Business Consulting – The Business Consultants Role In Team Development

Develop an award winning team using business consulting

This article explains how a business consulting can help develop an effective team.

Having a great team in place is essential to any business. Members of a team need to be able to work and communicate together effectively. No one can create a perfect team overnight, this is something that can take some time. Consultants are often the best people to turn to when team development is needed. Properly trained and motivated workers are key ingredients to a successful team. They can be very effective and beneficial when it comes to a company’s growth. Consulting can help you to find and build this amazing team!

Here is the point: Consulting Firms can come up with ways to get everyone involved and ensure that everyone is doing what they can to be a team player. If a company is having trouble getting a productive team together, a consultant may be called in to assess the situation. They may offer something such as exercises that would allow the team members to become stronger and enable them to work together. If there is an issue between any of the members of the team, the business consulting firm can do what needs to be done to solve the problem. There are exercises that they use that will make them communicate. This will give the consultant a better idea of what the root of the problem is. It is really all about being productive.

If a company does not have a team together that consists of people who are willing to do what it takes to get the job done, the company may fail. A business consulting firm will know how to approach the situation from every angle. It may be hard for the management of the company to address the needs and concerns of each employee. This is mainly due to time restraints. A business consulting firm will be available more and they can speak with the team as a whole as well as speak with each one individually.

Instead of spinning your wheels trying to be the peace maker, hiring a business consulting firm can be the best thing for a company to do. A team that can work together effectively can make a company successful. Look at it like a football team, bad team, no championship! Business Consulting can help you with all these issues and more.

Better Business Bureau; Is it worth another look

Better Business Bureau Fraudulent Sales Practices

Have any other small businesses had a problem with the BBB and there sales practices? We have for quite some time. Our franchisees, (our company is a mobile car wash franchise company) are required to join the local Chambers of Commerce as part of their franchise when one exists in their exclusive territory. But as soon as they do the BBB calls up and says;

“We have been getting a lot of calls about your service, but we did not know what to tell those customers who inquired about you with The BBB?” Then the pitch goes on…for about $300 plus dollars you will receive….

Our franchisees join the chamber prior to the commencement of their business while their mobile car wash service trucks are being built to get to know the communities they will be serving. Inver ably they will get the call from the BBB from the new member directory from the chamber of commerce before any advertising goes out, so in fact no one had ever called the BBB at all. This has happened to our franchisees in Carson City, NV; Palm Desert, CA; Agoura Hills, CA; Camarillo, CA; Sacramento, CA and Houston, TX. I realize that this is “telemarketing fraud” and I am concerned. I am told that many of the 128 BBBs across the country pay their salespeople either all or part commission. So perhaps this is an individual problem, yet their sales people have done this. I personally have had it happen five times to me as the franchisees signed up at the Chamber of Commerce in various cities and they did not have phones yet, so they called me at Corporate. As a franchisor I am responsible for any verbiage of any sales person given during a sale, shouldn’t the BBB also be liable for these falsehoods?

I contacted the Washington D.C. head office of the BBB and they denied that any such incident has ever occurred and referred me to the fact that they are a 90-year old organization. Maybe, but as it stands today they are breaking the law. This has occurred five times in sales calls to me personally from BBB representatives. I also contacted the Los Angeles BBB and was told that yes their sales people often use Chamber of Commerce lists of new members as well as look up names of anyone who has had a complaint filed against them. I was told of this off the record, yet I am using this information too. In other words they use the list of companies who had customers call in whether it was a valid complaint or not as a sales tool. Interesting since accounting firms cannot also be consultants these days. The hypocrisy of the BBB is a little unnerving and of course unethical if not out right fraudulent in my opinion. I was told at the L.A. office that “MOST COMPANIES” join the BBB. Impossible since there are over 1.6 million businesses throughout the greater LA, Orange County, Riverside, San Fernando Valley area and most could only be over 51%. This is an exaggeration by any stretch. This would mean they would have a minimum of 800,001 business members, when in fact they have less than one tenth that number in all of Southern California. Yet these same BBB offices take complaints about franchising and on many of their web sites tell buyers to be aware of exaggerations;

http://www.bbb.org/library/fran.asp .

This is quite appalling and shows that both franchisors and franchisee attorneys should stand up and take notice; but this is not just a franchise business issue, it is a small business issue. All small business people are subjected to this and maybe harassed. Chambers of Commerce across this country signup their new members with public trust, yet this is being abused by another organization the BBB. I was also told today by this sales person in Los Angeles that 9 out of 10 calls coming into the BBB were consumers looking for references of businesses for service or products. This is also an exaggeration and a falsehood (lie). If you call any BBB the answering machine usually states; “If you would like to make a complaint press 1…” There is no mention of getting a reference and certainly few incoming calls result in new business for its business members. One of the benefits you receive is instant credibility from the consumer, yet the organization issuing the stamp of approval lacks credibility and ethics of it’s own.

Also of grave concern is the fact that even if you join the BBB and appear in the BBB phone book they produce in some markets, if you are disreputable you are still in print for the remainder of the year. And therefore we have the BBB promoting disreputable businesses for as much as 12 months. If someone files a complaint against your company whether real or imaginary (trying to get free stuff) you must settle the said complaint before you can renew, once again extortion.

