Seven Strategies for Building a Successful Internet Business

Written by Amy Flynn

Continued from page 1

Post your site to a trustworthy web-hosting provider- Your site is effective only when people can see it. If your web site is inaccessible, you can't do business. Use a web-hosting provider that guarantees a high level of service. They should have daily backups and redundant systems. A good provider gives you access to web statistics. Statistics can tell you where customers are coming from, what they look at and what lead them there inrepparttar first place. Because you are dealing with sensitive information, your provider should use state ofrepparttar 119123 art security to protect your site from hackers.

Promote your web site- Promote your site every chance you get. Search engines are a great way to do this because they bring in a target market. Add relevant keywords and a description torepparttar 119124 metatags and then register withrepparttar 119125 search engines. If you are unfamiliar with metatags, some software packages will help you add them and submit your site to search engines.

Put your web site on your business cards, print it on receipts, put a sign in your store window, tell people you've started a website. A link exchange is useful. Make sure your links are relevant and compliment your site.

Place ads in papers or trade journals targeting your audience. Write a column for a local newspaper. Offer a free web seminar at a library. Go where your customers go.

Stay informed about your web site- Provide a form or an email address so customers can include comments. What do they want from your web site? Are they complaining aboutrepparttar 119126 pages or images? Can they orderrepparttar 119127 products they want? Can your server handlerepparttar 119128 web traffic?

Web statistics can provide important information. You may be getting a lot of visitors, but very few orders. Look at your site from a customer perspective and reviewrepparttar 119129 tips about web design.

Change your business based onrepparttar 119130 information you receive and know- Customer feedback is like a free business consultation, if you know how to use it. Even angry letters can serve a purpose. When customers takerepparttar 119131 time to give you feedback,repparttar 119132 underlying message is "We want to order from you, here's how you can let us." Pay attention to their comments and give customers what they want.

Amy Flynn Go Daddy Software 480-824-1353


Written by B.L. Ochman

Continued from page 1

The failure of advertising showsrepparttar importance of bringing in PR people who can think strategically, Ries says. "Strategy may not berepparttar 119122 strength of traditional PR firms. Many of them are totally focused on getting publicity inrepparttar 119123 media. But getting coverage is not what it's about. They even measurerepparttar 119124 value of a story byrepparttar 119125 amount of money it would cost to advertise in comparable print inches or minutes of air time. That's ridiculous."

For example. Ries explains,repparttar 119126 introduction of New Coke is said to have gotten over a billion dollars worth of publicity butrepparttar 119127 product was a complete failure. "The PR firm should have told them they were crazy to mess withrepparttar 119128 formula forrepparttar 119129 most successful soft drink in history. From a traditional PR point of view I'm sure it looked like a plum of a story, but strategically it was a disaster. The best strategists don't take what a client says they are going to do at face value. They question name, price, distribution, and slogan. The best PR strategists would have told them not to launchrepparttar 119130 product."

Good strategy will give way to better business models that will change withrepparttar 119131 times. Adapting torepparttar 119132 Internet age doesn't necessarily mean you need to launch a web site, Ries says, but you may need to changerepparttar 119133 way you do business. He predicts it will be 50 years beforerepparttar 119134 full impact Internet-fueled change is fully understood.

BUSINESS MODELS MUST CHANGE Ries rails against bricks and mortar companies trying to become bricks and clicks companies. Putting an Outernet company online dilutesrepparttar 119135 brand, he maintains, and that's a sure recipe for failure. A far better strategy for changing withrepparttar 119136 times is to giverepparttar 119137 online venture a new name or a new function.

For example, he says, Home Depot has a low price strategy in their stores. Their Internet strategy is to warn suppliers that if they catch them sellingrepparttar 119138 products onrepparttar 119139 Internet they will drop them, Ries notes. "They're in a squeeze because suppliers could make more selling their products online."

In order for both Home Depot and its suppliers to thrive, Home Depot could shift its store strategy from price to a more service-oriented approach, perhaps giving classes in plumbing and carpentry. Then they could launch a web site under a different name, andrepparttar 119140 suppliers would be able to sell to Home Depot and through their own Web Sites.

Low price isrepparttar 119141 driver inrepparttar 119142 Outernet, Ries maintains, but that will change. Research shows, he notes, thatrepparttar 119143 Number One reason people give for buying in retail stores is price. Butrepparttar 119144 Internet soon will offerrepparttar 119145 best buys andrepparttar 119146 Outernet will be forced to make great service its main selling strategy. There is a high end, but it's a tiny share of market.

"The Number One retailer in America is Wal-Mart. Their theme is 'we sell for less.' Because ofrepparttar 119147 Internet Wal-Mart could potentially be in trouble strategically. They have to move toward service because Internet companies will be able to sellrepparttar 119148 same products for less money because as a result of their lower overhead."

INTERNET CAN'T PROVIDE A HAND SHAKE Observers say that many shoppers will userepparttar 119149 Internet for research but make their purchase at an Outernet store. Ries concurs. The consumer's ability to get instant price comparisons onrepparttar 119150 Internet will force most Internet retailers to have a price orientation.

"If all you want isrepparttar 119151 low price, you have to go torepparttar 119152 Internet. The Internet can't provide one thing that people still want: to touch and tryrepparttar 119153 product."

A recent study byrepparttar 119154 London-based by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) drewrepparttar 119155 same conclusion. It reported that instead ofrepparttar 119156 Internet crushing traditional dealerships, car buyers are likely use Web sites for finding information, but not for completing deals.

Projections were that 60 percent of car sales would be made overrepparttar 119157 Internet by 2005, says Ian Robertson, director ofrepparttar 119158 EIU's automotive group. In reality,repparttar 119159 report shows people usingrepparttar 119160 Internet to gather information and intelligence on prices, but to concluderepparttar 119161 deal they are still searching forrepparttar 119162 reassurance of that traditional handshake you can't find overrepparttar 119163 Internet," Robertson told Reuters.

Some may insist that Internet businesses will provide low price, convenience and service. Others will note thatrepparttar 119164 trend toward one-hour delivery by companies like will addrepparttar 119165 element of instant gratification now missing fromrepparttar 119166 online experience.

To those we say: Ignore Al Ries at your own peril.

B.L. Ochman is president of, a full-service marketing agency that builds global traffic and sales for Internet businesses. Subscribe to our weekly marketing tactics newsletter, What's Next Online, at 212.385.2200

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