5 Steps to Disasterproof Your Online Business

I am very lucky! I have a number of offline coaching clients, all with offline businesses and actually, most of them have more than one business!

Because of the nature of their businesses, they all have brick and mortar locations…

I find that I learn a LOT from them, which is wonderful

Here is a tip from Client K: When she arranged for internet access at her brick and mortar office, she deliberately signed up with a DIFFERENT Internet Service Provider than she has at home.

Her town was hard hit with storms last week and most of the internet service is down. At home, she can only get internet access for extremely limited periods of time, but at the office, all is going well – slower than usual but working adequately. So, with a little bit of reorganization, she is able to get her online work accomplished.

Take Away Lesson

Whenever possible, try to distribute the risk… in this case, it is by having different ISPs for your internet access, or, if you work from home, knowing of a public location where you can get internet access.

In most cases with an offline business, we aren’t actively working on the business all of the time, but we do need to keep in touch – whether by email or by website comments or both.

Adding social media such as Facebook and Twitter in to the mix further complicates things.

Many times, without realizing it, we rely on multiple hardware options to run our online empires

It may be that you find that you are using a combination of technology to keep in touch – bouncing between your smart phone and your computer.

Obviously, the smart phone provides redundant backup for email and social media, so you have that covered. But do keep in mind that your website may need updates or other work and your smart phone may not provide an effective way to accomplish those tasks.

Plan Your Online Redundancy

STEP 1

When you have the time, take a few minutes and list all of the online activities you are involved in over the course of a week. Then, think about everything else and see if there are any irregular tasks that may not appear on that list. These might include tasks or circumstances that occur rarely.

STEP 2

Now, take that lists of tasks and identify your MAIN method of access – home computer or smart phone, for example.

STEP 3

Next, decide on a backup method of access – this could be office computer or internet access at the library. In the case of using your smart phone, is there a way to access those resources by way of your computer? If not, is there another smart phone – such as a family member or friend – that you could utilize in a pinch?

STEP 4

Finally, identify the information you would need to utilize those backup options… for example, if you might need to use someone else’s smart phone, how would you access YOUR email addresses?

STEP 5

Ask yourself if there is a practical way to provide yourself with secure information in a different geographical location, to add another layer of security.

In my case, my sister lives about 650 miles away. It is unlikely that a weather disaster affecting me will also affect her, so storing information with her and/or providing her with access to my online backups makes sense. Even if I can’t get to the information, she can, under my supervision.

Let’s face it – life happens!

We can’t change how it affects us, but we can control how we react. Being prepared for the worst case minimizes the effect a disaster can have on us and our online businesses.

12 eCommerce Legal Issues to Consider in Operating an Online Business

The following article provides a high-level summary of some key eCommerce law issues online business operators face in running a website or other eCommerce business. Conducting business online or maintaining a website may subject companies and individuals to unforeseen legal liabilities. The following is a brief survey of 12 key eCommerce law issues to consider:

1. Internet Business & eCommerce

A good starting point is analyzing a company’s online presence and auditing their procedures to determine how to grow their brand and online influence. As part of this, the company’s agreements and websites should comply with the myriad of laws and regulations affecting websites and online businesses, such as COPPA.

2. Domain Name Acquisition

Domains are often the key to an online business, but can present a number of problems. Domain name issues include securing a domain name initially, as well as protecting domain names from adverse parties that attempt to trade off the goodwill associated with the company’s brand. Sometimes, the company needs defense, retrieval, and protection of domain names on the Internet.

3. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) Compliance

Companies operating websites, particularly where third-party content may be uploaded directly, should consider adopting agreements and procedures to shield themselves against claims of liability and copyright infringement. This procedure is sometimes referred to as a “copyright policy” or “DMCA takedown” procedure. Compliance with the DMCA can provide the online operator with a safe harbor from liability.

4. Online Privacy

Online privacy continues to become a bigger issue. With the spread of mobile devices, tablets, and apps, privacy issues are becoming more complex. Companies should consider composing or updating their privacy policies as well as adopting internal security protocols aimed at protecting the online privacy of customers and website users.

5. Social Media Law

While a powerful vehicle to build brand strength and interact with customers, social media can create a number of legal issues for online businesses. A social media policy provided to employees as well as guidelines can be effective steps to reduce risk. A few key areas to consider are employment related use of social media, confidentiality, sponsorship, and branding guidelines.

6. Privacy Policies

Privacy policies should not be copied from online templates or rival companies. They should be drafted comprehensively to address unique issues of a specific online business and to accommodate future growth. Whether a company looks to collect analytics or more personalized information, the company should focus on its specific business needs and risk factors. Privacy policies should be updated as a business evolves.

7. Terms of Use Agreements

Terms of Use (TOU) agreements can limit liability for companies that maintain an Internet presence. These agreements should be optimized to address a company’s specific business and should not be simply cut and pasted from the Internet. What works for one company may not work for another company.

