The E-Business Lessons From The Big Boys
Part 1 of 2 (Read Part 2 Now)
Is it still possible to start and succeed with an online e-business? You bet. And it may not be as hard as you think. People do it every day, and if you think about it, online businesses are still a relatively recent phenomenon.
So just how do you e-succeed? The first lesson is this: Don’t reinvent the wheel. People have already figured out what works online, so your job is to listen to what they have to teach. And when it comes to online businesses, has any company been more successful than Amazon.com? Probably not. According to CEO founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the key is to understand what makes the Web unique and then use that uniqueness for maximum advantage.
Starting a Successful Online Business: Learn From the Experts
Here is what Bezos says makes for a great business website. Ask yourself:
“Does the Website harness the unique characteristics of the Internet to create a strong value proposition for customers, one that could not be easily duplicated in the physical world?”
According to Bezos, the reason Amazon.com took off like it did was because it did something online that could not be duplicated offline, namely, it offered every book in print for sale.
Because it was impossible to duplicate in the physical world what he created in the virtual one, the business became a hit. So the first thing you must offer is a site that is unique to the Net, and in these days of Web 2.0 tools (video, polls, forums, etc.) that is not hard to do.
The question then becomes: What other unique characteristics of the Web can you use to your advantage?
Essentially, There Are Three Characteristics to Pay Attention to Online
1. Low Overhead: Web-based businesses have a distinct advantage over their brick-and-mortar cousins in that it is, or should be, far less expensive to do business online:
• There is no rent required for a store
• Labor costs are usually far less
• And there is no sales tax.
And so, because of that, you should be able to sell for less.
2. An Even Playing Field: Aside from simply being able to look as good as the Big Boys (in itself a not insignificant thing), the Internet also affords you the opportunity to compete with them on a far more even level.
First, the cost of entry into the market is low; for example, drop shipping means you need not even need to stock actual products.
Next, because you are small, your customer service should be better. Advantage, you. Thus you have a better chance of competing against big retailers online than you ever would if they actually moved down the street.
3. New Markets: Because you are not stuck only selling to people in your area, as freelancers and self-employed business people have been for eons, you have a unique opportunity when you take your business online.
You can sell to people in other cities or other countries. Previously, only giant multinational corporations like The East India Trading Company or Nike could do that. So to succeed, your site should be geared to selling to people all over. A world of opportunity and markets is, quite literally, available to you. This is an opportunity unique in history and should not be passed up.
The important thing then is to keep all of these things in mind as your build and grow your site and online business.
Use the uniqueness of the Net to your advantage.