(An MLM Business Opportunity)
Business opportunities, (or biz opps, as they’re sometimes called) are not franchise opportunities. Are you picking up what I’m putting down, here?
About a year ago, I got in a little online tiff with a gentleman who was calling his business opportunity a “franchise.” It wasn’t. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t even in the same family as a franchise business…
I told him that if he didn’t stop offering his little “biz-opp” as a “franchise opportunity” that I would turn him into the FTC. (Federal Trade Commission) I wasn’t kidding.
That kind of stuff really gets me going. I mean it realllly gets me going. I cannot stand scams. I hate (yes hate) people that try to take advantage of others by using words that totally misrepresent what it is that they’re doing, or in this case, what they’re selling.
I don’t remember the name of the company, but there are two distinct things about it that I do remember;
1. The total investment was around $500.
2. The product that was being peddled was a “wellness product.” (Vitamins)
Now, just in case you don’t know, this “franchise” was nothing more than your typical MLM garbage. You know, multi-level-marketing…network marketing..whatever it’s being called nowadays.
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I can’t stand it
How many different ways will these “network marketers” try to get me to sign on with their crap products?
I know I’m in trouble when I answer my phone, and there’s a “friend” that I haven’t heard from for 7 years on the other end of the line;
Friend : “Joel Libava! How the heck are you? I haven’t seen you in like forever!”
Me: “I’m good, what’s the happ?”
Friend: “Well, the reason I’m calling, is to find out if you’d be interested in making some extra money…you know, in your own business?”
Me: “Well, I have my own business already…”
Friend: “Great!!!!!!!!! Well, you can do this part-time. Can you meet me for coffee tomorrow, so I can show you what it is? I’m really excited about it…”
Yada. Yada. Yada…
Me: “So, what is this great thing?
Friend: “Well, I’d rather show it to you in person….”
Me: “Is it anything to do with MLM?”
Friend: “No…It’s not MLM. It’s a kind of direct marketing.You know, Network Marketing…”
As a matter of fact, there are some sneaky little pukes who are using the word “franchise” in their flimsy, but colorful, brochures. Bad.
These are not franchises.
Folks that are selling business opportunities do have some rules-some laws that they must follow. It’s just that they are not held to account as much as a franchise business is.
That’s not to say that business opportunites are bad; it’s just that they’re usually not as tight-system-wise as a genuine franchise opportunity….
As I mentioned up above, there are certain rules that those selling business opportunities must follow. There are also certain rules that those selling franchises must abide by. Go to the US Government’s BCD to read them.
When I do seminars on franchise ownership, I always tell the attendees that one way to tell if an “opportunity” is a franchise or not, is to look at the start-up costs involved. Please allow me to be blunt, here;
If the total up-front investment is $485, it’s not a franchise offering.
Anyone that tries to sell you a “franchise” for a few hundred dollars, is someone that you shouldn’t do business with.
A franchise business, at a minimum, will cost you $40,000 on up.
You get stuff included in that cost.
- An operating system
- Formal training
- Support (On site and off site)
- Purchasing power
- A marketing plan
- Real Estate assistance
Those are just some of the things that you’ll get as a franchise owner. There’s more.
The Green Franchise Directory Has Both Types Of Opportunities.
Business opportunitiesusually provide the minimum needed to help you launch your business. The support is usually not ongoing, unless you’re willing to pay for it. (Most sellers of biz-opps will tell you that you’ll get support, but they don’t have to do it. It’s not part of the legal agreement.)
A franchise contract, although wordy, and complicated, does state what the franchise company must do, support wise.
Now, I worked as a broker with a few business opportunities, in the past. (I don’t now)
One of them was an equipment leasing company. Fail. One was a sign business. Not bad. The other ones were so bland, I really don’t even remember what they were.
The point is this;
If you’re going to become your own boss, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into.
Become an educated buyer.
And make sure that you’re buying a franchise/business for all the right reasons.