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Have you already found yourself locked into a business web site that in a very short time made the hair on the back of your neck stand up? Too late? You’ve already been there? Want your money back?

Those intermittent spurts of suspicion, while using any web site, that keep popping into your brain are there for a reason. Your intuition needs to be trusted! Don’t let web site marketing fool you.

The worst offenders are the ebusiness web sites that appear at first to be legitimate, have a persuasive sales approach that overpowers you with emotion, and offers you an unequaled list of benefits-- just like you need -----yep—just exactly like every ethical and legitimate website on the Internet!

Bad business web sites tend to go overboard with their web site promotion tactics. Web site marketing is their tool to suck you in. Be very careful, while seeking your own ebusiness web site solutions, to look for the signs of ebusiness quicksand such as these.

Internet Business Quicksand Coordinates: (Don’t say I didn’t tell you so!)

1. Contact Premonitions: Cold calls and spam e-mails are obvious tools of web site marketing, and yet remain effective ebusiness promotion tools. Less obvious are the contacts made in response to your ebusiness queries for more information.

Any ethical and trustworthy Internet business will establish a reliable communication system to service all inquiries.

If you receive no responses to your voice mail or e-mail questions, you better start worrying. They will fool you into thinking all is OK by responding intermittently to keep you on the string.

Advice: If you don’t get a response promptly (within a few days) to EVERY inquiry, no matter how brief or seemingly inappropriate, you need to hi-jack a horse and ride away.

2. Scant Credentials: Their website better have an “About Us” like page. And that page should contain not only the past history of the site, or of the owner(s), but also significant “expertise” information that should qualify the site as a legitimate source for the services they offer.

Shoddy and brief printed instructions, or information, they send to you after signing on to their services don’t cut it. But, they do it anyway knowing that the information will satisfy a good percentage of inexperienced Internet paying junkies.

That way they are not forced to reveal the truth (which will result in loss of smart customers).

Beware, when you receive by slug mail, or however, a new report that the company just created a special set-up or outside relationship that will profoundly benefit you as a customer–like much higher affiliate fees. Perfect timing to coerce you!

Advice: If you are not completely satisfied regarding the company or website data that you receive by any contact means, jump the next ship that’s sailing out to the open sea.

3. Availability Lacking: How may times have you called their web site, been put on “hold,” and either wait for an unusually long time, or are dropped off the line completely? It’s a very bad sign, and indicates poor management and oversight.

If you wait on line for over a full 2 minutes without a live person coming on– guess what? Nobodies coming!

You have to admit–it’s a great tactic to get rid of the person who’s asking too many questions, when they don’t know the answers!

The more worrisome sign is when you call them during usual working hours and you get voice mail only–no menu to select from to get to “anybody.” What does that tell you? Don’t they even have extension phones in their company?

Advice: If you find no live person (or at least a menu to choose from) on the phone during working hours, board the train and enjoy new scenery.

4. HTML Programs Crippled: Many scams and barely surviving web sites always seem to have outdated and poorly functioning “editors.” You know why?–because they are:

•Out of money
•Are pocketing all the profits (your money)
•Interested only in earning money the cheapest way
•Lacking a real support group
•Not interested in their customers well being

They can hide most everything from you, but not a lousy HTML editor!

When building a new business web site, or optimizing an old one, by using the HTML editor on their web site, you will either have no PDF manual of instructions to download, or notice that many of the items on the toolbar are not working and grayed-out.

Advice: If you go to any website having an HTML editor that you must use, and that program is way below the standard that you find elsewhere, pop your parachute and find a better place to land.

5. Mentoring Sucks: Many Internet business “help” web sites offer ebusiness promotions, marketing, and site building opportunities. After putting down your hard earned cash (often non-refundable) to do the project (mentoring is never free), your problems may just be beginning.

A good mentor is compulsive about his relationship with his mentoree. It simply means that he or she is available at the agreed upon times, not late, and makes sure that there are no interruptions during the session.

My experiences with mentors is dismal. When the mentor “forgets” the appointment, keeps no notes and never seems to know where the last session ended, and plainly does not know the answers to your questions–look out! Think, geek highschool dropouts!

Advice: If you experience traits like these in your mentor, staddle your ATV and head for another trail.

6. Dumb Tech Help: Most everyone joining the ebusiness Internet parade needs help to get going, and let’s not forget the words–to be successful. Most often as a beginner you will run into desperate need of computer technical help, especially while building your business web site.

You should become concerned when the tech you have on the phone:

•Does not know answers to simple questions.
•Repeatedly puts you on hold to ask another person about
your question.
•Is using a dial-up computer setup and obviously is not
using broadband to look at the work you have been doing.
•Has repeated interruptions during the session–like
being home, with the kids misbehaving, or is in the
process of moving out of his apartment.
•Searches and can’t seem to find any answers to your
•Spends an inordinate amount of time socializing with
you instead of doing what he is being paid (by you)
to do.
•Instructs you to find answers by your own means.