I feel these sales techniques are fraudulent and disreputable. I am also concerned with the “Boomerang” closing techniques when the BBB sales person gets a negative response to join. “We will not be able to tell the people who call us that you are a reputable company.” Implying that the consumer will assume the opposite, that you are disreputable company. This in itself maybe good for BBB sales, but it is an extortion technique. I have heard this extortion technique myself many times and phrased many different ways all-leading to the same tactic. Asking small companies to fork over $300 plus dollars is unnecessary and they will receive little if any benefit for their BBB membership. Perhaps the plaque displayed may be of value to customers in a store, but the way in which they attempt to sell it is dishonest.

The BBB works closely with the FTC and after contacting the BBB to make a complaint they told me I was wrong, and that I did not know what I was talking about and that the BBB would never do such a thing? Which is also a falsehood since I have experienced it first hand. When I told them that I might have to contact the FTC in this matter, they said go-ahead knowing their strength in alliance with the government

The BBB preys on small businesses of all types as well as franchised businesses for membership using these techniques. We called the FTC as well and they would not take the complaint. Perhaps this is because they work with the BBB in secretly using entrapment techniques to get franchisors to make unsubstantiated earnings claims. The FTC has also worked with the BBB to catch franchisees of various systems in consumer fraud such as automobile repair, advertising claims and telemarketing techniques. So for this reason the FTC will not do anything about this issue.

The BBB is above the law. They often lie to prospective members to make sales, meanwhile attack franchisors using entrapment techniques from the inside while preying upon franchisees to prove self worth in conjunction with other agencies in the media and also use extortion tactics to make money for membership fees. Imagine the money they have extracted from all the franchise systems of this country. Just imagine the number of small businesses who are struggling right now to make payroll as cash flow has lessened due to economic forces beyond their control. Over 10% of all Americans own some type of small business and can be subjected to these terrorizing and extortion sales tactics. Most franchisors have many franchisees that are members of the BBB; this costs franchisees each year and cuts into the profits of the franchised units. We have put this line of text in our franchise agreement:

5.1 You may not join the Better Business Bureau as a business member as part this franchise with us.

I am very serious about this issue, having been lied to by BBB representatives for the last five years and today when I called to see if things had changed. I was hung up on by the BBB in Washington D.C. when I called to discuss this issue. The FTC will not do anything about it for fear of losing a partner. If the FTC will not look into this, why do we need an FTC or a BBB?

I have received several emails from concerned business people, for instance, Bob writes: “That’s really interesting, isn’t it? One government bureaucracy is using what
is “supposed” to be a free-market entity to do the dirty work that they
themselves don’t have the Constitutional backing to do in the first place.
Then, by not holding the BBB accountable for its fraudulent practices, it is
basically saying to them, “you are a brother government agency – one of us -,
free to terrorize whomever you want”. “I always thought that the BBB was basically a private organization that served as a watchdog, with a membership of businesses that could self-police. Apparently, I was wrong.”

This is a nationwide problem not just a few rouge sales people in one part of the country or one of the BBBs 128 locations. In Atlanta Mr. Lee writes: “It’s not just with franchises…. We get calls at our company stores in Atlanta, NYC, Chicago, and Birmingham with the exact same sales pitch “blah blah …we’ve been getting a lot of calls about your company from your prospects, and we don’t know what to tell them because you’re not listed with us..” “It seems like a total scam. I often feel stongarmed by them. Do you mind if I share your email with our attorney?”

Other people are also concerned with these issues, iCop Founder writes: “You certainly don’t need to convince me! I know first hand that everything you’re reported here is true. I have personally received the exact same treatment from the BBB in California. I had to threaten to sue them to get them to stop calling with the threats and harassment. A few years ago, when I had a complaint about one of their big name “sponsors” who ripped me off to the tune of several hundred dollars, the only response from the BBB was, “They said they didn’t so it.” This in spite of the fact that I had sent them undeniable proof! What is wrong with THIS picture?!” “Unfortunately, I have no idea that anything can ever be done about it. They are protected by the government – as you have already found out. I did write a series of articles on it a couple of years ago. Maybe it’s time to rerun them! Apparently, the only thing we can do is educate people and warn them.
Pretty much like the Mafia making you pay for protection under threat, eh? But then when Quest is listed as one of their corporate sponsors, you have to know something’s very wrong! Sorry we can’t be more help but it’s way too big a scam for iCop! When a government supported company like the BBB acts like nothing more than thugs, it’s hard to be surprised at situations like Enron and Worldcom.”

But that is not all the smallest of small business also have been harassed, Greg Spunk writes about this from San Diego and an office now in Phoenix: “We have not joined the BBB in either the Phoenix or San Diego locations for similar reasons. You just verified what I already felt was happening. They are of no value to us and we have not missed them.”

In Pittsburg a small manufacturer writes in to us and says: “The same thing to me. “someone is calling about your business and we aren’t able to tell them anything since you aren’t a member…. It was $465 dollars to join, and they called and called and called. I declined since I didn’t see the point.”

