When I build a web site for clients, I always get asked if I think the site will make them money, and unlike most people in the industry, I rarely say yes. This may explain why I have a lot of spare time on my hands but before you simply assume that I’m a nutter, let me explain.
The internet is a really, really big place with lots of people all competing for the attention of individual surfers so the question is not whether or not the web site will make money but instead, how to ensure that it makes money and … are the people involved in the web site capable of ensuring it is a success.
Take for example a retailer, in both their online and offline (real world) businesses they understand the need to build an attractive store, they understand the need to maintain an inventory and they understand that a customers experience is critical to the success of their business but do they really think about how to guarantee the success of an online store, or do retailers all to often assume people will simply come to their store?
The answer is that all too often, business people fail to treat the web as a new location and instead think of it as a simple extension of their existing bricks and mortar environment.
Instead, retail owners should consider the web a new location with the same needs and costs as opening a separate store in a separate area of town (or a new town altogether). Web stores require their own advertising budgets, marketing expertise and staff.
As any successful online retailer will tell you, the trick to running an online business isn’t simply in putting it up but in how you choose to run it.