Business in a Box

Pro-growth policies in the US have pushed the the stock market to record highs and the prospects for a continued, robust economy are very good. This boom is fostering the creation of millions of businesses providing jobs in abundance.. 

Many of these new businesses are started from franchises, distributorships or licensed business opportunities. These ready made business models are providing a fast track for people to start their own companies while minimizing risk. They also provide prospective owners with an array of choices not to be found on the resale market. I understand the allure of buying an existing business, but you should always look at starting a new one from a turn key model as well. If you approach finding your ideal business by limiting yourself to only existing businesses available in your local market, you are removing 99% of your potential options before you start.

Most people go into business for themselves because they want to have more control over their lives. Making a living on your own terms is one of the greatest virtues of business ownership, so it's important to choose a business that allows for the kind of work week that fits nicely into your lifestyle. Whether you want a flexible schedule, freedom to operate, or a higher income, business ownership will continue to be an increasingly attractive option and tried and true business models will continue to be a safe bet.

Have a question about business opportunities? Send it to Dan Brunell is President of Dearborn West, LLC, an international business opportunity brokerage headquartered in Temecula, CA. He can be reached at 951.587.6929 or on the web at

Johnny Appleseed, King of Referrals

After 12 years in operation, my franchisee recruiting business is mostly driven by referrals. I owe it all to an American folk hero that I learned about a long time ago in a children’s story. John Chapman was his real name and he spent his life traveling and developing apple tree nurseries in the Midwest. He was known for his generosity, kindness and his rejection of material things – even though he was quite wealthy. Johnny spent his life and his wealth helping other people get what they needed. He felt that the more he helped others and the less concerned he was with his own worldly comfort, the greater his reward in the afterlife would be.

Many people, in several states, wanted to repay Johnny for his generosity and they sought him out to do just that. This, I’ve found is the essence of building a referral based business. When I was a young sales rep, I joined all the right groups, went to all the right meetings and I shook every hand. I read books on how to work a room, I had a clever little elevator speech and I passed out thousands of business cards. I thought I was a great networker, but I didn’t get it – not at all. I had plenty of success as a sales rep, but my referral business was never that great. It wasn’t until I started in management that I recalled the story of Johnny Appleseed. Things started to change when I figured out that I was in a position to help people. The more people I helped, the more business seemed to flow my way.

When I started my own company, I made it a point to get involved in the community. I met other new business owners and I bought goods and services from as many of them as I could. Every day I introduced someone I knew to someone I thought they should know. I listened to people and I tried to figure out who I knew that could be a resource for them, even when it had nothing to do with business. Now, the bulk of my marketing strategy is this: I give out several referrals every month. This simple formula of focusing on who I can help instead of who can help me, has resulted in an 60% reduction of my annual marketing expense. 

The greatest part of all this is that I have no expectation of any individual to return the favor – ever. The only expectation I have is that if I do good deeds, good things will happen for me. People like Johnny Appleseed have known this throughout history. Sometimes we get caught up in the rush of business and we forget the things that really matter. Thanks Johnny!

Have a question about business opportunities? Send it to


Dan Brunell

Dan Brunell is the CEO of Dearborn West, LLC, an independent boutique consulting firm that specializes in entrepreneurial talent acquisition and training. Dan has fostered recruiting relationships with over 300 franchise systems throughout North America, created and delivered customized training and coaching programs for global consulting network, and established the best practices and ethical guidelines for this emerging industry space.