I have previously predicted that Career Agents Network would change their name, and probably do so for their 2011 “Product”. It came as no surprise when, on December 14, 2010 Corporation 7752C, known as Career Agents Network filed the paperwork with the State of Michigan changing their name (once again) to Search Entrepreneurs, Inc.
Does this mean that they are in a new business? No, it means that the old business has a new name and “identity”. In my opinion, it is just another method of attempting to bamboozle wannabe entrepreneurs into thinking it is a different company. Before you invest any money in any “business opportunity” presented by this group you should employ the sniff test they placed on their website a little over a year ago as a way to detect a scam. This information is republished under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright Statutes “for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports” and not as any representation of intellectual property rights ownership by the publisher or use for commercial gain. Here, in their own words are the criteria you should evaluate when determining whether a business opportunity is a scam or not:
- What kind of work is required? How many hours per days should you expect to put into your business? If you’re going to succeed, don’t think you can start a business with 2-3 hours per day, or 10-20 hours per week. Starting a business is hard work. There are a few individuals who can do it part-time, but most people will get discouraged long before their business has the opportunity to succeed if they start at this pace. Commentary: When this business opportunity was first presented (and even in their last version) it was proposed that you could start out in the business part-time and then when it became successful merge into full-time. Since the vast majority of people started out full-time and still failed, some with spouses and contractors working with them it doesn’t portray a very likely picture of success no matter how hard you work at the business. A 95%+ failure rate is more of a testament to a flawed business plan that relies on a “lottery game” rate of success rather than hard work.
- How long will it realistically take to produce income? Any business has its ups and downs, and revenue will come at different times for various individuals. However, knowing how long you need to plan for is going to be critical in your decision on when to actually start. Once you get an idea from the company of when you should be able to start making money, plan on it taking at least 50% longer, just to be sure you have enough reserves to give your company a realistic shot at being successful. Commentary: If you should plan on it taking 50% longer would that be due to an unrealistic expectation placed forward by the vendor of the business opportunity? If they fail to disclose the truth about this time frame, what other aspects of their “opportunity” are unrealistic? Do they mention that the time frame to produce income may extend into “NEVER”?
- Have others been successful? I’ve read a lot of disgruntled people that want to talk with investors in a company that didn’t succeed. My simple question is why? Why would anyone want to talk to someone who wasn’t successful in an endeavor? That person isn’t going to give you a realistic shot at why they weren’t successful. People, being people, will blame anyone they can for failures just to avoid taking responsibility. Rather than wanting to talk with the folks who weren’t successful, talk with those who are. Ask specific questions. How successful have they been? How much growth have they seen? What kind of background do they have, and what kind of plan did they have in place to make it work? Aim for success, rather than trying to avoid failure. Commentary: By speaking with those that have failed you gain insight into pitfalls and traps that might be encountered in the process of following the “plan”. Also, when you learn that 95%+ of the individuals that paid to receive a plan failed, it shows the failure process is endemic to your plan, not the individuals attempting to use it.
- How long has the company been around and what reputation do they have? The first piece is critical. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, most business scams last 12-18 months. If a franchise or business opportunity company has survived 3+ years, it’s not because they’re just that good at scamming folks. Rather, it’s probably because they’ve helped enough people become successful that there is a foundation on which to build and help others. The second piece, reputation, is more about legitimate reputation. We’ve discussed this as well. Look to the Attorney General’s office, look to the Better Business Bureau, or to Dun & Bradstreet. These organizations can help you get an objective view of what the franchise or business opportunity is like. Anyone you talk to or read, either positive or negative, is going to be biased, and it may be an unfair bias against your success. Commentary: This alone helps to prove my point. Search Entrepreneurs has been around for 2 WEEKS! Career Agents Network was around for only 2 YEARS! It would seem that this advice is slanted toward disregarding the cautions and flags presented by those in real-life and advise you to rely upon a D&B Seal, which is a purchased product or the Better Business Bureau which has given high ratings to a terrorist organization, a neo-nazi group, and non-existent businesses when they ponied up the cash. See the website http://www.bbbroundup.com for additional information about the BBB. Perhaps if I had the opportunity to speak with people holding a negative opinion of this “opportunity” I’d be $49,900 richer today.