Tuesday, December 1, 2009

StoresOnline Internet Income Training Conference - A Review

Alright, I'll admit it... I have had enough of the people claiming that StoresOnline is a scam. Those who know me in relation to StoresOnline know that I am a happy customer. As I have stated in an earlier post Stores Online did not scam me. I have also given my 2004 conference experience in another post. With all this being said, I hadn't been to a conference/seminar in 5 years so when I'm on those many sites defending StoresOline, I can't really speak to what they are doing now. I know that mistakes have been admitted to in the past and since corrected, but I had not seen any of this correction in place (with regards to the conferences). So I came up with this bright idea to attend a conference as someone who has never experienced StoresOnline - a secret agent, if you will.

So to get started, I went to www.storesonline.com and under the Contact us information there was a link to register for an event in my area. So I registered. I don't remember how long ago but before long, I received an invitation in the mail, yay! The invitation came complete with 2 tickets to the event. Many of the complaints that I've seen stem around this invitation. I can only speak on what I received, but I will address the complaints. Here is an excerpt from the invitation (Click on the images to see the entire document):

Click here to see StoresOnline Conference Invitation Part 1

As you can see in the image above, I've highlighted some very important verbiage. Note that this verbiage explains that Stores Online will not provide a product, service, or idea for you to promote. that means the individual attending has to do that on his/her own. The next sentence implies that there will be something to buy and that you have 3 days to change your mind. For all those thinking that they are just going to the conference for just a free lesson, food and MP3 Player, did you read your invitation? My invitation specifically implies that there will be something to buy.

I highlighted the next part because I have seen many complaints from people stating that StoresOnline claimed to be giving out Apple iPods. The makes it clear that is not the case. With regards to the redemption coupon, I don't know. I took a companion with me, Jackie Roberts, and she picked up the MP3 Players. When I asked her if she was given a choice, she said that they were just handing out the little boxes, and she didn't notice anyone asking for the redemption coupon. So I can't speak to whether the coupons were available or not. However, I will say that there might be some confusion because on the back of the actual ticket it says that the MP3 Player would be mailed, despite it being available to pick-up at the end of the conference:

StoresOnline Conference Ticket - Back
Click here to see StoresOnline Conference Ticket - Front

Ok so before I even decide to register and attend, the documentation that I've been sent indicates that i am going to get a free lesson on Internet marketing, a free meal, and a free MP3 Player (not an Apple iPod Shuffle). I'm also given an indication that I will be sold something. Anyone who received this invitation should have no complaints about the MP3 Player, or the fact that they will hear a sales pitch.

So I called and registered for the conference on November 20, 2009. When the day of the event came, I attended with the companion mentioned earlier and we were greeted nicely by Jeff. Jeff got us our name tags and we were given a registration for with rules that we had to agree to. Here is another excerpt:

Let me first start by saying that after I signed this document it was taken from me, I guess for their records. Since my signature was on the document I asked for a copy and had no problems getting it.

Now, as highlighted "StoresOnline, Inc does not provide a marketing program..." That speaks for itself. The next part states that no guarantees are offered that what will be learned at the conference will be applicable to my business. The next part states that my results will vary "depending on my product, price and marketing efforts." Last but not least the internet changes all the time so what i learn in the conference may need to be modified or avoided all together in the future. So before i can even walk into the room I have to agree that I understand all of this. So again, before I'm taught anything, or offered anything, or sold anything, I'm told that my results may vary, what i learn may not be applicable to my business, and even if they are, based on the changing nature of the Internet, these concepts may become obsolete. are we getting the important of reading the documentation that is placed in from of us yet? this last document I had to sign. If I don't read the documents that I place my signature on, I will be in big trouble with life in general, forget this one conference.

Once in the conference, and it starts, we are sat down in chairs and since we were a little late, a table wasn't setup for us, but that came in pretty quickly. Immediately we are all told of the day's offer with am e-commerce education package, merchant services, support, merchant account, software access and hosting and the price. I'm not going to mention the price here because every conference is different and the offer may be different and the price may be different. The price is irrelevant but I'll say that it's in the thousands.

