There is a perception, created by unscrupulous Internet marketing "Gurus", that anybody can make a fortune by starting an Internet business. It takes wisdom, experience, patience and persistence to create an income generating Internet business following a solid business plan, just like any other business in the real world. Well, at least for us ordinary folk!
The good news is that being over 50, you have all of these qualities and you can start and maintain a profitable Internet business by enlisting an Internet business service that suits your requirements. Here is how I learned the hard way to find an ideal Internet business service
Undoubtedly the backbone of any venture. To become an expert in research read, learn and practice everything a good search engine provides. Stick with a market leader and use all they have to offer and you wont need anything more. Good search engines offers many excellent and easy to use research services that are not well known as they do not as a rule market their capabilities aggressively. Go to their home page and read everything they have carefully.
2. Stick to what you know
Good Internet marketers try to enlist you in business that "follow the money". This sounds quite logical as the Internet provides the means to follow booming market niches. But you are over 50. You are an expert in your area, be it in business or a hobby. You can start all over again ( I have encountered several people over 50 that did), but it will take many years to get to your current level of expertise in a new field. Stick to what you know best and use what you have acquired over many years to dominate a market niche in your field.
3. Use Established, Credible and Accountable Companies
There was a time when I mastered searching to the point that I was totally overwhelmed with information. To cope I decided to work with established, credible companies that have a track record of accountability. Once you have become a good researcher using the research engine of your choice you will find companies that can provide you with services and products suited to your needs. Stick with the ones that meet your needs. Do not be tempted to switch to new companies no matter how good the deal sounds. A good company will adapt.
4. If it is too good to be true, it is
Not much more to say about this tip. Being over 50 has the great advantage that we can spot unrealistic claims a mile off. Beware of the "amazing easy way to...anything" marketing hype.
5. Beware of "silver tongue" marketing
I still fall into this trap. Some marketers are just so good. They know just how to hook you and reel you in. Its actually an amazing example of how you can get almost anybody to part with their money following proven marketing systems. If I follow my first tip above, research, I seldom buy unless it turns out to be of value. Resist the immediate temptation to buy and just do some research. Rather invest the money you would have spent in your future business.
6. Lots of free offerings? Beware!
Free offerings are always attractive. All you have to do is provide a name and e mail and you get some great free information. But then you have "opted in" to receive endless amounts of e mail, some tempting marketing and information overload. I must have about 100 000 free e books saved I never looked at. But to make sure I do not lose out, I...research, of course. And never miss out on the good stuff.
7. Unobtrusive marketing
A good Internet business service will respect your privacy and provide you with good but low intensity information dispersed over a period of time. They also leave the decision up to you without pressure and will eventually either check with you if you are still interested or stop the process. I like this approach and research usually shows that these companies are in a class of their own.
8. Two page web site test
Over the years I have correlated good Internet business offerings with sites that have just two pages I need to read. A good Internet business service provider will reveal all their offerings in detail on their home page including price. The second page is the purchase or buy page. (some sites give the price details here). With a good home page and research to confirm all the information and claims stated, its easy to make a decision to buy into the service or not.
9. Try then buy and short notice subscription cancellations
A company that has confidence in their product will offer a trial period, usually 3 months and an opt out option if the service does not work for you. Some even offer immediate cancellation if you do subscribe and once a company even refunded my advanced payment the same day. Money back guarantees are not as good as they sound as its a well known marketing tactic because people do not bother to claim back their money in the short time the guarantee is available.
10. Solid track record
It takes time to build a good service on the Internet and of all the tips, this is perhaps the best measure of a companies worth. The Internet service companies I deal with most of the time has been active in their market at least 8 to 10 years.
11. Good reviews
Good reviews are helpful, but be aware that a lot of companies write their own reviews and their customers also will write glowing reviews to promote their own business as they are coupled to these companies. I have found good and well known neutral sites that write balanced reviews very helpful.
12. Structured, in depth training courses
As an over 50 web entrepreneur I have a hard time keeping up in my area of my expertise, let alone trying to keep up with the ever changing world of Internet business marketing. My ideal service provider must have easy to use, well written courses I can follow and practical examples and exercises. Different levels and regular updating of content is also a must for me.
13. Good tools to do the complicated work
An Internet business is driven by statistics. Word counts in articles, use of key words, density of key words, what words or phrases people use to search and many more vital information. Service providers worth their salt have many tools that not only gives you the information you want but also makes recommendations as to what works and what does not.Displaying all relevant information regarding your marketing campaigns in an easy to read format is also essential.
14. Active and helpful forum
If a site has an extensive forum with a large amount of active members willing to share their experiences and willing to answer any questions you might have, then you are on to a winner. Lately I have discovered the very productive means of forum activity and my productivity has improved markedly.
15. Easy to contact
One would think that this is a basic requirement. To my dismay, I have found out the hard way that some companies deliberately make it very difficult to communicate with them, especially if you have account problems. A well known and prominent company I joined on a trial basis have been taking money off my account now for 4 months after cancellation and there is no way I can contact them. Lesson learned.
16. Low cost entry
Good service providers have lots of satisfied and loyal customers that ensures a good and steady revenue to the company. As result their prices are very reasonable. Paying out a huge amount of money upfront is always a risk and puts one under pressure to get up and running fast, not an option if you want a stable profitable company that will serve your needs for the long term.
17. Read the fine print
Everybody knows they should, but nobody does. As I have a good grounding in legal matters, I always read the fine print and a lot can be learned about a company in doing so. In any case I have found that the good companies have good, understandable and uncomplicated terms and agreements.
18. Ask Questions
I ask my questions on formal business social sites. The best ones to join do ask a small monthly fee but its an investment. I have also found sites that provides you with an expert who quotes you for answering your questions and it was not only reasonably priced, but the answers were just what I needed
19. Trust your instincts
If you have read this far, you must be over 50! Only those over 50 still value the fact that good information cannot be conveyed in a few sentences, right? And at 50 and over one does have the advantage of good instincts. Use them. Listen to them. You will be more often correct following your instincts than not.
20. Are you in control?
The final test. After you have done your homework the final test is to make sure that your service provides you with the means to be in control of everything you want to be. By using the above methods I have finally found the ideal service partners I need to start building a lasting and profitable Internet business. Its exciting and now I am confident that I will make it. I wish you the same.