Jun 29, 2005

Being VAGUE is not a business strategy that wins!

The other day I was looking through a scrapbook magazine and I noticed a couple of ads for some NEW HOME-BASED BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES. Being an industry watcher, I decided to go check them out. One link just took me to a place where I could sign up to sell products from an already established company (just how old does a company have to be to stop being a "GROUND FLOOR OPPORTUNITY"?). The other link took me to a very "coy" and generic web page that told me I had to provide all sorts of information before they would tell me anything. So, I bit. I typed in my info only to find out that it was also just a consultant for an already established company. Honestly, I was irritated beyond belief at the fact that I had just wasted 10 minutes of my life. If they had said upfront who they really were, I wouldn't have bothered. I have already had a run-in with this company over one of their top consultants using my REGISTERED and TRADEMARKED business name to do this kind of advertising. I don't get it. Don't they want to build their "brand"? What's the big deal about keeping their name a BIG SECRET? It's a really poor business strategy, IMO. If this company won't let you use their name, then they are reduced to nothing more than a low-margin distributor. You still have to build your own "brand" apparently.

Once in a while I search "ScrapBiz" at Google just to see if there are any new mentions. When I did it a couple of weeks ago, there was a Google ad down the right hand side of the page that was titled "SCRAPBIZ". I clicked on that and followed the links and again, I had to sign up to get any info. It turned out to be some company selling some sort of "jungle happy juice". I emailed the person and demanded that he stop using my business name. He had the audacity to lecture me about how he was practicing smart business and that I could learn a thing or two from his ad. I was furious. He can't use my TRADEMARKED business name. He took the SCRAPBIZ off the ad, but the ad is still there. He claims that people searching for ScrapBiz would also be interested in his company. I don't think so...

Can you stand one more? About 9 years ago, we were getting ready to move across the state. These people we knew, but had never really been friends with, said, "Oh, we're so sorry you're going! We want to get together with you before you leave!!! Can you come over on Thursday night?" We STUPIDLY said, "Sure! That sounds like fun!" When we knocked on their door, we got thrown for a loop. They answered completely dressed up and there we stood in our jeans not knowing WHY they were dressed up. They chatted with us for about an hour, offered us a GLASS OF WATER (I deserved CHOCOLATE for what happened next) and then pulled us into the kitchen and launched into a TWO HOUR sales pitch for AMWAY! At 10:30, we finally just said, "We have to go home." We were leaving the very next morning at 6:30. I was so mad. They made it sound like they just wanted to have a nice evening together. We had no idea they were going to try to nail us to the wall with Amway.

Why can't people just be upfront about what they are doing??? No wonder home-based businesses leave some people with a bad taste in their mouths. These experiences are one of the many reasons that it was absolutely imperative that ScrapBiz NOT be multi-level. And you know what? Members are doing just fine without the levels. One of them is leaving for a UK Vacation next week - with money she made from her online store. Pretty cool, huh?

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Anonymous said...

Love reading the business talk on your blog and ITA!! Mary

Anonymous said...

Love reading the business talk on your blog and ITA!! Mary

Belinda said...

I so agree with the Upfront issue!!
I am planning to join the Scrapbiz family very soon, (I have to wait for the renos on my house to be done- approx 2 months)
Anyhow, I have been researching to start a business in my area for a few months now, I am in Canada and found a DS company that is new and thought about signing up.
I spoke to the president about a year ago when she was leaving her US DS company to branch out on her own, she was very excited to get me on board, she emailed me several chances to get in on 8 different bulk buys of inventory, each order was between $300 and $1200, Holy Cow!
A year later, her website is finally up and running and I went on to ask for consultant info, you cannot see 1 product that they sell, all you can do is fill in a form to sign up as a consultant without even knowing what you get, or order a catalog. I received a catalog after 3 months but not one consultant has contacted me as a possible recruit.
I do not understand this logic with websites, Isn't the whole purpose of a website is to attract customers not annoy them and make them jump through hoops as if you're doing them the favor.
When I am a Scrapbiz business owner I will make sure every customer knows that they are the important one!