I mentioned in my last post that I had taken a risk free trial of a particular business. It turned out not to be for me, nor a business I could recommend to anyone else, so I cancelled it within the trial period and received a courteous refund of my money. So we parted friends.
No hard feelings and because I took the free trial, I'm not left with that feeling wondering “What if? Perhaps it might have worked.”
Today an email dropped into my inbox from another affiliate marketer I trust implicitly to honour his refund promises. I really should unsubscribe to stop buying from him, but he's a superb copy-writer and his newsletters are so interesting, they're among the very few I read.
It occurred to me, as I was reading today's offer, that MOST of the things I have bought from him have turned out to be “not for me” and I have returned them – so you'd think he might have booted me off his mailing list by now. But, they're mostly digital products so it doesn't matter, and for the few that are posted out for just the price of the postage, usually about a fiver, I never ask for my P&P back, although in his T&Cs I could, so he's not ‘out of pocket' on the deal.
Just occasionally I buy something and don't return it.
I haven't returned his Black Friday offer because it was so cheap and is something I might get round to trying when I have time (haha). There's another that's still on my ‘to-do' list. In fact he's even extended the trial period for me on that one because there was a mix-up about email addresses.
So this marketer has built up KLT (know, like and trust) in my eyes, and when he says something is ‘good' I'm happy to take him at his word and have a look at it knowing that if it's not ‘for me', we will still part as friends and it won't have cost me anything but the time I spend evaluating it.
Yes, he's a smart guy.
Risk In Business
Sadly in the past I have been let down by various businesses I have promoted, and – where I could sense the decline in advance – have stopped promoting them right away.
Being in business for yourself is inherently risky, whether online or offline. Look at the number of closed down shops / restaurant in a High Street near you. Don't believe me? Read the Business News Daily article I quote from below.
If you are an entrepreneur, you need to get comfortable with failure. There's a good chance that it's going to happen to you. In fact, about 20 percent of small businesses don't make it past their first year. Nearly 50 percent won't be around to celebrate their five-year anniversary. Only one-third of establishments are still open for business after 10 years.
Do you honestly think that any successful business person made it to where they are now without risk?
If you don't want the risk of self-employment, put all your eggs in one basket and get a job – please excuse my sarcasm!
Managing Risk In Business
The image on the side isn't strictly correct, you can't entirely avoid business risks, it's better to think in terms of managing them, although there is some avoidance involved.
- Number one rule is don't go for any business where you cannot afford to completely lose your stake. Of course you hope you won't lose everything you put in, but with any self-employment the risk is always there. So you must first ask yourself – “Is this money that I can walk away from if everything falls apart?”. So – don't spend your food, rent or mortgage money, however tempting any business looks. I have never broken this rule, so I've lived to tell the tale. Sometimes poorer, but never wiped out.
- Second rule is avoid start-ups. Look for a company with a track record. I confess I haven't always followed this one myself, and every time it's ended in grief. No more!
- My best trick is to watch for any risk free trial, take it and don't be afraid to ask for your money back if you can't see the potential benefit to you. Add to your calendar the date on which the risk free trial ends and watch it like a hawk.
- During the risk free trial period, set aside plenty of time to evaluate thoroughly what benefits and risks the business offers to you. Can you live with the risks?
- We all know by now that ‘get rich quick' and ‘make money online free' are complete myths. Everyone online would be rich by now if that were true and however much they posture and pose I think, deep down, we know that for many people it's ‘fake it till I make it'. (Truth here – I haven't yet made my fortune online, but I have seen enough genuinely successful people that I still believe it's possible.)
- Work with someone you trust, and who has a successful track record.
- Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
- Think long-term, not short term. Be prepared for success to take much longer than you expect or hope for. Unless you win the lottery, I know of no (legal!) quick fixes.
The Biggest Business Risk I Have Taken
I have put a six figure sum into my son's business over the past two years. No, I'm not wealthy in the sense of living in luxury. I have a comfortable lifestyle and have worked hard (in property) and saved hard to build up assets which I liquidated for my son's business.
It's an offline business and my money has hard assets to back it up. As with any business in this uncertain economic climate, profits are not guaranteed. As usual in business, it's been harder than we all expected and there have been set-backs. But my son is working his socks off at less than minimum wage and has his own financial stake as well as the sweat of his brow. I believe in him and he deserves my trust after all he has done for me.
How do I sleep at night with such a large sum ‘at risk'? (It's large to me!)
Easily, because my investment follows all the above rules – err except the risk free trial LOL.
Alternative Savings For Retirement
Following up on the ‘never put all your eggs in one basket‘ rule, I am also making other (far smaller!) provisions for extra income in my retirement. One that's making me steady returns (6% pa) is actually one I was introduced to by the affiliate marketer I spoke about earlier, most of whose products I return LOL. This was one I kept.
While 6% isn't setting the world on fire, it certainly beats what the bank is paying me. But it has no risk free trial so I'm not going to suggest it to you.
Private Equity Investing For Everyone
Instead, the risk free trial I would like to recommend to you is a private members club that I am using as an alternative savings plan for my retirement. It makes Angel Investing available to people with regular means, whereas it would normally only be available to very wealthy investors. The club aims to deliver an increase on your investment of 20% per year, but over the past 4 years it has exceeded that. Full details explained when you take a free trial membership.
Because it's a regulated industry I'm not saying any more than that for fear of non-compliance. The free trial videos are approved by the club. Suffice it to say that a friend who is retired from the financial services industry watched the videos and was impressed enough to join immediately.
The affiliate program it offers is just the icing on the cake. Most members do NOT introduce others, and originally when I joined I had no intention of promoting it. But after a couple of months I am so impressed by what's on offer that I encourage you to take a risk free trial by opening a free account and have any questions answered.
Your Risk Free Trial Of Private Equity Investment
In conclusion, bearing in mind every one of the above rules I recommend for managing risk in business, please take a risk free trial of the Private Members Club. In January 2020 the minimum monthly subscription is EU89, that gives you free share entitlements to the value of EU79 (there's a EU10 admin fee). This comes with the unusual but welcome relaxation that you can pause your subscription if you need to – or even alternate months “paying and non-paying” if EU89 is too much of a regular monthly commitment.
If that's too much of a risk for you, please do NOT ask for details, the videos are interesting but I don't want to encourage anyone to exceed their own personal comfort zone.