The,Silver,Lining,The,nation,e DIY The Silver Lining
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The nation's economic forecast has been gloomy. Stocks aredown, lay-offs are up, and consumer confidence is at itslowest point in years.It's a great time to start a home business.If job worries are getting you down, a business on the sidecan serve as insurance against a bumpy economic ride. Andthe low overhead of launching your business from home meansthat you can do it even if you're short on cash.If you're also short on ideas, here are a few:Direct SalesWe're not talking about pyramid schemes where all you sellis an opportunity. You can find dozens of reputablecompanies with quality product lines which follow amulti-level compensation model. These are especiallyappealing to home-based entrepreneurs because (a) theyrequire very little upfront investment, (b) their offeringsare known and trusted and (c) placing an order will not breakthe bank... so it's possible to find eager customers, evenif you are new to sales.Of course, making big money in MLM comes from commissionsyou make off the sales of your 'downline' - the people yourecruit and the people they recruit. Again, your timing fortrying this out could not be better: The same job and moneyinsecurities that are inspiring you to look for a littleincome insurance are driving others to do the same. Thisis a good economy for building a downline.You do need to investigate any opportunity before you sign.Start your research at NOBOSS < http://www.noboss.com >which offers extremely detailed descriptions of over 100different low-cost businesses you can start at home.Here are some things to keep in mind:(1) Is this a product you would use yourself and recommendto others? If you're not familiar with their offerings,buy some for yourself and use them. If you're not wildabout the product, you won't have an easy time selling it.Keep on looking.(2) Large commissions are great, but big ticket items don'tsell well in this kind of nervous economy. You may do betterto choose a low-cost line that will appeal to a wideraudience and plan to earn your commissions on volume.(3) While it is customary to charge a new rep a start-upfee (those sales kits do cost something to produce and oftencontain samples of a company's best products), be wary ofany MLM company that requires a huge investment or that youkeep a lot of inventory on hand. On the other hand, anopportunity that costs nothing to get into may not offermuch support -- or may not even have an actual product tosell! Online SalesIf the idea of starting a low cost home business isappealing to you but direct sales is not, you might want totry selling products online. The Internet has made itpossible for thousands of home-based entrepreneurs to earn asolid living from home -- with little investment andflexible hours.Hundreds of large corporations pay hundreds of thousands ofonline entrepreneurs commissions to sell products from theirwebsites. These 'affiliate programs' are easy to join andmost are free:< http://www.quinstreet.com >< http://reporting.net >< http://www.commissionjunction.com >< http://www.linkshare.com >Be aware that many of the headlines proclaiming lay-offsand poor stock performance have come out of the technologysector. (The spectacular demise of eToys is an example!)The affiliate model is young and evolving. Many programsare being discontinued on a daily basis, so once again,research is essential.You should also understand that your income potential withaffiliate programs is directly in proportion to the numberof people you are able to reach online. If you explore thisroute, you will probably spend a lot of time learning aboutwebsite promotion and ezine ad placement before you startearning a substantial income from affiliate programs.However, *it can be done* -- in your spare time -- and atvery little cost.The Service OptionYour third option for starting a low-cost home business isto offer a service that others will need. And once again,with so many people starting businesses on the side, itshould not be too difficult to fill this niche.Even with the tumult in the Internet economy, having awebsite is becoming a necessity for everyone in business.Web design, site promotion, advertising copywriting andnewsletter editing are all services you can offer to otherhome-based entrepreneurs. So are classic services like taxpreparation, bookkeeping, errand running, bulk mailing,secretarial (virtual assisting), desktop publishing andmore.You'll find some great books to help you get started here:< http://www.parentpreneurclub.com/bookreviewz.html >Like I said, it's a great time to start your homebusiness... so what's keeping you?