Starting a Small Business Tips and Ideas

Learn how to avoid work at home rip-offs and tips for how to start a home-based business.


| May/June 1977



Treasure Hunter

Kathy Matthews, author of On Your Own: 99 Alternatives to a 9 to 5 Job, offers treasure hunting as one small business startup idea. Good sites for combing with a metal detector include coastlines, unrestricted historic spots, and places where the terrain has recently eroded or where large groups of people have congregated.


PHOTO: FOTOLIA/PATRICIA HOFMEESTER

"Work," declares Kathy Matthews, "should fit your interests and energies and lifestyle ... whether it be part-time, supplementary, or full-time employment. It should give you satisfaction, independence, and money, on your terms."

And the following are only a sampling of the many inspiring ideas for just such satisfying independent careers that Kathy has compiled in her new book, On Your Own. 

We've also included, in their entirety, Kathy's warnings and comprehensive getting-started advice ... in the hope that her words of caution may help you avoid the pitfalls that ensnare so many unwary would-be entrepreneurs.

With only a little foresight and planning, then — plus the good advice in the following excerpt from Kathy's book — you may be closer to attaining your own economic self-sufficiency than you think!

The Work-at-Home Rip-Offs: How to Avoid Them

One of the most unhappy aspects of searching for work at home is the lure of those fraudulent "work-at-home" schemes. And what can make an unhappy rip-off turn into a cruel and almost tragic fraud is that the people victimized by the schemes are people who can least afford the loss. After all, people who are looking for extra income in the first place don't have money to throw around. It's tough for the law to monitor this area: There are numerous shady schemes, some schemes are not exactly illegal, and most victims chalk up their loss to experience and neglect to contact anyone who could do them any good. So beware!

Before an in-depth explanation of these various schemes and what to look out for, for those of you who might not read any further and therefore might be dumb enough to respond to a "make millions in two weeks in your outhouse" ad, a rule of thumb (and probably the first rule of thumb that really would fit on your thumb): Stop! That is, when tempted by a great-sounding work-at-home ad, stop, don't do it, don't send them anything, get out an old copy of National Geographic to take your mind off the temptation and thank God you've been saved. That's about all the practical advice you'll need when you're attracted by a glowing (it's the phosphorescence of decay) ad.

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