Although I'm just now getting around to writing about IBI, I felt it necessary to let others know exactly what happens during the course of interacting with this group. I'd also suggest you check out the comments made at:
as that persons comments are very much in line with my thoughts.
I was co-owner of a small restaurant when approached by a "friend" to attend a local meeting where Bernie Dohrmann was going to speak to business owners who wanted to take the next step of expansion. Dripping with sincerity and making promises to set us up with a investors, a great franchise company, and all the assistance we would need, we decided to take the plunge. We signed up for the $6,000 class, booked our hotel, took 4 days away from our thriving business and traveled to Los Angeles.
Should have listened to my ex-business partner who after the first day with the IBI group,wanted to leave. In fact a major confrontation occurred with IBI staff about what a ripoff the program was. They took me aside, again making their vast promises and convinced me to stay. It did however take considerable time and effort to convince my partner to remain but was done so with even more promises of helping us achieve our goal. Blah, blah, blah.
We sat through numerous day and night super teaching sessions that were really focused on about 30 minutes of good advise for the audience, but are really intended to "sell" the person speaking or their product. The majority of speakers at these events charge a great deal to share their knowledge, and there's nothing wrong with that, unless of course that when you agree to work the program you are promised easy access to these masters when you enroll in the program. They are all very smooth speakers, and that's how they make their money, big conventions bring big rewards.
Over the course of the next 1 1/2 years we poured our souls into the development of our successful restaurant into a franchise. We did exactly what was suggested at three of the IBI events we attended; hired many of the affiliates and even connected with Mr. Dohrmann's associate Don Boroian at FranCorp in Chicago. We spent over $40,000 between FranCorp, logo development with another IBI member, and other development expenses.
Oh, Mr. Dohrmann apparently wasn't aware, or neglected to tell us, that Mr. Boroian was under FBI investigation for bilking clients out of money and not fulfilling his obligations (which is exactly what he did to my company). Francorp was continuously promoted at the IBI events as being top of the line for anyone who wanted to develop a franchise, pure malarkey. FranCorp was hired to write and produce our business plan, which when presented to us on the day we were to use it to raise capital.
Our supposed fabulous restaurant franchise plan ended up to be a plagiarized plan about a real estate development company. I made every attempt to work with Mr. Boroian personally which failed miserably and when I made numerous requests to be reimbursed my thousands of dollars Mr. Boroian simply replied, you can sue me in Chicago if you want your money.
Scramble time as now with the major amount of my inherited money invested in IBI and their resources that were going to help us move forward, I had to find another franchise development company that would take our project on. Thanks goodness for IFranchise and Mark Siebert, an man of integrity who worked tirelessly to provide us with a fantastic business plan.
Back to IBI to introduce the Franchise business plan with Mark Siebert of IFranchise to investors at IBI. Well, gosh, low and behold IBI staff's famous quote "we don't quit till you win" was not in their vocabulary when it came to them stepping up to the plate to help promote the business in any way. No introductions to investors as promised from the beginning, in fact what generally happened at this point was total avoidance by IBI staff.
It was then I took a good hard look around the event and wondered how many others were attending and not getting ANY satisfaction or business development. I don't really have any numbers to tout about the ratio of successful businesses, some have been without a doubt. BUT that ratio compared to the 10's of thousands that have attended to make IBI owners rich is low in comparison, unless they can truly prove otherwise. And please don't tell me they shouldn't have to track the success stories, that's their business, promoting successful business and entrepreneurs.
And the rest of the story? Running a restaurant day to day, 6 days a week and trying to raise capital for the franchise caused more toll on me than I could handle. And since IBI failed miserably to live up to their never ending promises, I couldn't hang out at their events focused on raising money through their tuition expenses. Sold the restaurant, as the "taste" IBI left with me about franchising made me learn to hate that particular business.
I'm going to suggest you check out the link I posted from ToyKeeper above as his report is much more detail than mine. In fact, that's why I wrote this report, before others take their time or money to support IBI or their affiliates, make sure you have an understanding you are simply not going to get the support that's promised over and over again.
If you want to develop your business or take it to another level, find a real mentor who will stick with you and guide you through the process. Talk candidly about the positive and negative impacts, the financial impacts, and most importantly the impacts to yourself.
Don't count on IBI to be there for you, they won't.