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Tags:  pre-launch opportunity  prelaunch opportunity  money making pre-launch  money making prelaunch 
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Published:  January 25, 2012
 
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Slide 1: ==== ==== Join The Community... A Must Read http://q.gs/1262746/wazzub ==== ==== The word Website appears first in the title of this article because, especially in the home based business and network marketing industries, you will often be dealing with an individual Webpage or Website as opposed to a large company. That Website might be the independent representative page of a representative, or it could be an independently developed page operated by an entrepreneur. Even if you are looking at a Webpage that is owned by a company, often you will have to go no further in the evaluation process to rule out a particular Website or opportunity. Then, only if the Website passes your tests, do you go on to evaluate the company and opportunity. Please realize, also, that this article does not really address the issues involved in evaluating the opportunity side of a company, or fully evaluating the company and opportunity combined. On the Homepage of ABCIncome.com appears a 13-point criteria developed out of two decades of experience with evaluating business opportunities. The version on the Homepage is only an overview, but a more complete version of what to look for will appear soon in the form of a new article. One other point before we really get started, is that this article is not concerned with aesthetic issues. Granted, there are certain, “generally accepted Web design practices,” some of which will be talked about here. However, just because a Website uses a certain type of graphics, or perhaps a wild color scheme (or a boring one), doesn’t mean that it can’t offer good content or opportunities. There are just too many factors having to do with personal preference for these to be considered a major factor for the purpose of this article. Ok, with that said, here are some of the things that you should be looking for when evaluating a Website or a company: 1. Is the MAIN Website directly accessible via a URL (Web address) that reasonably makes sense? Some Websites, most notably those that are questionable, will occasionally set up even their main URL so that it isn’t very intuitive or accessible for the general public. For instance, normally a Website name might look something like this: [http://www.evaluateawebsite.com]
Slide 2: Or [http://www.evaluateawebsite.com/index.htm] Or [http://www.evaluateawebsite.com/main.asp] On the other hand, if something isn’t quite right it might look something like this: [http://www.evaluateawebsite.com/prelaunch/] Or [http://www.evaluateawebsite.com/comingsoon/] Or [http://www.evaluateawebsite.com/invitationonly/] Let me immediately point out that simply because a URL ends with a name similar to one of the examples above that doesn’t mean that the Website isn’t legitimate. If, for instance, you are reading this article directly on the Website of ABCIncome.com instead of in my email newsletter, then it ends with a name that is tacked onto the main Web address of ABCIncome.com. It’s pretty standard practice in the industry to add forward slashes and additional directories, folders, and/or page names to the right of the main URL. However, IF you cannot erase those extra characters to the right and directly access the Website with just the portion that ends in .com, or .net, or .biz, or .ws, etc., that may be cause for concern. Many Websites direct visitors to pages that aren’t the main Homepage. However, if you can’t get to the Website’s main Homepage, again, that may be cause for suspicion. Business Websites are all about marketing a product or service, so any normal Website owner would typically want to make sure that their Homepage is accessible to any and all visitors. 2. What kind of contact options are provided? Email, Contact Form, telephone number, etc.? If there are no contact options, unless there is a VERY good reason, such as that the site is undergoing construction or maintenance, consider it to be a big RED Flag! If the site offers a way for you to purchase something, but there are no contact options (until after purchase, you hope), then absolutely consider it a BIG RED Flag! In general, the more contact options, the better. I would feel the most comfortable, for instance, dealing with Website where an email address or contact form, and a phone number, and a street address are provided. I would feel least comfortable with a Website where only an email address and nothing else is provided. Remember also that you can, or should, view Websites owned by individuals slightly differently than Websites owned by a company. Any legitimate, reputable company, for instance, should offer at least some contact information, again, the more the better. However, it is not uncommon for Websites owned and managed by individuals to feature less contact information. Especially if it is owned by a home based business person; he or she might not be comfortable publishing their home
