Continued from page 1
Take time to find an online community that speaks same language you do. You’re likely to find that getting on Web is same as entering any new media. Think of it as if you’re buying your first newspaper ad or radio spot:
· First find somebody else who’s already doing it · Call them up and ask them how they’re doing it · Do it same way they’re doing it
Pad your budget for a few mistakes but, if you’ve been successful in other media, there’s no reason to think Web will change your success record.
3. The Web Is Very Forgiving
There are few mistakes you can make on Web that will really hurt you. The only two that come to mind immediately will bite you anywhere: bad planning and bad manners.
Bad planning can cost you time and money — time to redo what should have been done right in first place and money paid for useless work. Like any media, Web can eat up your budget on pretty graphical treatments that — at end of day — cost you money but do little to gain more business. Be careful with your Web budget and shop around. Nobody really knows what to charge, so you can find great talent for very little money. Remember, nobody knows your customers way you do, so don’t let a Web designer blind-side you with a “That’s not how it works on Web” line. Your customers are still your customers, and you know how they think about your product or service better than anyone else.
Bad manners can get you spurned pretty quickly on Web. If found guilty of spamming — sending out e-mail to people who haven’t specifically requested it — you can get blacklisted and bad-mouthed across whole Web. In some states you can get sued. So make sure you follow rules of netiquette (http://www.workz.com /manage/CSEmailRes.asp/) (Internet etiquette). It’s not too hard to find out what rules are — they’re posted all over Web (use any search engine to find them).
As long as you keep your head about you, there’s no reason you should be wary of Web. In fact there’s only one big mistake you can make — missing opportunity.
The Web has become a new marketing channel. It’s easy to learn and easy to get started today. But that might not be story two, three, or four years down road. So you might as well get used to it now — get a site, start small, and see what happens. Don’t listen to hype — you haven’t missed boat — just do your homework, plan ahead, and keep your eyes open. It’ll all work out.
David Johnson is the founder, president and director of workz.com. He is a lifelong entrepreneur, small-business expert, and Internet pioneer. Frustrated by the lack of small-business resources available to help him launch and promote his own Web site he decided to create a trusted resource of objective how-to information to help other small businesses.