Business idea, how to evaluate it?
With so many scams, marketing frauds, identity thefts and other schemes targeting us these days, we tend to get very skeptical, confused and resistant to part time opportunities that come our way and at times miss out on the right opportunities. How do we find the needle in the haystack of part time opportunities? That is the biggest question alluding us these days. In this blog post, I would like to share some of my learning on how to evaluate a part time business opportunity/idea:
1. Credibility of the Company & Products
Before we decided to get involved with any company, first thing to do is to study the credibility and financial stability of the company. Here are some of questions, we need to ask.
How old is the company? What is the annual revenue? What are the growth rate statistics? Who endorses the company and its products? Do they have any sponsorships? What is the history of the founders of the company? Is it privately owned or a public company? How much of liquid money do they hold and what is the company’s future vision?
We generally go to Google to get these details, but remember one important fact that Google is a search engine and not a research engine. It is like graffiti on the bathroom walls, where anyone and everyone can post their comments and most importantly not the right source to research on our financial future. We can look for credible information through credible sources like the company’s website/ blogs, Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org), Dun & Bradstreet (www.bnb.com), etc.
2. Business Educational System
A lot of businesses plans look very attractive, they provide us with access to products and some basic business material and leave the rest to us. With most of us having no prior experience in handling a business, it gets really challenging on how to run and manage the business. One way it to self learn by experimenting and trying out things, but it is the most unproductive and costliest option. The smartest thing to do is to learn from the experience of others experience; from someone who is already successful and understood the nuances of building a solid profitable and well managed business.
Lot of companies along with the regular start-up package also provide access to learning centers, business building material, conferences/ training sessions/ seminars and also a personal coach who is senior in the business. All this comes with some additional investment, but is completely worth it if we are smart enough to tap into the well established and proven business system.
3. Legality of the business
Is the business legal? I am getting into the right thing? This is biggest question we normally get while looking into any opportunity. Again the best place validate this as I mentioned earlier, is to go to credible business reporting websites like Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) & Dun & Bradstreet (www.bnb.com). They provide various services like business reliability reports, fraud prevention, complaints and dispute resolution, charity reports, truth in advertising, etc.
One of the most common type of part-time business models that we come across these days are Multi-Level-Marketing/ Pyramid models. How to identify a legal from an illegal business model? One simple fact we need to understand is that every large business or organization is always setup in the form of a pyramid. If we are working at an organization, we are part of a pyramid which starts from the CEO, Vice President, Managing Directors all the way to us. When the service that we provide to the company flows up the pyramid and the salary flows down the pyramid, it forms a legal pyramid. If the company does not pay salary, it becomes an illegal pyramid. Similarly, in a part time business business model if our efforts and investment is flowing up and value in terms of services, training, products and profits are flowing down the pyramid, it forms a legal pyramid.
4. Exit strategy/ Money Back Guarantee
Given all the facts about the company and its legal aspects, is this the right opportunity for me? Will it fit my personality? Can I make it work? Questions like these generally tend to stop us from taking the step forward.
How do we learn to swim? By jumping into the water. What if we drown, is there an expert watching me to pull me out of water? In a similar way, can I test drive the business? Is the opportunity providing an exit strategy in case I figure out after a couple of months that this is not working for me. This is another question that I would ask. Many companies provide Money Back Guarantee both on the business registration as well as the products. If they are providing that option, it talks about the confidence the company has in their business and also gives us a comfort feeling on our investment.
5. Success Stories and Profiles
I would also look for some profiles of the people who have been successful through the opportunity. I would request the person who is showing me the opportunity to provide me some of the profiles and success stories of the people who have a similar background as mine and with whom I can relate to. It can be either links on the web or some listening content like CD, recordings or some books. This definitely gives us a big confidence booster – if they can do it I can do it too.
6. Give your best
This is where 90% of the people lose out on. Once we are done with our research and made a smart decision to get started, to be successful in any opportunity it is very important to backup the decision by actions, by setting up specific measurable goals and by having a game plan to work towards achieving them. It is extremely important to give our 100% commitment to evaluate the opportunity in the right way. Lot of people, take it with a casual attitude and if it does not work they blame it on the business since it is the easiest thing to do.
Wish you great success and hope my article would help you in making a right decision for your future.