April 24, 2002
Table of Contents
Quote of the Week
Editorial - BETRAYED
BY THOSE WE TRUST MOST
Tip of the Week
Guest Article -
THE MOST OVERLOOKED SMALL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY ON THE NET ... AND HOW TO
EARN A SUPERIOR LIVING AT IT
Featured Resource - ANALOG X FREE DOWNLOADS
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Quote of the Week
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succeed, try to hide your astonishment.
- Los Angeles Times
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BETRAYED BY THOSE WE TRUST MOST
by: Cary Christian
Few things in life are as
devastating as being betrayed by people we trust above everyone else. It
generally takes a very long time to build trust in the first place. We
almost grudgingly grant our trust to people only after they have passed
numerous milestones in the relationship with no setbacks. Once trust is
built, it remains tenuous. What has taken years to build can be destroyed in
Trust can be built and exists not only between people, but between people
and organizations. Granted, this type of trust is not normally as
devastating when broken as those bonds between two people. But there are
times when we must rely so heavily on an organization to protect us that the
effects of a breach in trust may become enormous.
Tonight I am thinking specifically of the debacle surrounding Arthur
Andersen's failed audits of Enron and the subsequent charges of obstruction
of justice stemming from the shredding of documents by employees of
Andersen. You may think this has little to do with you and little relevance
to the normal subject matter of this newsletter. PLEASE DON'T STOP
READING YET! These incidents can and will affect your life and
your business in many ways.
THE ROLE OF AUDITORS IN OUR SOCIETY
Since the events leading up to the Great Depression, auditors have played an
extremely important role in American business. The Great Depression
could have been avoided had companies been subject to the stringent audit
and reporting requirements today's companies must comply with. For the most
part these rules and regulations have prevented our having another Great
Depression by supplying strict accounting rules that must be followed and
providing that a company's financial statements must be audited by an
independent auditing firm.
However, these rules and regulations depend on the independent auditor being
truly independent and having integrity beyond any doubt. The rules are so
strict regarding independence that even the mere appearance of a lack of
independence is dealt with rather severely. Why then would an auditor
participate with a client in falsifying or in publishing misleading
THE EROSION OF INDEPENDENCE
Almost all public companies are audited by one of five huge, multinational
accounting firms, Andersen being one. These accounting firms not only
provide auditing services; they provide tax consultation and preparation
services, business consulting services, and systems implementation services
as well. Most of the income generated by these giant entities come from the
services other than auditing. In fact, it is quite common that audit fees
will be reduced to obtain the audit and get a foot in the door in order to
sell these other lucrative
services to the client.
A recent article in a Detroit newspaper dealt with the flood of public
companies announcing they were in the market to replace Andersen as their
auditors. Several companies were cited as examples along with the fees paid
to Andersen for various services.
One example that was fairly representative quoted Andersen's fees as being
$2.8 million for the audit and $5.3 million for tax and consulting fees.
This relationship between audit and other services fees highlights the real
problem: losing the audit usually means losing all the other services
revenue, so the firm cannot afford to lose the audit under any
circumstances! This is the absolute source of the erosion of independence.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
It seems almost too simple to suggest that independent auditors should not
be allowed to provide any other services to audit clients. But maybe the
simple solution will work best for everyone.
For decades, many have suggested that auditing firms should be required to
divest themselves of their tax and consulting divisions. In fact, Andersen
did separate from its computer consulting division many years ago. The
consulting division became Accenture. Then Andersen promptly created a new
consulting division to compete with Accenture!
Accounting firms have fought this battle many times before. They are
going to provide consulting services one way or the other, so let them. Just
don't let them provide them to their audit clients.
Another alternative is to let a governmental agency assign auditors on a
rotating basis to all public companies to prevent the auditors from becoming
too close to any one audit client.
WHY MUST SOMETHING BE DONE?
Do you own stock? If not, do you hope to someday? Enron seemed to be an
incredibly strong company worthy of your investment in their stock. What if
you had bought it? You would have lost every penny.
What about the other companies in your current or future portfolio? Do they
have similar problems that are being covered up by the auditors? How safe
are your investments?
Makes you wonder, doesn't it? That is the cost of a loss of trust. It might
make you pull out of the market altogether. If enough of you pull out, what
happens to the market? You get the picture. Our markets are based on trust.
Once the trust is gone, we'll be watching our businesses fail left and right
because they can no longer raise capital.
HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED?
Imagine you are an audit partner with Andersen or a similar accounting firm.
