BIZZIBIZ Bizzi Biz Franchise Goes Bust, Declares Bankruptcy

Bizzi Biz Franchise, Inc., franchisor of Bizzibiz digital marketing franchise, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just 18 months after its much-hyped franchise debut.

If UnhappyFranchisee.com were not such a classy website, we might say We told you so!

After all, Bizzibiz had one of the all-time worst franchise launches in history.

Bizzibiz was conceived, from Day 1, simply as a franchise opportunity… It had no proven track record nor a successful model to replicate.

It was founded by Jim Piccolo, a master of creating such money-losing investments as Nouveau Riche University and Piccolo University (stock ticker PEDU, trading at $0.002/share).

Bizzibiz digital marketing had no experience nor expertise in digital marketing.  In fact, its own social media presence was next-to-nil.

1 month after its franchise debut, Bizzibiz founder Jim Piccolo was found guilty of defrauding 105 investors in a prior real estate deal, and was ordered to pay $6 million restitution.  (BIZZIBIZ Franchise Founder Jim Piccolo Defrauded 105 Investors, Says AZ)

3 months after the franchise launch, Bizzibiz sued its much-touted franchise attorney (Mr. Franchise Kevin B. Murphy) and dropped him from the board (BIZZIBIZ Suing Mr. Franchise Kevin B Murphy and Franchise Foundations PC).

6 months after the Bizzibiz franchise launch, spokesperson of the franchise sales arm of Bizzibiz, TV huckster Don LaPre, was indicted on defrauding 222,000 people out of $52 million in a vitamin-selling scheme (BIZZIBIZ: VP Don LaPre 2nd Exec Indicted for Fraud)

7 months after the launch of Bizzibiz, CEO Jim Piccolo stepped down (citing “health reasons”) and was replaced by Kurt Ohlson, who had no background in either franchising OR digital marketing (BIZZIBIZ Jim Piccolo, Out, Kurt Ohlson in as CEO of Bizzibiz).

8 months after the launch of Bizzibiz, spokesperson Don LaPre took his own life in prison (BIZZIBIZ: Infomercial Huckster Don LaPre Dies in Prison).

18 months after the launch of the Bizzibiz franchise, franchisor Bizzi Biz Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Arizona.

Were you involved with the Bizzibiz franchise program?  If you, please share your opinion or experiences with Bizzibiz below.

Bizzi Biz Inc. Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Petition

Bizzi Biz Bankruptcy

Source:  Business Bankruptcies webpage

Who was at the Helm of Bizzibiz?

Most of Jim Piccolo’s initial team have long since abandoned the sinking Bizzibiz ship.

Jim Piccolo – Left July, 2011

Daniel Silver – Left October, 2011(?)

Gail Gust – Left November, 2011

Zach Ferres – Left November, 2011

Mark Lathrop – Still there?

The Articles of Incorporation for Bizzi Biz Inc. show the following

Bizzibiz Officers

KURT OHLSON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

8502 E PRINCESS DRIVE STE 200

SCOTTSDALE,AZ  85255-5489

Date of Taking Office: 07/18/2011

JOHN KNOLL, PRESIDENT

Date of Taking Office: 10/25/2010

SONYA LEE, SECRETARY

Date of Taking Office: 05/18/2011

 

Bizzibiz Directors

IRVIN WILSON, DIRECTOR

Date of Taking Office: 05/18/2011
KURT OHLSON, DIRECTOR

Date of Taking Office: 05/18/2011
JOHN KNOLL, DIRECTOR

Date of Taking Office: 10/25/2010

It’s not clear how many Bizzibiz franchises have been sold nor how many franchisees have been left without the services and support they paid for.

WERE YOU A FRANCHISEE, EMPLOYEE OR OTHERWISE INVOLVED WITH BIZZIBIZ?  PLEASE SHARE YOUR PERSPECTIVE BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

11 thoughts on “BIZZIBIZ Bizzi Biz Franchise Goes Bust, Declares Bankruptcy

  • July 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm
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    To whom it may concern (because you don’t have the courage to sign your work):

    It is so unfortunate that in this digital age that it is so easy to screw with someone’s livelihood and slander people without any apparent recourse. And, in most cases anonymously as you have here.

