Hot Home Business: Online Researcher

Want to work from home but not sure what you can do? The Hot Home Business Directory helps you find a business to run out of your home, lists the skills you need to do it and tells how to get started and where to get more information. Read on to find out if this Hot Home Biz is for you!

What you'll do:
Track down people, property and elusive business information on the Net and in private databases.

Skills you'll need:
Excellent research skills; a thorough knowledge of boolean logic and the correct syntax for each database being searched. Understanding of which information can be found where and the ability to find it quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.

Equipment you'll need:
Computer, modem, printer.

Start-up costs:
About $2,000 - $3,000 for a computer and software; $1,000 for marketing materials. Accounts and usage fees with major database suppliers can easily run over $1,000 per month. Make sure that you practice your searches in the test areas provided by many databases, and reserve real searches for paying clients.

How much you can make:
You can charge up to $200 an hour -- or more if you have corporate clients who need information quickly. However, until you've built up a significant client base, this should be viewed as a part-time supplemental business that you can set up at a low cost.

How to break in:
Start by cold-calling and sending out brochures to local businesses that you think might need your services. Get testimonials and referrals from clients to help you build word of mouth. It may be slow going at the beginning, but if you keep your costs low and have other sources of income, this is a business you can build gradually.

For more information:

"Naked in Cyberspace : How to Find Personal Information Online," by Carole A. Lane, Helen Burwell. Independent Pub Group, $29.95.

"Secrets of the Super Net Searchers: The Reflections, Revelations and Hard-Won Wisdom of 35 of the World's Top Internet Researchers," by Reva Basch. Independent Pub Group, $29.95.

"Your Personal Netspy : How You Can Access the Facts and Cover Your Tracks Using the Internet and Online Services," by Wolff New Media. $12.95.

Bates Information Service
A useful site from a former president of the Association of Independent Information Professionals. Includes links to search engines and databases, selected articles, and a quarterly newsletter on the information industry.

The Information Broker's Handbook, 3rd Edition
Sue Rugge and Alfred Glossbrenner, McGraw-Hill, 1997.


The Association of Independent Information Professionals
234 West Delaware Ave.
Pennington, NJ 08534
Phone: 609-730-8759
Fax: 609-730-8469

Interested in other home businesses? Browse the hottest ones right now!

Find companies that are looking for work-from-home'ers on the Home Business Opportunities board.

Watch out for home business scams.

Then get a jump on your business with help from other iVillagers on the Getting Started board.

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