do you need to order to stay in business? If they are asking you to order more than you would use, then you guessed it? Straight to the poor house for you.
- Is there a high customer re-order rate?
Some companies have a re-order rate of only 5%. Does this tell you how hard you will have to work to win customers and keep them? Again, if the company won’t give you this information then they have something to hide!
- Is there low initial investment?
You should be able to get started in any business for $500 or less. In addition, any investment should be guaranteed. Any more than that and the risk sky rockets.
- Is there low attrition?
If more than 10% of the people are leaving every month, what does that tell you?
- Is there breakaways?
No breakaways!!! What that means is that you work really hard and then when you reach a desired level, they have the rest of your team “break away” from you and you start all over. Does that sound like what you are looking for? Know the compensation plan. You should be able to earn an income from each person you offer your product or service to. No breakaways, no balancing sides.
- Does the company have any risk?
Risk is a 4 letter word. It has its place but not in your business. This is your life. There should be no risk. You should only be using products you would use anyway, and there should be a full guarantee on everything. If this is the case, there is no risk!
Alright, so now that you know what is important to look for in the company, what product concept makes the most sense, you ask?
Repeat Consumables (necessity items) and I can’t stress this enough. This is a 200 billion dollar industry. People must already want or need to buy the products. It is much easier to interest people in something that is better or less expensive than their current brand than it is to get them to buy something new that they hadn’t considered before. The concept of “switching stores” works best because people spend “no new money”, they just switch brands. Durable goods won’t generate residual income because people won’t buy each month.
The products should always be competitively priced (have a low cost per use). No matter how well people like something, they won’t stay customers forever if the product costs more than the store bought equivalent. Since commissions depend on customer purchases, the longer they stay, the more RELIABLE your income. The products must also be unique and exclusive to the company. It is of benefit if there are patented products that have been scientifically developed. The re-order rate should be above 90% and it has to make sense to just be a customer, continuing to buy the products without being a business builder.
Lastly there are a few more things that you may want to consider. Does the company manufacture its own products? Does the business offer a system that you can duplicate for success? Does the organization provide you with free training and support? Do you have to leave your home to build the business? Do you need experience in sales or business to be successful? Can you make enough to replace your income? What are the tax advantages to owning a home-based business?
I know this seems like a lot of work, but the end result will make for a happier, wealthier you. Good luck in your search!