Seven Most Overrated Businesses: Second

Direct Sales. It’s a tempting pitch: Work from home and earn commissions by selling cosmetics, kitchen knives or cleaning products. But companies that recruit independent sales reps tend to attract new team members by pointing to the success of their highest earners. A harder look shows that those high earners are making big money in large part by recruiting new reps into the organization and getting bonuses or a cut of their recruits’ commissions, says Ken Yancey, chief executive of SCORE, a Herndon, Va., organization … 
Read More

Seven Most Overrated Businesses: Third

Online Retail. By far, one of the easiest businesses to start is selling items through online marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon. But as online commerce ages and these sites fill up with more established retailers, it’s much harder for new, small sellers to compete for attention and generate a viable income. “A lot of people are thinking it’s the Web of five or 10 years ago and you stand out simply because you’re on the Web,” says Rieva Lesonsky, chief executive of GrowBiz Media, … 
Read More

Seven Most Overrated Businesses: Fourth

High-End Retail. Many people dream of opening a day spa, luxury jewelry store or designer clothing boutique – businesses they feel good patronizing. But specialty retail businesses close at higher rates than non-specialty stores, according to the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, and are even riskier now that consumer discretionary spending has dried up and people are no longer spending money on little luxuries. “It’s going to be a long time before we return to the days of conspicuous consumption,” says Ms. Lesonsky of … 
Read More

Seven Most Overrated Businesses: Fifth

Independent Consulting. Common advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to stick with industries they know. So, for many looking to escape the corporate treadmill that means turning their professional expertise into a one-person consulting firm. It seems practical – more companies are indeed relying on independent contractors and freelancers these days – but it’s not as easy to pull off as many imagine, says Dennis Ceru, an entrepreneurship professor at Babson College in Babson Park, Mass. Many consultants struggle with time management problems, spending so much … 
Read More

Seven Most Overrated Businesses: Sixth

Franchise Ownership. The idea of being handed a proven business plan without the uncertainties and headaches that come with building a business from scratch is understandably alluring. But too many people don’t understand the risks associated with franchising and sign restrictive franchise agreements without thoroughly researching their franchisor and their contractual obligations, says SCORE’s Yancey. Some franchisors, for instance, allow franchisees to open stores too close together, oversaturating the market. Or they simply require their franchisees pay so much in royalties and fees or other … 
Read More

Seven Most Overrated Businesses: Seventh

Traffic-Driven Web Sites. Everybody has witnessed the success of social-networking sites like Facebook and popular blogs that generate all their revenue off advertising. But as the Internet ages, that’s much harder to accomplish, says Martin Zwilling, a start-up consultant in Fountain Hills, Ariz., who specializes in helping entrepreneurs find angel investors. Zwilling says he hears pitches for new social-networking sites about once a week, but actively deters people from starting them. “I say, skip it,” he says. “You need to invest $50 million to get … 
Read More

The Seven Most Overrated Businesses

http://www.workfromhomeboard.com/general-work-home-discussions/7225-7-most-overrated-businesses.html By Kelly K. Spors and Kevin Salwen Many people do a lousy job of picking businesses they can realistically turn into a profitable operation. “There’s this very sad pattern about how people start businesses,” says Scott Shane, an entrepreneurship professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. “People are most likely to start businesses in industries where start-ups are most likely to fail.” The problem: Many would-be entrepreneurs are drawn to businesses they like to patronize or the ones that are cheapest and … 
Read More

Find Help and Network Online

Jarie Bolander, SCORE Counselor, shared the following: One of the wonderful things about the Internet is the communities it can build. No other venue connects so many people together, so rapidly. One such community is http://answers.onstartups.com. This site is a new community of entrepreneurs that come together to help each other. Through asking and answering questions, users gain reputation points. As these points accumulate, other features of the site unlock. The community really does have control of the content since the overall moderators end up … 
Read More

Five Pillars of a Satisfying Volunteer Job

SCORE’s own Dick Wendel has developed the Five Pillars as a way to help you determine if your volunteer work is satisfying to you. The criteria are: Volunteer work should be fun and punctuated by a variety of engaging activities. It should be something you look forward to. Volunteer work should offer a social outlet and involvement with people you like and with whom you share cordiality. It should create a sense of belonging. Volunteer work should provide a learning experience that, aside from adding … 
Read More

How Venture Capital Can Help Your Business

Venture capitalist is a broad term used to describe investors that make “high risk” investments in young companies. These investments typically involve equity (ownership) positions, but are often combined with debt. Why would I seek venture capital for my company? If you are experiencing or expecting rapid growth, you may need financing that exceeds your personal resources and is more than you can borrow from traditional lending institutions. What does it cost? It’s not unusual for a VC firm to target a return of five … 
Read More