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Check out Joint Venture Partners!
by Mike Banks Valentine

If you have very little internet experience, it's important to find
someone you trust that *does* have experience online to help you
with your idea development. Doing business online is very different
than offline. If your idea is something that could easily be adopted
and developed, obviously you need to protect the idea from an
unscrupulous potential partner with a Non-Disclosure Agreement.

One important thing to do is to always find out as much as you can
about those you are dealing with online. Anyone can take on a persona
of the "good guy" through e-mail. Take a look at their existing web
site and look for five things.

1) A posted privacy policy that states clearly how they will treat
any information gathered from the public. This won't address *your*
potential relationship with them, but strict privacy policies indicate
that a site owner takes privacy seriously.

2) Check to make sure that they post complete contact information
on their site, including phone numbers, snail mail address and names
(not just titles). Hiding behind the image of a web site is too easy.

3) Go to network solutions at and type the domain name into the
search box there. This returns contact information on the registrant
of the domain. Be sure to use this exact URL by cutting and pasting
in your browser "address" or "location" box.

4) Look for "seal" program logos on their site such as the BBB Online
program The Better Business Bureau,
or any other type of quality monitoring program implemented on
their site. There are many to chose from as a site owner.

A few others are:

the Trust-e privacy seal
Health on the Net Foundation
Excellence Honesty Ethics are the credo of this organization
International Webmasters Association "Pro Ethics Pledge"
Association of Ethical Internet Professionals

There are many more professional organizations that monitor privacy
and professionalism online. Just check into the actual membership of
the organization to be sure the site is listed as a member and don't
take the seal itself to have any meaning.

5) Be certain to find references and speak with them. Find out how
the person is perceived within a community of professionals. If you
have a million dollar idea and don't follow through on checking out
your potential partner, it could cost you a lot of frustration and
possibly a lot of money!

If you do a bit of research on your partner prospects, it could be
more valuable to you than any amount of money and success with
your ideas. Joint venture deals often lead to additional projects and
inevitably generate more great ideas.

WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet Ezine emphasizing small business on the Internet e-tutorial online at: By week's end you're ready expand your business to the web! --------------------------------------------------------
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July 19, 2001