Recognizing Legitimate Work-from-Home Internet Business Opportunities

Mary Gormandy White
Ready to launch an honest work from home business?

Are you looking for an honest work from home Internet business opportunity? The good news is that there are a number of businesses you can run from home using the Internet. The bad news is there are a lot of scams floating around the Internet that are nothing more than attempts to bilk money out of people searching for web-based business ideas.

Beware of Get Rich Quick Scams

It's important to remember that any honest work from home internet business opportunity is going to be one that does in fact involve work. An online business idea that promises you'll earn thousands, or even millions, of dollars for doing nothing is a scam. If you waste your time and money tracking down every get rich quick scheme that crosses your path, you're likely to overlook many of the legitimate home based opportunities to earn money online.

Recognizing Scams

  • Pay me and I'll Tell You the Secret: If someone wants to charge you money to tell you how to make money online, chances are that the offer is a scam. It's likely that you won't receive any information at all, or the information will be focused on telling you that you can get rich charging other people money to tell them how to get rich.
  • It Sounds Too Good to Be True: Watch for advertisements for business opportunities that promise very high earnings, yet don't have sound, verifiable statistics to back the claims. If you are presented with what seem to be valid statistics, ask for back-up documentation and request an opportunity to speak with individuals who experienced the stated results.
  • Watch for "Red Flag" Language: Any business opportunity that uses language designed to lead people to believe they can earn huge sums of money with very little effort is likely to be a scam. Do not fall for claims such as: earn thousands in just minutes per day or set your own hours and watch the money come in. These phrases are sure signs you're dealing with a scam.

What to Do if You Become Aware of a Scam

There are regulations in place designed to protect people from online business scams and other forms of Internet fraud. If you are victimized by a scam, or become aware of a shady operation, do yourself and other would-be entrepreneurs a favor and report the scammers to the Federal Trade commission. You can file a consumer complaint online or call 877-FTC-HELP to voice your concerns.

Launching a Legitimate Work From Home Internet Business Opportunity

If you spend time searching for web-based business ideas, it's easy to become disillusioned because there are so many scams out there. As long as you keep in mind that starting a business online is no different from starting any other type of business, you'll quickly learn to separate the scams from legitimate business opportunities. If you think there is a magic formula for generating business directly through your computer without doing any work, you're in for a rude awakening.

However, if you're looking for an honest work from home Internet business opportunity, you need to approach the research and planning process in the same way you would if planning to open a brick and mortar business. Identify the types of activities that interest you and figure out the best internet home business for you based on unmet needs in the online marketplace which are related to your skills, interests, and abilities.

Honest Internet-based Business Ideas

  • Consulting: Do you have expertise that other people need and would be willing to pay for? For example, if you love the idea of helping people accomplish their career goals, becoming a web-based career or executive coach might be a good idea for you. You'll need to get certified, and spend time learning how to best market your services to potential clients.
  • Freelance Writer: The growth of web-based businesses has led to a great demand for people with strong writing skills. Many people who run e-commerce businesses utilize the services of freelance writers to provide a steady flow of content to their websites.
  • Blogger: If you have good writing skills but would rather put them to work building your own business than helping other e-commerce professionals, you may want to try your hand at building a successful blog. You'll need to research high traffic niche markets that aren't overly crowded and commit to providing a steady stream of interesting and useful products. As your blog grows, you may be able to earn money via paid listings, selling advertisements, and pay per click advertisements.
  • Online Merchant: Many people have launched successful online retail businesses. You could start small, selling items on eBay or Amazon, and then possibly branch out into offering your own full scale online store or mall. Be aware that you will enjoy greater success when you build a unique online business rather than simply putting your brand on a storefront that anyone with Internet access can have.

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Getting Started

When you're ready to launch your Internet business, keep in mind that you need to be ready to put in a good bit of time and energy before you can expect to see a solid return on your investment. The opportunity to make a living working online is great as long as your expectations are realistic and you aren't caught up in the notion that you can get rich without expending any effort.

Recognizing Legitimate Work-from-Home Internet Business Opportunities