The online world is appealing for the flexibility and versatility it offers to us mums who want to work from home, especially in the wild year of 2020.
More than ever I am seeing a rush of people wanting to get online and that is amazing because with online skills you can tap into markets that are still thriving and give yourself options with income and working, but unfortunately there are a lot of people out there making some big promises that they don’t have the expertise to fulfil, or they are leading people into something that won’t make them any money.
The real truth is, it is not as easy as it seems and you’ve got to do some homework before handing over your trust (and cash)
Whilst the world is scared right now, starting an online business actually stacks up to be a great opportunity, that is because:
- Learning the skills to navigate the online world gives you the flexibility to jump into any market that is still thriving, or even the new markets that will emerge in light of COVID-19
- Working from home means isolating is no problem, even lock down is fine too and after COVID-19 is done, you can continue working from wherever you like. home, a cafe, the library, a co-working space.
- Being your own boss puts you in control which means you aren’t at the mercy of a company and their decisions.
- You can learn everything you need from scratch with no experience or formal qualifications.
I’ve been a mum in business full-time for ten years now and I will say straight up an online business can create far more flexibility and freedom in your life than a job and yes it is absolutely the time now to jump in light of COVID-19 but, it can also make you want to throw the laptop out the window sometimes as well. Anyone that says you can earn $5000 a week in just a few weeks, is straight up is lying and sadly there are people out there that use a lot of smoke and mirrors to fool others, I share a lot about this in my Facebook group Remarkable Business Mums which is a collective community of over 14,000 members.
Here are some clues to look for to validate the legitimacy of a business:
They shouldn’t be sending you unsolicited messages.
Any legit business does not need to send unsolicited PM’s on social media inviting you to a webinar, ask yourself – is this how I want to do business? Because if this is what they are doing, this is what they will be telling you to do. Otherwise they would be engaging in proper marketing strategies.
They have legit reviews and case studies.
You want to be looking for reviews that link back to a real person, website or business, also beware, it has been known for some businesses to buy ‘reviews’ so stalk them to determine whether the review is real or fake.
They just don’t say they have experience, they can also demonstrate it and validate it.
Watch the person for a little while, after some time you’ll get an idea for whether the person actually knows what they are talking about. Read their content, listen to their interviews and listen to your gut feeling. Do you feel motivated and inspired? Or is there something that isn’t sitting right with you?
They have been featured in the media/podcasts/articles.
Whilst this is not an absolute requirement, it does give weight to the person’s credibility. To be featured in high tier media you need to be vetted and it is a tick in the right box. It shows they are serious about their business, that it isn’t just a flash in the pan and more likely than not, they know what they are doing.
They have an ABN and website.
It sounds like a pretty standard expectation however I have come across many people who claim to have ‘successful’ businesses only to find that they don’t have an ABN at all. An ABN should be displayed in the footer of their website and you can go to https://abr.business.gov.au/ to check whether it is still valid. Also, anyone that claims to earn a lot of money should be registered for GST (if earning over $75k per year, so also cross check that too)
Their FB post comments and engagement aren’t solely from people who look to be from the Philippines or India.
Yes. People hire other people to do this. It is fake and gives you an idea straight up about the persons credibility.
They have social proof / a community / a following.
Another one that isn’t an absolute requirement but it does give weight to their credibility, I know from growing my own to over a collective 40,000 like-minded business owners that a lot work goes into nurturing relationships and if you aren’t the real deal you won’t be able to get very far.
Here is how to spot some of the business models and choose the right one for you:
Multi Network Marketing:
Multi-level marketing (MLM), also called pyramid selling or network marketing or referral marketing where you are essentially selling someone else’s products. Think Tupperware, Avon, Isagenix, Doterra and the like. You earn a commission from commissions of sales you make and/or from those whom you recruit to also sell products.
Jenny from next door all of a sudden wants to meet for a coffee and then starts raving about her amazing new makeup, and how you could make money and sell it too? That’s MLM. A friend you haven’t heard from in 5 years commenting on your post telling you about this amazing essential oil she is using to help her son sleep? That is MLM. I am not saying MLM is fake or a scam, I have some friends that have done really well in MLM, but the industry is unfortunately saturated with a poor reputation from underhanded tactics for a reason.
The pros? There are low start up costs within this model, entry is easy but the cons the success of generating an income comes down to how well you can sell and recruit to your friends, family and network. You also do not own or have any rights over the business, how it is run or access to any shares or profits and are at mercy of the company’s reputation.
GAZ is an online training platform that is designed to help the average person start making enough money online to make a full-time income using the training that they provide – well that is what they say but essentially what it is, is people signing other people up to the program and those people get paid a commission, generally they don’t actually make any money from their actual ‘business’ but only from recruiting others into it.
You might hear it being described as ‘running Facebook ads’ or ‘having a social media business’ because you need to run Facebook ads to try and make sales which isn’t that abnormal but these people love to say they earn $5000 a week doing just a few hours a week and that is the part that makes me cranky. It just isn’t true. You’ll see that they hide all of the info behind a ‘PM me babe’ and that they don’t actually have a website or a reputable platform for you to absorb what it is really all about. If anyone is saying they have a successful business, ask to see it first.
Freelancer / Contractor
If you have any skills or expertise leveraging off them is a great way to enter the work at home market and work for businesses where you can set your own hours and hourly rate, after I was fired from my full-time job for being a mum, I started freelancing from home whilst building a proper business of my own. I loved this, I had semi permanent work and flexibility to choose my own working hours.
Freelancing is a great flexible way to work from home, however you are still working for someone else and capped in certain areas such as income and creativity, plus it isn’t your own business to grow and nurture, all profits go back to you the business you’re working for.
Your Own Business:
As I share with mums who I work with when starting their online business this is your best option because you decide on your own business name, have your logos and website designed and are in full control of your growth and reputation. There is a lot to consider but, whether you have any experience or not anyone can start their own business and learn the ropes. From selling products to selling a service to selling information or advertising space with the right mindset you can achieve great things and the beauty is you are your own boss, you don’t answer to anyone, and you are not tied to anyone or anything – what you put into it is what you’ll get out of it.