Picking a business opportunity seems relatively trivial on the web. The amounts of money are generally not huge indeed some of them are effectively free; the provider has other ways of getting paid. However, pick the wrong opportunity at the start and you can pretty much write off your web future. The reasons: you lose time, your energy level drops, and your emotions play havoc with you. The vast bulk of people simply drop out leaving their dreams on the mat. But it doesn’t need to be so.
There are 7 Rules for picking an opportunity
1. Is the supplier reputable? Is it a scam? In the offline world, there are all kinds of ways of assessing whether a business is a scam, on the web it’s not so simple. Check out the opportunity on the scam sites. But even quicker – if you are a member of a traffic exchange and you try to advertise the opportunity you will find out almost instantly if it’s a scam. The other members will tell you in no uncertain terms!.
2. What is the nature of the business? How do you make money out of it? How complete and sophisticated is it? Is it an affiliate opportunity, network marketing, MLM, or what? In some cases it will be a hybrid of different things: Empowerism is an email business, with MLM and network marketing at its core and a couple of investment vehicles thrown in. Plug-in Profits is an affiliate marketing business using MLM opportunities and residual income thinking. Try hard to understand it before you buy in.
3. Can you explain it in simple terms? The absolute best businesses are very simple at core. Try this. Imagine you have to explain what you are doing to your elderly mother – or grandmother. She is going to tell her friends about it and you’d better get it right! So your e-book business: “I write “How to..” books and sell them over the Internet”. Your gambling site: “I run a casino on the internet”. Your affiliate site: “I sell products (specify theme) on the Web”. Your network marketing opportunity: ….well you get the idea. The aim is to get the statement very crisp and clear so that you know what you are doing! If you cannot squeeze it down (“I sell second hand golf balls to …. across the web”), then you probably don’t understand it or it is too complicated. You certainly will not be able to explain it to your customers!
4. Does it fit your personality? Can you generate a passion for it? If you’re in business strictly to make money, you may succeed but the chances that you won’t are very high. Businesses that are in it for the money tend to chase the latest ‘big idea’, they get unfocused, confused and become unprofitable. Select something you care about and remember the rule “You care about something when your mind returns to it in idle moments”, this will help you decide if you really care.
5. Can the organizer make money out of it? Is it stable over the long haul? There are few things worse than investing time and energy in an opportunity that is going to die. Ask yourself if the opportunity generates money for the seller: this seems silly. You are often paying to get into something. But a one time payment for a business opportunity is rarely a recipe for long term stability. The seller should be driving long term income from it: classics are hosting fees, affiliate fees and royalties from compulsory products, upgrade fees and so on. Ask yourself how they are going to stay in business. If the answer is not obvious: don’t touch it.
6. How does it make money? How do you make money out of it? How much? What are the projected returns? How certain are they? The question to you is how much you, specifically, can make with your skills, time and energy? A high yielding investment program may ‘guarantee’ 12% per month – until it collapses. An affiliate mall may make nothing unless you are very active in promoting it. What experience do you have in doing something like this; can you be sure of earning anything? Or is this a learning exercise?
7. Can you afford it? Does it require investment? If so, how much? What are the exit costs? I have left the money angle until close the end, because for the vast bulk of web opportunities the money investment is not high. If you are going into a network marketing opportunity you may have to invest $2,000 to $5,000US in inventory and other stuff, but most businesses are tilted to folk with very few financial resources. Additionally, in many business opportunities the costs are monthly, so they are spread out and in theory you can pay them out of profits. The true costs tend to come in generating traffic. However, that said, no web business is free and you should be prepared for low thousands of costs (even if paid out of profits) if you are trying to build something significant.
The last thought…be brutally honest with yourself. Are you serious or a hobbyist? With the web becoming more professional, hobbyists mostly don’t win.