It was mentioned that people won't want to buy from me if i only offered PayPal as a payment option. I don't really believe that, but the statistics is that only 1 in every 8 people will use Paypal as a payment method. It was also mentioned that there are cheaper options out there, but not with the same benefits. Anyone who has actually made a go out of the Stores Online store builder and realized what is all available who has tried to look around for a cheaper option with the same features will tell you how true this is. That old saying holds true, "you get what you pay for." A financing option is available and a pre-qualification for was handed out and asked to be filled out. This form allows them to do a soft credit check. Since I already own the stores, there was no need for me to fill out the form, but my companion did. She was uncomfortable placing her SSN on the paper especially since she hadn't made up her mind to purchase so the gentleman allowed her to wait to hand in the form.

The marketing guru that presented, Randy ( stated that he doesn't work for StoresOnline, but they pay him to give the presentations), made it clear to everyone that Stores Online was a business and that they were there to make money. There was no misconception about that. It was also stressed that a lot of time and work would be needed and that this was not a get rich quick scheme. Randy went on to tell us how 90% of websites fail because of the lack of proper marketing. The information that he was presenting could be used whether or not we decided to purchase with StoresOnline. He also asked those who were just present to get a free meal and a MP3 Player to please leave, picking up a meal voucher and MP3 Player on the way out. This is at the very beginning. From what i saw, no one left, maybe out of embarrassment for being called out that way.

There was a lot of good information given out. I took 5 pages of bullet-ed notes, but i want to focus on the offer, not the information. My cover was blown almost immediately as Randy was working the room. He saw my name tag and immediately recognized it and called out my websites with StoresOnline - www.HealthyHeartHelp.com and www.AllNaturalElements.com. I was completely thrown off because i didn't know that he used my testimonial regularly in his presentations so he was quite familiar with my name and sites. I was immediately made the center of attention and everyone applauded as he called me a celebrity. But i kept my watchful eyes and ears around so that I could do this proper critique. Though, it's possible that some of it could have been tainted because I was there. Who knows, but I'm giving my account.

Also stated was that all of the conferences are recorded. At the end, a guy named Todd, who spoke at the very beginning, came back up and stated that those who purchased would most likely get a call from a third-party partner offering their services. It was emphasized that those services were not needed to be successful.

I've seen complaints about the food at these conferences as well. I personally don't think that the food should reflect on the quality of the product especially since the location provides the food, not StoresOnline. I actually think that it's pretty lame to use your poor opinion of the food as a major point for complaint on the company. But then again, it's just my opinion. Since people complain about it, I'll speak on it.The dinner was a chicken salad croissant sandwich (too many onions for my taste), penne pasta salad on a leaf of iceberg lettuce and a chocolate chip cookie. Soda and water was available as well. That is, if you could get some after some people took more than their fair share. I thought the meal was good for FREE.

I've even seen complaints about the type of people who attended the conferences. I've seen the words "old" and "decrepit" used. The audience at my conference was nothing of the sort. I actually don't think age has anything to do with being able to make it in this business. I know folks pushing 70 who are fairing quite well. The audience was a mixed bag, but mostly older folks. When I say older, I mean older than 30.

Since my c over was blown, I couldn't talk to any of the guys to see if they were using high pressure tactics. My companion did state that she was made to feel guilty that she was not purchasing. She felt pressured, in a way. It is sales though right?

At any rate, this was my review of the tactics used at the conference. From what I can tell, the act has been cleaned up. If you had a different experience, please state the date and location (city, state) of your conference. I think a lot of the confusion that some of the complainants could be cleared up if they would have read all of what is given to them.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

All Natural Elements Soy Candle Holiday Scents are HERE!!!!

I am so excited for this holiday season especially for my line of Soy Candles on www.AllNaturalElements.com! The Holiday Scents are IN!! You can buy sample packs now and full sized candles within the next 2 weeks. We have a plethora of scents to choose from:
  • French Vanilla
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Egg Nog
  • White Chocolate & Hazelnut
  • Pound Cake
  • Holiday Ginger
  • Sugar Cookie
  • Aztec Chocolate
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Cinnamon & Spice
Don't they just sound scrumptious? All of these scents will fill your home with joyous goodness and have your holiday guest nice and hungry for dinner!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Handling Customer Disputes When You Have An Online Business

No matter how you choose to do business, if you have customers you will have disputes. It doesn't matter how on top of things you are, or how attentive you are to your business, disputes are just unavoidable.

