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. 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
postivie or negative!