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Get Your Business Failure Here! FREE!!
by Mike Banks Valentine

I want to yell at someone or give 'em a good poke in the nose for
this! How could they do this to me? What gives them the right to
blow off my best customers, to rob me of potential business and
make my clients angry at me? How dare they do this!! I'm just
fuming and ready to explode! Don't get too close to me right now!

Why I oughtta . . . what? Complain because a free service isn't
available? Threaten to sue them for having troubles of their own?
Why don't they have backup servers? Well, I guess it's possible
that *I* could at least provide a secondary free service to cover
my assets. Those clients that planned to spend an hour of their
valuable time to chat with me in the first place. Maybe I should
have prepared for the worst so I don't have to go apologize to
everyone when the free chat services suddenly became unavailable.

OK, so maybe I ought to upgrade that chat room to the premium
version, the one that costs a few bucks a month, the one without
the advertising banners, the one with the customer service and
support. The one that WORKS when I've invited over 3,000 people
to come to a Grassroots Internet Marketing Forum and chat!

Maybe this will teach me that you can't rely on free services.
What does it cost me to fail to deliver on my promises?

The web has got us all relying on free services to run businesses
and expecting those freebies to be trouble free and convenient at
all times. I upgraded from the free internet access when I tired
of their glaring ads across my web pages. I upgraded from the free
autoresponders when they stopped working during a major promotion
launched via press releases and direct mail campaigns. *That* cost
the good-will of my clients that didn't get responses from me as

I will now upgrade to the paid version of the chat room with all
the additional benefits of a paying customer, including the right
to complain and lay blame and threaten the provider because they
cost me potential new business and lost me those existing clients.

Take a look at the free services you use online and analyze them
to see how a failure to perform would affect your bottom line.

How important are those free services you rely on? Are they risks
to your business future? Note that 'Terms of Service' on the vast
majority of free services online tell you outright that providers
have no obligation to serve your needs if there are problems and
that you have no recourse should your business fail because the
FREE service has it's costs after all.

We all have a budget to work within to operate a site profitably
but would it cost you more if that free web host went down than it
would cost to pay for your web hosting? If your email doesn't get
delivered because your free email account suffers from a system
failure, would it hurt your sales or customer relations? If that
online fax service stopped working when you were waiting for a
big contract from a new client, would you be better off upgrading
to the paid version of the service with more benefits?

We'll reschedule that chat, now that we've paid for it -- DOUBLE!
Whatcha want fer free? GRRRRRRRR!!!

WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet
Ezine emphasizing small business online
e-tutorial online at:
By week's end you're ready expand your business to the web!

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July 26, 2001