Slide 3: street address or phone number on the Web, for instance. In rare cases with certain types of replicating Websites (where many representatives have the same type of Website) the user may not have the option of providing more contact details. But, again, that’s rare. These days even most Websites aimed at individual users allow the user to add and update their contact information. Even a P.O. Box is better than no address at all. Here again, whether dealing with a giant company or an individual, it is not uncommon for companies or individuals to use P.O. Boxes to more efficiently handle their mail. True, some unscrupulous operators hide behind P.O. Boxes. However, they are a much smaller percentage in comparison to legitimate users. The main reason is that, especially after 9/11, in order to apply for and use a P.O. Box or address service the applicant has to provide various kinds of information, including a real street address, and proof of identity, etc. Some Websites provide only an instant chat username as a means of contact. Here also, usually to be considered a red flag. Because scam artists know that providing a means of contact considerably increases the credibility of a Website, one of the cleverest tactics to watch out for is a site that provides a “Live Chat” or “Live Support” or “Live Customer Service” option, etc., but it is never really staffed! The above tactic is often combined with the additional tactic of the site claiming to be located in a part of the World that just happens not to be open for business during regular business hours in busy parts of the World such as the USA and Canada. I saw that tactic employed by a scam Website claiming to be located in the UK. It offered, “Live Support,” but noted that they operated according to UK time, which, conveniently, meant that by the time that most people in the USA and Canada got out of work and visited their Website, it was too late to make contact due to it being after hours in the UK. In reality, the site’s “Live Support” option was never staffed, but most visitors never caught on due to the cleverness of the scheme. 3. After checking the items above I usually look for an “About Page.” Here again a Website run by an individual might not have one. However, the best companies, whether large or small, will almost always have at least one page if not more devoted to information about the company. Sometimes information about the company’s management is provided as well. These pages also go by names such as, “Company info.,” “Our
Slide 4: Company,” or just, “Company,” etc. The About page can often tell you a lot about a company, including how long they claim to have been in business. In general, the longer the better! 4. Does the Website feature any certifications, affiliations, or rankings, backed by reputable and unbiased 3rd party organizations such as The Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, Dun & Bradstreet, TRUSTe, Alexa, DSA (Direct Selling Association), etc.? Though none of the above organizations endorse or guarantee companies, membership in and/or certification by a respected 3rd party organization can go a long way toward giving you greater peace of mind that a company or individual is legitimate and trustworthy. Something that people don’t commonly know about the Better Business Bureau is that they can establish a file and keep records on ANY company or individual whether they are a member or not. The difference is, however, that a company who is not a member has not agreed to the terms of the Better Business Bureau, cannot display their logos, and has no way to really showcase a good record if they have one. However, even if a company is not listed with the BBB, IF they’ve been around for a while and you can verify that fact, at least the BBB may have on file any negative complaints that have been filed. I must stress, however, this really applies only if the company that you are doing business with has been around for a considerable length of time, and you can verify it. That’s because a common tactic of scam artists is to start a new company, take people’s money, and then simply close their doors, start another new company, and repeat the process all over again. Thus, if they are not a BBB member, they may very well have taken advantage of many unsuspecting victims, but simply haven’t been around long enough for complaints to have reached the BBB yet. That’s why it is a requirement that when a business or individual applies for membership they must have been in business for at least 6 months to a year, and, further, the BBB goes as far back as 3 years in their files to see if there have been any past complaints before granting membership. Unscrupulous companies that try to evade detection by closing their doors and then opening up again under a new name are often detected in the BBB’s database. So, if you know that a company previously operated under a different name it would be a good idea to check to see if any complaints were filed against the company under its previous name(s). 5. WHOIS and Alexa are tools that you can use in combination to further develop a profile and picture of what a Website is all about.
Slide 5: Alexa ( http://www.alexa.com/ ) allows you to track various data about a Website’s activity, perhaps how long the site has been around, and maybe who owns it. Alexa can be a great tool, but you have to be very careful if you aren’t familiar with what all of the various pieces of information mean. For instance, just because a Website has a high Alexa rating doesn’t mean it’s credible. There are enough people who love money enough to jump onboard any scheme or scam even if it seems too good to be true that unscrupulous Websites have often been able to achieve high Alexa ratings. The thing to watch for is most of the traffic being generated by the people who are jumping onboard the scheme and advertising the site, as opposed to the Website climbing up in the rankings on its own merits. Again, it may take you a while before you are able to interpret and read the data to be able to discern such things. However, one potential clue that “might” be a tip off is when you see a Website appear out of the blue and all of a sudden it has a high Alexa rating. Maybe it’s ranked at #77,000, for instance, but it’s only been on the charts for a few weeks or months. Not always, but, especially if you are utilizing the other methods discussed here, you may be able to determine that such a brief and rapid change in ranking is a red flag for that particular Website. You also have to realize that Websites and the companies and individuals behind them are separate entities. For instance, Sears Roebuck had obviously already been around a long, long time before they ever had a Website. And even companies or individuals that have a Website sometimes add new ones, etc. So, if a company or individual says they’ve been around for a while, but their Website hasn’t been around as long, that isn’t necessarily a red flag as long as you can verify the information. As for WHOIS, there are numerous WHOIS servers that you can use. Many in fact. However, three of the best known and most popular are: InterNIC http://www.internic.net/ VeriSign http://registrar.verisign-grs.com/whois/ and Network Solutions http://www.networksolutions.com/en_US/whois/ WHOIS is a special database that lets you find out about a Website by typing in the domain name (the Website address). Among the things that you may be able to find out are out how long the Website has been around, who owns it, and where that company or individual is actually located. Earlier I mentioned a scam Website that claimed to be in the UK. Well, using the
