In my blog post last week I mentioned that there is a difference between a work at home business and a work from home business. I’ll also include the term home-based business in here too.
I made it very clear that I wanted and am building a work at home business. My business is technically in network marketing because the company that I have affiliated myself with is a network marketing company. But network marketing isn’t traditionally a work at home business, so I’ve made some changes.
So, what’s the difference between a work at home business, a work from home business, and a home-based business?
Network Marketing is a Home-Based Business
Network marketing is traditionally a home-based business or a work from home business. That means that your business headquarters is your home, but you don’t necessarily work there.
If you are building your business in the traditional way, you spend a lot of time away from home:
- hotel meetings
- coffee shop meetings
- networking / leads meetings
- stalking prospects at Walmart
If you’re a go-getter, you don’t spend very much time at home. When you are at home you are on the phone with prospects or your team and attending virtual meetings.
That’s Not For Me
I am married and have two young kids. My wife is not a stay-at-home kind of person so she has to have a job where she can get out of the house and interact with adult(ish) people.
I’m perfectly content spending most of my time at home with my kids. I also home school both of them in addition to running my network marketing business. That means that I cannot spend so much of my time away from home running from one meeting to the next.
A Work At Home Business
The difference is that I need to be able to actually work at home instead of just being based from home.
That meant figuring out how to use the Internet to build my business.
And it turns out that using the Internet is a much better way to build a network marketing business than stalking prospects at Walmart. (I’m only half joking about Walmart. I have distributor friend who has been kicked out of Walmart at least twice for prospecting there).
Benefits of Using the Internet
If you read last week’s post then you understand that my focus is on retail sales first. WordPress and the Internet make it very easy to put up pages about your products so that your customers can order at their convenience. That frees you up to live your life.
The Internet also expands your reach far beyond your local area. While most network marketers are running all over town looking for people, I can stay at home and talk to people from all over the world.
Reuse is another important benefit of the Internet. Instead of doing live presentations every week, I can write one page or post and have it always available. When someone wants to know about a product, the page is already there. I just have to give them the right link.
Even better, I’ve been creating and updating pages and writing new blog posts, so I have years worth of content written all out there working to sell the product for me.
I see my posts and pages as salesmen, my teammates, but they are even better than that because they work 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They don’t take sick days, vacation time or holidays off. It’s great. I can be on vacation and they are all still hard at work.
Most importantly, it works. I was a top 5 retailer for two years before I stepped out for a couple years. I came back in again last summer and moved back into the top 10 in April. Now I’m steadily working my way back up.
Other Work At Home Businesses
There are other work at home businesses that people build on the internet.
Create You Own Product
You can create your own product and sell it online. If you have a physical product then you have to make sure that you have enough product on hand to fulfill your orders. A digital product is easier because you can create it once and sell it over and over again.
When you sell your own product you are responsible all of the payment processing and order fulfillment as well as your customer service. Everything is your responsibility.
A drop shipping business is a little bit easier because someone else creates the product and handles all of the shipping. You create an online store to market the products and submit the orders to the drop shipping company.
With drop shipping you are still responsible for all of the payment processing, collecting and paying sales tax to your state, and for all customer service.
Affiliate marketing is better yet. The affiliate company handles all of the inventory and order fulfillment obligations. They also handle all of the payment processing and customer service.
Your responsibility is to market the product, usually online, to send traffic to the affiliate company’s website where your customer can place the order. When someone places an order, your commission is added to your account and paid out to you on a regular basis.
Network marketing, the way I do it, takes it one step farther. Just like with affiliate marketing, the company handles all of the product creation, inventory management, order processing, order fulfillment and most of the customer service.
Your responsibility is mostly in marketing the product, which I do online, to generate orders and then collect a check once a month for your part of the sales you generate.
The added benefit to network marketing is that other people can join your team and you earn a percentage based on their sales. I don’t actively recruit people. I let people find me through blog posts like this one. They can then reach out to me if they are interested in doing this too.
I have been working on an ebook and website to show my new teammates exactly how I have built my business so that they can do the same.
I like network marketing better than the other methods because most of the work is done by someone else. I spend time marketing the product through my website and have the rest of my time free to do thing with my family.
As easy as I make network marketing sound, there is not guarantee that you will make any money with it. Most people I have worked with quit after a short period of time because it actually takes time and effort to put everything together. If you understand that it takes time to build a business, stick with it and actually do the work, then I believe you will find that you are rewarded for your efforts.
Do you have a work from home business or a work at home business? What is your preference? Share your thoughts in a comment below and please share this with your followers on social media.