Franchise Opportunities Vs Business Opportunities: Pros and Cons

Congratulations!

So you’ve decided to be your own boss rather than work for someone else the rest of your life. Good for you! Many decisions will crop up before you make that first deposit or paste that first dollar bill on the wall next to your cash register. Choosing what sort of business you wish to operate is tops on the list – retail versus wholesale and service-related versus product-oriented – as well as the specific industry you plan to enter or the type of work you hope to do. But selecting between two major categories of self-employment is awfully high on that list – buying a business opportunity as opposed to a franchise opportunity.

What is a Franchise?

Many U.S. companies, especially those in the retail sector, provide goods and services through franchisees. If it’s a national brand, chances are good the owner of that particular establishment has purchased the right to operate it from the parent company. Fast-food restaurants are one major category, but the concept extends to everything from car repair shops and daycare centers to mobile veterinary clinics and home cleaning services. By paying an up-front fee, plus perhaps a percentage of your monthly gross revenue for ongoing licensure, you have the opportunity to become an independent operator with the full backing of a major corporation.

What is a Business Opportunity?

A business opportunity is far less structured than its franchise equivalent. You are given basic information about an industry and how to operate within it, but you’re under no obligation to promote a particular brand or to do business in a particular or controlled manner.

Franchise Opportunity Benefits

By purchasing a franchise, you gain immediate name recognition and credibility. No one questions the fact that Dairy Queen is a great place to buy soft-serve ice cream treats. Because the parent company is invested in making your business a success – they can’t collect that monthly payment or use you as a reference for new franchisees if you’re out of business – they provide both initial and ongoing training, regional or national ad campaigns, and well-tested business methods that are guaranteed to work. If the business requires a storefront, the company will usually help you find a good spot with lots of traffic, and perhaps even offer some sort of financing arrangement. Does the business require specific supplies or inventory? You will probably be offered significant discounts, since buying in bulk across the enterprise usually leads to lower prices for all.

The Downside to Franchise Opportunities

A legitimate franchisor will not allow you to buy into their system unless you pass a rigorous review process, which usually includes a careful analysis of your finances, your business experience, and your willingness to accept all their rules and regulations without question. Most franchise fees can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, plus you will have to spend additional money for equipment, supplies, and a location from which to operate – unless you are involved in a mobile business (which still probably requires a dedicated vehicle or two) or one you work from home. Some of your earnings every month will go toward a license fee, payable to the home office, and you may also be required to share some marketing expenses.

Business Opportunity Benefits

You will generally spend less money to acquire a business opportunity than you would a franchise opportunity. By definition alone, there is no upfront franchise fee, plus you usually keep all of your revenue rather than paying ongoing franchise or royalty fees. You are free to choose any business name you like, and even branch out into other areas as you see a need in the community. For example, if you purchased a hamburger fast-food franchise, you could only serve the items on the “approved” list. By buying a business opportunity, if you liked pies – well, you could sell whatever kind of pie you wished. You are also able to operate pretty much anywhere without fear of stepping on someone else’s toes. Franchises can have some very strict territorial guidelines.

The Downside to Business Opportunities

The acquisition of a business opportunity rarely gives you the option to use trademarks, brand names, or other elements readily identifiable to the buying public. The freedom you have to do things your own way also means your chances of success rest entirely in your ability to run a business. There is no home office support, no massive buying power for equipment, inventory or supplies, and no other business owners to consult when you’re faced with an issue that needs to be resolved. In a very real sense, you are on your own.

The Bottom Line

In many respects, deciding between a franchise and a business opportunity comes down to two main factors – how much money you have to spend, and what kind of a personality you possess. Rule-followers can become great franchisees, while people who like to go off in their own direction – maybe not so much. Be sure to weigh all the factors before you decide which is best for you.

Business Opportunity Leads – How to Generate Business Leads in a Cold Digital World

Before I started doing affiliate marketing online I was actually involved in a home based network marketing business. I learned a lot about this business and how valuable a solid lead can be in growing a business.

My problem was I always wanted to go on the internet to find my leads but the business itself exploded in a “warm market” environment.

Against my mentor’s recommendations I decided to try the online lead gathering approach anyway… and tried to build trust online so that I could eventually show people the real business plan and hopefully become partners with them.

