There’s no reason to feel intimidated by Web. There is so much hype surrounding this new medium that it’s easy to believe that you’re falling behind. It’s just not true… yet.
The truth is: · You’re not that far behind · You’ve already got what it takes · You can’t do any worse than you’re doing right now.
Here are three ways you can avoid getting paralyzed into inactivity by hype:
1. The Web is not all Interactive and E-Commerce Web Sites
There are lots of sites — some people call it brochure-ware – that give a company a Web presence for very little money. These sites are easy and inexpensive to put up and can attract lots of business for your company.
The truth is: only 20% of all Web sites currently offer real-time transactions. And that number’s only slated to reach 33% by end of 2000. You keep hearing about e-commerce only because media keeps focusing on and hyping e-commerce sites.
So don’t let “e-commerce” throw you. If you find out you need e-commerce technology — because you plan to sell in real-time on your site —there are a number of Web hosts out there that, for a fee, will allow you to perform real-time transactions (providing you qualify with a bank for a merchant account). Bigstep (http://www.bigstep.com/), Yahoo store (http://store.yahoo.com/), GoBizGo (formerly Sitematic) (http://www.gobizgo.com/) are just three of them.
You’ve probably also heard a lot about interactivity of Web. There are two things you should know. First, it’s all true. The Web holds promise of being first truly interactive mass medium. Secondly, nobody but very well funded Amazon-sized Web sites are even beginning to scratch surface of interactive technologies. Most of technology behind interactive Web sites to-date has been around for years — databases, chat, forums, e-mail.
There are millions of Web sites out there. Very few offer cutting edge e-commerce and interactive tools that press loves to write about. Don’t let these stories scare you — there’s still plenty of room for you on Web at whatever price point you want to pay.
2. What You Already Know About Business Applies to Web
It seems like everything about Web is new, but it’s not. Sure there are some fine points of technology to be learned, but business is still business. What you know about promoting your products or services offline applies to promoting your products and services online. The same copy will find its way to Web, same target marketing, same accounting skills, and same product fulfillment practices.