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Step 1. Keep an open mind. There may be much more to an opportunity than we think. Certain business concepts and brand names conjure up images based on very limited information or preconceived ideas. We have to investigate an opportunity properly before we can make an informed decision.
Step 2. Does the Company supply products or services to genuine consumers that have no connection to the business opportunity? If there are customers that just want to buy the products or services this is likely to be a genuine and sustainable business. If on the other hand the only “customers” are the distributors themselves (or their friends and family) you may want to ask the question: why?
Step 3. Are the products or services likely to be in demand for the long-term or are they just a passing fad? It may be that there is a short-term income opportunity with a passing fad but if you are looking for a business opportunity that will provide for you for many years then it makes sense to select an opportunity that is likely to have a demand for its products or services for the long term.
Step 4. Is there a simple, proven system for moving products or services to the market? This is a fundamental requirement for the success of any business. Are you required to persuade family and friends to buy your products or services? Would you be happy to do that?
Step 5. If someone is offering you an opportunity and claiming that you will earn money from it, it’s reasonable and logical to ask: “What are you earning from it?” If they tell you, then it’s also reasonable to ask to see some evidence. If they are not prepared to tell you and provide any evidence; ask yourself why not?
Step 6. Ask what their sales figures are each month and again, ask for evidence. If there is no business turnover; there is no business!
Step 7. Are you required to make a substantial investment? Generally, home based business opportunities require a small investment, maybe a few hundred pounds for equipment and materials necessary to work the business, but if you are required to invest heavily be very cautious. It’s also important to understand where your money goes and precisely what you get for it. If the person that recruits you into the business gets a payment directly as a result of recruiting you; be very careful as it may even be an illegal scheme. The person recruiting you should only benefit when you, as the new joiner starts to move products or services yourself i.e. they are benefitting by helping you to earn money. This way they have a vested interest in your success; a fundamental element of an ethical business opportunity.
Step 8. Not all, but most ethical business opportunities will be members of the DSA (Direct Selling Association) and whilst this does not represent any guarantee, member companies are required to operate within specific guidelines.
Step 9. If the opportunity that you are considering has a team-building element to it, check to see that there is a clearly defined system and infrastructure to support you with this. You need to be sure that this is in place and that the person and/or team that you are considering joining with, is competent to train and coach you in this respect. Within any given Company the people that you join with can have a huge impact on your business; choose carefully!
Step 10. Seek out all of the information that you need to properly evaluate a business opportunity and then make a well informed decision based on the facts. Find someone within a specific opportunity that is being successful and go through the steps 1 to 9 above with them. Many people will ask those close to them for their opinion but it’s important to ask ourselves how they are qualified to comment. You may even find someone that has failed in the opportunity that you are considering and these people often have an opinion that they want to share with you! If you want to be a success it makes sense to speak with successful people.