After a few months of work online I was getting pretty decent at capturing online leads. I thought I really was on to something big. In fact, what I really learned was that my follow-up plan for converting my leads into my business was failing and most of my leads were not interested in joining me in an offline business endeavour.

What I began to realize was I was good at getting leads online but was having trouble converting them in a warm market business. I was able to convert them on other things which made me focus more on the affiliate side of things and I started to lose focus on my original business. This is because I was actually starting to see money come in from my online leads.

I no longer do network marketing, but I do believe it is an excellent business model, and in fact sometimes I think back and wonder if I made a mistake in leaving that offline business to start working online.

My mentor really taught me a lot about business and personal relationships, and I have starting using some of his philosophies when structuring my own online marketing campaigns in a way to stimulate long-term growth, and residual income.

So, with all that in mind, understand that I learned a whole lot from my online approach to capturing business opportunity leads.. and this post is going to explain some of the things I learned

Gathering Business Opportunity Leads Online – What I Learned

Gathering qualified leads online can be tricky, but many people find it a necessary step they must take. With your own list of leads you can continue to promote your own business opportunity, your own products, or continue to market affiliate products and offers to your list well into the future.

Business opportunities is one of the most competitive niches online. You can even narrow this niche down to “home business opportunities” which still gets millions of searches around the world every day. People searching for home business opportunities are very valuable leads for several reasons.

If you do a typical search for home business you will find hundreds or thousands of people advertising the next great opportunity, and millions or even billions of blogs around the globe pumping out daily content in this niche.

Many of these site owners have done nothing more than hire a graphic designer for a few hundred bucks to create a nice website and some of them even pay people to write their blog posts for them. These sites have one goal in mind and that is to capture you as a lead and then later convert you to a customer or business partner. Many of the sites and owners promise fancy cars, and warm days at the beach, and some of them will tell you they have the answer you need to gain financial freedom.

Does this sound familiar? It probably does…

The actual number of these types of sites has drastically expanded in the last 10 years. There are literally billions of them – which makes it extremely expensive to advertise in this niche, and very difficult to stand out above the rest.

So How Does One Generate Their Own Qualified Business Opportunity Leads Online?

There are many tactical methods for generating good business opportunity leads online, but it really depends on what type of business you want to build.

If you are looking to just collect emails and send people a bunch of affiliate based products related to making money then the above mentioned style of websites might be all you need, but of course you will be competing against millions of people doing the same thing.

If you are one of the many people who have come online to find qualified business opportunity leads to expand your own home based business then you are probably familiar with warm markets and cold markets.

For the purpose of this article warm market is people you know, which could be friends, relatives and existing customers, even referrals are said to be warm. “Cold market” refers to a sales person’s future or prospective customers.

You may have a lot of experience in converting a warm market but the internet is generally a cold market environment. This does not mean you cannot turn your online leads into warm leads. It just requires a different approach to online lead generation that goes against the traditional “squeeze page” or “sales page” & affiliate approach.

Below are some of the most important things you should include in your quest to build a large list of business opportunity leads, that you can convert into a warm market business.

Be The “Real” You Online

Your first step should be building a presence online that is the “real” you. That’s right. You have to come out from behind the curtain and actually post your real name and photo online.

Many people who start a home business will come online and try to keep their identity hidden because they don’t want their friends, current employers, or family to see they are doing this. This will NOT work for you if you want to build a relationship with your leads.

You must get over your fears and create your online profile.

To do this you should develop your own blog (WordPress is easiest), which can contain anything you want and can be business related. On this blog you can post your daily thoughts, business tips, quotes, information about yourself… etc. You will want your blog to link to all of the following.

  • A Twitter Account
  • A Facebook Profile
  • A Facebook Fan Page or Business Page
  • A Facebook Like Box on Your Blog (Very important for building trust – it shows how many people like you on Facebook.)
  • A Private Facebook Group
  • A Linkedin Profile
  • Facebook Comments – this is a cool way to link your blog to Facebook and every time someone comments on your post it goes on their Facebook news feed.

