Without being overly dramatic, this industry has a problem of sorts. I have seen a lot of people claim they are "this", "that", or something else when I know that they aren't "all that". People put a long list of credentials behind their names in magazine articles and at their websites when in fact, it might be TRUE that they own an online store or TRUE that they have another site that does something else, but the TRUTH is that they aren't the smashing success they claim to be. Nor is it TRUE that they have all the experience and background they claim to have.
It's called "padding your resume" and most people (unfortunately) do it. They can CLAIM to have been on some big manufacturer's design team and it looks good. But, did they ever really do any WORK on that DT? They can CLAIM to run a successful business and are therefore qualified (in their minds) to teach you how to run a business, too. But, have you ever heard of their online store or seen it advertised in magazines? Many people are legends in their own minds. And, many people fall victim to them because they don't have a place to check the facts from the long list of credentials. The list is often taken at face value. But, they often find out later that, like the title of this post, things aren't always what they seem to be.
So, as you look around for information on starting a business, you will find several sources - there are books by an Australian guy who admittedly paid for the research but knows nothing about the industry. There are several eBooks (once you buy them, you are going to get dozens of SPAM emails from them each week trying to get you to buy MORE - and trust me, the books are useless - I bought one just to see what it was like). There are books written in the late 90's that are outdated and there are newer sources by people who may not have the experience they claim to have. And finally, there is ScrapBiz. We have nearly 5 years (no joke) of experience helping people open and run retail scrapbook businesses. Here is a LINK to some recent comments and another LINK to comments about us. We must be doing something right after nearly 5 years! There simply isn't another place on the web where you will find better information on starting and running your own scrapbook business.