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Business Opportunities – a word of warning:

Be aware. People in our sector – life coaches, business coaches, therapists, healers are frequently approached about various ‘business opportunities’.

Why? Because we all deal with individual consumers – people – the very market that the promoters of business opportunities want to get to.

They will see you as a great point of access to that market and will offer you an opportunity to make extra money based on this.

You will, or have already been approached – I guarantee it!

Now don’t get me wrong – some of these opportunities are excellent and work well and can make you a lot of money, especially recurring income – I still receive a significant income from a company I no longer work with.

But – and it’s a big ‘but’ – you will only make a significant income if you devote the majority of your time to the opportunity business. To make it work it really does have to be the main thing that you do for a number of years – usually around 5 to 7.

But that’s not really what you want is it/ You and I want to spend our time with clients providing them with the services that we are expert in – not attempting to sell them stuff (even though it may be related to what we do) or recruit them into an ‘opportunity’ which in most cases would be inappropriate for them.

So here’s a quick guide to help you understand what goes on.

What to Avoid with a ‘Business in a Box’

Before you ‘jump in’ to buying a franchise or a license or joining a marketing business you must be clear on your ‘why’.

These ‘opportunities’ are usually very persuasively marketed and very slickly presented. You hear everything about the advantages but nothing about the disadvantages and it’s really easy to be sucked in.

I know, I ‘have the t-shirt’!

Make sure you remember the purpose behind your decision to create your own business and don’t allow the promotors of any ‘business opportunity’ to replace your goals with theirs, which is usually what they attempt to do.

Make sure also that if you choose the Franchise route that you pick an organisation that is officially recognised and registered with the Franchise Association.

There are a myriad of other ‘businesses in a box’ on offer. Some of these involve joining some sort of network, others don’t.

You’ll get lots of emails and you’ll see lots of adverts about how you can generate lots of money (usually quoted in US dollars) in a very short space of time, or even ‘today!’ by buying into some sort of business proposition.

The fact of the matter is that Get Rich Quick schemes don’t work – except for the perpetrators who quickly pull in a lot of cash from gullible people and then ‘disappear’

Those who do it ‘well’ take a small amount of money from lots of people and usually get away with it because no-one has the courage to complain as they feel they’ve been made a fool of.

Closely related to the Get Rich Quick scheme is the Ponzi Scheme, named after Charles Ponzi who used the technique in the US in the 1920s, but it also appears in two novels by Charles Dickens; Martin Chuzzlewit in 1844, and Little Dorrit in 1857, so this sort of scheme has been around for a very long time!

The principle of a Ponzi Scheme is that the perpetrators get people to invest in what seems to be a legitimate business. It’s well illustrated in the Gene Wilder movie ‘The Producers’ where people were promised a high return on their large investment.

Such high returns as are offered are mathematically impossible so the money collected from a second tier of investors is used to pay off the first, and so on.

Fortunately, because of the sums involved the perpetrators are usually caught.

You may be enticed into paying to buy into and operate a ‘Business that Runs Itself’, (usually internet based but these did exist before the internet often in the form of ‘chain letters’ and so on).

You’ll be told that you don’t need to do anything other than perform a few actions on the web every day and the money will come rolling in.

These sometimes masquerade as affiliate marketing or MLM businesses but actually they’re not because there is never any ‘product’ and never any ‘end user’.

Of course, your ideal is to create a business that runs itself without you working on or in it, but that takes a lot of time and investment. It’s NOT something you can buy off the peg!

All of the above are generally described as Scams. But there are others

Scam is essentially something that fundamentally doesn’t work at all and is essentially fraudulent.

The trouble is that many people buy into or join perfectly legitimate businesses that other people have succeeded with and because they either don’t understand them or aren’t prepared to do sufficient work, end up deciding that the whole thing doesn’t work and is therefore a ‘scam’.

Sad to say even some coaches and therapists who have paid a lot for training claim that ‘it doesn’t work’ – because they are not prepared to take the action required. A car by itself ‘doesn’t work’ – you have to drive it.

Don’t assume something is a ‘scam’ just because it doesn’t work for you, doesn’t suit you, or you don’t understand it. You could miss out on a really good opportunity.

If you’re tempted by any of this, do your research, but, don’t assume that everything (or anything) you read on the web is true. You need to research off line or via reputable sources like the Department of Trade and Industry.

For a Network Marketing or MLM opportunity, you can apply a very simple test.

If the proposition is that you get paid either directly or indirectly for introducing other people to the network then it is by definition, illegal in the UK and Europe. (Although it may not be in some other countries.)

Also, if there are no clearly identified end-users of any product or service who are not members of the network itself, then although it may or may not be illegal it definitely won’t work.

Third if there is no tangible product or service that end-users will actually purchase, so that you get a defined commission on that purchase, (so this does not include a click on an ad.), then again, it’s just not going to generate you a lasting income.