A Step in the Right Direction

How to find the business opportunity that's best for you.

When Jim Sniechowski and Judith Sherven, a husband-and-wife team from Santa Monica, California, attended a presentation on the iMall Internet business opportunity, they decided to buy the Internet training and Web-site package on first sight. Sniechowski has a doctorate in human behavior and Sherven has a doctorate in psychology, but how did they know the iMall Internet business would be right for them?

It was a decision made, Sniechowski says, "Entirely by instinct."

Sniechowski and Sherven got lucky. They have used the packaged Internet training they received to build a successful business distributing their audiotapes and relationship-training seminars on the Internet, globally offering their unique motivational materials for improving interpersonal relationships.

Before buying into the program, they spoke to the seller at length about the training they would receive. So far, they have been pleased with the marketing boost it gave their small publishing business. "For a modest investment, we got into the international market through the Internet," says Sniechowski, "and, as it turns out, we couldn't be happier with the iMall company."

The history of business-opportunity sales suggests that not everyone has as good an experience as Sniechowski and Sherven had. Responding to a radio advertisement for Internet business training, they found a great fit for their business needs without a lot of research and without initially knowing much about the business experience and stability of the seller. The best approach, and the way to reduce the risks involved with finding the right business-opportunity investment, however, is to look carefully into the program, check out the seller, and press for terms that work for you. In a market with few ready sources of information, that can be more challenging than it sounds.

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This article was originally published in the June 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: A Step in the Right Direction.

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