A Professional Lead Capture Approach

You will want to have a squeeze page or a form on your blog where people can actually enter their emails or contact details, or can contact you directly. You can set up a form on your blog to collect whatever information you want from your leads and even allow people to send you a message. the form is designed to prevent spam. This can be done on WordPress blogs by using a free plugin like WordPress Contact 7.

You can also encourage them to join your email list for exclusive updates, industry news, events, or a free ebook. This can be easily done using a service like Aweber which stores email addresses for you and costs about $20 a month.

Whatever you think your readers would find valuable you can offer to them as an incentive to join your list. Aweber will store all your emails in a safe place and allow you to send emails easily and automatically if you wish.

You might want to steer clear of looking too promotional on your lead capture page and in your messaging. Avoid typical marketing images showing material possessions, and over use of exclamation points. You really need to separate yourself and look professional here in order to keep this people from clicking on the “back” button before they even subscribe.

Most people who are joining your list will be people you have met online or in person and you have already told them to visit your blog. These people will also be referred by friends and family, so you probably don’t want to look like a “shady” salesperson.

Become Involved

To build a following that will trust you, you need to be interactive online. This means you need to update your blog regularly and update your twitter, your Facebook etc. You need to build a following and show them you are the real deal, and you are available to talk at any time. If your leads believe you are there and available, they will be more likely to convert.

Save Time With Syndication

You can update all of your online accounts automatically just by setting your blog up to syndicate the content to other places. If you build your blog in a way that facilitates automatic publication onto social media outlets then you can save a ton of time. For example, you can install the auto tweet plugin so that all your new blog posts are automatically tweeted to all your followers. The same goes for Facebook Page Publish plugin.

Make sure that at the bottom of all your posts you remind people to join your email list or fill in your contact form! People will follow your instructions – all you have to do is tell them. You will want to give them an incentive to do so.

You can also syndicate your content to other popular blogs and websites in your industry if they exist. All you need to do is content the site owners and ask them if they wish to post your content. Many of them will if you have a solid reputation and this will generate traffic to your site.

Generate Traffic

There are several ways you can generate traffic to your site. Paid traffic is the fastest form of traffic online. Facebook allows you to buy traffic and target specific interests and hobbies. It can be effective, but very expensive.

If you are going to pay for traffic you need to calculate your cost per acquisition or CPA and you need to know the value of 1 lead to your business. This will determine whether it is worth the investment in buying traffic.

You also have to have an end goal in mind on how you are going to get the paid clicks to convert into an email lead and how you will then convert that email lead into an actual business partner. This is the most difficult part of the process for most people.

What is the Cost Per acquisition?

In my experience online using squeeze pages, for every 100 clicks you buy you should convert at least 30 – 40% or more into email leads. So if you pay 40 cents per click it will cost you $40 for 40 leads. ($1 per lead)

I found with a few tweaks and some cheaper traffic I could acquire email leads for 0.50 cents or less.

You could also pay-per-click on places like Bing Ads or Google Adwords which may be a bit cheaper than Facebook.

Once you become more involved and post more blog content you will start seeing a trickle of free traffic. Another trick is to build a viral video or viral content that will be shared among people on social media sites. Make sure it is linked back to your site.

Every time you post new content you should also be sending it to all your other social media accounts and your subscribers. You will find that as you gather more and more leads and continue to build more solid content on your blog that your traffic will increase exponentially since many of your existing leads will share your content through Facebook and Twitter.

You can also set up new business cards with your blog address, and do some offline promotion including radio ads, flyers, classifieds etc.

Email or Contact Follow Up

How you follow-up with your leads is the most important part of all your efforts.

Business opportunity leads generally convert better if you “warm” them up first. So you should treat the people you meet online the same as you would treat people in person, or even your friends and family. Steer clear from lengthy automated email follow ups and salesy tactics. You need to build trust and give them what they are looking for.

A couple automated welcome messages may be OK, but you really should try to eventually get these leads on the phone or use a tool like Skype which allows you to have a face to face conversation with someone.

If you have a pre-formatted presentation or “plan” you need to show them, you should not do this on auto pilot – (for example with automated emails).

You should call them and arrange a meeting time and have them watch the plan or presentation. Then follow-up immediately by phone or Skype. Be prepared to sign them up or have them purchase your product at that point. This will drastically improve your conversion rates for your business opportunity leads that you collect online.

