The other day, a good friend asked me for advice (and help) to run an electronic commerce website that I had decided to launch as an alternative to the current work situation.
After several hours of chatting, if something I got clear is that the rules of the game have changed a lot in too little time and what until recently was used to sell on the web today is not enough.
As I have my time in this world (which is neither good nor bad, but it gives you “perspective”) I have been able to verify that
- know how to program (or configure a Prestashop, Virtuemart or any other sales CMS)
- make an acceptable design
- and get links like crazy
although necessary, it is not enough.
Be the best or be different?
Like any “traditional” business (yes, those with a shop window and a clerk behind the counter) “word of mouth” is important; That they talk about the quantity and quality of the items you offer and the service you provide. Only in this way will you be able to gain the trust of your customers and become their reference store in their next purchases.
To be a benchmark, we will need to be competitive in some way (if there are several that we offer, the more chances of success):
- price (complicated but feasible if we eliminate intermediaries and costs)
- quality (who doesn’t like it?)
- service (customer likes to be pampered)
Adapt to change
To this day, “word of mouth” is still the key to the success (or failure) of a business, but the forms have changed: if yesterday it happened in the street, today it has been transferred to social networks and with it has opened a new way of doing business and approaching advertising.
A whole world of possibilities opens up before our eyes and getting the most out of it is a matter (for those who are not professionally dedicated to the subject) of
In the end it boils down to something very important: weather and this is what has made me not embark on this adventure (at least not directly, since my curiosity prevents me from staying on the sidelines and not exploring the path that comes my way;)).
As, unfortunately, I could not dedicate the time this friend deserves, has opted for contract GenWeb services (as he could have hired those of any other company in his sector) and seems to be satisfied with the choice.
Although we had talked about it, they have been the ones who have shown him the importance of promotion on the internet in all its aspects if you want to be successful with your business (putting up a website on the Internet and waiting for visitors to arrive can be slow and painful).
They have registered the business in Google Places, Yelp, Google Merchant, social networks, YouTube, corporate blog and they have integrated everything with the store as a means to sell more and better.
It has caught my attention that they have not limited themselves to managing advertising In Adwords and other payment networks, they have offered you free promotion options that exist, avoiding a significant expense (which right now you cannot afford like any other business that is starting with great enthusiasm and enthusiasm but little money).
It takes a lot of time, love and dedication to start an Internet business.
Knowing how to program (or configure) your own website, although necessary, is not enough.
Sometimes, investing (not spending) in professional advice can save us the despair of starting a project on the web and waiting for someone to find us on the Internet, be interested in what we offer and decide to buy it from us for our “Pretty face” 😉
Personally, I have become aware that, as soon as you gawk, you can become obsolete in this “business” that is Computer Science. Every day I am more convinced that computer scientists are the new “men of the Renaissance” and no matter how much you try to be up to date, there comes a time when you have to opt for one of the many branches of “knowledge” that exist in this world and let let others take care of what they do best (although with time and dedication you can achieve almost similar results).
- What advice would you give someone who is starting an Internet business?
- Are you versatile or do you prefer to delegate to specialists?
- How are you doing social media marketing?
- How long did it take you to have a “decent” number of visits on the last website you set up?