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The risks of starting an adult services business

Deciding to start an adult services business comes with many risks. Those who do so have usually tested the waters and calculated the risks before taking the leap. It is important to understand the types of challenges you may face as you venture into this industry. It can be quite lucrative, but there are some real hurdles you may have to jump.

Adult merchant processing
If you decide to take credit or debit cards for services, which makes your offerings more accessible to more people, there are a limited number of card processing companies willing to take the risk on approving you for a card reader. There are many ways the business could slide into the realm of operating illegally, so many reputable card processing companies simply choose to avoid dealing with high risk business ventures. There are companies that specialize in making card readers available to these companies, however. Some offer point of service terminals at slightly higher fees, but they make it possible to present a professional way for you to provide your customers with payment options.

The Legalities
Because the laws vary from state to state, it is sometimes tricky to know whether you are operating lawfully or breaking a law. For this reason, adult service business owners must be vigilant about researching the laws in their own states. Even after informing themselves through research, it is still important to retain legal representation to fill in the gaps. Research may not help if you have to go through litigation or with knowing some subtle nuances of the law. The most successful businesses educate themselves, but rely to attorneys to make sure all bases are covered. They also educate their staff about what is legal to ensure an employee does not put the company at risk.

Reputation
It is likely that your true friends will not judge what you have chosen as a business venture once they know you work in adult services, or one that sells merchandise like sex toys. There is also a possibility that they will judge and distance themselves from you. For many who try to maintain traditional value systems, a business of this type is still taboo. People make assumptions that adult services is connected to either something illegal or morally questionable. If you are open about what you do, it may limit the number of people in your inner circle. For some business owners, this is a blessing rather than a curse. Others, however, should be prepared for potential backlash from their own communities and from others in conventional businesses.

Using video podcasts as reputation builders

While making sales growing profits may be the long term goal of a business, part of that process involves developing a reputation that goes far beyond the customer base. One of the best online media options that individuals and large companies can use as part of the reputation building process is a podcast. Podcasting has been around forever (on the web, that means in the ancient times before YouTube), and can be used to inform, entertain, and especially to build an individual’s or an organization’s reputation at relatively low cost.

Podcasting has changed rapidly over the last few years, especially in the way that a podcast gets used or delivered. In the early days of podcasting, when just about every podcast was delivered by some kind of audio file, iTunes was one of the easiest, most powerful, and free ways for someone to offer both podcast content and an easy means for an audience to find and download that content.

However, podcasting is more than a technology or a distribution channel, it is a process of both creating and distributing content over a long period of time to an audience. A successful podcast increases its audience by making it easier for a potential viewer or listener to interact with that content.

Fast forward a few years, and podcasting is still around, but it takes a different approach to grow the audience and build a reputation. While iTunes is still a great way to get content out to the public, it is just one of many ways to get audio and video content out to an audience. A successful podcaster would use video sharing services like YouTube, as well as social media resources like Twitter and Facebook as part of its online marketing efforts, giving the audience multiple ways to discover more about that individual or that company, and to allow that audience to make an informed decision.

A podcast by itself will likely not be a useful tool for reputation building, but as a integral part of an online marketing effort, it can do a great job of adding a voice or a face to your reputation building efforts. The following video from Reputation.com is one example of how a company can use a video hosted on a third-party site to get its message across.