Are you actively seeking out a legitimate home business opportunity? If so, you’re probably concerned about avoiding those options that are not legitimate or profitable.

Here, we’ve compiled the top five signs of a legitimate home business opportunity to help you weed out the good from the bad.

1: References are Readily Available

Any legitimate home business opportunity that you explore should be able to provide you with references from other franchisees or owners. Without such contacts, it would be quite difficult (if not impossible) for you to gauge what working with the business will be like.

Always ask for a list of at least five references; a legitimate home business opportunity won’t hesitate to comply. And make sure to follow-up with each person, asking pertinent questions about the organization and writing down each answer.

2: Every Aspect of Ownership is Spelled Out

If you’re unclear about any aspect of the company, then you might not be working with a legitimate home business opportunity. Many shady operators work on the Internet, and they are quite adept at giving you only half the story.

A legitimate home business opportunity will spell out all the relevant data for you from the get-go. Consequently, you won’t be shocked down the road.

3: You Can Talk to a Live Person

Even if you’re planning on embarking on a legitimate home business opportunity via the Internet, you still should always be able to connect with a real person.

This is a critical aspect of a legitimate home business opportunity, because sometimes emergencies arise, and email just isn’t fast enough. If you cannot ever get through to an individual, or if you seem to be getting the ‘run around’ when you do, be warned, this may not be probably a legitimate home business opportunity.

4: There is a Proven Track Record

Though every legitimate home business opportunity was once a start-up, most now have proven track records that they are more than happy to share with you.

If you’re looking into an organization and thinking about investing money, make certain that you know how well it has performed in the past. And if that information isn’t available (or you feel it’s been ‘doctored’), run away!

5: You Are Offered Support

Finally, one of the most important signs of a legitimate home business opportunity is the offer of mentorship and support.

Most of the legitimate home business opportunity franchises partner you with other successful investors, thereby creating a net of encouragement and ideas. This enables you to blossom and the legitimate home business opportunity to thrive on all levels.

By carefully doing a little investigation and research work, you will find the perfect legitimate home business opportunity for you!

Home Based Business and Offline Marketing Strategies

The Internet has become the largest medium of communication, and has presented a lot of business opportunities. Online home-based business owners tend to limit themselves to online marketing methods. Nevertheless, there is a huge potential to promote your home-based business through some cost-effective offline marketing strategies. So what are the most effective offline marketing strategies for your home-based business?

1. Word of mouth in your circle of influence

Word of mouth is one of the best free advertising channels. We all have people we interact with on a daily basis, and these are potential customers. Make a list of all the people you know or interact with and how can you best tell them about your internet business. Be passionate about your internet business and always be prepared to tell someone about it when an opportunity to do so presents itself!

2. Mail-out newsletters and flyers

Mail-out newsletter or flyers can be effective if you target it to a specific ‘group’ of people. You could create one to distribute to local daycare centres just as an example – and in your newsletter or flyer, highlight the benefits of an online business to the targeted group, for example earning money at home for stay at home moms or dads. Posting your home-based business URL on bulletin boards can also be effective.

3. Use and give away free branded stuff

You can promote your business by having your website address link on all your stationery, all written communication and other items you can give away for free. If you want to get a lot of people to know about your home-based business, you will need to come up with some creative ways of promoting your website link. You can be limited only by your imagination. Have your business cards with your home-based business URL. Give them out to people you meet, leave them about where you can, such as in your local coffee shop.

4. Newspapers and magazines

Local newspapers are good for advertising your online business. Most local papers have home business opportunities section, so you run a regular classified advert. In addition, contact your local newspaper or business-oriented magazine and let the business editor know you have a new business and web site and what you offer. Local newspapers are frequently interested in featuring local business people and their accomplishments. This is free advertising and should always be used. You can also contact your local magazine and offer to write a monthly or weekly guest column for them, and include your ‘author bio’ and home-based business website address.

5. Joint ventures with offline business

You can get into a joint venture partnership with an offline business which sells a complementary product or service to your home-based business. If you can identify a partner that best fits your business, this is an important offline marketing strategy that can help you succeed in your home-based business by enabling you to reach potential customers that you could not reach before. As an example, if you have a website selling fitness/health products or tips, you could prepare a leaflet and make a deal with an offline local fitness/health shop where they giveaway your leaflet to their shoppers with each purchase.

The offline marketing strategies outlined above can help you grow your home-based business. I have used these strategies a lot and they work well. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and promote your business offline!

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