Slide 6: same kinds of methods that I’m telling you about here I quickly found all kinds of red flags. One of the biggest was that when I ran a WHOIS query the result came back that the site owners were not really in the UK as they claimed to be, but were actually registered on the offshore island of Belize, a common tactic of, and a HUGE red flag characteristic of scam operations. Another thing to watch for are private registrations by companies or individuals who are obviously advertising as doing business with the public. Private registrations are those where the real identity of the Website’s owner is not revealed. That’s fine if someone just wants privacy. However, companies doing business with the public are by their very nature doing business with the public! Therefore, it really makes no sense, in most cases, for someone to file a private registration. It can be a red flag that makes one wonder, who really owns this Website, and why don’t they show themselves? 6. Dun & Bradstreet and similar business intelligence and credit reporting agencies, most notably Hoovers, are also excellent options if you really want to find out more about a company. From Microsoft to Motorola, Dun & Bradstreet (also known as D&B) is THE industry’s most respected credit reporting and business intelligence source for that kind of information. Unlike most of the other resources mentioned in this article, D&B primarily focuses on large companies like the Fortune 500, or larger “small” businesses. So, many, if not most individuals and small businesses will not be listed. Additionally, these services require a fee, which can be substantial in order for you to pull a report on a company, unless you have a subscription, which also involves a fair amount of cost. You can, however, run limited queries at no cost that may be helpful to you. 7. One last point to consider is one that most people never give much thought to when evaluating a Website or a company, and that is the payment methods they accept. Limited payment method acceptance (the inability to accept online payment) may be a red flag when dealing with all but the smallest companies or individuals. The bottom line is that the more payment methods a site is able to offer the greater the convenience for the customer, which equates to more sales. Therefore, no established company would want to be without the ability to accept multiple forms of payment, unless, of course, something is wrong. This article is already lengthy, and space simply does not permit going into detail about the different types of payment processors. However, in general, a Website that accepts payment via a secure merchant shopping cart of its own has probably passed the most rigorous application, credit check, and background verification process. With a third party processor, such as 2Checkout, ClickBank, or PayPal, this is less so, but still applicable.
Slide 7: If a company or individual can’t qualify for an account with one of the above processors that can often be a red flag and a sign of either credit and/or financial problems, or even fraudulent activity. If a company has had problems that could explain why they can’t accept common forms of payment. An online Website saying that it can only accept payment in the form of a money order, cashier’s check, etc., should probably be viewed with suspicion. Also, if a Website features StormPay as the only payment option, and not also PayPal, that too can be a red flag. That’s because StormPay has much less stringent application and maintenance requirements than PayPal. So, a Website who HAD an account with one of the most respected payment processing company accounts like those described above, but then got into trouble and had their account banned or terminated, may still be able to get a StormPay account. Certainly not all StormPay accounts fall into this category, but, again, if it’s the only payment method accepted, it may be cause for concern. Likewise, a Website offering as it’s only means of conducting transactions the egold service, may also be cause for concern and even a red flag. e-gold is an alternative service that allows companies and people to use gold instead of dollars as a means of conducting transactions. Though e-gold is a legitimate service that continues to grow and is accepted by many reputable merchants, it is often used by scam artists for obvious reasons. GRPMAX, L.L.C. was founded by CEO Phil Covington in 1979 and is the parent company of ABCIncome.Com. GRPMAX specializes in developing Uniquely Innovative Technologies & Solutions™ and has worked with clients ranging from small business, to government, to the Fortune 500. Specifically, GRPMAX creates solutions that automate processes that previously required human staffing and interaction. Mr. Covington's interest in the home business field started in the 1980s and developed out of relationships with some of the industry's most talented and highest earning individuals, during which time he has actively pursued the creation of the ultimate home business passive income solution. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Phil_Covington ==== ====
Slide 8: Join The Community... A Must Read http://q.gs/1262746/wazzub ==== ====

   
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