Being Honest In A Dishonest World
Let’s face it, we are living in a dishonest society. Working in the SEO and Internet Marketing industry, you hear a lot about companies that are promising their clients the world and then not delivering a single thing. Back in 2008, I started at a company that told the reps to mention the phrase “We want to underpromise you the effectiveness of our product, but would rather ‘over deliver’ to earn your trust”. Great marketing technique right??? Well if this was only true 100% of the time.
Too many times, unsuspecting small businesses are duped out of hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year from marketing companies that rip them off. If you are reading this article and are one of these companies, you are not alone. Being a small or independently owned business is very risky in today’s economy, so every penny we bring in is earned.
The same goes for companies that you may partner with or send referral business to. I, too, have been fallen victim to companies that do deliver what they promise. One said example with a company that will remain unnamed (I will let their shady business practices drag themselves down, as much as their previous company names have done). Now, I realize that when you have a referral or a person reselling for you, they are entitled to a percentage…. but for their percentage to be nearly double what the actual person doing 95%, if not 100% of the work; now that is unethical. But that is a another that is will not be told here. Let’s just say I have learned my lesson and will not let that happen again.
I grew up in a religious home that taught the importance of being honest, benevolent, trustworthy, and virtuous. These strong traits should also be implemented. When you are looking for a company to provide you with services, be sure to do your research about the company. Here are some recommendations on what to do before signing any type of contract:
- Go to the Internet: Google is a VERY powerful tool to finding more information regarding the company. By typing in
Company Name” followed by “Reviews”, “Scam”, or “Complaints”, you can see how reputable the company is in. Also visiting sites like Complaintsboard.com, RipoffReport.com, and BBB.org can give you more information about the company and their business practices. If you see ANYTHING negative start popping up immediately, chances are they may have a shady past.
- Ask for references: Get company names, phone numbers and names. Any company with something to hide may be hesitant to release this information. If they are, this may be an early sign that maybe they aren’t all they say they are.
- Check the age of their website: By using domain registrars like Godaddy and Reigster.com, you can determine how old the company is by looking at when their domain was purchased. Now this may not be 100% accurate, as some companies are just now getting onto the Internet, especially smaller businesses.
- Get the CEO’s name: Everyone has a right to know who the head of the company is. Go to Google and type in the head honcho’s name and see what pops up. Be wary if they are reluctant to give that information. This method is also useful for finding information on your sales rep. See if they have a history of broken promises by using Complaintsboard.com, RipoffReport.com and other useful sites.
- Visit their company website: A local, reputable company should have an address listed on their website is they have a physical location where customers can come in and speak with someone directly (you can typically find the address on the contact page). If they don’t, ask yourself the question, “what are they trying to hide”.