My earlier jobs, growing up, were always in customer service - retail, restaurant, AAA Emergency Road Service, tele-services, etc and they all teach you the same thing, "The customer is always right!" I, personally never agreed with this philosophy. I believe that the customer is often wrong and should be told so, but with a smile! :D I also believe that not all customers are worth keeping happy. It has been my experience that there are many people out there to scam you, the business, out of profits. For instance, I worked in a buffet restaurant and watched a man complain that he found a huge bolt screw in his Spanish Rice. Of course he didn't notice it until he was actually eating off of his plate (that he made himself). If you would have seen this screw, you would know that there is no way that he missed picking it up with the spoon. In addition, the screw was clean, hardly any food on it. Now if you don't know what Spanish Rice is, this dish was rice with a tomato sauce, spices, and cheeses, There is no way that the screw could have been swimming so deep in the dish that he didn't notice it when he fixed his plate and it would have weighed heavily on his fork and probably fell off due to it's size, so he couldn't have pulled it out of his mouth. What I'm trying to say here is that there is no way that the screw was actually in the food. Long story short, the guy walked out with his meal for the evening compliments of the restaurant and vouchers to come back for more free meals. Never mind the fact that he kept eating from the same plate and continued with his meal (most disgusted diners would lose their appetite and wouldn't be interested in free meal vouchers because they wouldn't want to eat there ever again). This is why that old philosophy doesn't work for me. They literally invited a scammer to come back to the restaurant and eat more for free just to keep him happy enough to come back and do it all over again. I don't need those kinds of customers, do you? I would have comp'd his meal, then had him fill out a complaint form (so that I could capture his name and information in case he tried it again) and sent him on his way. He wouldn't have gotten an invite to come back.

I've told this story because it teaches some valuable lessons:
  1. Don't Take It Personal. This is one of the most important rules of business. There will be a lot of things that will not be fair, or will work against you, or will infuriate you. You cannot, I repeat, cannot, take things personally. Some customers will make honest mistakes, others will make careless mistakes, and more will have buyers remorse and do whatever there is to be done to get you to give them their money back. I have had customers threaten to report my company to all kinds of bureaus and agencies over $13. A lot of these disgruntled customers think that $13 should be a drop in the bucket to your business and you should just give it back and be done with the complaint. It's petty and it makes you angry, because if they think it's a drop in a bucket, then why are they so adamant about getting it back? Truth is, they believe it is owed to them, but you have rules (terms and conditions) and you should enforce them, with a smile!
  2. Trust No Customer. Some new business owners will believe everything a customer tells them and will do whatever it takes to keep the customer happy, even as far as giving them free product/service, so that they come back. Most times this approach works for something that is or could have been your fault. However, when the problem is the customer's error, lack of attention to detail, or failure to read the terms and conditions of sale, not taking this approach will save your company money. Those customers that know that they made a mistake will say and do anything to correct it (get their money back), including lie. They don't care if you are a small or large business. They assume that if you are in business, you will take the loss just to make them happy. The laws of business are almost always in the customer's favor so you have to have good bookkeeping and make sure you give the customer every opportunity to read and understand what they are signing up for. As long as your I's are dotted and T's are crossed, you will prevail 99% of the time. The other 1% accounts for the risks you take in doing business in general.
  3. Kill Them With Kindness. You can send away a happy customer even when you don't give them everything for free! When it's your business' fault, be apologetic, and give the customer something for their frustration, or not. Depending on how inconvenienced the customer is, a simple "I'm sorry for your trouble, thank you for being patient with us!" is enough. Other times a discount or full refund is in order. When it is the customer's fault, with a warm voice and a smile, remind them of terms & conditions that were presented ( and where they were presented) to them before they made their purchase. Most customers will be good with that. Still, there are some that think the squeaky wheel gets the oil so they will be persistent. Depending on your/their mood, you can go out of your way to give them some sort of leniency. Regardless of how you handle the problem, don't take it personal, it's business and these things happen. Even if you are on the phone, take a deep breath, put a smile on your face, and give them your happy voice. The nicer you are to mean people, the worse those mean people feel when everything is all over.
  4. Keep Records! I put an exclamation on this because if you have a small business, most likely you are handling the customers personally. Even if you aren't, have a process that your employees follow for complaints that result in loss. Trust no customer. That nice old lady with the lost package that UPS says was left at the door this month, may also be the nice old lady who claims that her product arrived damaged next month, and then be the nice old lady with a lost package again 6 months after that. She just got a 2-for-1 special from you 3 times and you never ran a single sale. Track these complaints and monitor them. You want to know when you are being scammed.

