We see so many Internet business offerings that come and go. It makes one wonder how to decide on what the best Internet business is. It is said that more than 90% of Internet start-up businesses fail within the first four months and that less than 30% of the remaining 10% will make it past the third year after starting out.
The aim with this article is to assist you in assessing an Internet or e-commerce business before joining and thereby wasting your valuable time and money.
Your personal approach:
Before getting to the actual assessment of a business opportunity and you decide if it is a worthwhile business to join, it is important to decide on your own motivation why you want to join a business.
What is your approach?
– Do you want to see if it works?
– Do you want to try your hand at something new?
– Do you want to try it as a hobby?
You can be sure that if you answer “yes” on one or more on any of the above questions, you will soon lack the motivation and will-power to follow through and make the project successful. It is rather likely that you will withdraw from it within the first couple of months or less than a full year.
I suggest that you read the article on “My Business Why” and then define your purpose with the business venture before embarking into it. Once this is established, your approach should be from a business perspective, rather than from a hobby perspective.
When you deal with it as if with a business, you will also understand the necessity of investing both time and money wisely into the project.
Another question you need to be clear on is:
Do you have the required business skills and experience, or do you need proper training in this area?
Only after your own “Why” has been clearly established, it becomes necessary to spend time in choosing the right Internet (e-commerce) business to join.
Assessing an opportunity:
In assessing an online business, it is important to look at the following criteria:
1 The Company
2 The Product
3 The Market
4 The Affiliate Program
Let’s shortly discuss each of the criteria.
1 The Company
– Look at the “About” info of the company. Make sure that there is transparency about the company profile and who the directors/ founder is.
It is important that the actual names of the founder / directors are made known. Try and establish if these names are that of authentic persons. (I have seen in the past that names are used of people who don’t even exist.)
– Establish for how long the company is in business. If it is a new start-up less than a year old, take heed. I would suggest that companies older than 3 years can likely be trusted. For an e-commerce business to be trading for that long, it normally can be anticipated that they will comply with regulatory legislation in their field of trade. It may even be that their business activities have been scrutinized by regulatory bodies. It will be rather convincing if record of such can be found.
– What is the International footprint of the company? In how many countries are the active and which countries are closed for the business.
2 The Product
The product can be anything from a physical product that is shipped to the client, an electronic information product or even training in a specific field. There is one crucial question that you need to answer very honestly to yourself and that is:
Is it a useful and quality product which has value and you would have purchased it as a standalone product if it wasn’t attached to an affiliate program?
If you can’t answer “Yes” on this, don’t waste your time any further on the business opportunity.
As with all businesses and products, supply and demand dictates price acceptability and market penetration possibilities. Make sure that there is a user demand for the product and that the pricing is within industry parameters.
3 The Market
It is best to cater for a large market, who is English speaking and who has access to online purchase infrastructure and payment options. The Tier 1, English speaking countries offers huge potential. This includes the following countries:
Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States of America.
If shipping is required for the product, make sure that shipping is available to your target market and make sure of shipping cost and import duties that might be imposed if applicable. It may be that shipping and duties push the pricing of the products beyond affordability compared to competing products in your target market.
4 Affiliate program
Approach the structure of the affiliate program with an open mind. Try and figure out if the affiliate commission offered by the business is in a healthy ratio when compared to the sale of product and product pricing. There is a false perception that all e-commerce businesses are Ponzi or pyramid schemes. Although this is not always true, the frequent up-spring of Ponzi schemes, taking subscribers on a roller coaster ride and then imploding, is unfortunately a reality.
If you previously have established that a product of value is rendered, it is rather likely that the affiliate program will be legit as well.
…. But take heed. All shiny objects are not gold.
A proper designed affiliate program will include an effective marketing plan. Such may include a referral system that follow up on your leads sent to it, or it may be a tutorial series available that can be shared.
5 Reviews and Advertising
Look online for business reviews. Be very careful though. It has become the practice of many in the industry to create negative review posts on various businesses and by doing that, they try to promote another business. I have seen many business reviews, toning a rather good business as second to the business that the writer actually wants to promote. In my view, this is rather unethical. The value of reviews on businesses and products are troubled by this practice.
Other “review” reports that make my hair raise are the snapshots of affiliates’ earnings. If a member’s rapid earnings are the criteria to convince new recruits to join a business, it most likely that it is a get rich quick scheme with the tail end of losing money on the implode.
Lastly, we all have seen the pictures of the expensive cars, the amazing women, the affluent lifestyle and the Caribbean Island laptop lifestyle. If you are lured to a business by this, chances are good that the business does not have substantial verifiable content.
I am involved in two online businesses that I ran through the checklist explained above.
In my mind, I am convinced that both these businesses are properly established and that they are well worth joining.
The first one is Wealthy Affiliate, which offers outstanding business training. Find more about it in this link.
The second business is selling Gold, which is the best product of all. Find more about it in this link.
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Cobus vdM / https://mybusinesswhy.com/