    There are a number of Bizzibiz franchisees, myself include, who are trying pay their mortgage, feed their families, etc and we don’t need people like yourself putting out unfounded lies and misinformation.

    Bizzibiz is not going out of business. Do a little research and you will find that chapter 11 is a reorganization plan used widely in corporate America by some great and successful companies to “right the ship” which is exactly what Bizzibiz is doing.

    And, why rehash and slander the founder again re: previous business issues and your “spokesperson” claims from last year which Mr. Picollo fully explained to you last August?

    Mr. ?, check your facts before running off at the mouth and get out of the way of my opportunity to make a living!

    Thank you
    God bless
    Joe

  • July 6, 2012 at 9:49 pm
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    Joe:

    Thanks for your comment. I am encouraged to see that there are still Bizzibiz franchisees in business and at least one of them knows how to use the Internet ;)

    If Bizzibiz has an image problem (and it does) it’s not our fault. It’s because Bizzibiz purports to help others to use social media, but doesn’t use it itself. @Bizzibiz has 95 Twitter followers. Jeez, we have nearly 600 and we don’t hardly use it. We had more than 95 our first day.

    Bizzibiz purports to be SEO experts? Search “Bizzibiz franchise” and this website is ranked as high as yours for your own keywords.

    Worst of all, no one from Bizzibiz seems to understand even the basic concept of social media. Social media is all about dialogue and transparency. Every time we post, we invite clarifications and rebuttals. Every statement or opinion we put forward is accompanied by a comment box. We try to engage Bizzibiz, but all of you guys (except that wacked out Chris Hendley) are afraid to engage in a conversation.

    Why is the company afraid to state what is going on, who is on board and why it is asking the courts to give it permission to stiff its creditors and relieve Bizzibiz of its financial obligations via Ch. 11?

    “check your facts before running off at the mouth…”

    We keep trying. We emailed a list of questions to Kurt Ohlson last December. He said he would get back to us. He didn’t. He lied. We sent questions about the bankruptcy and state of franchising this week. No answer. We emailed Jim “Iron Man” Piccolo. No answer.

    Even your comment does not add any information (or facts) whatsoever. All you said was “Don’t pick on us.” Please share with us some basic information, like how many franchises are left, how many have ceased operation?

    After the mass staff defection last fall, who is on staff to support the franchisees?
    Are franchises still being offered? If not, why not?
    Is Kurt Ohlson still with the company?
    What about the officers and directors named above?
    Are franchisees simply engaged in selling digital marketing services, or do they also do the work? If not, who is doing the work?

    Finally, I am sorry you are struggling to make a living as a Bizzibiz franchisee. I really am. But don’t get mad at us that you’re in a bankrupt company that was launched on the reputation of a founder who has been charged with fraud.

    After all, we’re the ones who tried to warn people like you to avoid this train wreck from the start.

  • July 9, 2012 at 10:50 am
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    I too am a Bizzibiz Franchise owner and rather than jumping on the bandwagon of negativity, I have chosen a more positive approach. I am very disappointed to see the outright lies, falsehoods and extreme stretches of my understanding of the truth that are posted here.

    My approach was to stay very involved with the Bizzibiz management including Jim Piccolo. I can personally attest to the FACT that he was stricken with a very serious medical problem, resulting in several surgeries, his inability to be present at the office for a period of about 5 months and that during this time of lack of leadership, Bizzibiz suffered. Jim, was forced to give up his CEO position during this 5 month period, however, I can assure you that he did return and continues to work very hard to get the problems that occurred while he was gone, fixed. He has infused additional millions of his personal cash into Bizzibiz and continues to provide leadership and direction. After a review of the sales and delivery process, a proprietary system of standard offering choices and a project and task management was internally developed and put into place. As an experienced IT person, I was given the opportunity to preview and evaluate this system prior to its release and to offer suggestions for further improvement, which I did. Bizzibiz home office, does all the fulfillment work and has made significant improvements in delivering on time and on price solutions to clients, this my experience since remaining heavily involved in the process on behalf of my cleints. Bizzibiz is not bankrupt and out of business, they have filed for a restructuring under chapter 11. Additional capital is being pursued and I understand it is anticipated to be successful.

    It is sad to see people posting negative and inaccurate information, which will unfortunately effect those franchise owners still actively engaged in making this much needed digital marketing service offering work for current and future franchise owners and the 30 + million small to midsize businesses out there.

