The key to doing anything in business is to make money from doing it. Sounds simple and so true but cheap access to the web actually damages and distracts us from this truth. We must all focus upon the search to fund profit and growth else all things are just unprofitable distraction. All things start small and then grow if they are well founded upon a profitable growth area.
In these hard economic times, it is not sufficient to say that your website theme is 'saving money' because all sales people and all products or services have this angle built in. What is missing is credibility and delivery of these savings. In addition to this, saving money on what you do now does not say anything about doing things differently, in a new way, which will save money or be more productive. Finding new markets and saving money is the answer.
Here is what I believe is the direction for the next two to ten years (2011-2021):
Any new website has to be a very minor niche within a high growth area. People who 'think big' are delusional when easy bank finance is in short supply – true, 'think big' is the dream of many bankrupts. You can not 'think big' and sell some dream future if you have a lack of finance from easy going lenders. Think small and you get all your errors out of the way on your minor growth niche and then you grow in the knowledge of your past mistakes. But again... what niche?
In my view there are five long term growth areas:
- Security and Investment
- Commodities (raw materials)
China will continue to fund and gain supremacy over American world economics. China will continue to purchase land in Africa for mining, bio fuels and their growing needs for meat production. Energy will become more valuable while land gets turned over to 'green oil seed' production. The result is even more upward pressures on food prices. Population growth ensures that food and energy are always top of the list. Health is a strong in UK/Europe so long as we can afford it and continue to live longer. Health always has the backing of the wealthier people in society.
In world terms, security and investment will go through a radical change because riots and instability exist when food and energy is in short supply. Be honest: we do not vote in our politicians to be cleaver only popular, so they do not have the answers to these bigger issues.
The real choice and direction for any website is to seek 'affiliate doorways' with businesses who see the future and have products or services within these future growth sectors.
Most business struggle to seek immediate solutions to the problems of today and will not address the problems of tomorrow. What you are beginning to see are 'side issues' developing such as local car share schemes. Obviously, in response to higher energy/transport costs. In addition you are starting to see co-operative local village shops being established to supply locals who would otherwise have to travel at great cost. It is quite possible for people to need 'co-operative food clubs' online.
There are, in fact, 1001 areas due to the changing world demand and pressures on resources.
For a website to make a really significant impact it has to achieve gains in an existing market dominated by big companies. The big companies have to be unable to organise entry into the new growing niche and the niche has to present a barrier to entry. The big companies then purchase into your company because it owns the web methods and doorways to market they need. This has happened for mobile phone transactions with Visa and EWallet. Look at the company behind that and they may loose £14 million this year but their backers and the directors will gain whole world domination of future financial money flow. You can run a bank account via your phone with them!
Trouble is that there are also 10,001+ ways to loose money.
If you don’t find a very small niche which pays then you may not have the funds to actually gain and put down any foothold into future markets.
The problem is the same if you have £100, £120,000 or £1.2m. All that you really gain with £120k is 'time and resources to focus on one thing.' The scale of your financing does not make the outcome certain, it simply shortens the timescale to your final outcome.
Current economic trends are impacting upon the young and old in the job market. The old are generally less flexible (sorry a bit of a tar brush) but older people have the resources of skills, language and not least money. You could focus upon the young because they need to have a persona which advertises their potential as a CV online. A mass of Tweets does not say anything about what your real skills and offerings to the working world. So where is the missing showcase of any claim to skills for employment and income!
There must be 1001.5 potential profitable niche website responses to ONLY the above five major market forces outlined above.
There again; 10,001 ways to loose money... Good old fashioned common sense and judgement needs to be applied to the online world.