How to Be Sure About Online Business Offers

… and avoid the heartaches, headaches and pocket aches of online scams

Did you notice that the world is moving from offline to online?


This is true of dating, learning, working, entertaining, gaming, buying, selling, banking and other activities which used to require face-to-face contact.  Take commercial transactions for example.  Nowadays, you can pretty much buy or sell goods with just your computer.  Running a business can now be done from home (meaning anywhere) without employees … anytime of the day (or night).


Unbelievable!  There was a time when you had to go to a lot of places, talk to a lot of people, and spend a lot time to start your own business.  Not anymore.  Today, “opportunities” are everywhere.  The last time I “googled “online business”, I came up with 3.7 BILLION results in less than 1 minute.  Superfast!


We’re literally flooded with information.  With so many choices to evaluate but with so little time to do it, how do we separate the real from the imaginary, the genuine from the scam?


Here are 9 characteristics of an ideal online business opportunity.  When you evaluate an online business opportunity, please remember to consider all 9 attributes.


  1. Money-back guarantee


If the opportunity is real and can make you money, the seller should not be afraid to let you use the product or service for a good number of weeks to test it out.  They’ll do this because they’re very confident of the quality of their product.  And because of that quality, returns are minimal.


Talking of confidence, I know of a seller who offered a legal guarantee of profit to his buyers.  To top it off, the guarantee was backed up by a bank deposit with a big bank.


  1. Software tools


Every professional has tools to make the work easier.  A tool is anything which makes the work faster, easier, better.  I remember a pimp saying “Carpenters have hammers, plumbers have wrenches.  We have expensive cars and jewelry to lure girls to work for us”.


The software tools can be used, for example, to promote products or automate email communications with customers.


  1. Step-by-step procedures


This is perhaps one of the most important elements.  The language should be simple enough that even a 6th grader can understand and follow along.  The delivery method should be in multiple formats (i.e. audio, video, written) to allow you, the customer, to learn in different ways.  Some people learn best by listening (e.g. play the lesson in your car stereo), others by watching, and some by reading.


The lessons should also be available anytime so you can learn at your own pace and watch them over and over again … even at 2 o’clock in the morning.


  1. Community


It’s nice to learn by yourself.  But you learn more when you “talk” to other students who are taking the same course as you are.  There’s really nothing new.  What you’re going through other people have already gone thru (or are going thru).  Your questions have probably been asked by other students, and been answered by their mentors.


So it helps if you can log on to a community dashboard to look at the questions and answers of your fellow students.


  1. Support


Support makes you feel you’re not alone.  You always have somebody to run to when (not if) you run into technical issues or are lost.  Nobody likes to feel abandoned and helpless.


Support should be multiple – by telephone, email and chat.  Some courses offer 24/7 chat support.  How convenient it is when you’re lying in bed in the middle of the night and you come up with a question that makes you sleepless.  You log on to your computer and there’s somebody who can help you.


  1. Endorsed by business groups


If a business is innovative and growing fast, even though it is not yet firmly established, it usually makes other people notice.  For example, Forbes, Entrepreneur, INC and other reputable magazines feature outstanding business that are making waves.


  1. Track record (verifiable)


If I were just starting out in business and evaluating online opportunities, I would ask questions like:


  1. How long has the company been in business?
  2. How much revenue does it generate annually?
  3. Is the company registered with the government
  4. How many people have bought the course?
  5. Is there any negative feedback (i.e. complaints, legal cases)


If the answers to these questions look good, then your probability of success is very high.


  1. Testimonials


Success leaves clues.  And one of the clues is people telling the world about their experience … whether good or bad.  Of course you’ll find all the good testimonials in the company website or sales page.  What about the negative ones?  Well, you have to do your own research on this one.  How about typing <the name of the business or brand> and adding the word “scam”?


You have to be careful, though, because there are people or groups who “ride on” the popularity of successful companies and brand.  Try typing in your browser your favorite brand of whatever item and add the word scam.  See what comes up.


  1. The value of the course is more than the cost


This is a tough one.  How do you measure the value of the course?  You need to do this so you can compare it to its cost.  If you get more than what you pay for, it makes sense to buy it.


How?  To me, the value should be at least 10 times the cost.  Meaning the money I will earn in one year should be 10 times what I spend to buy the product.  For example, if the course costs $1,000 I should earn $10,000 from that course in one year.  And at least $10,000 the following year and every year after that.


When you consider all 9 factors above, you will virtually eliminate buying a “lemon”, and increase your chances of making money online.


In conclusion, using the 9 criteria above can you tell if the opportunity below measures up?


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Raisa Calida