Keep in mind that I'm not suggesting that you treat every customer like a thief, but use your instinct and trust your better judgement. You can be nice to everyone, but you can't make everyone happy. You also can't bankrupt your business because your customers failed to read the fine print. If you have terms and conditions of sale, make them visible and enforce them. It doesn't hurt to force the customer to agree to them before making their purchase either. There is something about saying "Per the terms and conditions that you agreed to upon purchase..." that tends to make it much easier to not give the customer what they are unreasonably asking for.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Other Passions...

Hi everyone! So I decided to make this post because a friend of mine suggested that I keep a portfolio of different things that I do. As you may not know, running a business is not the only passion that I have in my life. As a young girl, I became interested in cosmetology. Over the years I have taught myself quite well on my own head. Every now and then I get to practice, hence this post. Last night, this friend that I mentioned earlier asked me if I knew how to braid and I told her yes. She mentioned how she wanted to wash her hair and have it braided up. Living in Atlanta, GA, she decided to go "natural" (no relaxer) with her hair. Having recently moved back to Orlando, FL (and our humidity) and no longer having a natural hair guru-type hairdresser, she decided that braids were the way to go. now I haven't braided hair in ages, but it's like riding a bike, so she came by the house after work and I washed and braided here hair. If I must say so myself, they came out beautifully. Below are the results, enjoy!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Warm Spirit... Coming Back?

Oh yes, and it's been posted here FIRST!!!!

I'm so excited, I'm not sure what to do with myself. Ok, so I was updating one of my websites, more importantly, the Warm Spirit page of this website. Basically I was making it easier for people who were missing their Warm Spirit products to find Soul Purpose products that they would love as well. Well, I'm always doing google searches to see where we place in the search engines, because All Natural Elements gets a lot of traffic for Warm Spirit searches. In that search I came across Warm Spirit's official URL and what does it say?
"Warmspirit.com will be returning soon."

WHAT!?! That is so AMAZING!!
This is such exciting news. Let me know what you think about this...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My StoresOnline Truth...Keeping It Real

Perhaps you have only been to the 90 minute session, perhaps you went to the all day workshop, or perhaps you you’ve only read/heard the horror stories. I cannot speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself. I can only speak to my experience in the last 4 years and some months that I have dealt with StoresOnline. I have no idea what is being said in the seminars to date, but I can only tell you how my seminar went. I can’t imagine that it has gone much different.

I was mourning the recent passing of my father when a friend offered to get my mind off of things and get me out of the house by attending a free dinner that would get me a free organizer. It was at a hotel in downtown Philadelphia, PA, I think the Marriot (I’m not really sure, it was Nov/Dec 2004). This was the first time that I had even heard of StoresOnline, but I do recall them making mention of GalaxyMall which I had heard of in passing. The presenter was sharp, and talked fast, like he gave these presentations a lot. He was lively and animated so it kept me engaged. He started talking about internet retail and how big of an industry it was. I am quite aware of this as I pay all of my bills online and buy most things that way too he started talking about how there are millions of websites on the web, but no one knows about them or can’t find them. Having graduated with my BS in Computer Science in 2003, I was well aware of this fact as well. He stated giving examples of marketing techniques that standard retail businesses would use to bring traffic into their stores. I had seen these techniques in action every day as I am an avid retail shopper. Then he related these to web stores and a light bulb lit up inside me. “Hmm..” I told myself. Very briefly he explained how marketing is used to get your website noticed. More importantly he explained that marketing is necessary for a website to be found easily on the web. What good is a website if no one can find it?

