© 2003 Cristian Montegaza
Cruise the Internet at any time and it is obvious that many individuals are actively seeking to either start a work at home business, or maintain one. The literature available and the number of programs concerning home businesses attest to this fact, simply by the sheer volume of available materials on the Internet.
A home business of one's own is quite attractive to everyone, as many individuals have lost any faith whatsoever in the "corporate identity" of today due to job lay-offs and closings. Businesses no longer offer their employees the stability and benefits that they once did, and this has led to the "Internet Work-At-Home-Business Boom" of today.
Although there are many ways to make money on the Internet, and in a home business, everything from producing your own goods and services to running an online wholesale storefront, a good choice for many "beginners" is either an Affiliate Program or Network Marketing Program (previously called MLM, or Multi-Level Marketing).
Affiliate Programs and Network Marketing Programs are essentially, "turn-key businesses", in that individuals joining the programs are given a business that is already, for the most part, "in place". A product or service is provided, as well as instructions and support, and there may even be marketing materials and a Website given. Methods of payment are usually provided also, and it is quite reasonable that everyone can start a work at home business in quite a short period of time by choosing to join an Affiliate Program or Network Marketing Program. Many have become quite successful with either of these business models, and there are thousands of new members each and every day.
There are differences, though, in these business models, and care should be taken when joining to ensure that the program most closely fits what the person joining is searching for in a work at home business. Here then, are the major differences, to guide anyone in their choice of program model:
In Affiliate Programs there may be one or two income levels, with a standard earning percentage. An Affiliate Program can be somewhat easier to market, as the monetary investment is usually smaller, but there is little, if any chance of residual income (long-term extra cash flow based on multiple earning levels). Affiliate Programs, though, take less maintenance than Network Marketing Programs, and the results can usually be seen sooner, due to their more simplistic nature. Unlike Network Marketing Programs, many Affiliate Programs can be marketed almost entirely online, with very little customer contact.
In Network Marketing Programs, there are many, many levels of income (hence the multi-level idea), leading to more long-term residual income. However, Network Marketing Programs do entail a much larger extent of customer contact, as they require the building of "downlines" to achieve the residual income, and anyone joining must provide support to their downlines almost continually in order to maintain a certain income level. A Network Marketing Company can usually be somewhat harder to start and maintain, but can grow more easily to the level in which an individual member so chooses.
The choice of one business model or another as a work at home business is rather personal and should be well suited to an individual's personal needs and personality. All in all, if you are a real "people person" who desires a great income, and has a lot of determination, then a Network Marketing Program will be a good choice. On the other hand, if you are somewhat shy, would rather have a program that turns around more quickly and easily, and if you prefer to "work alone", than an Affiliate Program is probably the better choice.
Just remember, when choosing any work at home business, consider yourself and your needs well, and you will indeed, make the perfect choice.
Cristian Montegaza is the editor of Work At Home Business Dot - A website dedicated to assist you whatever you're looking for a work at home business or need some help getting your home business started.
Visit him at http://www.work-at-home-business-dot.com
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