Business opportunities (biz-op) sellers are making a comeback. With the COVID pandemic reshaping the world of work, there’s never been a higher demand for business coaches or opportunities to make money from home.
Thousands of budding entrepreneurs who were laid off during the worst months of the pandemic are looking for new opportunities. Business coaches selling programs are in a prime position to help those desperate to learn new skills and work from home. Those selling specific biz-ops also have a crowd of individuals ready to hunker down and learn how to run a new business from anywhere in the world.
But the industry has been tarnished, and multi-level marketing (MLM) opportunities specifically have developed a bad reputation as Ponzi schemes or scams. Payment processors have also traditionally given this industry a wide birth in the wake of several high-profile FTC violation cases.
But a new set of winning strategies has seen many biz-op sellers and business coaches regaining lost ground, securing excellent payment processing solutions, and scaling their businesses. So what’s their secret?
Read on to get the inside track on their tried and trusted methods for success.
Prospering Biz-Op Companies and Business Coaches Reposition Their Products
One of the biggest issues with this industry pre-pandemic was the price of the info products, live in-person events, and training programs sold by leading players within this space. Big ticket-items are problematic for acquiring banks for several reasons. But number one on the list is chargebacks.
Smart merchants selling business opportunities, info products, and business coaching programs have realized that it’s best to stay away from all-encompassing products that cost thousands of dollars.
Instead, those selling biz-ops such as online businesses from home or MLM-based nutraceutical opportunities have realized that the lower the costs, the higher the chance of being accepted for dedicated merchant accounts and credit card processing.
Thus, if you’re a merchant in this vertical, assess your current offering. Are you offering high-ticket coaching programs to budding entrepreneurs that cost as much as $10,000? Can you split up that info product into smaller, more appealing packages with pricing capped at less than a few hundred dollars each?
It’s best to teach would-be business owners about specific skills, such as mastering Facebook Ads or email marketing. That way, you can appease payment processors and underwriters that are nervous about being potentially on the hook for thousands of dollars.
It’s also easier to make objective targets and promises in your marketing. Rather than promising students the chance to earn millions from the comfort of their armchair, you can avoid the wrath of the FTC by merely claiming that you’re teaching skills that could turn into a lucrative opportunity for your customers.
So what should you be focusing on if you need to revamp your offering?
High-Risk Biz-Op & Business Coaching Merchants Should Focus On In-Demand Sectors
The merchants in this space that are killing it are intelligently focusing on the online business world. Business coaches realize that people need a side hustle income to as many households have seen incomes drop due to the COVID pandemic.
Tweak your opportunities to ones that can be attempted from anywhere. For example, a course teaching students how to become six-figure copywriters would be very popular in this current climate. As would teaching people how to create marketing funnels for affiliate marketing. Focus on the gig economy too. It’s one of the only sectors to experience massive growth in the last few years due to the increase in remote workers.
Hundreds of thousands of individuals across the world are looking for a new opportunity. Thus, focus your energy on teaching your students about business models that can make money from anywhere in the world. Not only will this increase the number of potential customers in your country of origin, but it makes it easy to scale your business to other countries if you have a cloud-based biz-op.
This could be crucial to scaling your company since overseas merchant accounts often have much less strict requirements on applications.
Do you run a business opportunity with an MLM structure? You need to understand that there are going to be obstacles to obtaining a dedicated merchant account. Read our guide here to find out what they are and how to overcome them!
Save Your Best Business Opportunities and Training Materials for Customers You Can Trust
While it’s true that banks hate dealing with high-risk businesses that are accepting credit card payments for amounts totaling more than $1,000, you can reduce the risk and upsell to your most loyal customers.
One of the biggest problems with selling high-ticket coaching programs or biz-ops is that you don’t know who is purchasing your products. A customer could merely be a freeloader looking to gain valuable information and training materials without ever having any intention of paying for it.
However, you can take mitigating steps. For instance, you can limit your premium opportunities or materials to clients who have a long and clean processing history with you. Filtering in this way helps you avoid high-risk payments from so-called “cold” customers who haven’t interacted with your business before.
You can also take steps to ensure your e-commerce transactions are better protected from the twin threats of fraud and chargebacks. You could limit your payment methods to ACH-only for your highest-ticket products and opportunities.
You could also insist on taking those ACH payments over the phone from trusted clients via a virtual terminal, to disarm the threat posed by credit card chargebacks. You can then build a solid processing history to improve your banking relationships and apply for higher monthly sales limits. Once you have scaled, you can then think about bringing in credit and debit card payments.
When it comes to fraud, it makes sense to integrate 3DS2 into your payment gateway solution. It’s been a legal requirement for sales made in the EU since January 2021, and in the US, it shifts the burden of proof concerning chargebacks onto the customer rather than the merchant.
Once you’ve established your brand and are bringing in healthy six-figure revenues each month, you can then start to open up your high-ticket items to more individuals. You can even use the testimonials for your most successful clients to help persuade them of the merits of your biz-op, online course, or coaching program.
Avoid Making Any Specific Claims About Earnings
Another reason so many deceptive companies have gotten into trouble with the FTC is that they have made specific earnings claims. Several companies have been recently on the wrong end of a recent FTC operation known as Operation Income Illusion. Since 2016, $610 million has been scammed out of customers who’ve invested in biz-ops that promised “guaranteed” income figures. The FTC has recently cracked down on the worst offenders.
Once company named 8-Figure Dream Lifestyle promised consumers who followed their “proven business model” that they would earn between $5,000 to $10,000 in just 10 to 14 days and consistently make money within 60-90 days of buying into the program.
Far from experiencing an “8-figure dream lifestyle,” most consumers paid between $2,395 to $22,495 and never earned substantial income. In fact, many people lost money, ending up in an even deeper financial hole by taking out loans and racking up credit card debt.
This case sums up the industry’s problem from the perspective of payment processing services and merchant account providers. Even the most successful MLM companies can’t guarantee those who sign up will make a specific amount, as it’s largely down to the individual.
Therefore, make sure to avoid the same mistake. When making guarantees, refer to the skills or business model you are teaching them, not how much clients could make. Nothing puts off high-risk merchant account providers other than sales copy that doesn’t comply with the law. So don’t waste your time on this exercise. Focus on the non-monetary rewards instead.
By promising the world and delivering very little in comparison, your online payments made via debit cards and credit cards are likely to wind up becoming chargebacks.
Use the Tactics of the Highest-Performing Biz-Op Merchants To Secure the Best High-Risk Payment Processing Solutions
There’s never been a better time to be teaching individuals new skills. Whether your company teaches budding entrepreneurs how to build a home-based tech support business or you train people to become masters of social media marketing, now is the time to scale your biz-op business.
However, you’re going to need to avoid the mistakes made by those that have gone before you. Pay attention to those succeeding in the industry. Small-ticket offers, hyper-specialized training courses, and biz-ops that can be done from home are crushing it right now. Not only are they great business strategies, but they are payment-processing-friendly too.
Here at DirectPayNet, we’ve been helping merchants in the biz-op space for over a decade. We know how difficult it can be to find payment processing for new biz-op offers and coaching programs. But we’ve worked with some of the world’s leading business coaches and have an in-depth understanding of what it takes to succeed with payment solutions well-suited to this high-risk vertical.
So what are you waiting for? If you’re ready to scale up your online biz-op or coaching business to six or seven figures per month, just get in contact with our team of experts to find out how we can help you today!