One of your clients is worth about $10 million in total annual fees to the
firm. This client is pressuring you to work with them on revenue recognition
or some other accounting principle to prop up their earnings until their
situation improves. They point out to you that the literature
could be interpreted in their favor. And chances are, it could. It's
difficult to make everything black and white when it comes to accounting for
transactions across industry lines. What are you going to do? Play hard ball
and possibly lose a $10 million client or work with them as much as you can?
It's a difficult situation to find yourself in. It is my opinion that we
should restructure the way audits are performed so that no one ever has to
be faced with this type of decision again.
I don't know how many people were on the Enron audit team, or how many
actually participated in making audit reporting decisions that were faulty,
but chances are the blame can be laid at the feet of only two or three
people. Look at what has happened because of the actions of so few:
o Enron employees and shareholders lost their entire investments. Many Enron
employees lost everything they had!
o Our ability to trust the financial statements of public companies has
taken a body blow.
o Andersen will probably cease to exist. Most all of the partners will make
deals and go to other firms, taking their remaining clients with them. The
tens of thousands of employees below partner level will be scrambling to
find employment. The little guy will get hurt, just like at Enron. A
multi-billion dollar company bites the dust because of the actions of two or
WHAT CAN YOU LEARN FROM THIS?
If you invest now, or plan to in the future, do yourself a big favor: learn
how to read a financial statement. Don't depend on your broker. Learn to
ferret out the risk factors in a company on your own. It's not as hard as
you might think. Remember that the application of accounting principles
requires the exercise of judgment on the part of the auditor. Issues are not
black and white. Learn how to form your own opinion before you invest your
Don't think of these issues as being someone else's problem. This type
of issue affects us all in one way or another. If our markets suffer because
of this, all of our businesses are hurt. Stay informed and be active
in voicing your opinions.
WHY DID I CHOOSE TO WRITE THIS EDITORIAL?
I want to thank those of you who read this article. It matters a great deal
to me. You see, I spent the first eleven years of my career at Andersen in
tax and systems consulting (NOT in the audit division). The training I
received during that portion of my career has been indispensable. It makes
me both sad and angry to watch as this unfolds. What I wish for those within
Andersen who allowed this to happen cannot be printed here.
Many people that I respect a great deal have been hurt by this even though
they've never done anything wrong. The vast majority of the people at
Andersen are hard-working people just like us whose character is above
reproach. They are victims also.
Copyright (c) 2002
Tip of the Week
You may have decided not to worry too
much about search engine positioning because of the cost involved and the
difficulty of staying on top of your listing. But don't forget the smaller
engines! You can use a submission service, like
WorldSubmitter, to submit to thousands of smaller engines that cost you
nothing for your submission. Make sure your web pages contain your keywords
and submit at least once a month to these small engines. You will be
surprised how many hits you end up receiving by this often overlooked
The Most Overlooked Small Business Opportunity on the Net ..... and How to
Earn a Superior Living at It
By Dr. Ken Evoy
I recently returned from a 10
day Spring Break vacation on one of the most charming islands in the entire
A friend of a friend has a financial services business there. And that
got me thinking (yes, I know, THAT'S always a dangerous event -- luckily,
Do you know what the single largest sector of the business world is?
Care to guess the single most overlooked business opportunity on the Net?
Let's digress for a moment before we talk about the excellent online
prospects in the area of SERVICES...
SOHOs/small businesses *DO* have excellent prospects in the two major online
e-commerce areas that *DO* get so much coverage...
o Affiliate programs -- Done properly, there's good money to be made
PREselling other merchants' products.
Allan Gardyne (yes, of associateprograms.com fame) has said that "if you
join only one program, make it the 5 Pillar Program" and he has called it
"the perfect revenue sharing program." Ralph Wilson (wilsonweb.com) says
that "Ken Evoy has taken affiliate programs to the next level."
For more information...
o E-goods -- Develop your own e-good and sell it online.
What's an e-good? It's a digital product.
What's so great about this? It turns the Net into a frictionless
So what? Well, if you have an online store that sells widgets, you still
have to pick-pack-and-ship, just like any OFFLINE mail order operation. In
this case, the Net is reduced to merely being a COMMUNICATION medium, an
online catalog, really... an excellent one, of course. But you still have
all the hassle of dealing with products made of MOLECULES.
Give me products made of ELECTRONS, any day! They pass right through the
Internet... real smooth! The powerful combination of digital fulfillment and
total automation (so easy and D0-able on the Net) translates into a
unprecedented ability to SCALE your business! After you've developed your
e-good, your incremental costs are the same whether you sell one product, or
1,000,000 products... ZERO time (no pick-pack-and-ship) and ZERO dollars
(except for small % for transaction processing).
