If you’ve been looking for a work-from-home opportunity for any length of time, you have probably come across something called Arise Work from Home. Many people have strong feelings about Arise, and today I’d like to offer my own opinions.
As someone who’s been working from home since 2007, I’ve seen a lot in the work-at-home universe. In fact, my work-at-home journey actually started at Arise. So what do I think? Let’s discuss. If your background is in tech support, sales, or customer service, pay special attention.
What Does Arise Offer?
The most important thing to get clear is this: you are not becoming an employee of Arise. Instead, you’re basically buying into an organization that establishes a working relationship with clients, does your invoicing and payment collection and offers you the training and software needed to complete your job. When you join Arise, you’re an independent contractor – for the most part – running your own show — and the show you’re running is a lot like a virtual call center.
Arise will train you and tell you what you need to purchase to get set up. They’ll bring you the clients and make the software you need available to use. But because you’re an independent contractor, you don’t actually work for Arise. They’re more like a middleman to help you get set up and then connect you with the people who’ll actually end up hiring you. It’s almost like a high-tech staffing agency, in that sense.
The main thing that sets people off when they learn the specifics about Arise is the startup costs. It’s pretty common for people to say that any work-from-home setup that requires you to pay to get started is a scam. And while this is true in many cases (hence the popularity of the advice), it’s definitely not 100% true across the board. Arise is one of the (few) legitimate exceptions, in my opinion.
How It Works
To get started with Arise, you’ll need to do a few things. First, you need to apply and pass a basic skills assessment. Then you’ll need to get a background check (around $8 at the time of publishing this post) and do the first stage of training. Once you pass the training, you’ll need to set yourself up as an LLC in your state (you’re an independent contractor, remember, and not an employee). You’ll also need to set up a bank account to use solely for receiving your Arise payments. In addition, you’ll need the typical home office setup — a computer, a separate landline, and high-speed wired (not wireless) internet.
These might seem high-maintenance and unreasonable, but really they’re best practices for when you become an independent contractor, and they’ll protect you, Arise, and your clients in the long run.
Once you’re set up, you’ll be eligible to start taking on clients. You will need to take additional training before you can start working for individual clients. Training costs are typically $50 to $250 depending on the complexity and length. Training is unpaid and may last several weeks.
Once you get to work, you’re generally paid for the time you actually spend with customers, not the time you’re “on the clock.” That tends to work out to hourly rates in the ballpark of $10-$14, closer to $10 when you’re just starting out. You can increase your rates by having more working hours, picking up more client companies, and doing more training. Payments are made every two weeks by direct deposit.
Pros of Arise Virtual Services
These are a few of the great things about working with Arise:
- They bring the clients to you. The hardest part when you work for yourself is to find your own clients. With Arise, you don’t have to worry about that part — you just need to set your working hours, accept your job offers, and get paid.
- Arise is well established with a good reputation. Many companies turn to Arise because their contractors (you!) are highly trained, equipped well, and great additions to their companies.
- You can pick and choose your clients. This is one of the great things about working for yourself. And with Arise, you can have multiple clients.
- The business requirements set you up completely legitimately. They might seem a pain, but it’s actually a very good thing. By being set up as an LLC and having a separate business account for your finances, you’re forced to keep your business money separate from your personal money — which will make this part of your taxes much easier and be an extreme benefit if you ever have to deal with the IRS. LLCs also offer some tax benefits that other self-employment setups don’t offer. Talk to a tax professional to get any questions answered. But trust me — the tax savings will almost definitely pay off for you if you stick with it in the long run!
- They have all the training you need available. There’s no guesswork about your qualifications or how to be qualified.
- It’s working from home. With Arise, you can set your own working hours, which gives you the flexibility you need. You can even work third shift if that’s what’s best for you — and often this means extra incentives from the companies that hire you. Just keep in mind that once you agree to a work schedule, you need to stick with it. No mid-day naps when you’re supposed to be on the clock from 10am to 5pm!
Cons of Arise Work from Home
Arise most definitely isn’t for everyone. Here are some reasons you should think twice before jumping in:
- Training costs money. This is one of the reasons Arise gets a bad reputation — they charge for their training. But in most work-for-yourself settings — which this is — there isn’t free training, either. If I want to learn how to be a better blogger, I’m going to pay money to join EBA; if you want to learn how to be a better customer service rep through Arise, you’re going to pay money to take the next level of training. At first glance, the fees might seem high, but take the long-term view to see if they’ll pay off for you.
- There are monthly maintenance fees, too. They aren’t much — about $40/month — but you do have to pay a monthly fee to remain a part of Arise. They say it’s for their “infrastructure,” meaning their software and overhead/admin costs. To some, this is a deal-breaker; to others, it might be the most inexpensive marketing plan out there (because remember, they bring the jobs to you).
- Startup seems complicated. It’s not rocket science, but it’s also not like you just go and start an LLC and have a phone line installed in your house every day. It takes a real commitment to the job you’ll be doing for the up-front investments of time, energy, and money to pay off.
- The entry-level rates are low. I don’t often recommend working for $10/hour — that’s hardly a way to make a living. But if you’re diligent and try to level up quickly, you’ll be able to reach the higher income brackets without spending too much time at this relatively low hourly rate.
- It’s only available in the US and the UK. If you live anywhere else, you won’t be able to work for Arise. There may be some state exclusions as well.
- The work can be seasonal. Such is the nature of call center work, but know that sometimes your clients will come and go. There will generally speaking probably be work available for you all year, but you might not always have interesting work available.
- There will still be some control over your schedule. One thing I didn’t like about Arise and that caused me to quickly establish my virtual assistant business was that I was still not entirely in control of my schedule. Every client will have minimum weekly hourly requirements and often peak hour minimums. For the clients I worked, that was usually nights and weekends which I was totally against.
Ultimately what Arise does is set you up with your own business. If that’s not something you want, Arise probably isn’t the right opportunity for you.
Is Arise Right for You?
The bottom line of working from home with Arise is this: It only makes sense as a long-term commitment. If you’re just looking for a way to make some money on the side, it’s probably not a great option for you and you’d be better off looking for a remote job with a traditional call center (or pursuing something else entirely). But if you’re truly committed to a work-from-home job that can become a true, long-term career, you like the idea of working in customer service, and you’re open to the thought of owning your own business and assuming all the responsibilities that come with it, Arise can be a great place for you.
And, if you’re like me, Arise can be a catapult to take your newly established business and accomplish great things entirely on your own.
If you would prefer a more traditional position, check out these posts: