> Technical Problems


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  2. RAIDED and closed by law enforcement
  3. Forced OUT OF BUSINESS due to low revenue
  4. Taken advantage of with BOGUS STARTUP COSTS
  5. >>Overwhelmed by TECHNICAL PROBLEMS, complex systems, & no support >YOU ARE HERE<
  6. SWINDLED by smooth-talking sweepstakes salesmen
  7. Robbed by employees due to POOR REPORTING and control
  8. CONCLUSION: Avoiding problems and making money


Number FOUR on our list of huge problems that can affect Internet cafes is becoming overwhelmed with TECHNICAL PROBLEMS and complex systems. Combine this with POOR TECHNICAL SUPPORT and you have a recipe for disaster. This is a highly technical business, and unless you are not only highly technical and skilled with computer hardware but also an expert with the sweepstakes software you choose to employ in your business, you BETTER be working with a sweepstakes software company that has excellent service and support.

Everyone knows that computers have glitches and errors. Anyone that tells you otherwise doesn’t know much about computers. Well-written software is less likely to have problems, but even with excellent software you are still likely to have intermittent issues with your internal network, with your Internet service provider, or with customers who maliciously cause problems on your systems by unplugging things, etc.

It is important to understand that your entire business is hanging on the integrity of the sweepstakes software and the reliability of the technical support provided by the sweepstakes software company. When your system has a technical problem like this there’s a good chance you will simply have to close (at least temporarily). Nobody can purchase Internet time, nobody can reveal entries or play games, and you have no way to earn money because your entire system is down. In case it’s not obvious this is very, very bad. In such a situation you better be able to reach tech support IMMEDIATELY because every second that the problem is not resolved costs you money.

There are a few ways to mitigate this risk. First and foremost, find a sweepstakes software company that answers the phone. You would think this would go without saying, but let’s say it anyway. If it takes you 2 days to get in touch with a software company when you’re trying to BUY something, how long will it take you to get in touch with them if you have a technical problem? SERVICE, support, and professionalism are probably the most important attributes you can find when selecting a software partner.

Another key way to reduce technical problems is to remove as much of the high-tech elements of the business from your site as possible. Specifically, you don’t want a game server sitting in your store where employees can spill coffee on it or it can simply break. If the server is in your store and has a problem, who is going to fix it? Keep in mind that depending on whether the error or problem is related to the software, there may only be one or two people in the world who can fix it. This presents a problem if those people are not your employees. This means you’ll be on the phone dialing 911 to the software company trying to get them to make your problem their priority. You better hope this doesn’t happen on a weekend, when the one or two guys who can help you are at a family reunion and ignoring calls or camping out of cell phone range.

Wouldn’t it be better to have all key technology offsite? Specifically, let’s put the high-power servers in the hands of the technical guys who can resolve any technical problem immediately. This seems like common sense, doesn’t it? Where does Coca-Cola put the server for its sweepstakes? It is at the company headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia (naturally). If there’s a problem, they can fix immediately. Where does McDonalds put the server for its sweepstakes? It is at the company headquarters in Illinois (naturally). If there’s a problem, they can fix it immediately.

Why is it, then, that some sweepstakes software companies try to put a server in your store? First of all, you usually have to buy it–and they’re not not cheap. Second of all, when it has a problem you’re likely hundreds or thousands of miles away from someone who can fix it. Placing an expensive, highly technical server onsite in your location is like a ticking time bomb.

Simply put, this is a bad idea that is likely to cost you money and create technical nightmares. What you’re looking for is a web-based sweepstakes software. How can you tell that it’s web-based? You can PLAY the games on the company website–which means you can play the games (reveal entries) from home. Coca-Cola allows this. McDonalds allows this. Any web-based sweepstakes allow this, and anyone who tells you otherwise is misleading you. Some “less than honest” sales reps will tell you that their sweepstakes software is web-based, but then tell you that the customers cannot reveal entries at home. That, my friend, is NOT a web-based sweepstakes!

By finding a sweepstakes software partner that answers its phones, is professional, and has upgraded its technology by providing a true web-based sweepstakes platform you can greatly avoid this major pitfall and be one step closer to running a successful Internet cafe business.

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