Make an Honest Living Out of Your House

Which home businesses really pay off?

Working from home for extra cash is very attractive for people short on money, but some pitches will only lead to disappointment.

The Better Business Bureau recommends people look for companies with a good reputation and real people.

"You can find a good one by asking questions, being wary if they want a lot of personal information or money up front," said Jeanette Kopko, of the Dallas Better Business Bureau.

Jennifer Kinnear works out of her home cooking with Homemade Gourmet, a "start your own home business" like Avon and Mary Kay.

The company features "four meals in four minutes" plans for several days at a time and individual "homemade in a hurry" meals that steam in the microwave.

Kinnear started out as a customer and then began selling the quick-meal preparation products seven years ago to make some extra money.

"All of a sudden though, I started helping people, and they liked it, and people eat every day," she said.

Today, she's one of the Texas-based company's biggest sellers.

"So we're really helping people to become the hero of the kitchen in this time when they're feeling stressed, busy and broke," Kinnear said.

Many people who are looking for ways to make some extra money at home see all sorts of offers in e-mail and online, such as one site that promises a $1,000 a day for processing rebates.

"But it turns out they want you to buy a training kit and materials for up to several hundred dollars," Kopko said.

She recommends people look for companies that have more than Web sites -- like Homemade Gourmet.

Kinnear said it helps to believe in what you sell.

"It's not really selling; it's just sharing with others some things that worked for you," she said.

The Better Business Bureau has more information on how to avoid bas businesses. Click here to learn more from the Better Business Bureau about work-at-home scams.

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