A knowledgeable tech will know the answers for 99% of questions (or can quickly find them) asked by beginners, and 90% of questions from experienced web dwellers. Am I overestimating these percentages? Or am I just expecting too much these days?

Advice: If you discover that you eventually are telling the tech that you found the answers to your own questions, it’s time to hop the fence and disappear into the woods.

7. Demonstrated Incompetence: Rarely does one run into an instance where blatant incompetence slaps you in the face so directly than reading the e-mail responses from the support groups that are supposed to be helping you.

When a mentor or tech support member solves your problem by referring you to a URL or other source rather than giving you the answer directly right then– watch out! Especially since they are aware that you have already gone to every source and searched every place you know for the answers.

It is assumed by them that you are lazy, want to be coddled along, and you would just not “get it” even if they told you. The truth is that most folks who line up to start an Internet business web site ask for help only as a last resort. It’s an “ego” thing.

Advice: If you are confronted by a “support” person that persists in answering your questions by referring you to another source, and never willing to give their own answer— run for the hills!

8. Switch-overs: It is understandable that business web sites dedicated to helping ebusiness entrepreneurs get started, have lots of different staff members doing different things.

Have you ever contacted a business web site and noticed that you never get the same person on the line twice. The constant changes of personnel should paint a picture for you.

You guessed it! Either the employees are treated poorly, existing on poor salaries, or have a very intolerable working environment. It all points to a shabby organization run by inexperienced executives that are squeaking by on minimal expenses and overhead.

Advice: If you notice that the “other” people that you have previously spoken to or communicated with are no longer there, start you engine and drive to a new location.

9. Executive Avoidance: This one really burns me! All successful business people know what it takes to keep customers and clients. Mutual respect is always there, and management of problems with customers are handled with a smile and compliance.

Suppose you become disturbed about an aspect of how you are being treated as a business web site client. So, you call and complain, gently at first.

You notice that the company’s reaction to you has now very quickly and obviously changed for the worse. You figure your name is on their S... list, just for asking for better service.

Now you have to go to the top person to really complain. You leave messages to call you back (they are never available at the time you call) and send e-mails asking to speak with the guy in charge. No responses! What next?

By now you know that Armageddon is upon you. Actually the end began when you complained legitimately for better service. It is so typical of a sham web site company to sever all contact with an unhappy client!

Unfortunately, it may even sever your connection to your money that you paid them.

Advice: If you point out some problem in their system (otherwise known as a criticism) and the response is negative in any way, don’t wait for the roof to fall in, escape immediately!

10. Restricted Work Hours: Suddenly discovering that their (you know who I’m talking about) services are not available after regular work hours is not much different from most web site companies– right?

But the kicker is that when you log in to their ebusiness web site to work on your new business web site after 6:00 PM, you are locked out. And the web site that you are constructing using their software html and graphics editor is not available—even on weekends.

It sits there untouchable by you at the exact time that you find time to do some work on it. Being prevented from working on your web site at anytime is a NO–NO! Legitimate web businesses do not do that.

Advice: If you find yourself forced to work on your web site only during the weekdays during standard business hours, find a canoe and paddle “down” river where all the good guys are.

10.5. Truth Hurts: I’m just a regular person like you. Every example used and comment made that has been written in this article has happened to me—and probably a lot of other folks out there who would prefer not to talk about it.

Along with the many other incidents, shams, and outright unbelievable experiences that I have come into contact with besides those mentioned above, comes lessons, wisdom,
and knowledge.

Summary: The gauntlet of setting up a business web site, constructing a business web site, doing web site promotion and web site marketing, leaves every ebusiness exposed to
bad stuff.

Being alert to the many signs and symptoms of this predatory Internet web site disease infecting the honorable business marketplace, can help wipe out those who steal our money and time.

The author, Curtis Graham, M.D., is CEO of L & C Internet Enterprises, Inc. For over 38 years in medical practice he has written articles, medical information products for his patients, a book on infertility, and marketing information for his practice. He has been published in Modern Physician, an elite magazine for physician executives, and is credited as an “Expert Author” by Ezine Publishers.

Retirement from medicine now permits expansion of his passion to continue helping people by writing pertinent, practical, and detailed articles about many topics. Check out the website that he and his wife share with a passion: Helping entrepreneurs make their Internet Businesses a success:

Please feel free to copy, send, distribute, or make this article available to others that might be interested. In doing so you agree to leave the author’s bio and article intact.

Copyright 2005, Curtis Graham, MD, L & C Internet Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Author's Bio: 

The author, Curt Graham, has over 35 years of experience writing articles for business, has been published in Modern Physician. His information products, ebooks, and reports concerning ebusiness help and success are now teaching many entrepreneurs. As a platinum ezine articles expert his expertise is
well established.

Find online home based business solutions, practical strategies for ebusiness success, and experienced online business advice on his website. Go there now!
www.Online-HomeBasedBusiness.com (under constrution)

© Curt Graham, CEO, L & C Internet Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.