The cyber world has really come alive with the onslaught of WEB 2.0 technologies. Today, many start ups are being formed by students and entrepreneurs across the world. The web based firms with often no brick and mortar presence have been generating enviable returns, considering the low investments made on them. No wonder, students and young entrepreneurs have started viewing these businesses as endless oceans of opportunities. These firms share some very common characteristics, which are as follows:

  • Being led by young leaders, their culture is essentially fun. The job nature often is based on interactions with others (say for instance in the numerous SEOs springing up).
  • The concept of flexi-work or work from anywhere, anytime has really caught up. Most of the start ups consists of students in their engineering and graduation level.
  • The need of initial investments being very low,  savings from pocket money is often sufficient to start these ventures. ROI, if properly strategized is often very high. In fact, being web-based only, these start-ups do not have the burden of making huge investments on physical infrastructure.
  • A major trend in such start ups is their dynamism of defining their business. Often the fixed costs or investments are such that they would apply to various businesses. So if one business flops, there is always a backup plan easily available. So many web based businesses which may start as sites to sell software may end up doing affiliate marketing for some other products.
  • These firms also have the benefits of having the ability to take small risks which can generate huge rewards, in terms of returns on investments. The very nature of defining their business according to changing needs and trends, makes the business risky, yet provides a great opportunity to generate a huge return.

A major problem for these firms is how to decide upon a proper growth strategy. Most such endeavours begin with a lot of enthusiasm, but the same dies out, when the owners fail to generate the expected income from the same. A few generic points which could be kept in mind while trying to build upon the business are given below:

  • Being essentially web-based, you must have visibility on the web. To ensure that, the first thing you must ensure is a decent traffic to get a decent alexa rank. Now here, many start ups thrive on exchanging links for promotion. While this ensures some traffic to your website, one should remember that you are not actually reaching out to your target segment.
  • After some degree of visibility on the web is obtained, it is required to ensure that there is visibility amongst search engines. Most depend on the umpteen so called SEO companies (Search Engine Optimization) to do this job for them. Problem is these SEO firms ensure a decent alexa rank for your site by exchanging links and promotions amongst themselves only. So depending overtly on them is suicide. The only thing that creates visibility among search engines is quality content. In the WEB 2.0 era, content is the mantra to success.
  • Use of content management sites help in the promotion and visibility of your site. But always remember, not all content management site is suitable for all needs. Expending effort and resources on the correct content management site is crucial for your visibility amongst your potential customers.
  • Try reaching out to your targeted customers. Use a sustainable advertising means for that, like a facebook fan page or twitter. Always remember, it is better to reach out to 100 customers really interested in your product that to 10,000 people who don’t care about your existence. Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning are your success mantra.
  • WEB 2.0 is all about differentiation from your competitors. Are you simply doing things differently or are you able to present yourself as doing different things too?
  • Use videos and pictures to make the site as interactive as possible. Your customers may not always have the time or patience to go through textual content.

These are just few pointers on the few aspects the new generation web based firms must look into for success. These aspects form the core of all the businesses yet when one launches his own business, these very simple yet much needed points are often forgotten.

By the way, have you read our article on Value Creation Strategy and Business Models?

Also you can check out our article on the Business Strategies while setting up an e-Commerce Portal.

By Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.