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Friday, January 6, 2017

A New Internet Business? Beware The Buyer!

 by Michael Brooke

 The 80/20 Rule is probably alive and well in the Internet business you are thinking of joining. In fact, the Rule is probably more like 90/10. Only 10 percent of those who register with a business at any given stage will be active a year hence.

The reasons are not too hard to find and the main ones are listed below. These are not necessarily mutually exclusive or comprehensive. They are based on the observation and personal experience of the author. In addition the author provides you with a list of the questions or statements that you MUST answer before you commit to an Internet business. It is a big undertaking even though the investment may not appear large. Like any new business it should not be entered into lightly.

Problem Areas 
These are some of the main areas that are the roots of the problems.

1. INCOMPATIBILITY between you and the business. Consider the nature of the work, the commitment, the product, the other associates. Some people just consider the financial aspects.

2. YOUR FINANCES. Inadequate startup funds; inadequate cash flow, unexpected expenses.

3. FALSE ADVERTISING BY COMPANY. Exaggerated claims of financial rewards; Failure to provide full picture of benefits and expenses.

4. YOUR KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND EMOTIONS. Over-optimism, gullibility, ignorance, immaturity, inexperience, bad decision-making ability, inappropriate or lack of knowledge and skills. These all limit your chances of success.

5. INADEQUATE RESEARCH by you of the company, its claims, its critiques, company associates.

6. NO NEEDS ASSESSMENT. i.e. no game plan. You have given little thought to the kind of business you want to work in. Your sole objective is to "make a lot of money", not, will I be successful and will you enjoy the work.

People seeking a business have to proceed in a methodical and systematic manner, unemotionally and rationally. They need to set out their requirements; a shopping list of what they want, what they need, and an in depth look at what the business under scrutiny has to offer.

You require two Excel spreadsheets or Word table to tabulate your results,

1. In the first spreadsheet you should consolidate your fields (i.e. variables you want to consider). Place fields on the vertical plain. Horizontally you should write your answers;

2. In the second spreadsheet, you would have the same vertical fields. On the horizontal you would have all the companies you are considering. In each block you could use truncated text and a numeric score on a 1-10 scale where "1" is poor or inadequate and "10" is excellent".

Give yourself plenty of spreadsheet room as this should be a long document if you plan on doing the task correctly.


o List your strengths? (e.g. good communicator, good sense of humor, gregarious, unemotional

o List your weaknesses (e.g. short tempered, lazy, untidy, disorganized, unfriendly)


o List of strengths? (e.g. team player, good public speaker, organized, stress proof o List of weaknesses? (e.g. not a team player, dislike other people, lazy, disorganized)

c. YOUR  COMMITTMENT, INTEREST, KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS in and for this particular business.

o What commitment is expected of you? and can you make it? o How much active interest is necessary?

o Do you need any special knowledge and skills?


o Are you going to get on with the owners, other associates?

o Are you interested in the product?

o Are you going to enjoy the new activities, responsibilities which could become a new life style? Are you going to get family member cooperation?

e. FINANCES of What start-up money do you have (Don't say none. Likely it will to be at least $1000)?

o What monthly expenses are you going to need (e.g. license fees, telephone, marketing expenses, buying leads, advertisement?

o Money for further "hidden" buy-in/up-sell essentials

o Setting up your office, buying/upgrading equipment, consultant fees

o When is break-even likely to occur? You are unlikely to make money at the beginning. Can you carry the expenses for that time?

f. TIME.

o How many hours will it take you to set up the business?

o How many hours can you comfortably spend a day on the business on an ongoing basis?

o How many hours does the company say you need to spend? Are they compatible?

o Will you need to attend conferences away from home? Who will pay?

o List your other personal, professional and social commitments and see whether you have the time to do this new commitment properly.

g. THE COMPANY. You may very well have your personal act together, but have you looked very closely at the company. The vast majority of Internet companies have at least one major fatal flaw and you are likely to come out the loser if you join up with them. Exaggeration at all levels is the biggest problem. There is big-time B.S. with many of these companies and you must do your due diligence researching the company. Of course there are companies with fatal flaws, with whom you still can make a lot of money. But the rule "caveat emptor" - beware the buyer- applies here.

Consider the following carefully. 

o Who are the owners? What is their background? What other businesses do they have or did they have? How successful were they? Can you get arms length testimonials on the owners?

o How long has this company been in business? What is its financial situation?

o How many people have already joined? How many are still active?

o What can you find out about the other people who join up?

o Ask for a random list of people who have joined so you can talk to them o Search the Internet thoroughly for comments on the company

o Is there a "money back" policy? Is it unconditional?

o What is the product(s)? Is it for real or irrelevant? Is it likely to fall out of favor with buyers?

o How do the owners describe the company e.g. MLM, Network Marketing?

o Ask to see the companies policies and procedures manual, and its strategic plan if it has one.

o Who do you report to if you have questions?

o What kind of training will the company provide? Will you have to pay for it?

Too often, people enter into a new business in a euphoric, heightened emotional state of mind. Regardless of the pressure to join, give yourself plenty of time to consider the pros and cons. It is better not to join than to be pressured into joining the wrong company. And don't listen to all the nonsense about your not having any courage or not being able to take a risk. This is sales hype which you must treat with the contempt it deserves. Remember you make a mistake, no one will bale you out. Good luck!

The author invites you to review the company that he joined after much consideration and after making bad mistakes beforehand. It is He considers it close to perfect.

Michael Brooke, Ph.D is a retired university administrator last working at University of Victoria as Dean of Continuing Studies. He is by professional adult educator, a corporate trainer and recruiter and a published author. He runs Internet businesses, his mainstay being Prosperity Automated System, an automated marketing system, which you can see at Reach him at if you wish.

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