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Comparison Shopping and Starting an Internet Business

By Don Berthiaume
Posted Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Stop for a minute and think about how much we are, by nature, comparison shoppers. How many times a day do we compare things and make a decision based upon this comparison?

And why is that? We could sit here and rattle off a number of reasons. But it comes down to one thing – perceived value. This perceived value is based upon our individual tastes, desires, moods, feelings and expectations. Is it what we want?

Information overload – too many choices

We have 4,952 channels on television and nothing on! We have 24 varieties of peanut butter, 57 versions of the “same product”; low sodium, no sodium, low fat, no fat, regular, lite, ultra; 14 aisles of breakfast cereal. And, as of my last check 7,930,000 search results in Google for “start internet business”.

The power of persuasion

Most of us still work hard for our money and we don’t want to see it go to waste. We often take advantage of choices and choose what we feel is right based upon the information we have at hand, or our knowledge base.

It is only when we are afforded no choices, given the impression or made to believe there can be no other product that would benefit us more, made to believe time is of the essence we will lose out if we don’t act immediately – we abandon our “comparison shopping”.

It is then we can be more easily persuaded into believing what it is we “think” we want or need.

Seek advice

Sometimes we relinquish the responsibility of “comparison shopping” to others; a committee, a professional in the field, or someone who has done the necessary research to help us decide. Sometimes we gladly pay to be able to be advised “what we want” or at least have the field narrowed down so we don’t have to spend as much time choosing.

Your Internet business

Here you are today, wanting to start an online business or make an existing one more profitable. But perhaps you lack the specific knowledge on how to do it. So your first step and every step thereafter is to seek out the knowledge that you lack.

The averages predict it is unlikely you will "score the big one" on your first attempt or any subsequent attempt. Sobering as it is, less than 5% of all Internet businesses survive.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it

Experts and so-called experts abound and are more than willing to get you to spend your hard-earned cash on their advice, their solutions. So what do you do?

You need to narrow down your selection to a smaller field of experts who are included within the less than 5% who have actually succeeded with their Internet business.

There is not one expert out there that, on their “sales page”, offers comparison information for other, competing programs. Their ad copy is intentionally made to make you believe you have no other choice and you need to purchase their plan and do it NOW, or at least before Midnight tonight!

But you can wait. You don’t have to fall for the sales hype or sense of urgency. That is what the ad copy is intended to do, and that’s OK. You will find there are people out there who earn a six-figure income coming up with this ad copy and you will be using it yourself with your Internet business.

The point is, in all likelihood the same offer will be there tomorrow, you do have more time than Midnight tonight!

So, in order to narrow down your selection, you need to maximize your efforts – your time and your money. You need to “comparison shop”.

Selecting an expert you can trust

Just make up your “long list”. Make a list of 75-100 “experts” that are out there promoting their strategies and solutions and visit and read each of their websites.

Then, once you’ve visited each site, your task is to keep narrowing the field. After visiting the sites, many of the so-called experts will become apparent and can be taken off your “long list”.

Here is a partial list of what I recommend you check out with your long list: Understand the topics of information covered How informed does the expert really seem to be on his / her “expertise” What is the expert’s background Program cost Guarantee Affiliations / Commissions Provision for customer assistance / support And finally, learn to read “between the lines” of the ad copy.

Once you have the field narrowed down, come up with your short list. Revisit the sites of your short list and review the information provided on the sites once again.

Think about the different expertise each expert possesses. Not all of the strategies and techniques will be used in the early stages of your Internet business, but rather later on as you grow it. Keep these experts in mind as resources for your growth. If you have questions or concerns, email them and ask your question. Make sure your questions and concerns are addressed.

Your goal is to narrow down your long list of 75-100 to a short list of 10-15.

Will it be time consuming? Yes it will but it will be time well spent. This list of 10-15 experts will be your Internet business shopping list and the list from which you will have all of the resources to have the potential to make your Internet business a success.

The final key will be your desire, your willingness and most of all your commitment.

Copyright 2004 Don Berthiaume

About the Author
Don Berthiaume is the owner/webmaster of “Internet Marketing Plans – A Beginner’s Guide” and publisher of the “Internet Business Start Guide". He spent many years as a multimedia developer and has designed and developed numerous websites. His website can be found at: (http://www.thebeginnerguide.com)