To a seeker, a business opportunity is a way to make money. To a company offering an opportunity, it is a chance to leverage somebody else’s time, talent, or money to grow the business. Often opportunities are “sold” as having a specific income or potential income, but the risk and reward belong to the seeker as an independent business person. In other words, the success or failure of a business opportunity is ultimately up to the seeker, regardless of how much help the offering company gives.
A business opportunity typically isn’t employment because employment does not have a major risk or the potential reward of operating a business. You can hire an employee to run a business subsidiary but you monitor it to make sure it’s operating properly and will have to decide to close it if it cannot turn a profit. A business opportunity, on the other hand, is at the sole discretion of the independent business person.
A company offering a business opportunity has very little risk if the independent business person is not successful but gets a major reward if they are. As a seeker, a company is not just going to hand you money with nothing expected in return. You will have to perform. You may have very little direction, you will just be expected to create sales however you do it. In return you may get a brand to use or some other benefit from the company, but they aren’t just going to dole out a bunch of money.
A get rich quick scheme is a way for a seeker to make money quickly. Actually, it’s a scheme because there’s no such thing as “get rich quick”. It’s usually a guise to get you to part with your money for very little in return. A valid business would be an investment of time and or money for a return. That return may be 30% or more, but it will still take a while to become profitable. Often businesses can be profitable right away if you don’t count the time you invest. It might also be possible to earn a profit right away if the independent business person has an uncommon talent or skill. But generally you’re not going to be profitable right away and it will take hard work.
Most people who join a multi-level marketing company sell business opportunities. Often this is all they sell, except for the product they sell themselves. Selling a business opportunity is technically recruiting, which requires a somewhat different skill set. Still, it is so similar to selling that I personally would not tell people that there is “no selling involved”. I mean, when you are in business you sell something to someone, that’s what a business is. If you recruit, product must still be moved in order to make a profit, and the better you can sell yourself, your customer, and your downline on the product, the more money you’ll make.
Often the pitch “no selling involved” is used to refer to distasteful selling, such as door-to-door sales or cold telephone calling. Using these methods are typically not effective, so I would not do or encourage distasteful selling techniques. Advertising can be very effective to build a business if done properly and is usually a much more fun way to reach people. Those you talk to are already interested before they call so you typically don’t encounter harsh rejection.
If you do get involved with a business opportunity, make sure you know what will be required of you and what you will get from the company you’re going into business with. Make sure you get it spelled out in writing.