Since I’m being honest here, I’ll tell you that I don’t remember exactly what was said from this point on but I can say that I remember thinking to myself “Why am I not doing this?” Having the technical expertise, I knew that getting a site up on the internet was going to be the easy part, but I knew nothing about the marketing. It certainly seemed easy enough. The all day workshop was only $20 for myself and a guest. Now having been dragged to a similar meeting for Russ Whitney’s Real Estate pitch back in September and being offered a 3 day workshop at a cost of $1100+ for two people, this $20 was a drop in the bucket. I had wasted more money worse way, so I didn’t see where it could hurt to attend.

Having been through this type of business marketing (90min presentation, all/multiple day workshop) before, I knew a sales pitch was coming. I just didn’t know for how much and for what exactly. At least I would learn something about Internet Marketing. This workshop only reinforced my eagerness to get started as the techniques for getting to the top of the search engines seemed like a piece of cake:

- Search Engine Optimization

o Use a reverse search engine, found on overture.com for FREE (no longer the case) to find good keyword phrases

o Good keyword phrases are commonly searched. Don’t go for the phrases up top (with the most amount of searches) because everyone is vying for those phrases and it’s way too competitive

o Use the keywords in ad copy, META tags

- Pay-Per-Click

o I could buy my way up to the stop starting at a penny a click (maybe 5 cents now) using different pay per click sites, not just the main ones which were Google, Overture, and Yahoo at the time.

- Link Trading

o Search engines like to find your site on other websites because it gives your site an “importance” factor.

o Just find a related site, see if the maintained a list of recommended links, and ask to be placed on their site. This was free and I could even pay them by putting their link on my site. A fair trade, costs no money, just my time.

These techniques all seemed easy enough. There were no really complicated tasks here. The presenter walked us through creating an account and starting a pay-per-click campaign. Ok so the techniques are simple enough, but do they really work? Well the presenter showed us his website wheatgrasskits.com which this very day is on page one of a Google search for “wheatgrass” and “wheat grass” only second to wikipedia’s wheatgrass page. So I’m thinking “Ok, if this guy’s site is at the top of the natural listings, he MUST know what he’s talking about!” he even talked about using my competition to set goals. Using a keyword phrase that I wanted to get to the top of the search engines with, I needed to do a Google search to find the current top 5-7 sites. Then I could do some advanced Google searches to find out how many link trades I needed to get to compete. This would give me an idea of how hard I needed to work to get there. There are some free tools available (if you search for them) that will give you some good information on your site as well as competitor sites to aid in this process.

Ok so once the teaching was done, here comes the pitch right. Here is the fabulous StoresOnline store builder with all of these great features! The reverse search engine was integrated, they partnered with Links4Trade to aid in the link trading process, credit card processing is offered and PayPal is already integrated. All of these wonderful customizable templates are available and you can create all kinds of fantastic ordering rules to calculate shipping and tax and whatever else. You can generate coupons. Better yet, the statistics! You can see the visitors to your site and how they got there, how many pages they visited. Sales statistics, the most popular products. All of the reporting you need to properly manage a business. It’s integrated with UPS so that it can calculate your shipping for you if you know the weights of all of your products and have a UPS account. You get a shopping cart that does inventory tracking and product/price variations. Products can be imported easily with character delimited files. I even got email aliases to give my customers that big company feel. This was great!

With my expertise I could have built my own site, shopping cart, and designed the database to hold all of the information. Considering my busy life at the time, it would have taken me years to develop what they were offering on my own. Sure, I could have paid someone to do it, but it would have cost a grip considering good developers can cost $75 or more an hour. I was getting 3 sites for the cost of one and 6 for less than the cost of 2. How could I pass it up?