  • July 9, 2012 at 11:28 am
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    Lloyd:

    Thank you very much for your response and additional information. This is how social media and blogging is supposed to work, is it not? A dialogue? We have put out information that we could – and asked for more. Our commenting function and email system is open 24/7 so that Bizzibiz can provide accurate info and updates. We are glad you have taken us up on our offer – and we wish Jim Piccolo, Kurt Ohlson and others would also.

    Here is why we have been critical of Bizzibiz from the start: It was franchised prematurely. Franchising is a process wherein you replicate a system that has already been proven successful, one that has been refined through trial and expensive error, and you give the franchisee the benefit of that experience. Jim Piccolo started selling franchises with an experimental concept that was entirely undeveloped and unproven.

    If it is true that things fell apart as a result of Jim Piccolo becoming ill, that is further proof that it was irresponsible to for him to have sold Bizzibiz franchises. Have you read the E-Myth? A franchise is built on an established system, not on the talents or involvement of a single man. Selling a franchise without an established, proven system and using your first franchisees as experimental lab rats is tantamount to professional malpractice at best and fraud at worst.

    If Piccolo is infusing money into the organization and is hands-on trying to help the remaining franchisees, we give him credit for that. But as a leader, he should come clean and publicly admit that franchising Bizzibiz was a mistake.

    You say: “Bizzibiz is not bankrupt and out of business, they have filed for a restructuring under chapter 11.” But that’s not entirely true, is it?
    How can you say Bizzibiz is not bankrupt, yet they are filing for bankruptcy?
    And let’s put the “spin,” aside. When you say “restructuring” you really mean that there are people who delivered goods and services to them, and those people are going to get stiffed.

    “Additional capital is being pursued and I understand it is anticipated to be successful.”
    By successful, do you mean that Jim Piccolo will be successful raising money, or that the people who invest will some day be successful in getting a return on their investment?

    You are an experienced IT professional, and a Bizzibiz franchise owner. Would you agree that the most responsible thing for Jim Piccolo to do is to take franchising off the table, concentrate on building a successful digital marketing company using his own money, and not offering any business opportunities until he has several successful prototypes with a year or more track record?

    And don’t you think he should make an effort to repay the fees and losses to the first franchisees who thought they were getting an established system, not a gig as financial and operational guinea pigs?

  • July 9, 2012 at 4:52 pm
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    WOW!!! Talk about franchise insight!!!

  • Pingback:BIZZIBIZ: Jim Piccolo Mansion Listed For $3.5M : Unhappy Franchisee

  • August 16, 2012 at 12:36 pm
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    Also interesting to note, the company was apparently too Bizzi to hire an attorney for their bankruptcy – instead doing it Pro Se (see bankruptcy petition above).

    And another update: the BK case was dismissed for failure to file required schedules and statements and their failure to appear and be examined at the meeting of creditors. Too Bizzi for that as well.

  • Pingback:BIZZIBIZ: Bizzi Biz Inc. Bankruptcy Dismissed : Unhappy Franchisee

  • September 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm
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    Saying i told you so doesnt help the situation just makes you look uncompassionate towards others peoples misfortune and you wouldnt like it either someone rubbing it in your face to and Bringing me up referring to me as wacked out is not necessary either i moved on long time ago after i realized what was really going on. I know ex franchise owner thats now in Visalus network marketing opportunity thats obviously a million times better than a $25,000 franchise never seems to bring up what happened.

    I learned from my experience and its sad so many scammy companies like zeek rewards recently even and how our government seems to slap these people on there hand give them fines and no criminal prosecution of any kind.

    Its just charma coming to bite Mr. Piccolo on his ass for not being a Decent honest business man way im looking at this now .

    Honesty is my number#1 policy in my business and my goals are to truly help people work from home in a legit opportunity for the long run like me and more than ever before personal development is key.. my heart goes out to the Franchise owners for there loss ..

  • September 4, 2017 at 12:42 am
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    Now Jim is up to his old tricks again with digital marketing. https://twitter.com/jimpiccolo apparently he never felt the need to correct past mistakes, good luck to the new victims. http://tecademics.com/ is his latest evolution to scam money from folks.

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