Freelancing for a Living

Work at Home

Written by Charles Mburugu for Gaebler Ventures

If you are planning to start a home business, there are things you should consider first. Many people just jump into the first opportunity they see. You need to conduct a comprehensive research before signing on the dotted line. What are some of the things you need to consider before taking on any home based opportunity?

If you choose to work at home as a representative of a particular company, there are many such companies out there to choose from.

Work at Home

However, there are some things you need to think through regarding any prospective home business opportunity.

Is the company genuine?

How long have they been in existence? Are they members of Direct Selling Association or Better Business Bureau? This is a good starting place, though it does not guarantee the legitimacy of the company. In addition, search the name of the company together with the word "scam". Are there many complaints that come up? If so, you might need to think twice.

Are you passionate about the services/products?

You need to be honest with yourself on this point. Avoid signing up with a company because your neighbor thinks it's a good idea, or because others are making profits with them. If you can't get excited about what you are selling, you might not have a good shot at success.

Start-up cost

What is the financial cost of becoming a representative? And what is inclusive in the start-up kit? Start-up costs can range from a few dollars to several hundreds of dollars. Ideally, you should receive something for any money spent.

Service or product

Is there an actual service or product being sold to customers? Where there is no service or product, run! This is just a pyramid scheme, which is illegal.


Does the company provide any support or training? Find out the format of this training. Is it online? Audio files? Telephone conference calls? Printed booklets? Let it be clear what training and support materials will be provided.

Ongoing costs

Does running your business with this firm involve any ongoing costs? Some companies charge regular webhosting fees, or they expect you to buy some products each month.

Marketing materials

Will you be required to buy your own marketing materials such as catalogs, business cards, order forms or posters? Ask the company if they offer any of these for free or if they have other low cost options.


Are you required to meet any sales quotas each month or year? What other obligations must you fulfill so as to sustain your business?


Does the company offer you a free website or will you have to pay for it? Can you use the website to sign up representatives and customers? Some websites are designed for lead generation and marketing only, leaving signing up of prospects to you. Others are more automated.

Product delivery

Who makes deliveries of products ordered? Does the company organize the shipping, or do you do that yourself?

Realistic income

What are your expected earnings and what will be required of you to earn that much? Will you have to recruit a certain number of people per month, or sell a specified amount of products per month? Are you in a position to do that?

Charles Mburugu writes for us from his home in Nairobi. He has a graduate degree in Business Management from Kenya Institute of Management. He is interested in writing about branding, CSR and intellectual property.

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