I decided to buy 6 sites, get the merchant account, get the Links4Trade and all the bells and whistles for the cost of about $6000. Considering that I spent $20,000 for Russ Whitney Real Estate education just a couple of months prior, I told myself, “what’s another $5000/$6000?” The only thing was, I didn’t have it, so I financed it with them at an 18% APR. This meant a $283 payment every month for the next 3 years. After all, this was a business right. This is considered to be business loss, so I never saw it as wasted money. At my one-on-one session that afternoon, they asked me if I had products in mind. I had 3 different stores in my head, but then I needed to do my research to determine if they would be worthwhile businesses. I asked how to find my dropshipper because I had nowhere to store inventory. I was told to simple Google my product with dropshipper/wholesale/distributor behind it. Doing my reverse search I found my first idea wasn’t very profitable. My second idea, which is now www.healthyhearthelp.com was quite profitable. I couldn’t find my dropshipper the way they suggested though. I had no idea what to look for. I realized that I wanted to sell blood pressure monitors. I owned one, so I called the manufacturer and asked them how I could feature their product on my website. The lady gave me a list of distributors. I finally found one who had everything I was looking for and then some. Some distributors wouldn’t even entertain me since I didn’t have any references in the business, but told me to come back when I did. I was happy with what I found and never did go back, but I probably will eventually. My 3rd idea became www.allnaturalelements.com. I found a `dropshipper for that site after purchasing a list for $20. The list was meager and the dropshipper was “OK”, but not exactly helpful to the vision that I had for my business, but hey, at least I had something to sell.

So now that I have my first two stores in mind and some products, I started out to build my sites. I knew content would be the hardest thing to come by so I did a lot of research on my product topic. I found tons of information that I compiled together to make informational pages on my sites. I found StoresOnline’s customer support via chat to be lacking. They were never really able to help me with the kinds of problems that I couldn’t figure out on my own. My problems were overly technical and they just didn’t have the expertise to give me the help I needed. I needed to talk to one of the programmers, but of course, this was a no-no. Being a programmer myself, I didn’t find it surprising that they wouldn’t let me speak directly to one. I never tried the phone tech support , which I heard was MUCH better than chat support, since they were always closed during the hours that I had to work on my sites.

After building my first site and publishing it in April 2005, it was time to market it. I followed StoresOnline’s documentation and tried every technique. Not long after my first site was published, I started getting calls from internet marketing companies, like Internet Advancement, telling me that I needed their help to be successful. I think I got at least one call from PMI coaching asking me to spend another $4000. I didn’t have it to spend so I kindly turned them down. I’m not sure if I heard from them again. I did decide to buy into Internet advancement to the tune of $800 to see what they would do for me. All they did was stuff my META tags full of keywords and this did absolutely nothing for my search engine rankings after 6 months. While internet advancement worked on All Natural Elements, I was working on Healthy Heart Help. I was hermorraging dollars quickly doing pay-per-click. There was something that I wasn’t doing right. I was getting traffic, but no one was buying. I started to run out of money so I stopped doing pay-per-click. I reserved myself to only using FREE methods of marketing since it was all I could afford.

I had found onlinemerchantforum.com which was full of other StoresOnline merchants willing to help me become successful as long as I was willing to put in some work. I used what I learned to build Healthy Heart Help and published that site in August 2005. I got my first stranger-customer sale in September of 2005. A few other sales trickled in over the next weeks. Something I did was working! I wasn’t getting the 300 visitors a day that StoresOnline said I needed to make regular sales, but somehow I was getting them. With the aid of the forum, I started subscribing to newsletters about Internet marketing and I learned from other people’s mistakes and successes and well here I am today.

StoresOnline calls me a success, as evident by the testimonial on their website. Other people call me a success, because I do get regular sales, my business pays for itself, and I am making money. I call me a success, because I can repeat it without having to pay anyone anything more than hosting. I still don’t use pay-per-click because I see it as a waste of money.

I learned a lot about marketing from StoresOnline’s documentation and form the forum. I also learned a lot from my own research. The most important thing that I learned was that there are different methods of marketing and everyone has a different formula. Some formulas cost money and others don’t. I had to find a formula that worked for me and my time. Did everything StoresOnline told me to do work? No, not everything, but through my additional research, I now know why it didn’t. Did everything that I learned in the forum work? No, not everything, but through my additional research, I now know why it didn’t. You know what does work? My store builder that I paid so much money for from StoresOnline. It helped me build a quality online store in no time at all. What took me the longest to do, was develop my content and learn the marketing techniques and apply them to the site.

