Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dear John... The Online Business' Killer Letter

What if one day you an email or a letter that starts with a "Dear John" type of greeting, and rapidly continues with the following scary statement:

"I am so sorry to the be the bearer of bad news…."

You would be scared and full of anxiety and your stress level will start rising. Specially if such a business killer letter was send by your lawyer, or accountant, the IRS, eBay administrators, or your fulfillment company. And the rest of the note is just tells you that soon, sometimes very soon you would be out of business.

The question here is:

What would you do on such a situation?...

You cannot let all your hard work just go down the drain, even more if you been busting your butt for years building a successful business!

And don't think that this can't happen to you, nobody is 100% bullet proof, except for Superman :o)
Here is the story of what happened to a friend. He thought this couldn't happen, until his eBay business got a letter from his fulfillment company:
"I will never forget the day nor the hour, I was about to visit my cousin in Charleston WVa.
The day was a beautiful Friday afternoon. I was enamored that the weather was in the 70′s with clear blue skies. I remember thinking to myself that this was a one of a kind day to have such great warm weather so late in August, it was 1:27 pm on August 27th.
I had just left Columbus Ohio in my rental car on my way with a 3 hour drive to Charleston. I had finally made it into town and I was ready to get my "vacation on".
I was sitting in the car when my phone got an email from the manager at my fulfillment house, the text began:
"I am so sorry to the be the bearer of bad news…."

Oh sh*t, my brain began to race, in seconds my breathing began to get shallow. I had not read the next word but between that opening and the next few seconds to the end of the sentence I knew doom and gloom was in store.

Something inside of me know they was not a mix up with an order, I could sense this was not a customer return, what the hell was it? Could it be the worse? Oh yeah, I know exactly what was coming next and I did not even have to read another word, the letter continued…

"I am going to have to shut my doors on September 30, 2010 and I will no longer be able to do your fulfillment…"

Well, there you go! The Titanic just hit the iceberg, I don't think I have had this feeling in the pit of my stomach since 9/11.

The swirling mental state of "WTF is going on" was present. Then something immediately starting playing in my head…what's that? It's the guy from Speed (the Movie)…"Pop quiz hot-shot, what do you do?""

As you can see, making sure your business is safe is not enough, also you need to have an emergency plan in case of any problem.

Here are some tips:

1. Have more than one vendor for the same product.

2. Keep record of everything. Sales transactions, tax forms, etc..

3. Be insured.

4. Make sure to turn your business into a corporation or LLC. To protect your assets.

5. Provide links to disclaimers, terms of service, policies, etc. From every web page in your site. Specially sale pages.

6. When building an email list, make sure each lead signs up through a double opt-in process. This way you can use that information in case of spam complaints!

7. Always provide an "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of your email.

8. Use more than one fulfillment service, to avoid my friends problem, and keep a list of back up services you can use in case of anything.

9. Have a list of reliable hosting services as a back up.

10. Keep a copy of your entire website in case your hosting service goes out of business. So, you upload the files to another service right away.

11. Also keep three copy of all your business stuff; one in the computer and the other two in two different portable hard drives or online cloud storage service. This helps in case of computer malfunction.

12. Make sure your business is 100% legal. Have a second lawyer check your operations to make sure of it.

Please if you have more tips, or you thing I miss something, share it with me by posting a comment. Thank you.

Yours truly,

Luis E Galarza,
Internet Marketing Specialist.

Follow me on Twitter:
Sent from my BlackBerry®
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1 comment:

Blogger said...

You can make $20 for filling a 20 minute survey!

Guess what? This is exactly what large companies are paying me for. They need to know what their customer base needs and wants. So large companies pay millions of dollars each month to the average person. In return, the average person, myself included, answers some questions and gives them their opinion.

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Success Quote

1. Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.

2. Work at something you enjoy and that's worthy of your time and talent.

3. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

4. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.

5. Be forgiving of yourself and others.

6. Be generous.

7. Have a grateful heart.

8. Persistence, persistence, persistence.

9. Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.

10. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.

11. Commit yourself to constant improvement.

12. Commit yourself to quality.

13. Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationship with people you love and respect.

14. Be loyal.

15. Be honest.

16. Be a self-starter.

17. Be decisive even it it means you'll sometimes be wrong.

18. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.

19. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did.

20. Take good care of those you love.

21. Don't do anything that wouldn't make your Mom proud.

By H. Jackson Brown Jr.