What could me more encouraging and satisfying? (Besides Angelina Jolie
smiling at me, that is? :-) )
If selling e-goods interests
Three NEW modules are coming to Site Build It! in the near future (April-May
An *E-commerce Module* provides you with a merchant account to clear
credit cards online. Plus, you'll have the ability to digitally deliver your
e-goods in much the same fashion that SiteSell does now.
An *Affiliate Module* will allow you to build and manage your own
affiliate program. Offer your visitors "commission incentives" to promote
YOUR products on their Web sites.
A *Mailout Module* will allow you to build, manage, and contact
several E-mail Address Lists (in text and HTML formatted e-mails)...
1) Opt-in e-zine
2) Customer e-zines
3) Affiliate e-zine
(In addition, we are putting the finishing touches on a powerful server-side
module which will provide Photoshop-quality logos and navbars which you can
build with a few keystrokes and button clicks.)
This e-commerce value bundle (the first 3 modules) will be offered
separately, for a fixed annual fee, plus a percentage of your sales that's
lower than ANY OTHER COMPANY in this space. (The OPT-IN zine will be
part of the "regular," current affiliate value bundle, permanently.)
But you haven't heard the BEST part yet...
I'll be offering ALL 3 new modules in the e-commerce value bundle to current
SBI! subscribers for FREE. Site Build It! will be THE ultimate, the total,
e-commerce Web hosting package! Heck, even in its present form,
SBI!'ers are super-impressed with its innovative capabilities and affordable
Wait 'til they see how e-goods e-commerce adds to the bottom line!
If you're already a Site Build It! subscriber when we launch the new
modules, these modules will AUTOMATICALLY be added to the remainder of your
current annual subscription... AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE (except, of course,
for the % for transaction processing).
If you're NOT YET a SBI!'er, get it now. Start building your site while you
create your e-good (digital book, collection of photos, software, etc.,
etc.). By the time you're ready to sell your e-good, we'll be ready to
accommodate you with the most radical, advanced Web hosting on the Net, at
no extra charge, same as for existing SBI!'ers!
SBI! is the future of e-commerce Web hosting. (Think about it... you don't
have to take your phone apart and understand its technology to make a
business phone call, do you?)
Get SBI! now... and receive the E-commerce Value Bundle free for the rest of
the year, too...
OK, end of digression (actually, end of SIDEBAR off the digression!). Our
bottom line so far? Building an affiliate business and selling e-goods
certainly deserve all their "good press."
But NOW, let's talk about the largest single sector of the business world,
Selling your services online is a FANTASTIC way to leverage your
income-building potential -- all at a minimum cost.
By services, I don't necessarily mean Net-related services like programming
or Web design (although they can and should be included here). You could
o a cartoon artist
o an import/export specialist for Germany
o am investment specialist in Brazilian bonds
o an expert in Japanese netsuke
o an accountant with special knowledge of tax havens
o a copywriter
o a trainer (of just about anything!)
o an editor for medical articles
o someone who creates indexes for books
o a pharmaceutical expert
o a translator (do you know two languages?)
The diversity of this world, and the people in it, never ceases to amaze me.
Just about everyone has an expertise in something that they could sell.
Heck, odds are they are already selling it as their primary income source...
but have never thought seriously about generating customers globally by
using the Web's full potential. (Which brings me back to my friend of a
friend in Anguilla!)
Dubious? Don't think this happens? Well, consider this...
I found SiteSell's current FileMaker Database Programmer on the Internet.
I've never met him in person. He happens to live in Australia, which is
about as far from Montreal, Canada, as one can get unless you move to the
South pole! But this "service-provider" has made over $80,000 of additional
income from SiteSell in the last 18 months!
Note the word "current" above? I like to keep him on his toes! ;-)
I learned that from my wife, who introduces me as her "first husband." ;-)
How much of that $80,000 would he have earned if I had not found him through
That's correct -- ZERO.
And that's another VERY attractive aspect about selling your services on the
Net. A SINGLE CLIENT can bring in substantial dollars (don't ask me what a
MARRIED ONE can bring in!). So techniques like mastering the SEs,
paid-inclusion programs, listing in directories and building massive
Pay-Per-Click campaigns have a terrific ROI (Return on Investment).
What do most service businesses do online to add new clients to their
o nothing at all
o put up a "circa 1997" brochure site that no one visits (except for
a few local clients, who don't see the point, nor would I)
o post their services on any number of online spots, such as Guru.com.
That simply does NOT get the job done.