8. eCommerce Agreements

eCommerce agreements come in many forms such as licensing, advertising agreements, and payment processor agreements. eCommerce agreements should be drafted to address the primary legal risks involved in a particular eCommerce contract or business transaction.

9. Online Sweepstakes & Games

Online sweepstakes, contests, and games create a number of legal pitfalls. Depending on the sweepstake, contest, or game, compliance with the laws of all 50 states as well as the federal government may be required. Registration in specific states may also be required. Online businesses may benefit from guidance as to whether a particular new initiative is considered a sweepstake, contest, or game.

10. Domain Theft

Recovering hijacked domains can often be difficult and time-consuming. Typically, avoiding domain theft in the first place is much easier than attempting to recover a stolen domain. While difficult, it is possible to recover a hijacked domain.

11. Website Agreements

Website agreements can be customized to limit legal liability and reduce risks of disputes by analyzing an online business’s intellectual property portfolio, business processes, and brand objectives. Website agreements can be used for mobile applications in addition to websites.

12. Impersonation and Username Squatting

Impersonation and username squatting can occur when a third party registers a social media account using someone else’s identity. This can result in harmful posts and information being published in social media. Username squatting can also prevent a trademark or brand owner from controlling their trademark. Typically, registering usernames in advance is the best strategy to avoid impersonation or username squatting.

While the above identifies a number of eCommerce and internet law issues affecting website and online business operators, an in-depth analysis may be required. For more information, you may want to contact an eCommerce attorney.

Disclaimer – As with any discussion of legal topics, this article is intended to be educational only, and is not a substitute for legal advice, nor does it provide legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship with the reader. Please seek legal counsel before making any decisions. Also, please note that this article will likely not be updated, so the law and circumstances may have changed by the time you have read this article.

How To Build A Successful Online Business – Online Marketing Mentors

How to build a successful online business may take time and effort. Most that come here fail, but why? Usually it is due to a lack of real information on how to build, brand and manage their business or, they simply did not try.

Time and time again have I seen individuals, small business owners and everyone else, try to truly build a successful business or even presence here on the Internet. With the multitude of cheap affiliate programs and so-called guru’s pushing their products around I was amazed at the failure rate. The so-called professionals continually tell us for years that 98% fail here, but my question is why? Why, if their product is so good are so many failing here?

What Does It Take To Succeed

Determination and follow through would be the mindset for any successful business to be built, online or offline. Within the Internet marketing community itself failure should not be an option as success can most likely happen at some point. What I mean is that if you stick around long enough, know how to market and brand yourself and products here, it will happen, time is what kills the entrepreneur here.

There are many “flash in the pan” opportunities we see all day online, but these are completely full of hype and usually without any solid platform from which to learn and grow your business. The affiliate marketing industry is full of these types of programs that promise the world for success online, only to have 98% or more fail. STOP THE FAILURE.

Know What To Do Online

Building brand awareness, starting off on your future with an online business is simple. Learn what it takes to not only survive here, but learn how to market properly and effectively. The one piece advice anyone, including myself who has found a good deal of success know that it came from learning and applying the fundamentals.

There area host of some very simple platforms and strategies you can learn, and it can be mastered in a very short amount of time. But, this is where the “flash in the pan” idea of getting rich quick online hyperbole has taken hold of your mind, letting you believe that if in days you see no real income, you will never see success.

NOT TRUE. While some of us have seen our businesses grow rapidly online, it was still a few months or so before the real success began. It took days to learn and weeks to apply to where we began to see the traffic we knew was already there waiting for us. Your customers, clients and prospects are here, they are on the Internet and they are waiting for you, but they have to find you.

Proper Marketing Strategies

There are many basic platforms you must use when building a business online. Regardless of what the so-called Guru’s may say, the basics are the basics and even they built lists this way and continue to do so.

· Building a website and blog are extremely important, and how to build them correctly.

· Understanding Search Engine Marketing is a must for the online entrepreneur.

· Learning how to create valuable information and content that get found online.

· Video marketing and it’s important role of truly branding you and your business.

· Article marketing.

· Sales copy and how to convert your traffic through the sales funnel.

· E-mail marketing.

· Social media marketing and how today it is the rising star for any successful entrepreneur online.

These are just a few of the most familiar and basic foundation you should not only know, but use in your daily method of operations online. Even local business owners looking to build there presence online and drive more traffic through their doors are beginning to see the importance to their survival with Internet marketing today.

Online Marketing Mentors

As an online marketing mentor, and those who have worked with me for years have seen, failure was due to only two factors: no real knowledge base of online marketing and building a business here or, they were simply lazy and looking for the “flash in the pan” way out. The former however, this was the biggest reason for failure with any would-be entrepreneur online, no real solid understanding of search engine marketing and how to convert the traffic that is here.

There are a few simple keys to success with any business online, understand online marketing, know your business here and follow through with effort and patience. For those who have seen people get rich here overnight with their businesses, remember, they were here for months or years before that day just like you, trying to figure it all out.