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Exposing Business Opportunity SCAMS! 4 Red Flag Rules You Can Follow
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This article is a must-read for anyone thinking about buying a business opportunity, distributorship, licensee opportunity or a franchise. Here we will teach you how to be a survivor instead of a victim!

How often have you heard “This is a sure thing!” or “There is no way you can lose!” or, the one I love most, “You can make money doing nothing!”?  Take caution. In business, the golden rule applies: If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

The purpose of this post is to briefly educate you so that you don’t fall victim to high-pressure sales tactics.  Also, it can help prevent you from jumping on the gravy train to “the next best whatever it is” only to crash and burn in the end.

Successfully running a business, whether it’s a work-at-home type of endeavor or a full-blown franchise, will take hard work and serious effort, not to mention an upfront monetary investment of some kind in many cases.  You can’t expect to make oodles of dollars overnight no matter what someone might tell you.

Be especially wary of someone putting on the ‘hard sell’ or as I like to call them, ‘fear-of-loss’ closing techniques―stuff along the lines of “they are only taking a few good people.”  Yeah, right…  If that were true, then why do you see that same person or company selling the same things over and over again for years on end―provided, of course, that they are still in business and haven’t flown the coop with everyone else’s hard-earned money that they were so eager to take from any and all comers.

When you are new to the business opportunity space you have to be careful. Here are some basic Red-Flag Rules to follow should you decide to buy into any type of business...

Red Flag Rule #1: Avoid The "I Want To Believe Syndrome

This can be deadly if left untreated.  Important note to self…you are the only one who can successfully treat this condition.  Believing in your new business venture is great, but you’ve got to make sure your eyes are wide open and your decisions are based on solid facts.  You may also hear that “This business is a proven winner! If you just believe in your product and you do the work, you WILL succeed.”   The truth is that no matter how much you believe in something, it still might not be true.

Red Flag Rule #2: Confirm Product Selling vs. Opportunity Selling

This red flag seems to rear its ugly head over and over in the business opportunity industry, and it shows up when you ask the person trying to sell you a business this simple question:  Where will my profit come from?  How will I be making my money? (In other words, are you selling the opportunity to sell the opportunity itself to someone else so that they can in turn sell the opportunity, or is there an actual, tangible product or service involved?)  If no product or service is involved that is legal and tangible, I’d stay far away from whatever the offer is.

Red Flag Rule #3: Question The Empty Guarantee

Sometimes to close a sale, a crafty salesperson will serve up a “can’t lose” guarantee to persuade you into thinking there is no risk in signing up.  Almost nothing in life, or business, is guaranteed.  So ask the hard questions about ‘how’ said guarantee works and what it entails.  Is it the real deal or just a line?

Red Flag Rule #4: Beware Of Non-Business Businesses

Here I’m referring to the litany of insane quotes and promises that still floor me because, impossible as they are for me to believe, more people than you can imagine still fall for them.  Please stay away from programs that make these sorts of claims:  “Automatic cash gifting…let us do all the work.  Make money doing nothing!”  If cash gifting is legal, then why have people gone to prison for it?   Now, there are a few legal cash gifting programs to be totally honest with you, but they’re few and far between.  I’d just stay away from this sort of business if I were you.  The “stuffing envelopes at home” concept targets stay-at-home moms, and it’s all just “horse hockey” when it comes down to it.  Making money using your typing skills while working from home does happen.  Transcription is a real business, but be careful because those jobs are actually very hard to come by.  In fact, although I know they’re out there, I’ve never met anyone in my 20+ years in this business that makes his/her full-time living typing from home.  If you have, then you have stumbled onto the one or ultra-few people that do.  My point is that it’s highly doubtful you will be that one-in-a-million success story if the opportunity itself is not viable and sound.  Think you can earn loads of dough assembling crafts at home?  Stick to it as a hobby and not a job!  I could go on and on about companies that say you can do everything from making money selling trading cards at fairs to making it taking photographs and selling them online. Or, the best one yet which has been around for years: making money selling recipes to the tabloids.  Come on people, get real!

Here’s the good news in all of this…

You don't have to fork over your life savings to get into a solid, proven business!  There are so many really reputable and profitable businesses to buy out there that I have no doubt you can find something that suits your needs.   You just need to be a careful and realistic consumer.

In fact, there are hundreds of opportunities on our website that can really pay off if you’re willing to put in the sweat equity.  Will whatever you do make you rich beyond your wildest dreams?  Sure, anything is possible.  But just remember that if you’re gut tells you that something is just too good to be true, it most likely is.

Do your homework and ask questions – lots of questions.  Talk to at least ten people you respect that have zero affiliation with the company you’re interested in to get their feedback.  Visit the Better Business Bureau and check out what they know about the company you’re interested in.  Many companies are listed with the BBB for the very reason that they know you’ll be looking for them there.  Ask your most capable friends and/or family members, other entrepreneurs that you trust, or even a paid consultant to formally review the business in question before you commit to it.

Follow these simple steps, and you stand a better of chance of making the right decision than the wrong one.

Carpe Diem My Friends!

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I had the pleasure of chatting with Shawn Pigg, CEO of Hotels Etc. for BusinessOpportunity.com's Podcast series that will be released very soon on our new Digital Platform.  Here is the transcript from that call for our regular RSS feed subscribers who get all of our posts first.

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