Think about the process of hiring a new service provider, say a top-notch
FileMaker programmer or a real estate agent in Anguilla! What's the
o Are they good?
o Are they honest?
o Are they easy to work with?
o And so on, and so on...
Building that trust means building a relationship with a potential client.
That's why anyone selling their services via the Net really MUST have
his/her own Web site.
In order for someone to hire you...
1) First, they MUST be able to find you (most surfers use search
results provided by Search Engines).
2) Second, they simply MUST get to know you and trust you. You
accomplish this by building credibility and providing valuable information
(the content) on your site. You have to show your potential employers that
you can provide THE solution that they seek.
How do you get found? Simple. Build lots and lots of Keyword-Focused Content
Pages, all within a Theme-Based Content Site, which of course is tightly
related to the service you are selling.
OK, let's recap...
In order to effectively sell your services online, you must have a Web site
o introduces you as the expert, and builds your credibility with your
o effectively targets various appropriate keyword phrases to ensure
that the people who need your service find your Web site.
o "GIVES before TAKING" -- provides the visitor with some free
valuable information in the form of content, and/or a free opt-in e-zine.
Actually, when it comes to selling a service, a top-notch e-zine is
And what's the easiest, headache-free way to accomplish all this? You
Site Build It!...
With SBI!, you focus ONLY on your business. We take care of all the rest for
you. It's as easy as using the phone, unless you're using one of those
new-fangled wireless babies, in which case SBI! is much easier! ;-)
Here are just a few of the many more reasons why Site Build It! is a MUST
for A-N-Y-O-N-E who wants to sell a service online...
1) With the server-side tools of the SBI! system, you can build your
own Theme-Based Content Site(s), filled with as many keyword-focused content
pages as you wish -- without the complexities and headaches of HTML or FTP.
*YOU* only have to worry about what you already know... your business.
2) The client-side SBI! Manager and its incredible Brainstorming tool
hones in on the most profitable keywords for you to target.
3) Use the Manager, as well, to build a massive Pay-Per-Click Search
These intensive tasks would normally take hours, even days but
with the SBI! Manager they can be done... in minutes.
4) As I mentioned, the ROI is superb. It's really worth it to spend
on paid-inclusion programs, Pay-Per-Click campaigns, and directory listings
(and naturally, SBI! makes it all, including the tracking, a snap!) When a
client can bring you thousands of dollars in business, it stretches how much
you can afford to pay for certain traffic-building strategies.
5) SE expertise? Ha! Just hit the "Analyze It!" button, and your page
is critiqued for over 30 parameters that account for top Search Engine (SE)
rankings. All you have to do to start ranking well at the engines is follow
6) What about submitting, and when should you re-submit? Relax and
focus on your business -- SBI! submits your pages automatically, in an
SE-friendly way. We even track and report spider visits to ensure that the
SEs "get the message." And SBI! tells you how well each page is doing at
each of the major engines.
7) SBI! also tracks and analyzes click-ins (INTO your site) and
click-throughs (OUT OF your site) so that you can easily get the "big
picture" of your traffic-building efforts... that way, you know where/how to
spend your time and money.
8) Soon, you'll have your own opt-in e-zine ability, to continuously
build and strengthen relationships with potential clients. And you'll also
be able to sell an e-book on your area of expertise, which has two
i) develops an extra stream of income
ii) builds a strong-but-unspoken "expert" image.
I could go on and on, but here's the bottom line...
Site Build It! truly is a fascinating and amazing tool! If you haven't yet
seen how some of our enterprising customers are using SBI!, click on the
"Click here to see actual customer SBI! sites" link on the SBI! home page.
Enjoy the slide show...
Remember too... the SBI! guarantee is "good as gold." Try it. If Site
Build It! doesn't do EXACTLY what you need and want it to do, just ask for
your money back. You can even keep your new domain name as a gift from us,
as our thank you for giving us a chance to do business with you.
Remember, as mentioned above...
Purchase SBI! now and get the full e-commerce value bundle FREE for the rest
of the year...
o E-commerce Module -- automatic sale and fulfillment of e-goods,
including merchant account.
o Affiliate Module -- now you can have thousands of folks PREselling
o Mailout Module -- build, manage, and contact several E-mail Address
No doubt about it... it's amazing how under-represented services are in the
land of e-commerce. But, in a sense, that's a good thing.
SBI! is about to give you THE edge on your competition! :-)
Analog X currently has more than 80
helpful programs you can download free. Two of our favorites are Keyword
Live, which allows you to monitor the most popular keywords being used on
search engines, and Keyword Extractor, used to analyze the keywords used on
your website (or a competitors site!). You will probably find something you
like. The contents page for their downloads is located here:
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