The marketing techniques, while easy, have to be repeated over and over and over in order to become competitive in the search engines. That takes time and every day I get more and more traffic. It wasn’t long before people were asking me to trade links instead of me asking them. It took some time, but now suppliers come to me asking if they can sell their product on my sites. I’m even getting requests from businesses to purchase ad space on my sites. This is completely unsolicited. My sites currently don’t show ads.

I know there is a lot of bad press out there about StoresOnline and not enough good press. This is my attempt to put some good press out there for people to find. Not only is it good press, but this press keeps it real. There are plenty of merchants out there who make this software work for them. Most of them are too busy to find sites to sing praises on. They are either busy living a good life or busy processing orders, or busy making updates to their sites to make them better. Busy and paid is always better than busy an broke.

If you want my advice, I would tell you to do some research. Are there cheaper options than StoresOnline? Yes, but there are also some more expensive ones. Remember that StoresOnline is selling a TOOL, not a business. They will not teach you how to run your business, but they will give you information that can help you become successful. You just have to read it. Also, StoresOnline’s material is only one source. Don’t limit yourself. Go out and seek knowledge everywhere you can. It’s the only TRUE way to become successful.

Until next time!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Get Paid To Hire Yourself & Recession Proof Your Life!!

You can "Hire Yourself" today for only $160 and get a $300 gas certificate (limited time offer meaning you get paid to get started in this business)! Hear about this wonderful opportunity now by dialing 1.641.715.3800 enter access code 75744#. From the main greeting choose 1, 3, and/or 7 or listen to all of the messages! Visit http://www.SoulPurposeElements.com/ to get started NOW!!

Gas Flyer

"Never Hire Someone To Do What You Don't Know How To Do, Hire Someone To Do What You Don't Have Time To Do"

"Never Hire Someone To Do What You Don't Know How To Do, Hire Someone To Do What You Don't Have Time To Do"

I always make this statement about web marketing and some people seem to think I'm saying that everyone is out to take you for a ride. That's not true at all. There are plenty of people out there that you can trust to do their job, but there are plenty of people out there who you cannot trust. But this is not just about trust, it also goes to competence. I got a reminder of this while talking to my sister about her taxes.

My sister was telling me how she went into a business to have her taxes completed and filed. Now she has used this business for some years and the young lady who helped her this time seemed to be new. This young lady miss some vital information with regards to deductions and it lowered my sister's refund more than $1000. If it were not for my sister's current tax knowledge, this would not have been caught. Now, if my sister knew everything about taxes, she wouldn't need to step into an office to have another business complete it. However, her current knowledge of the tax laws showed the level of incompetence of the young lady handling her information.

The same holds true for anything in business especially web marketing. When I first started out, I didn't know much about marketing. I had companies ringing my phone off the hook telling me how I needed their help if I wanted to be successful and have more sales. One company that i naively bought into (thinking I was getting ahead), Internet Advancement, only stuffed my website full of keywords that eventually did nothing for my position in the search engines or sales. because i didn't know much about marketing, I didn't know that their method would not work. There are tons of companies out there with different marketing methods. they all promise to get you results, but you have to know enough about what's current and what works for your products to make an educated business decision to go with one of these companies, if any.

This goes for other aspects of business as well. You wouldn't pay someone to handle your accounting if you didn't know what all the numbers meant or how to manage the books yourself. not only because the person could be cheating you, but also because an incompetent person could get you in trouble with the law.

So, i stand by the statement "Never Hire Someone To Do What You Don't Know How To Do, Hire Someone To Do What You Don't Have Time To Do" and apply it to every aspect of my business. There is always a need for checks and balances!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Warm Spirit.. Gone But Not Forgotten!

Ok so I heard the sad, sad news today that Warm Spirit has closed their doors. Maybe not forever, but at least for the time being. It's quite a shame because my business with them was doing so so well. I loved the products so much, I figured that I owned it a piece of this blog. a moment of silence please...




Okay, onward and forward! One of the original founders of Warm Spirit has launched a new product line, Soul Purpose! This is a fantastic opportunity to get in on the ground floor (sort of) of a new and exciting business with an even better compensation plan! For more information, visit http://www.SoulPurposeElements.com/ NOW!