Business Insights: What Can Fuck Your Business Over?
I read an interesting article half a year ago. Facebook was about to file for its IPO and they had to analyze and report their own weaknesses to help inform their potential investors.
It’s a great exercise for us to try as well. I went ahead and analyzed my own internet marketing businesses and came up with 35 things.
- Getting sued by the FTC or another company
- Losing Access to the Internet for a significant amount of time
- My computer / servers getting corrupted or hacked
- Missing a large payment from an advertiser partner or network
- Injury / health related problems that could make me unable to work
- Losing money from servers going down
There’s a lot more but I don’t think Superman’s going around telling everyone about Kryptonite.
Take half an hour to brainstorm. Even if you don’t own a business, you could do an analysis of your current career.
Now you have a big list of things that can harm your business. We’re going to think of ways to help prevent it from happening.
Sued by the FTC or others
- Hire a lawyer that understands internet law and FTC law. Have them review all your material to make sure they are compliant. Don’t run offers that are too risky
- Understand the rules and regulations of the product you’re promoting and the country you’re promoting in
- Keep up with the latest industry changes. This is very important for newer markets such as mobile marketing.
- I know people that have been sued before by using pictures of people in their ads without permission. Use royalty free stock images, offer people compensation for using their pictures, hire people on Fiverr to take pics, etc. One time I found some before / after weight loss photos I really liked on a forum. I sent them a message and offered them like $50 to use their pics. They signed my forms, and even sent me additional pics.
Losing Access to the Internet for a Significant Amount of Time
I’ve had times in Asia when my internets been down for the entire day. In case that happens I already have a USB internet dongle with another provider. I can always go to a coffee shop with free wifi. No internet in my entire country? I’m taking the next flight out to a nearby country.
My Computer / Servers Getting Corrupted or Hacked
- Back Your Servers & Computer data daily
- All my passwords are different, and strong (check with HowSecureIsMyPassword).
- I have my laptop data encrypted with TrueCrypt in case it ever gets stolen.
- Do extra security for your Gmail & Dropbox using 2-factor authentication
- Run Virus scanners daily
Missing a Huge Payment From an Advertiser or Partner
Internet marketing can be a dirty business at times. Everyone has stories about losing money from people not paying what they’re owed.
I only work with affiliate networks I have a history with and I trust. I work with multiple networks in order to spread the risk. DO NOT depend on their accounting departments to be perfect. Know exactly how much you’re suppose to receive, and call them if the payments are late.
If I’m going direct with an advertiser, I’ll really push for weekly payments. Even the I’ll only send them a little traffic until they’re consistent with the payments.
My friend was doing very well on an offer and switched to a newer network for like a 10 cent pay bump. The new network was having a lot of issues and my friend ended up never getting paid. He lost a few thousand dollars because of this mistake. You have to do proper risk analysis.
Preventing Injuries and Poor Health
MJ DeMarco has a really good chapter about this in The Millionaire Fastlane that he calls “Worst Case Consequences Analysis.” When you’re about to make a decision, what’s the worst that can happen?
One example is where he people are constantly trying to race him because he drives a Lambo. Is it worth to endanger his life to impress a random guy in a Honda Civic?
I don’t put myself into unnecessary danger.
I’ll never get into a car with someone that’s been drinking. I’ve never done drugs. I’ve gotten into situations where I’ve almost been in fights in the club, but I always walk away. Why? I don’t wanna have to worry about getting jumped in the future. This is especially true when you’re traveling, you don’t know who’s connected to who.
I also do my best to stay healthy by exercising and eating healthy. If you’re fat, you have a higher chance of having heart attacks.
Put down that cheeseburger and go run. Who cares about business and money if your health’s in danger.
Servers Going Down
First off, don’t use Godaddy for your domain names – switch over to NameCheap
If your websites are starting to get some traffic, then it’s time to get off that Hostgator $5 plan. Upgrade to a VPS (Virtual Private Server) and host your static content on a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
I use Pingdom to let me know if one of my sites ever go down.
I’ll give you an example of something that happened to me a few months ago. I out fishing in Vietnam. My phone didn’t get 3G coverage that far out, but I got an SMS saying one of my main servers was down. Fuck!
I turned the boat around and was back at my hotel within 30 minutes. I paused traffic, switched servers, and ended up saving thousands of dollars.
The Game We’re Playing
Think about all the businesses that rested on their laurels and refused to admit the markets were changing. Blockbuster got killed by Netflix with the DVD online business. Netflix in turn invested heavily into their streaming business because they knew that was the future. If they didn’t, then a competitor would’ve usurped their position.
Are you playing chess? Look a few moves ahead, predict what could happen, and strike before things happen. Don’t be one of those guys that live in the moment and play tic-tac-toe,
If you’re making money and are successful, people will come after your spot. Don’t be complacent, stay hungry.