I found it extremely strange that Search Entrepreneurs requires potential “entrepreneurs” to fill out a form on their web site so that they can receive information. They state:
“If you are interested in learning more, feel free to tell us more about yourself by completing the following confidential “Search Entrepreneur Profile.” Once you submit it, we will contact you to discuss a plan to conduct due diligence regarding launching a business in the search arena.” [quoted from their web site for the fair use purpose of commentary]
In that statement they say they will discuss a plan to conduct due diligence. Do they realize how absolutely absurd that statement is? Only an idiot would allow the person trying to sell you something to guide you through the due diligence process. By definition a due diligence ”is a term used for a number of concepts involving either an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract” (Thanks Wikipedia). By the very fact that you are attempting to gain information about a company or the product they offer necessitates using information that IS NOT provided by the selling party. You must perform research, gain insight, use third parties, and investigate the management involved with the organization whose product you intend to purchase. Certainly the organization attempting to sell you the product has a conflict of interest with providing the information since they will invariably lessen any negative aspects, enhance the positive aspects, and provide a picture which has been painted with their product shown only in favorable colors. Among the very important questions that must be asked when considering the opportunity offered by Search Entrepreneurs would include:
1. How long have they been in existence? That would be answered by a truthful response of “Since December 14, 2010 or 25 days as of the publication of this post. If they attempt to assuage your concerns by saying they have been in existence for much longer but under a different name, this should prompt the additional question of,
2. Why did the company change its name?
3. What happened to the people that signed up with the previous 3 entities over the past few years?
4. Why is it necessary for the organization to change its name so much?
5. How many of the member companies are still operating after 1 year? When they feign ignorance on this question it should immediately raise concern as it would show that:
- They fail to maintain contact with businesses after they recive their money.
- They try to hide the fact that previous “members” drop off at a rate exceeding 95% (that’s right, their plan has resulted in 19 out of 20 losing everything or almost everything they put in).
- Their business is significantly more reliant on new money membership sign-ups than recurring residual income from split placements by successful members.
6. Who was the originator of the “agent approach” and was this convicted felon’s company ever found liable for fraud? (See http://cansucks.com or healthcaeeragentssucks.com or careeragentsnetworksucks.com ).
7. Has the management of this company ever been involved with an organization that received a written warning from a State’s Attorney General for false and misleading representations? Check http://careeragentsnetworksucks.com/OregonDOJ.pdf
8. Will they give you open access to their “entire” directory of members to call and speak to those you can choose at random, rather than potential “shills”? If they give you some excuse of why this can’t occur, they are probably, in my opinion, trying to hide something, such as the amount of disconnected numbers, unavailable emails, and out-of-business entities.
9. Are they listed with the BBB? This is meaningless since the BBB also gave a great rating to a terrorist group, a neo-nazi group, and a non-existent restaurant. (see www.bbbroundup.com)
This is only the beginning of the questions and research you need to conduct when performing due diligence on Search Entrepreneurs or any “Business Opportunity” being offered. The laws are significantly looser and subject to abuse for “Business Opportunities” than franchises. This is often the reason that some unscrupulous operators choose to use the term “business opportunity” over the more stringently controlled and consumer protection oriented “franchise”.