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Home Business Ideas and Opportunities

Your Home Business: Starting Out on the Right Track

There is so much to learn when you first start trying to build a home business. It is of course natural to make mistakes since we are only human but then some mistakes are worse than others because they can permanently damage our reputation.

ethics

Some examples of the more serious issues are:

‘Ethical’ eMail Marketing is permission-based. That means that we never send anything to anyone who has not first requested information (“opted” in), and we have the documentation to protect ourselves from complaints. “Opt-in” means that they have willingly submitted their email address to you, which is giving you permission.

This documentation can include the person’s IP address, email address, date and time that the person opted-in. The person may ‘forget’ they requested the information and start marking your messages as spam. If the problem is escalated you need to be able to prove that you did not knowingly send anything that was not legal (requested).

Too many spam complaints can cause you a lot of trouble and depending on how severe the problem becomes, you can lose your domain, your hosting account and/or your autoresponder account. Spam is very illegal and that goes not only for the marketers that may send unsolicited advertising, but also to any system or application that allows the crime to be committed using their resources.

So this means that your providers, while they do not want to lose your business, are forced to drop you so that they are not seen as a ‘rogue’ system and lose their reputation with ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and ESPs (eMail Service Providers), etc., not to mention ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) – who made the law against spam and enforce it.

Another extremely important issue is being completely ethical and truthful in your advertising and dealing with your prospects and customers. Never make guarantees that you are not prepared to honor – for example if you guarantee someone will make X number of dollars; because if they don’t, then you are liable because you promised.

Of course what this means is do not guarantee anything you do not control. For real, because you would need to take that amount of money out of your pocket and give it to them to cover your ‘guarantee’, otherwise it would be ‘false advertising’.

You should never guarantee any amount of money or any amount of time. You do not know the future or what that person will do in terms of how much effort they will make that would determine how much they make or by when.

Another serious legal issue is ‘bait and switch’ – that means, for one example that you advertise one thing and then do another. For instance if your ad says someone will receive A,B, and C for X number of dollars. After they pay X, what they receive is not A,B and C but only A and they are told they need to give you more money to get B and C. Or it may be that A,B and/or C do not do what you promised and they need D,E or F to make it work.

Still another example is if you offer a full refund then you need to give the refund promptly. You can qualify that for example using a time constraint ’30-day money back guarantee’ or ‘refund is minus administrative, handling or shipping fee’. State exactly what you are prepared to honor.

Be very careful not to ‘bend’ the truth in these ways as there are lots of people who will take you to task for being less than completely honest. ‘Mean what you say and say what you mean’. The success of your business does depend on your reputation and the Internet and ‘social’ networks make it very easy for ‘the word’ to get around, whether positive or negative!


Howard Whittington

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Home Business Ideas and Opportunities

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