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A business opportunity (or bizopp) involves sale or lease of any product, service, equipment, etc. that will enable the purchaser-licensee to begin a business. The licensor or seller of a business opportunity usually declares that it will secure or assist the buyer in finding a suitable location or provide the product to the purchaser-licensee. This is different from the sale of an independent business, in which there is no continued relationship required by the seller.
The use of a toll-free telephone number makes it difficult for customers to immediately identify the company's geographical location. Moreover, a company can own several telephone numbers. In the event of consumer complaints, this thwarts investigators from recognizing the connection between biz-ops listings in various newspapers.
A common type of business opportunity involves a company that sells bulk vending machines and promises to secure suitable locations for the machines. The purchaser is counting on the company to find locations where sales will be high enough to enable him to recoup his expenses and make a profit. Because of the many cases of fraudulent biz-ops in which companies have not followed through on their promises, or in which profits were much less than what the company led the investor to believe, governments closely regulate these operations.
A business opportunity consists of four integrated elements all of which are to be present within the same timeframe (window of opportunity) and most often within the same domain or geographical location, before it can be claimed as a business opportunity. These four elements are:
With any one of the elements missing, a business opportunity may be developed, by finding the missing element. The more unique the combination of the elements, the more unique the business opportunity. The more control an institution (or individual) has over the elements, the better they are positioned to exploit the opportunity and become a niche market leader.