Finding The Right Business

Mystery to Me

The Marketplace

Prepare for a loud and vigorous marketplace of business-opportunity ideas, programs, sales techniques and advertising approaches. At first, it can be a bit overwhelming. The sheer number of choices, each more interesting than the last, can throw you. Attend a business-opportunity trade show and you'll immediately sense the size of the task ahead of you. This is when your self-evaluation comes in handy. If you've thought carefully about the type of business you're seeking, you can cut through a lot of the glittering distractions right away.

The range of business concepts in this marketplace is its most impressive feature. Just survey the concepts on display: vending machine routes, snack food distributorships, commercial cleaning companies, window blind cleaning devices, T-shirt printing presses, lotto machine routes, aspirin vending machines, travel agencies . . . the list goes on and on.

As you wander through this marketplace, be forewarned: Sellers of business opportunities are some of the most effective and aggressive salespeople in the world, and they know exactly why most people are shopping for a business-opportunity package. They know you're probably unhappy with your current situation. You want to tell the boss to shove that job. You want to work for yourself. You want to work at home. You want to better yourself. You want to make more money. You want to spend more time with your family. You don't want to commute to work. And so the sales pitch is made at that level. The representative will push every one of those hot buttons in the course of presenting the business-opportunity package.

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There's no substantiation behind the promise of big money for little work. Nevertheless, you'll hear that appeal in the business-opportunity maket all the time, much to the consternation of consumer protection enforcers. Big dollar signs are thrown out to get your attention. Disregard the claims and move on.

Most decisions to purchase a business opportunity are made on an impulse, and usually for all the wrong reasons. Those hot buttons work all too well. Watch for, and disregard, rather obvious closing techniques ("I only have 13 of these contracts to award in this area, and nine have been assigned already. I'm leaving tonight on a 7 p.m. flight, so make your decision. Stay in that boring job or get on this gravy train before it leaves the station!"), and for downright elastic price points ("Our standard price is $5,000, but at this show we're giving them away for $2,999!"). Take your time, and don't allow yourself to be put in a hot box. Ask questions ("What exactly do you mean I can earn thousands of dollars working for only two hours a week?"). Make sure the purchase is right for you and, whatever you do, don't buy on an impulse.

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