Affiliate Approach

If you are an affiliate looking to make money from your leads, then an automated follow-up sequence on Aweber may work better for you. There are several legitimate business opportunities that have affiliate programs and convert well with this type of marketing approach.

Regardless of how you want to build your business in this niche, you are definitely at a huge advantage if you collect your own business opportunity leads first before giving them to other companies.

Hopefully this article will help you separate yourself from the rest and build a strong team of qualified business opportunity leads from the internet.

A Unique International Business Opportunity

When a fledgling entrepreneur considers venturing into an
international business opportunity and decides to research
the available opportunities, perhaps using Google or one of
the popular search engines, very little information is to
be found. In fact the term “business opportunity” yields
approximately 250 thousand search results, “home business
opportunity” yields approximately seventy thousand search
results, “network marketing business opportunity” yields
slightly over one thousand results and “international
business opportunity” is just about equal to “network
marketing” in terms of search results.

It’s obvious that
there are hundreds of thousands of individuals interested
in a “business opportunity”; however, by far the majority
limit themselves to considering more conventional or
perhaps “vague” opportunities. This article will propose a
broader look at available opportunities and in fact will
consider a unique, if not compelling look at an
international business opportunity and more specifically a
generalized network marketing international business
opportunity.

Before delving into international business opportunity
specifics, let’s take a look at the cultural and
technological developments that have come about in the past
15 to 20 years that make it possible, and perhaps even
desirable, to consider a more global view when approaching
a new business opportunity. Tremendous strides in
communications technology brought about in a large measure
by the development and astronomical growth of the Internet
have made instantaneous communications with a prospect,
client or business associate not only simple but very
inexpensive. The advent of email, audio/video conferencing,
and VOIP (voice over internet protocol) phones have made it
as easy to contact the person next door, as the one down
the block, in the next state or on the next continent .

Indeed because of these strides in technology it is
possible to combine the “business opportunity”, the “home
business opportunity”, the “network marketing business
opportunity”, and an the “international business
opportunity” into one all encompassing global business that
is operated out of a home office with a computer and broad
band internet connection with little else needed. To be
entirely correct, there are already a small number of
leading edge companies that are operating in just this
manner with all of the tools in place to operate
nationally, internationally or globally.

While it is not the intent of this article to make specific
international business opportunity recommendations,
consider as an example a business using a model of
operation commonly referred to as a Funded Proposal or a
Generic Funded Sponsoring Franchise System. The Funded
Proposal, in a pure sense, consists of three parts: the
Funded Proposal, secondary sales, and a primary business
for long term wealth generation. Many businesses using this
model, market an information product such as an ebook,
course, or seminar that they sell to first qualify
prospects and to generate income to fund their future
advertising in building their business.

The secondary sales, sometimes referred to as back-end
sales, can be products, services, or tools that are an
integral and fundamental part of the operation of the
business as well as to further enhance the income generated
by the business. It’s possible that a break-even or
slightly profitable position can be achieved via the
secondary or back-end sales.

Obviously, the primary business is the most crucial part of
the international business opportunity and must be selected
with great care. There a number of factors that must be
considered carefully. These include: 1. The Company must
have unique products that serve multiple different market
categories and appeal to the masses. 2. The company must be
stable, must have been in business for a minimum of 15 to
20 years, and have the ability to generate long-term sales
and income. 3. It must have a system that is simple and
duplicatable for product marketing and delivery. 4. The
Company management must have been successful business
leaders and have a vision for future growth. 5. The Company
must be global. 6. It must payout at least 50% of sales,
offer unlimited depth within the compensation plan and must
offer meaningful Fast Start Bonuses. 7. They must give back
globally and have a vision of making an impact on the world
in a positive manner.

In conclusion, given the correct business model along with
a well thought though plan or vision for success, the
extraordinary tools that are available today and with
plenty of hard work, it is entirely possible to start a
successful business with a minimal investment. That is not
to say that there will not be obstacles and disappointments
along the way, but regardless of the choice, whether it be
restricted to one’s home town, whether it be a network
marketing business opportunity, a home business
opportunity, or an international business opportunity
there’s little doubt that one exists which will fit your
desires and expertise, but make sure that you do your
research and that your selection is based on a sound
business model and well thought out plan.