Look out for scamsWritten by Stephanie Foster
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Watch out if ad promises hundreds or thousands of dollars with little effort, "guaranteed!" No one can guarantee that any business will succeed, and all businesses require effort and time to make money.
Also beware if no experience is required. While there may be legitimate opportunities out there that do not require experience, it is more likely that they are trying to prey on inexperienced.
LOOK OUT FOR CAPITALIZATION!!! AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!!! Got your attention there, didn't I? That's their goal too. A scam wants you to get so excited about their opportunity that you don't think. Be too smart to fall for that.
Vague ads where you have no idea what product or service you will be selling are also trouble. Legitimate companies want you to know what you'll be selling, so you'll be excited about business and product. Scams just want you to be excited about business.
If you feel pressured to make an immediate decision, tell them answer is 'no.' Once again, a legitimate company wants you to be enthusiastic and happy with your decision. If you're buying a franchise opportunity, make sure they have a money back guarantee.
Check company out on Ripoff Report. Businesses can reply to reports here, so you get both sides of story. See also BBB's report on work at home scams.
If You Get Scammed
First try to clear it up with company. If they are uncooperative, let them know that you will be contacting officials about matter. Then do it.
* If you found out about company on a website, let site know so that they can take it off their site. * Post your story on Ripoff Report, so that others can see your story. * Contact Attorney General in your state or state company is in. * Contact BBB, both your local office and in company's state. * Contact National Fraud Information Center if this was a "get rich quick" or "easy money" scheme. * Your local Consumer Protection Offices. * The Postmaster if you recieved offer in mail. * The Federal Trade Commission. Although FTC does not handle individual complaints, they are on lookout for patterns of deception and unfair practices. To register a complaint, write to: Correspondence Branch, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580.
Stephanie Foster is the owner of Home with the Kids, a resource for parents who want to stay home with their families, save money, or work from home. You can visit the site at http://www.homewiththekids.com.
Simple Steps to Project a Professional Home-Business ImageWritten by David A. James
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One great tip is to record a new phone message each day with date included. For example, “Hello, today is September 17th, this is Dave with Home Income Digest. I’ll be out of office from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. today, please leave a message and I will get back with you as soon as I can. Thank you for your call, have a great day”. Immediately your customer knows you’re still alive and actively in business. They are also more likely to leave a message because it’s obvious you’re serious about keeping your customers informed. Do this every single day; it will pay off.
Fax – With rise of e-mail, which can use attachments, faxing isn’t as common as it used to be. However, not everyone is handy with creating and using attachments, and there are still situations where fax machines are still better choice, such as sending a document with a signature. Since a fax machine is dormant vast majority of time, there really isn’t a need for a separate phone line for your fax, unless of course it’s your primary means of communication for some reason. Most likely, it’s better to get a phone feature called ‘multi-ring service’. For a few dollars a month, this allows you to have two separate phone numbers and ring patterns on one phone line. You set fax to pick up on a double ring, and you know to pick up phone yourself on single rings. If you have yet to buy a fax machine, I would recommend getting a multi-function laser unit that does faxing, printing, scanning, copying, and attaches to your computer as well. This will give you a lot of options for storing and editing documents, along with options for communicating with your customers. But always remember most important thing about a fax machine - keep it full of paper!
Above all, most important, and simple, thing you can do to impart a professional appearance is to physically be in your office at all times during business hours. In end, no one likes getting passed to an answering machine. But more importantly, there is no way to calculate how much potential business you are losing simply because you’re not there to answer phone.
David James is the editor of “Home Income Digest”, a publication, updated quarterly, presenting more than 40 of the best home-based businesses currently available in the country. Located at http://www.homeincomedigest.com, Home Income Digest includes only well-researched, established, small business opportunities. For more information on the author, visit http://www.homeincomedigest.com/aboutus.htm