We received this from Albuquerque, NM from the proprietor of a small automotive business who wanted her husbands company to remain anonymous; “It happened here for 6 months, same speil, We have been getting calls for your business etc. Finally I told them that I was not interested and to stop calling or I would call Santa Fe and talk to the DA. Susie”

I received this email from one of our own franchisees;

“The BBB has called us and even after telling them I was too busy to make an appointment (after several calls), they dropped in when I wasn’t home and told Gino I had made an appointment. NOT TRUE. What’s up with them, I told them we were too new to join yet, we had to watch our cash flow. What’s up with them?”

Franchisees coming into the market and/or having been laid off need to watch every penny they spend, if the BBB uses forceful tactics, then they are of detriment to the success of a new franchisee that is on a budget to get their businesses going. Then they show up at a personal residence without an appointment? The sales people are so aggressive and hound small businesses. What happened to privacy? Is the BBB resorting to new tactics after the recent telemarketing law became effective? The BBB was told by our franchise that they were not interested after several calls, so they show up at their house? I am sorry but isn’t this pushing it a little, general harassment? Yet no one will enforce these issues.

If any other Small Business Person, Chamber of Commerce, SBA office, SBDC or franchisor are having this problem, I would sure like to know. Yes we are busy too, but that does not mean we can allow this injustice to continue. This is unacceptable behavior and the BBB should be disgorged of these ill-gotten gains. These monies should be rightfully returned to the businesses and the FTC should not get a dime since they are in cahoots with the BBB and are allowing this to continue for years on end. The FTC and the BBB should stop throwing stones at franchisors and their franchisee team members.

Health Oriented Affiliate Businesses

Affiliate networking weight loss and health businesses are on the rise and finding one that offers complete turnkey wraparound support for their affiliate business owners is the key to developing a successful affiliate networking home business. Individuals who are looking for an affiliate business opportunity are finding that it is one way in which to take their own personal passions and turn them into a business that results in substantial income.
 
Health issues and concerns are becoming prevalent in the United States and have been for at least the past two decades. The American lifestyle of being overly stressed, eating far too much processed food and not getting enough exercise has lead to an epidemic of obesity and associated health problems, like high blood pressure, diabetes and joint problems. For individuals who have decided to take control of their health, figuring out where to start and how to keep their motivation going can be difficult; this is where healthy lifestyle affiliate marketing comes into play.
 
Affiliate Marketing
 
There are several different ways in which to approach health-oriented affiliate programs and there are many, many different kinds of affiliate programs. You can choose an affiliate program that is entirely focused on selling nutritional supplements, healthy foods and other products over a website or in person, like selling Sun Rider or Puritans Pride. You can also choose a company that pays you commissions when individuals become a member of their organization, like Team Beachbody or 6PackSecret. Or you can open a franchise business, like Gold’s Gym, that promotes a healthy lifestyle and allows you to interact with customers in person. The one thing to remember is that you want to choose an affiliate program that provides you with as much support as possible by offering things like business mentoring and advice, website development, product marketing materials (website product content, brochures, catalogs, advertising, etc) and a virtual office.
 
One really great affiliate program that offers all of these support features is Team Beachbody. Becoming a Team Beachbody Coach is an affiliate marketer’s dream come true. If your passion is centered around health and helping people find their way to creating their own healthy lifestyle, then this is definitely an affiliate marketing opportunity worth investigation. Numerous people have found that the support, products and marketing opportunities make building a home based business easy to not only start, but also maintain.
 
Case Study
 
Beachbody is a affiliate marketing program that has been around for many years and they have perfected the marketing of their products with providing everything an affiliate member needs to generate income and build their business. Beachbody generates an enormous amount of customers by the multitude of infomercials that are currently airing on television. These infomercials include products such as P90X, Turbo Jam and Hip Hop Abs.  Every customer that calls in to order one of those programs is assigned to a Beachbody Coach (affiliate marketer).  The coaches are independent contractors and will help their customers succeed in their set goals. The Beachbody Coaches are there for informational and motivational support. By providing one on one personal motivation, Coaches are actually able to not only help their customers reach their own personal goals, but also have the opportunity to suggest products and program available and build their business through product sales. 

In addition to highly popular products and providing personal contact and support to customers, Beachbody also provides amazing support to their Coach/Marketers. They provide website development tools, marketing support, a virtual office and a constant flow of promotional materials and opportunities for every marketer to use as they build their business. They also provide highly successful opportunities for marketers to build their own down line system by promoting Team Beachbody as a business and assigning an upline Coach to every person who joins the program as a business member. As a result of this complete turnkey system, Beachbody has become one of the most successful and sought after affiliate marketing programs in the United States.
 
Summary
 
In today’s down economy, many people are turning to creating their own business opportunities rather than waiting to be offered a job when the economy starts to finally turn around. If you have the entrepreneurial spirit and have a passion for health, you should definitely consider an affiliate marketing home business. Quite a few individuals have done so well that they have left their former profession entirely and are devoted to helping others build a healthy lifestyle while building their own personal business. You could be one of these success stories too!