Starting a Business: Which will you choose the Easy Way or the Smart Way?

Going into business for yourself is a bold decision. Even though countless people dream of the entrepreneur lifestyle, many of them never attempt it due to lack of confidence in their ability to be successful. As a result, plenty of great ideas go to waste as the average Joe continues to labor his life away. This is mainly because Joe believes that every business requires not only hard work but loads of start-up funds as well. However, there are numerous opportunities that neither require a tremendous amount planning or a business owner with deep pockets.

Is a Franchise Right for Me?

One easy way to jump into business quickly is to open a franchise of a highly productive company. Taking advantage of a franchise opportunity from a well-established business is very beneficial, because it allows the franchisee to remove the guesswork out of determining which products will be profitable and what is needed for a successful start-up.

Business franchises carry the parent company's brand name along with its products and practices. The control company provides a one-stop location for inventory purchases and typically offers mentoring to ensure your success. After all, it is in their best interest to assist in your efforts when their brand's reputation is at stake. However, there are downsides to franchise ownership as well.

What's the Catch?

Having everything laid out for you may seem too good to be true. Well, it is. Because you would be owning an extension of another company, you would be bound by their rules and policies. This means that you could not alter anything to suit your own preferences and you would likely be regularly subjected to compliance inspections. Many find it very frustrating to own a business in which they do not have full control.

Even though the product plan and managerial assistance is readily available, it is still your responsibility to acquire the start-up capital. Therefore, you would need to apply for a business loan large enough to purchase inventory, establish a location, hire employees, and cover any other initial expenses.

The keyword in the previous statement is "LOAN". Receiving a business loan is not an easy achievement. The loan application approval is usually dependent on a high credit rating and available assets that could be used as collateral. While this may be a viable option for some, this is not the case for the average American especially during the beginnings of economic recovery.

Is There a Better Way?

As you may realize, starting a franchise is not for everyone. It is an easy way to kick-start a business, but it is not a smart use of money. You would be in debt before you even have your grand opening. This is why more and more business enthusiasts are opting for home-based opportunities.

The growth of web-based applications has created a plethora of telecommuting jobs and network possibilities. At the top of that list is Network Marketing, also known as Multi-level Marketing (MLM). Owning a network marketing business is similar to a franchise in the aspect of having everything already set in place as far as product/services and policies are concerned. However, with MLM you get to decide how to reach clients and run the day-to-day activities.

How Does it Work?

A MLM network consists of individual contractors working together towards a common goal. Each person promotes products/services that he or she feels most capable of selling. This is often done by utilizing social media platforms, affiliate marketing, or more traditional methods such as flyers.

Each marketer is the head or 'top level' of his own business. As he recruits and trains other contractors, he earns a percentage of the newcomer's earnings. These recruits would be considered level two. Then, they would also start the process of selling and recruiting resulting in level three recruits and so on. This is why it is called multi-level marketing.

Here's why Network Marketing / MLM may be the Best Option for You

A MLM business demands much less start-up costs than a franchise and has minimal overhead expenses. In addition, there are no employees to manage which means you keep all of the proceeds. Imagine having no accounts payable, no accounts receivable, and no inventory to manage. This means less paperwork and less hassle.

The best part of Network Marketing is having the freedom to work whenever and wherever you want. As your business starts to grow, you are free to travel and enjoy life without worrying about being stuck in an office. You can work remotely from your favorite cafe or Peru for that matter. It's up to you.

Like any other business, in the beginning you will need to work hard. However, after you recruit a handful of new distributors / business partners and help them do the same you will be able to relax a bit and watch the business grow. Money will then commence flowing in as residual income, and that is the true American dream; to sit back while others make you rich.