Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Web Strategy

Do you have an online business model?

Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Web Strategy

We see quite a few ‘startup’ clients.

Some are simply ideas, some are existing businesses looking to take their product or service online, far beyond merely building a website.

Online business – as you have no doubt heard many times – is no different to offline business.

It requires proper capitalisation, constant focus, staff and pretty much all of the virtues of doing business offline.

Sure, plenty of things are different, though a website isn’t a business and traffic isn’t free. If you want to make money, you have to do what the rest of us do and work for it.

When I am pitched different startup ideas, they fall into three camps:

1. This is plain stupid. You’re not building a social network pal.

2. I like the idea, but do you really know what is involved? Have you fleshed out the model? Do you know what sort of money is required? Let’s work on this.

3. I like your idea, you have money and brains and I will honour and obey you for the next 5 years as a faithful, loyal, (competent), web developer and business partner!

It is pretty straightforward to pick the diamonds from the rough, and although it can be rude shock sometimes to the client to explain the actualities of trading online, it is always something I dedicate time to.

Do it properly, or don’t do it at all.

To that extent, I would hazard that if you don’t ‘get it’, you should probably avoid starting an online business. You can’t learn the basics of online business with your first business; you’ll blow your dough and get wiped out. Just like offline business.

Anyway, this is a great blog on Techcrunch about what an online business model is. It really is a good read.

The fact that the article references ‘Supporting Customers’ is a nailer for me. Customer Service and support, as with any business, is central to the success of any online business. And yet it is so often overlooked.

There are so many ingredients to a successful online business: it is hard to know where to start. A sound, commercial business model is the start.

(Money is the second, though let’s discuss that at our first meeting!)