Q: What’s an early warning sign of a bad business offer/deal, and how can you avoid it?
A: They dream rather than execute. “This isn’t the case for every business, but I’ve come across a few startups that attempt to offer a piece of the pie ‘when they hit it big’ or ‘when they get funding’ in lieu of paying for that essential marketing or publicity launch campaign. These ‘offers’ don’t fly with my business model. Everyone has ideas. Execution and taking those ideas to market is crucial to success.” Angela Delmedico, Elev8 Consulting Group
There’s no interest. “When you aren’t able to target a certain type of audience, you know your business will likely be unsuccessful. My recommendation? Do market research. Figure out the demographics of your audience: ages, gender, locations and common interests.” Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs
They don’t explain their reasoning. “Every company is different, but I have generally found that folks who rely on faulty business practices share a number of common traits. One of them is an over-reliance of concepts, like career advancement, or the insistence that they offer a great opportunity coupled with an unwillingness/inability to elaborate further.” Steven Buchwald, Buchwald & Associates
They’re rushing everything. “Unfortunately, I’ve fallen victim to this a few times: Someone makes an offer to you and they try to close as soon as possible. I’ve trusted and believed these people before, so I’ve gone ahead and signed the deal only to find out that they didn’t tell me the whole story or they flat out lied. Make sure you take your time and do your due diligence. Google can save you a lot of headaches, trust me.” Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC
They make late payments. “We have traditionally been very careful regarding the clients we choose to work with. We carefully vet each client to ensure they are a good fit and we see strong, long-term SEO potential. Unfortunately, if your clients can’t pay their bills, they may not be managing their business well, and you may be the next victim trying to collect on an unpaid balance. Don’t let your clients get behind.” Christopher Rodgers, Colorado SEO Pros
They’re picky. “Pickiness is probably the strongest warning sign of a bad business deal. Being picky gives you a sense of that person’s personality, and it will definitely cause rifts in deals. You should look for people who are flexible and are willing to work with you.” Ajmal Saleem, Suprex Learning
The deal seems too good to be true. “Listen to your intuition. If it’s too good to be true and everything seems to be moving too fast, then it’s time to slow down. Plant your feet into something solid and re-center yourself and your view of the business.” Arry Yu, GiftStarter.com