If you are thinking of joining The Entrepreneurs Source (TES) read this first. I am one of many who got fooled into believing that this was a genuine coaching business.
1. This is a commission sales job not a business. You will pay large $$$ to TES to make 100+ calls a week to try to get 5-7 appointments. If you dont like dialing for dollars, stop now. They provide conversion metrics but these are unsubstantiated so is data and statistics. TES has contracts with about 200 franchise companies. Your job will be to pre-qualify people for these franchises. For this privilege you have to give 25% of your commission check to TES. How much you could earn on each deal is a percentage of what the franchise company pays TES, but you wont know this information until you ask. You will be told that the average is $12-14K and 8 payments in the first year is reasonable. Ask existing franchisees what they did in their first 3 years.
2. Franchise units have dropped from 258 to 198 in 2 years according to the latest disclosure document, although they claim to be one of top franchises in the US.
3. The $750 monthly fee for each unit covers receiving national leads and advertising. You will be told that leads are from people looking for a business. This is not true. The leads are people who have been browsing various sites and are often not seriously looking for a business, they are just web browsing. These leads have been contacted by many others because TES purchases them from other sites. (Think Readers Digest). The number of leads is not guaranteed they have dropped 20% since December 2011 no replacement has increased the number of leads, and discussions are not permitted. Many of the leads are clearly phony with such a name as fhdgdgdgd but they distribute them anyway and tell coaches - well, some leads are bad. i.e. suck it up. No replacement leads are given.
4. The Monthly Fees remain the same because they tell you the monthly fee is not just for leads it is for brand building and marketing their system. But they wont tell you how and where they market, or copy you on any advertising. Why? The question remains unanswered but the assumption is that there isnt any advertising. They publish an annual unaudited accounting of where funds are spent they have to do this as this is in the disclosure document but you have to request it. The report has general headings of where dollars have been spent but there is no explanation for any expense. E.g. in 2011 they spent $100k+ on the International Franchise Association. For what? No answer. The total dollars collected do not match up to the number of alleged franchisees. No questions or discussions are allowed.
5. You cant ask management any questions directly all questions have to go through a regional director person, aka sales manager. He or she may, or may not, pass the question to management for a response. There is no way to know if the question has even been asked, or if the answer is correct. Coaches across the US sometimes receive conflicting answers. There is no recourse. You will be told to focus on your business and not to be distracted.
6. There is no coach advisory committee, nor are coaches permitted to know who is working on what project/committee until after it is released. They have a group of ambassadors but this is window dressing only, these people cannot bring any coach concerns to meetings. All concerns must be put through the regional person who may or may not respond. The response time is long so that coaches forget they even asked, and some responses are let it be and focus on your business.
7. Management are all related to each other father, son, daughter, sister, brother. Nepotism breeds incompetency with impunity, and you will be told it is political suicide to complain about any of them.
8. Their cutting edge technology is no better than a CRM system 15 years behind the times. Its slow, inflexible and has not been updated in 7 years. Neither has the content. Questions on updates remain unanswered and you will be told to purchase another program if you want basic functionality such as mailings to multiple clients. They tried to convert to Google mail almost 2 years ago - it is still not completed.
9. The turnover is huge. The failure rate is huge. If you ask for specifics they wont give them to you. If you are researching the business, you will be given a number of coaches to contact no prize for guessing these are the high flyers and TES franchise developers who work also as coaches. The name of every franchisee is listed in the disclosure document call everyone in your local area. Make at least 15 calls. Dont give into pressure about joining because they say training is imminent training is only booked when the numbers are high enough to justify it.
Note the over-riding theme? discussions are not permitted questions are not answered focus on the business and stop talking If you are still determined to try your hand at coaching, then ask about the Associate program you can get in for $5K, not $55K. Commission paid will be lower but so is the risk. And you wont have to sign a franchise agreement. Best course of action? Run